2015 was the year of the female orgasm. From Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj showing themselves the love in "Feeling Myself" to Amy Schumer telling it like it is, women were vocal about their desire to get off.
But even with all that focus on female pleasure, there's still a major deficit when it comes to women's sex lives. A Cosmopolitan study from March found that only 57% of women usually have orgasms when they have sex with a partner, while men have orgasms 95% of the time, indicating the presence of an "orgasm gap" for heterosexual couples.
The gap isn't entirely surprising. The female orgasm is like a work of art, and it can be hard to make a masterpiece if you don't have the right paint brush. That's why education about the female orgasm is more important than ever. And what better New Year's resolution than to speak out and demand the orgasms you deserve? Get inspired by these 11 fearless female celebrities who blazed the trail for pleasure equality in 2015.
1. Nicki Minaj: "I demand that I climax."
Nicki Minaj made headlines in her interview for Cosmopolitan's July issue, where she talked about demanding an orgasm — even if you've never had one before. "I demand that I climax," Minaj said. "I think women should demand that. I have a friend who's never had an orgasm in her life. In her life! That hurts my heart. It's cuckoo to me."
She said that she and her friends "always have orgasm interventions where we, like, show her how to do stuff. We'll straddle each other, saying, 'You gotta get on him like that and do it like this.'" Minaj added, "I'm a pleaser, but it's fifty-fifty." Considering that 39% of women in the Cosmopolitan survey achieve orgasm by using their hand or a sex toy, sometimes a little instruction is necessary.
2. Hailee Steinfeld: "Realizing that you can do [it] on your own is incredibly empowering."
Hailee Steinfeld shed her good girl persona in August when she dropped her single about masturbation, the not-so-subtly titled "Love Myself." (Sample lyrics: "I'm going to touch the pain away / I know how to scream my own name.")
Steinfeld told Refinery29 that she was well aware that the song would stir up some controversy. "It has such an incredible self-empowerment message that I think is so easy for young girls or women of any age and guys to forget how important it is," she said. "Realizing that you can do just about everything on your own is incredibly empowering."
3. Jamie Lee: "It is like meditation but for your vagina!"
In an interview with Cosmo in March, the comedian and star of the MTV series Girl Code said, "Orgasms are awesome because for a brief moment, you're not thinking about Instagram or how somebody was rude to you. It is like meditation but for your vagina! Clear minds, full orgasms, can't lose!"
It's hilarious, but also very true: According to the Cosmo survey, 32% of women get caught up in their own heads and worry about how they look during sex, instead of focusing on how good it feels. Orgasms clear your mind, and clearing your mind leads to more orgasms. Now that's a feedback cycle we can get behind.
4. Anna Faris: "You've been watching too much porn if you're expecting her to sound like a dying hyena."
On the Late Late Show with James Corden, Anna Faris shared some advice she recently gave someone on her dating podcast, "Anna Faris Is Unqualified." When the caller said he wasn't sure if his girlfriend was actually orgasming or just faking it, she replied, "Maybe you've been watching too much porn if you're expecting her to sound like a dying hyena." (Watch the clip for her hilarious and spot-on impression of every fake orgasm ever.)
5. Amy Schumer: "You're entitled to an orgasm."
Amy Schumer was the queen of real talk about orgasms this year, but the highlight has to be her August Glamour interview. "Do what you feel you want to do while also considering how you'll feel the next day," she said. "Don't not have an orgasm. Make sure he knows that you're entitled to an orgasm."
Not sure how to bring up the topic? "I like to say it. I'll be like, 'Hey, there are two people here,'" Schumer continued. "I'll be like, 'Oh my God, have you met my clit?' Don't be self-conscious." A few months later, she again addressed the orgasm gap in her standup special, Amy Schumer: Live at the Apollo, telling guys to "make [their] girls come."
6. Miley Cyrus: "A masturbate a day keeps the haters away."
When in doubt, do it yourself — at least, that's what Miley Cyrus says. Back in January, Cyrus ignited controversy after she posted an Instagram of her hand in her shorts with the advice, "a masturbate a day keeps the haters away."
This isn't Cyrus's first public effort to stand up for female pleasure. (It's also far from the first time she's posted a sexually charged photo on Instagram.) Back in 2012, she told Us Weekly that it's really sad when women "base how much they're worth on the sexual favors they can do for somebody... because sex is actually really beautiful."
7. Tanisha Long: "Closed mouths don't get fed, and by fed, I mean multiple orgasms!"
Girl Code star Tanisha Long spilled some sassy advice to Cosmo last March. "Too many men just hammer away. We aren't drywall! Look up and talk to us! And ladies, speak up. Closed mouths don't get fed, and by fed, I mean multiple orgasms!"
Long is right: Considering that it takes women an average of 20 to 40 minutes to get turned on enough to reach orgasm, we might as well stay at the peak for as long as possible before coming back down.
8. Rashida Jones: "Women should feel pleasure and have sex and feel good about it."
Actress and executive producer of the documentary Hot Girls Wanted Rashida Jones is a vocal critic of pornography, but not because she doesn't think women should own their sexuality. "Women should feel pleasure and have sex and feel good about it – and there's a lot of shame involved with porn," she said in an interview with The Wrap. "Because it's performative, women aren't feeling joy."
She continued, "It would be a whole different conversation if women were like: 'We're having sex, we love it so much, we want more of it, we feel so good about our bodies and ourselves' – that's not the conversation [with porn]." Whether you agree with Jones's anti-porn views or not, she does have a point about faking it: According to one 2010 survey, nearly 80% of women have faked orgasms at some point.
9. Gloria Steinem: "Women need to say, 'This is what I want.'"
In a November interview with Elle, Gloria Steinem shared her thoughts on how women should go beyond simply consenting to sex, to proactively asking their partners for what they want in bed.
"This is the phenomenon of the woman who's asked what movie she wants to see, and she says, 'I don't know. What do you want to see?'" Steinem said. "It's a tiny version of a big tendency. Women need to say, 'This is what I want.'"
10. Nicole Byer: "Say something if you don't orgasm."
Girl Code star Nicole Byer let a truth bomb drop in last March's Cosmo interview. "Say something if you don't orgasm," Byer said. "It's like you took a cross-country road trip and he left you in the Midwest. Make it to the coast and go to a beach!"
Her solution is simple but effective. According to Cosmo's survey, 72% of women have experienced a time when their partner climaxed but made no attempt to help them finish. The easiest solution is just to ask for an orgasm — you never know, maybe your partner didn't even realize you didn't have one.
Read all of Mic's year-in-review coverage here.