As long ago as the 1950s the clitoris, and not the vagina, was acknowledged to be the origin of female orgasm. So that by the 1960s when Masters and Johnson explained female orgasm from intercourse alone, it was in terms of women finding positions and techniques for sexual intercourse that maximise the indirect clitoral stimulation (caused by the penis thrusting into the vagina).
As sex therapist Lonnie Barbach notes: “In reality, the clitoris is the female sex organ. … The vagina is comparable in sensitivity to the male testicles.” (p587 Human Sexuality (fifth edition) 1995)
By the mid-1970s though it was accepted that this indirect action was not sufficient to enable the majority of women to reach orgasm. It was agreed that most women are likely to find orgasm with a partner easier by applying orgasm techniques to sex learnt from masturbation or through oral sex because the clitoral stimulation is more direct.
In fact it’s not just lack of orgasm during vaginal intercourse that women struggle with but orgasm by any means with a partner. Most informed people today are aware of the importance of the clitoris and a woman can only know that something is missing from sex if she is familiar with orgasm from masturbation. So why do women still ask about orgasm with a partner?
Clitoral stimulation is known to help but cannot guarantee orgasm
Experts often imply that female orgasm is easily achieved but if it was a simple as pressing a button, why wouldn’t we all have worked it out by now? I appreciate that sexual ignorance is rife out there but surely it is accepted that the ‘informed couple’ exists? Don’t sex experts realise that couples read sex manuals and try different approaches to sex?
Clitoral stimulation is known to assist with orgasm during female masturbation but ONLY when combined with the use of highly explicit sexual fantasies. So the suggestion that clitoral stimulation alone will lead to orgasm during sex with a partner is simply a shot in the dark. It is a suggestion that is intended to be helpful but one that can, in fact, be quite misleading.
Despite all the limelight that our genitals (clitoris/penis) get, it is in fact the brain that is the true sex organ. If you cannot generate some PSYCHOLOGICAL sexual arousal then you can forget about the rest. I have certainly never been able to use my sexual fantasies effectively during sex with a partner – it just does not work the same way. After years of researching the small print, I also know that I am not the only woman who has had this experience.
Women’s sexual arousal relies on sexual fantasies during masturbation and many women are able to use the same orgasm techniques during sex. Try bringing some sexual fantasies into sex with a partner even if that means reading some erotica while he touches you up. This can be a very enjoyable precursor to sex if nothing else.
I find that women’s erotica can be a little too ‘soft porn’ and overly focused on the woman’s body. If you want something a little more gutsy then try some homosexual erotica, which can be a real turn-on because it is full of male body parts, anal sex and fellatio. Of course, there’s always the more mundane domination and sadism which gets many of us going, like it or not.
Excerpt from Jane’s book Ways Women Orgasm (2011)