Vajayducation at the Female Orgasm Seminar

Sexologist Megan Andelloux with plush vulva puppet.

Voice Vixen here, reporting on the Female Orgasm Seminar which took place this past Friday night. Content warning, the following does acknowledge the existence of sex and is textually NSFW.

6:45 So this thing hasn’t started yet and already Science Center C is a writing mass of hot bodies, packed front to back with Harvard Students who apparently want to know the ins and outs of the female orgasm. There is a table up front arrayed with various sex toys ranging from purple to pink to… pinker. I’ve picked up a raffle ticket, wish me luck!

6:46: A group of guys sitting behind me can’t seem to say the word clitoris without whispering. One of them says he hopes to hear about some “serious technique.” I suppress judgement, it seems clear that boys of Harvard could really use the help.

6:55 It IS SO LOUD IN HERE. It’s almost like every person in the room is having a really intelligibly vocal orgasm. Rabble rabble rabble!

A capture of Lingford’s stop motion animation.

6:00 Ruth Lingford (VES Professor, Department Head) has started talking about her videos interviewing people to describe their orgasms. Her film is a minimalist stop motion animation with voiceover’s of said descriptions. It is notably replete with phrases like “chocolate mousse”, “volcanic”, “like icing”, “I thought of broccoli”. All this food talk really makes me want a cupcake. Everyone laughs at a software update popup, but the video is otherwise really interesting and captivatingly animated.

7:05 I begin to tally the number of times people say “orgasm.”

7:08 I don’t know whether to be encouraged by the number of people in the room or really, really saddened by the balls-to-the-wall, people-standing-in-the-aisles attendance.

7:16 To describe the scene, on the table in the front is a VAST array of sex toys, apparently $1000 worth of swag. Apparently the Voice’s good blogging sista, Lena Chen of Sex and The Ivy, graciously supplied the sex toys to be given away. We love you Lena!

Note: The men here are definitely, the loudest, brashest people in the audience. Voice Vixen does not like. The sex educator/sexologist however, is extremely cool and sexy. Just sayin’. High waisted skirt, white blouse, librarian glasses. A Harvard gal might steal this look.

7:21 Surprisingly, the “orgasm” iteration count is only at 8 – I think we can do better than this.

7:22 So cute/gross, everyone in the audience just said ‘Pap Smears’ altogether, like a three-year old says “Good Morning Mr. Rogers!”

FML Celebrity Sighting! Gov20 Italian guy.

7:23: Highlight of the event: women referred to as “vaginal owners”, because not everyone who has a vagina identifies as female. Thank you! This is a vast improvement upon the utterly heteronormative seminars of yesteryear.

The sexologist lays it down for us, figuratively. Some great quotes:

“Everyone has an asshole, everyone has a mouth. Those are the great equalizers.”

In reference to always using lube for anal sex: “My job is to make sure you don’t rip your butthole.”

“This is one of my vulva puppets.”

“For the love of god masturbation is good for you.”

“There are no absolutes in human sexuality.”

HOLY CRAP COOL FACT: Greatest number of orgasms had by a woman in a sexual study: 134 in one hour. Everyone feels inadequate.

7:30 There is way too much hooting and hollering from the men in here. You dogs you.


  • The average female orgasm takes: 10-20 min
  • Imbibing anything over an ounce of alcohol decreases the ability to orgasm, but less than an ounce makes one a little more receptive.
  • Working out helps you have better orgasms, as it improves the circulatory system.
  • Direct clitoral stimulation is needed for most vaginal owners to get off. “Trying to orgasm without clitoral stimulation is like a man trying to orgasm without touching his penis.”
  • Orgasm isn’t the goal, there’s other fun stuff (aka goal-focused sex, a no-no).
  • Super Helpful Relaxation Tip: try to make the jaw muscles slack.
  • Politics do not belong in the bedroom.

7:47 “Orgasm” count now way up to 49.

7:57 We’re about to watch a clip from “Viva La Vulva.” Oh, yes, you really should have come to this. So. many. vulvas. Everyone is rapt with attention though; half the guys in the room have their hands near their mouth or their chins. A woman with really, really strong PC muscles is displaying herself COMPLETELY. I can’t help but wonder how many Harvard boys have even seen this before, let alone projected 6 feet tall in a on a screen. Vaginal show and tell.

The sexologist mentioned genital shaving and every girl groaned.

8:12 We’ve moved onto the clitoris!

  • Tip: If you “split the clitoris into four quadrants” the upper left is the most sensitive. Who knew?
  • Fact: You cannot stretch out the vagina lips.
  • Facts: If someone is physically responding to sex their outer lips will open up. the The clitoris is actually 4-6 inches long, the exposed part being just a tiny tip of it. Is it sad that this comes as incredible information to everyone in the audience?

8:22 We’re onto vibrators and toys:

  • Fact: vibrators were created for the medical community, as a treatment for hysteria.
  • Fact: You can’t “break” your vagina by using your vibrator too much.
  • Butt lessons: make sure your anal toy has a flange (a wide part at the base of the toy that prevents it from being sucked up into your body). The image that accompanies this advice is horrifying.

8:41: final “orgasm” word count at 67.

Final Thoughts: While Voice Vixen did not snag a cupcake, she assumes they could only have been magnificent. In any case the talk was incredibly informative. It’s amazing how mis/uneducated individuals can be about their own bodies. Voice Vixen came away cringingly refreshed as did many of the others in attendance. If anything can be surmised from the incredibly participatory, enraptured, and VOCAL student responses, it’s that the event was an incredible success. Alas, we did not win a sex toy (there was a Hello Kitty vibrator… NOOOO!) but we definitely give kudos to The Radcliffe Union of Students for their work putting this together. Look forward to it next year, and get there EARLY because there wasn’t an empty seat in the house! Harvard kids might be sexually frustrated, but sh*t if they aren’t willing to educate themselves. The main advice of the night: Relax, be safe , learn more, read more, masturbate more, and remember to relax that jaw!

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