Anorak News | Shere Hite explains the female orgasm and how to have one – no s.hite

Shere Hite explains the female orgasm and how to have one – no s.hite

by | 12th, September 2020

Shere Hite Olivettit sexist

The Times obituary on Shere Hite (nee Shirley Diana Gregory; November 2, 1942 – September 9, 2020) looks at the career of the “controversial sexologist and feminist who shed new light on the female orgasm and once posed for Playboy”, noting: “she gave an even greater hostage to fortune by using s.hite as the first part of her email address.”

Her research conducted by a survey led her to a key finding: “I was making the point that clitoral stimulation wasn’t happening during coitus. That’s why women ‘have difficulty having orgasms’ – they don’t have difficulty when they stimulate themselves.”

Shere Hite olivetti

Her career began with a campaign:

A Seventies advert for Olivetti typewriters depicted a sexy blonde at her typewriter, legs seductively crossed, red-lipsticked mouth pouting provocatively at the camera. “The typewriter that’s so smart that she doesn’t have to be,” crowed the caption. Members of the National Organisation for Women were so furious at this blatant display of sexism that they protested outside the company’s offices in New York.

One of their number was a striking, pale-skinned blonde who eventually admitted to the sisterhood that she was the model in the advert. It was a significant moment for the women’s movement: the not-so-dumb blonde was Shere Hite…

The biography on a site dedicated to her work, has more:

In her report, she posited a radical and utterly far-out theory: that women didn’t need men to give them an orgasm. From the time of Freud, it was widely accepted that women could only climax through penetrative sex – “the great male thrust” – and if they couldn’t, there must be something wrong with them. For frustrated women faking orgasm, the report was a godsend, alerting women to their own sexual power, and informing men of the existence of the clitoris.

But rather than welcoming Hite’s book, a serious academic study based on interviews with more than 3,000 women, the American male population saw it as an attack on their virility. Hite was cast as the witch queen of feminism, out to steal men’s mojo and turn women into onanistic she-devils. Playboy magazine dubbed it the “Hate Report”, but those who dismissed Hite as a Birkenstock-wearing militant man-hater were in for another shock when they discovered that Hite was actually a bit of a looker, and had posed naked in Playboy while studying at Columbia University. She had also posed provocatively in a typewriter ad to earn money for her college fees, but when she read the ad’s strapline, “The typewriter is so smart she doesn’t have to be”, she joined a feminist protest against the very ad she had appeared in.

The report went on to sell more than 50 million copies.

Sex sells. Olivetti and Shere Hite could agree on that.

Posted: 12th, September 2020 | In: News Comment | TrackBack | Permalink