Warning: Sexually explicit content
This week, Sinead is joined by Calum Henderson.
Earlier this week I was yapping to my best man-friend Calum about how I could never cope with the pressure of having sex with a woman – knowing full well that a mere five minutes after the deed was done, they'd be texting their friends about what a let down it was.
"What can ya do?" he replied glumly. "Just got to get in there and give it ya best shot anyway."
"I guess just watch some OMGYes tutorials, eh?" I responded half-jokingly. "That's probably your best bet."
Understandably, my friend had never heard of OMGYes. If you haven't either, read on.
Calum says OMGYes
I don't know what to tell ya. I have too many other things wrong with me, I simply can't afford to be Bad In The Bedroom to boot.
My only hope is that one day someone might be able to tell their group chat: "I know he's a bit out of shape and he doesn't make much money and he has a lot of crippling insecurities and emotional baggage, but at least he's good in bed."
So when Sinead casually mentioned OMGYes as a potential salvation I couldn't navigate my browser there quickly enough. It's true, I had never heard of this website before, but apparently its list of fans includes Emma Watson - and she is a celebrity I trust unconditionally.
What the F is OMGYes?
In layman's terms, OMGYes is an online platform that encourages women to "embrace their sexuality and learn how to have better orgasms". Or, as I like to call it: "do bits".
This is an umbrella term coined by Love Island that describes any sexual relations up until the point of intercourse – we're talking hand bits, we're talking mouth bits.
According to OMGYes co-founder, Rob Perkins, "We're experiencing something of a hangover from our previous generation, where it's still hard for people to see women as sexual beings on their own. It's fairly new that women are seen as having their own desires."
Along with his very own female best friend, Lydia Daniller, Rob talked to hundreds of women about their personal techniques for getting off. Then they got together with researchers at Indiana University to survey over 1000 women aged between 18 and 95 to drill down (sorry) on what exactly works for them.
Amazingly, they were even able to recruit 30 women (heroes) willing to demonstrate their go-to techniques on camera.
To learn from them, however, access to the OMGYes website comes, like any premium content, at a price: $59 (down from $69 – nice). So, is it worth it?
Desperate times call for desperate measures
I slammed my PayPal details down on the digital counter and slipped behind the $59 curtain. I was ready to get better at doing bits.
Behind the paywall, the site is divided into 12 key "ingredients to enhance pleasure" that the experts identified from all their research. It's a bit like how Samin Nosrat narrowed the key elements of cooking down to salt, fat, acid and heat.
Here, it's things like hinting, orbiting, layering, edging. Each ingredient has its own page full of clearly-written explainers and artfully-shot vids where friendly women show you how they masturbate. Some of the ingredients even have touchscreen interactives where you can try the techniques out for yourself on a virtual vagina.
The first one I took a look at was "edging", which is basically when you ease off just before the moment of climax so when it finally does arrive (minutes, hours, even days later, who's to say?) it feels more intense.
It obviously works, but I also couldn't help but think if I went ahead and "edged" a sexual partner without giving them a quick heads up first they probably wouldn't stick around long enough to thank me later.
I was equally troubled by some of the techniques detailed under "rhythm". One woman they interviewed talked about how she loves it when her boyfriend starts to "quiver and tremble" during sex so that he becomes like a human vibrator. Imagine if I started doing this move on someone without any prior warning – they'd be on the blower to 111 in no time.
At the bottom of the page there's a video in which a woman called Olivia demonstrates the rhythmic methods she likes to use. I think Olivia might be the Rain Man of wanking. She starts by tapping a sort of Morse code around the perimeter, before smearing her index finger across the surface like a windscreen wiper. How alarming would it be to have another person approach your vagina in this way, like they were trying to crack a safe?
None of this was helping me get any better at doing bits – not directly, anyway. Maybe – and this can be a difficult concept to wrap your head around as a straight white male – this website was not made specifically for me.
A woman's perspective
Obviously I forced Calum to loan me his log in details so I could check this out for myself.
I too watched the incredibly niche Tapping Tutorial. I couldn't get on the phone to Calum fast enough to assure him that tapping is most certainly not for everyone and probably only just for Olivia, god bless her.
Beyond confirming what I already knew (that I don't ever want to be Morse coded on my genitals, thank you, though) I didn't acquire any life-changing knowledge.
But as you can probably gauge, I'm a fairly self-assured whippersnapper who's never been afraid to tell someone what's what, and what's certainly not (tapping).
Who would really benefit from OMGYes
(Also a woman's perspective):
Tweens and teens discovering what they like and don't like, and being able to do that safely and on their own – before going out into the big, wide, sexually disappointing world.
B) Women stuck in a rut or still unsure what their "thing" is and need some ideas.
C) Men whose entire sexual repertoire has come from porn. (I'll take a wild stab in the dark and say all of you).
And D) Couples. OmgYes is a great, non-intimidating conversation starter for talking about what works for you and what doesn't.
Also - at a pinch, in my opinion an OmgYes membership would make a great birthday, Christmas or Hannukah gift for the somewhat-lacking partner in your life.
And as for single men diving in under their own steam, try not to get overwhelmed with information overload.
As I reassured a panicked and hysterical Calum, we don't want you getting down there and having a nervous breakdown because you can't remember if you're supposed to be edging or tapping.
It's not a Jamie Oliver 30 minute meal. You don't need to prop your phone up on a recipe holder next to the bed and follow along with Olivia, step by step.
If in doubt, just ask. It's cool to kōrero etc.
While I will never put Olivia's polka dot technique into practice (unless someone specifically tells me that's what they're into, in which case I'm good to go), she did still teach me a valuable lesson.
It seems obvious now that I write it down: everybody's got their own unique set of sexual tastes and preferences, so there's no one size fits all recipe you can follow. A familiarity with the ingredients certainly won't hurt, but the real key to being good at bits seems to be having a willingness to listen and learn.
I know what you must be thinking. In the words of Billie Eilish: "Duh".
So Calum, was it worth it?
Am I $59 better at doing bits now? Haven't had a chance to try, but I'd hazard a guess at no. Having said that there is heaps of the site I haven't explored yet, so there's still a chance.
Was it a complete waste of money? Also no. Think of it this way: imagine how many night classes you'd have to attend to learn all there is to learn from OMGYes. And imagine how awkward those night classes would be. In comparison this a bargain and a half.
Even if all I got in return for my $59 was to hear Sinead laugh like a hissing rat after she asked what I'd learned and I told her about the human vibrator? That alone was worth every cent.