“Mom, have you ever faked an orgasm?”; that question was asked by her teenage daughter, in the middle of a family dinner. Between reflections and answers was born the idea of creating a book, which from the beginning in the title invites us to reflect on everything we were told or what we naturalized about the female orgasm. Why is it a taboo subject? why is it important to talk about desire?
Patricia Suárez is an Argentine storyteller, writer and playwright. Author of books such as ‘La italiana’, ‘Esta no es mi noche’, ‘Causa y Efecto’, she collaborates in the newspaper Clarín and publishes short stories in the magazines Billiken and Genios. She was also part of #MiráCómoNosLeemos, a collection devised by journalist Patricia Kolesnicov to talk about gender issues. “There are many titles about feminism as criticisms of the supposed ‘maternal instinct,'” says Patricia, who participated alongside authors such as Sergio Bizzio, Alicia Dujovne Ortiz, Florencia Etcheves, Fernando García, Betina González and more.” Writing is healing, for everyone. That’s why creating a ‘parallel universe’ such as a story or a play helps you survive the anguish. I put a lot of ideas in a notebook, and when I feel like looking for materials, I review them. Sometimes there is something, sometimes there is not and you have to invent it again,” he adds in a dialogue with this media outlet. Myths and More Myths About Female Orgasm” was released in the middle of the pandemic. Edited by Indie Books, the author takes a historical tour on the idea of sexuality that different cultures around the world have and the lack of information on the subject. It is a dynamic reading that invites deconstruction through data and documentation. “It is the end of a journey in which he analyzes from how Egyptians and Greeks talked about the sexuality of women to why only in the 60s of the twentieth century did the medical consultations of those patients who did not reach the climax grow. All those centuries had to pass to begin to access the right to enjoyment. Suarez goes through the descriptions that medieval doctors made of the clitoris and the denial of its destiny of pure pleasure by the first psychoanalysis. And it comes to the end: where it warns that an orgasm can transform reality,” the synopsis says. In dialogue with Filo.News, the writer reveals the behind the scenes of her book, the importance of comprehensive sex education (ESI), the personal challenges involved in the project, the relationship of feminisms with the visibility of the subject and more.
What was the creation of “Myths and More Myths About The Female Orgasm” like?
Very difficult and even deserotizing! I had to read a lot about sex, and the truth is that the pure and simple question of the biology of the female genital organ what makes or does not do the vagina, clitoris and uterus, what hormones, what enzymes and what nerve endings, the whole medical part, was a little cumbersome. But at the same time I could chat a lot with my daughter about it, or with friends from 30 to 83, and it’s very interesting how each one interprets female enjoyment.
What did it mean to you if your daughter asked about orgasms? Your daughter read the book, what did she think?
It was fantastic that we talked about it. Because the biggest problem with female enjoyment is about the taboo that implies, ‘that’s not to be talked about’ or worse still ‘caretearla’, and then, that the person you love the most in the world, raises it is a huge relief. I never stood in front of my daughter as an authority in any sense, so I’m open to being questioned. When a person questions you, in any bond, the bond and you grow. That is what I intend. I think he read the book a little bit, but because he was aware of what he was writing, he knows well what’s in the pages.
How do you see the relationship of the new generation with the knowledge of sexuality? What role do you think ESI has?
Like it or not, ESI is fundamental for a paradigm shift in sexuality and for a growth in quality of life. One always believes that the new generations know more, because now there is more talk and there is more knowledge at hand. But the truth is that only those who feel like it, and the will to know, know more. Therefore, the ESI, being in public school guarantees that a large percentage of children and adolescents have this knowledge.
Why do you think sexuality is a taboo subject for women? Why do you think the established norm is not to have orgasms or not to talk about it?
Well, it’s a very old, patriarchal value; that women know that orgasm, that sexual happiness and as people do not depend either on the man’s limb, nor on the gestation and upbringing of a child, makes them ungovernable. And the patriarchy wants governable people.
The male authors you quote focus on the demonstration of the orgamo as manhood. Why is the word of women important on the subject?
Because women experience it in our bodies. I believe that men — heterosexual, neurotypical — know as much about the female orgasm as they do about the prostate. That is why it is also important to have a communication addressed to men. Tell them how the thing is coming, and if they want to take notice, fine; if not, no, and there they are.
What challenges on a personal level did writing the book involve? What was your reaction to finding the different types of orgasm treatments in cultures?
Phew, a lot of challenges! I am a writer of theatre and literature, not a sexologist. So it was difficult to encourage myself to show it, to speak with a certain ease and authority – the one that gives me to have studied the subject in hundreds of books. But I also speak from my surprise to learn that not in all cultures, the female orgasm was something to be repressed. As it has been in ours.
In the book you talk about the construction of women in Hollywood as part of a system that reproduces patriarchal culture. Do you think that changed over the years? what does the orgamos look like in the cinema?
Oh, Hollywood! I think it’s the most patriarchal institution out there. No, it was not changed.
What role did feminism play in making this issue visible? why can orgamo be considered an act of empowerment?
If it had not been for the feminist movements of the last five years, this book could not have been read. The collection wouldn’t even exist in Bajalibros. There would have continued to be articles and books in the Cosmopolitan review on how to have an orgasm – the perfomance – and not on what it means to have an orgasm. This difference is fundamental, it is the one that empowers us. I have an orgasm in the same way that I have the right to learn to read and write, to get into college, to vote, to choose who to join in marriage, to conceive or not conceive a baby, and to put my last name on it. You can read the book here.
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