Had the founding fathers been women, orgasms would have been listed as one of the "certain unalienable rights" in the Constitution. Unfortunately, that was not the case, and we ladies still have to resort to a whole lot of creative methods to get ourselves off in bed. (Anyone remember the Tap from Seinfeld?)
While we know an awful lot more about the female orgasm now than white dudes in the 18th century did, there's still a huge gender gap when it comes to satisfaction in bed. According to a 2013 poll, women in general have about one orgasm during sex for every three a man does. Another study of college women in the United States found only 40% of women reported having an orgasm during their last sexual encounter, as opposed to 80% of college-age men. That's an awful lot of frustrated vaginas.
Fortunately, people are speaking up against the tyranny of the orgasm gap, reminding everyone the female orgasm is important — and the finer details on how to get it. Here are a few of the best insights from stars who aren't afraid to get real about pleasure. The founding fathers would be proud.
1. Amy Schumer: "You're entitled."
Ever the sexual equal opportunist, the Trainwreck star had some words of wisdom for women looking to get off. "Do what you feel you want to do while also considering how you'll feel the next day," she told Glamour for an August cover interview. "Don't not have an orgasm. Make sure he knows that you're entitled to an orgasm."
She added, "I like to say it. I'll be like, 'Hey, there are two people here.' I'll be like, 'Oh my God, have you met my clit?' Don't be self-conscious." Considering the vast majority of women can only achieve orgasm via clitoral stimulation, with only 7% reaching orgasm from penetration alone, by some measures, these are words most partners should live by.
2. Nicki Minaj: "Women should demand that."
If this July Cosmopolitan interview is any indication, Minaj might be the Masters and Johnson of our generation, providing valuable insight on the importance of orgasms to those around her. "I demand that I climax," Minaj said, adding, "I have a friend who's never had an orgasm in her life. In her life! That hurts my heart. It's cuckoo to me. We always have orgasm interventions where we, like, show her how to do stuff. We'll straddle each other, saying, 'You gotta get on him like that and do it like this.' She says she's a pleaser. I'm a pleaser, but it's fifty-fifty."
Her friend isn't alone: According to Planned Parenthood, 1 in 3 women report having trouble reaching orgasm. Minaj's quote proves that when it comes to closing the orgasm gap, communication is key — not to mention an awful lot of lube and maybe a Hitachi Magic Wand.
3. Eva Longoria: "It's a shame I didn't discover it sooner."
In a 2005 interview with Shape, the Desperate Housewives star championed the virtues of both solo and partner sex, pointing out that knowing your own pleasure is key to enjoying partnered sex. "I didn't begin enjoying sex until I started masturbating. Before that, I really wasn't sexual," she told the magazine. "I bought my first vibrator three years ago. It's a shame I didn't discover it sooner. Now I give Rabbit vibrators to all my girlfriends. They scream when they unwrap it. The best gift I can give them is an orgasm."
Now that's a gift that keeps on giving.
4. Halle Berry: "I initiate."
Being one of the hottest women on the planet doesn't mean you don't struggle in bed — specifically, struggling with asking for what you want. Luckily, as Berry told Esquire, the road to sexual satisfaction turns less rocky with age and confidence.
"You know that stuff they say about a woman being responsible for her own orgasms? That's all true," she wrote in the magazine's "Sexiest Woman Alive" issue. "And in my case, that makes me responsible for pretty damned good orgasms these days. Much better orgasms than when I was 22. And I wouldn't let a man control that. Not anymore. Now I'd invite him to participate. I'll tell you this: I've learned my tricks. I know what I like. I do not wait around. I initiate. And I'm not all about frequency. I favor intensity."
5. Taylor Momsen: "Learn yourself first."
Ever wondered what the former Gossip Girl star is doing now? Getting off, if this Guardian interview is any indication — and pointing out that girls should be empowered to explore their own sexuality and pleasure.
"I'm a promoter of masturbation," the Pretty Reckless frontwoman told the newspaper back in 2010. "Don't sleep around – learn yourself first! Guys do, but girls don't. And that's why girls have so many bad experiences. But you can know your body, know yourself, know what feels good. You don't have to give yourself away just to have sexual relevance. Because I don't think sex is something people should be afraid of. It's part of human nature, so I don't think it should be so shameful – particularly for girls and young girls."
6. Gabrielle Union: "You want equal participation."
The Top Five actor is a proponent for gender equality, respect and reciprocity in bed. You want to feel like you're both in it together, in order to get off. "Nobody wants to feel like just a vessel. You want equal participation, so it's not '68 and I owe ya one,'" she told Men's Health back in 2009. She was equally forthright about her feelings about cunnilingus: "If it's a choice between a man who gives flowers and a man who enjoys giving oral, most women would take the oral. And it's free. Oral sex is recession-proof." Pretty much every woman in America would agree.
7. Miley Cyrus: "A masturbate a day..."
Shocker: The "Bangerz" star has been extremely open about the benefits of the female orgasm, particularly when it comes to consistent self-pleasure. Back in January, she made headlines for posting an Instagram of herself with her hands down her pants, accompanied by the caption, "a masturbate a day keeps the haters away." Her comment is another important reminder for women: There's no guilt over orgasming too much. No such thing.
8. Jenny McCarthy: "We need to think it first."
Although the outspoken star has sparked headlines for her anti-vaccination views, McCarthy has some keen insights into what makes women tick, reminding everyone that women take more wind-up than men in bed. "Women don't have whatever it is that makes you guys horny for no damn reason. We need to be teased into good sex," she wrote in a column for FHM. "We need to think it first, feel it second, then do it third. Get it right and she'll be more than primed for sex. In fact, she'll be begging for it."
9. Amy Poehler: "Try not to fake it."
Leave it to Amy to deliver the uncomfortable truth nugget about orgasms that too many women know: Often, we fake it. And doing so is really a disservice not only to ourselves, but to our partners. In her hilarious book Yes, Please, the comedian declared, "Try not to fake it: I know you are tired/nervous/eager to please/unsure of how to get there. Just remember to allow yourself real pleasure and not worry about how long it takes ... God punished us with the gift of being able to fake it. Show God who the real boss is by getting off and getting yours."
BONUS: James Deen: "You don't have sex to somebody — you have sex with somebody."
Some of the most valuable advice on how women can get what they want in bed doesn't come from a woman, but a male porn star. James Deen perfectly summed up how we should all be thinking about sex in Men's Health back in 2013: To get someone else off, and to get off yourself, you need to be attuned to a person's specific needs.
"The one thing I always preach is this: You cannot have sex with everyone the same way," Deen told the magazine. "You have to change your sexual style to complement your partner's, and you need to figure out what they're into. Remember: You don't have sex to somebody — you have sex with somebody. So if you're not willing to communicate with her about sex, then you might as well just masturbate."