“Do you orgasm every time you have sex?” asks my elderly Parisian gynecologist with a straight face and a heavy French accent. I wait for the punch line, but it doesn’t come.
“I’m a woman,” I state.
She stares at me blankly. I guess I will have to elaborate:
She sits back in her chair, folds her hands, and nods gravely.
Silence. Sixty mum seconds go by as she stares into my (evidently inadequate) soul. I can’t tell what is going on in her mind, but I envision her having a flashback to a some moment in the 1940s, somewhere in the French countryside, where her grandmother is rocking back and forth in a wicker chair, passing down some sexually profound set of rules.
The clock on the wall starts to tick louder. I begin to fidget like I’ve been sent to the principal’s office. Someone in a room next to us sneezes.
“YOU MUST!!!!” she erupts as I almost fall off my chair. “You MUST orgasm!” She pounds her fist on the table with a level of conviction I haven’t seen since Leonardo DiCaprio demanded Leonardo DiCaprio be put back in the iron mask.
“Every day! Every single time you have sex! You. Must. Orgasm!” Her final words echo across her opulent office, “You must orgasm! gasm! gasm! gasm! gasm!”
I had simply gone to her to get antibiotics for a UTI, a standard, run-of-the-mill, been-having-a-lot-of-sex-with-my-boyfriend-and-now-my-body-is-trying-to-kill-me UTI. It wasn’t the worst I’d ever had, but it was past the point of cranberry tablets. In Manhattan I usually would have just sat in a waiting room until a doctor wrote me a prescription for Cipro, told me to drink lots of fluids and gave me unsolicited advice about anal sex and condom usage. Not in Pars though. Oh no no. In Paris, I was instructed to cum.
I clear my throat. “Well…first of all, let me just say…challenge accepted. But I don’t…that doesn’t always happen for me…sometimes I can’t….”
“Leesen to me,” she interrupts, narrowing her eyes. “I don’t care if eet’s during sex, or after sex, or if ‘e does it to you, or if you masturbate yourself.” (Note – she did not say “masturbate, yourself,” she said, “masturbate yourself”) “…And if you do masturbate yourself, I don’t care if eet’s wis him, if eet’s wis-out him, in front of him, away from him…” She is one orgasm-scenario away from turning into an explicit Dr. Seuss. One Orgasm, Two Orgasm, Red Orgasm, Blue Orgasm!
Behind her, stretching from the ornate ceiling moldings to the middle of the elegantly papered wall is a magnificent gold mirror. I keep catching my reflection in it and have to look away as I am apparently not mature enough to make eye contact with myself during serious sexual conversations.
She goes on to explain that when a woman orgasms, her vaginal tissue releases something called Flora, which keeps her hoo-ha healthy and well balanced. Furthermore, a good, throbbing orgasm, and the cascade-of-happiness that comes with it, helps to flush out any bacteria a man may have pumped up in there.
“Okay – I guess I can do that,” I say, as one thousand questions attack my brain. Am I going to have to drink wine every night? What if God is real? What happens if I just can’t during sex? Jordan, what do you mean, “If you can’t during sex” You’ve never had one during sex! Will they notice if I go to the bathroom after we’re done every time and turn on my showerhead for 3-7 minutes? Will they have the patience to go down on me every time? Should I expect anything less? Why have I ever expected anything less? Why do I expect THEM to always cum but I’ve let mine be a ‘sometimes thing’? HAS YOUR ENTIRE SEX LIFE BEEN A SHAM? Should you not have faked it with all the other men and actually made them work for it, carpal-tunnel-risks aside?? Should– “
“I think it may be psychological for me,” I say. “I mean I can get myself to — quickly — but I never had one with a man before last summer. And that wasn’t during sex. It’s a comfort thing, I think. I have trust issues…you should see the men I date. This last one I found on Tinder…“
“Non. Non! “ She clucks her tongue and shakes her finger at me as if I was a child who had just misbehaved at a restaurant. “You ‘ave a cleetoris. Zer is nossing psychological about a cleetoris. Men — men don’t know what to do wis a cleetoris. Donc, many men. Zis is why you never orgasm. Once zey find ze cleetoris, you orgasm. How old are ze men you are sexually actife wis?
“The guy I’m seeing is 34.”
“ ‘E ees American?”
“Bon, okay. ‘E should know where eet is by now.”
“Yeah. He found it last week.”
“But in ze future? Eef zey don’t find it???” she raised a stern eyebrow up to the top of her forehead.
“I masturbate myself,” I sigh.
“Every day. Wezer or not you ‘ave sex, you orgasm once a day. And zen every time after sex. I give you antibiotics now because you already have zee UTI, but you leesen to me and I don’t see you for anozer year.”
That was about three and a half months ago now. I took her advice — challenge, gift, whatever you want to call it — and I have to say that my little peach has never been happier. She has never had a lovelier scent, and nights of marathon sex have not made her sad even once. I went through the round of antibiotics and factored in an orgasm into my nightly routine (and/or morning and afternoon depending on the situation.) I parted ways with the guy I was seeing, but my prescription for orgasms has continued to not let me down.
I can’t speak for the French’s willingness to complete an entire workweek, or to not cheat on each other in 90% of their relationships. But, in terms of healing women, I highly recommend French medicine.