Rethinking Vaginal Penetration

Note: This post contains very explicit language below the cut.

I read a couple of sexuality books recently, and they got me thinking.  One, the Hite Report, stirred up a lot of negative emotions in me, ranging from frustration at the heteronormativity of the whole thing to uncertainty about my own body and responses.  The other, an anthology called Sexual Revolution, was on the most part really good, and had some stellar norm-challenging essays.  A lot of different things came up while I was reading these books, but what I want to talk about today is vaginal penetration.

Oh, penetration.  How confusing it can be.  Penetration can be fun, of course.  It can be psychologically stimulating, and physically arousing.  But it isn’t for everyone.  Or maybe it is, some of the time.  Most of the time?  A little of the time.

Vaginal penetration can be frustrating because many women are raised to believe that penetration is the holy grail–the means to a better orgasm.  And there can be something really sexy about closeness, the unique sensation, and the fantasy of getting fucked.  But physically, your mileage may vary.  There are many other options for sexual activity, but it can be hard to leave penetration alone.

So I started thinking of an analogy.  What if we thought of the vagina kind of like we do the asshole?  Think about it–an orifice that some people enjoy play with, but not everyone.  Sensitive around the outside for many, penetration is enjoyable for some but usually not directly stimulating deep inside (talking about people without a prostate, here).  Not at all unusual to just play a bit without really penetrating, or to insert a finger in addition to other acts.  Not unusual to play with it some, but not all of the time.

If we thought of the vagina this way, I think it’d take a lot of the pressure off, and make sex less linear.  And if you do really enjoy vaginal penetration, well then there you go, you get your very own kink.  I’m imagining someone nervously biting her lip, grinning at her partner–“Hey, um, you know what I’d really like?  If you could… you know… fuck me in the cunt.”  The idea makes me smile.

And for those who are less into it, there are other options.  You can fantasize about getting fucked while your partner holds you down and fingers your clit.  You can beg “fuck me” and get a spanking instead.  You can lie on your stomach in an ideal position for fucking, legs spread, pussy exposed, and have a partner tease your inner lips, sliding a finger just barely inside, threatening to fuck you like you deserve.  The whole power of penetration doesn’t have to involve actual penetration.  There are other ways to get into it.

This post was originally published on the blog Sex Positive Activism, which has now merged to become the sex & relationships section of Queer & Now.


  1. That entry is really helpful! I’m writing a free e-book about masturbation for women (in Polish) and I had little problems with writing about anatomy, fantasies, advantages, toys etc. The techniques section just can’t write itself. Now I know how to balance the importance of the clit and add other elements such as vaginal or anal penetration.

  2. I like the way you think. I think the mainstream needs to broaden it’s horizon with regards to sex and stop placing PIV sex as the pinnacle.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *