no, it's not fair," I said to Michael. "You're absolutely right. There is no justice. Women absolutely have the better end of the stick here. And no, there's nothing that can be done. Sorry."
I tried not to sound smug. But really, now, men don't begrudge us our multiple orgasms, do they? Michael and I had broken up years ago, and we remained the best of pals. We knew each other inside and out, so to speak. I knew what he liked (woman on top, lots of oral sex, some role-playing in which I was always the dominant character) and he knew what I liked (doggie-style, cunnilingus, lots of talking). But I suddenly looked at him curiously. We were sitting in a dark, divey Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of the Tenderloin, and I tried to look him in the eye. Had he been harboring some resentment all these years? "You don't really think it's unfair, Michael," I said. "It's not as if we girls come out on the biological top very much."
"Well, not in practice, maybe," he said. "What could be more wonderful than watching your girlfriend come five, six, seven times? When you're just doing all you can to hold off? Oh, I love thinking about box scores when I'm making love. It's great."
"So, you're saying that, just in theory, it's not fair." I had to control my irritation. "Well, get over it. It's not going to change. After all the stupid things that women have to go through -- PMS, menstrual cramps, birth control responsibility, having a baby, leg waxing, the glass ceiling, making 70 cents on the dollar, sexual harassment, rape -- I would think you could throw us this one little bone, guilt-free."
"It was just a thought." He speared a tiny dry shrimp. "I was a little curious what it was like when you girls come. I would think, because you in particular have so many, that they're probably pretty watered down. What do you think? Are they just little bursts, several in succession?"
"No," I said.
"Really. How bizarre. You don't really think your orgasms are better than men's, do you?"
"Yes," I answered immediately. I had always thought this. "It's not always the same intensity, every time, but yes, I actually do think women come longer and more deeply. Why do you think we're more vocal?"
"Because women are more vocal about everything. High maintenance, etc., etc."
"Don't start on that high maintenance thing with me. You know what I say about that."
"Yes, yes. High maintenance, high yield. You've told me."
"Well, anyway, there's a reason why we make more noise. And it's not a Harry Met Sally scenario, by the way."
Michael looked at me. "How can you categorically state that your orgasms are better than mine? What standard of measurement could you possible be using?"
"It's just a feeling I have," I said. "With us, it's like going up a hill, a little rising, that gets more intense and more concentrated. If it were a color, it would be going from light pink to rose to crimson to deep, deep burgundy." Michael looked thoroughly confused. "Sometimes when I'm coming, if we're going to be totally honest here, I feel completely and totally selfish. I really don't care if my boyfriend gets off at all, just that he not come too soon, because then it's all over, usually. In fact," I waved at some friends who were sitting across the restaurant, "that is the sign of a good lover. When he makes certain that I come several times before he does."
Michael widened his eyes nervously. "Did I do that? I can't remember."
I considered a broccoli stalk. "I think so. Most of the time. I also think that the more you mind-meld with the guy, the better your orgasms are. Now, I don't think that's the same with men."
"Unfortunately not. Men are dogs."
"No, they're just different. And another thing about going down on a woman ..."
"Hot and sour soup," the waiter announced brightly. "Enjoy."
"Thank you," said Michael. "Continue," he said to me.
"... is that, at least with me, the orgasm is totally different. More mental. Less the burgundy rising. More like a sea-green wave breaking." I set down my chopsticks. "Am I making any sense?"
"Ah, writers," he sighed. "Sure. Waves, roses, soup. It all seems to be coming together. No pun intended." He blew on a spoonful of soup. "Now what about when you masturbate?"
"A weapon going off."
"Like a handgun shot?"
"More like a blank."
"Hmmm." He paused. "I think I'm going to have to write this all down."
"Now, if you were to compare your orgasms," I started, "I would say it's more Hale-Bopp. Less aurora borealis. But you tell me. What is it like when a man comes?"
"Let's save that for the next course," he said.