When they talk about their sexual relationships with men, women will often refer to love, trust and commitment.
These factors are obviously important for the stability of long-term relationships that family life depends on. But they are not factors that will help a woman learn how to enjoy orgasm during sex.
Many women see sex as an emotional and loving experience. Either they have no expectation for orgasm or they assume that their loving emotions result in the phenomenon that other people call orgasm.
This is fine and no one wants to upset other people’s sex lives if they are happy with them. Many women enjoy sex as a sensual and sexy physical act with a partner regardless of their own sexual arousal.
But women who ask about female orgasm need to know the facts.
Loving emotions do not lead to true sexual arousal. Just as men have to (usually very willingly!) focus on eroticism if they are to become aroused, women also have to accept that enjoyment of sexual arousal depends on having ‘naughty’ thoughts.
Guilt about sexual fantasies is misplaced because our ability to enjoy our own sexual arousal is part of the human experience. Such feelings occur naturally and as long as we enjoy them alone or with a consenting adult partner, are quite harmless.
The degree to which we are able to enjoy our sexuality depends on the balance between our desire to enjoy sexual pleasure and our need to satisfy moral constraints. It is the taboo nature of sexual activity that causes us to feel sexually aroused.
Why women still prefer ‘making love’
Men tend to become defensive when it is suggested that vaginal intercourse does not facilitate female orgasm. One reason is that embarrassment about sex causes many less adventurous couples to limit their sex life to intercourse.
Nature’s fault again but women do not find the kind of physical sex play that men enjoy arousing enough for orgasm. More than that, many women are actually disgusted by the idea of any activity more sexually explicit than ‘making love’.
But we are talking about quite different women and attitudes here. A woman only asks about female orgasm because she already knows how to achieve it from masturbation. Such women are likely to be more open to exploring sex with a partner, including a wider variety of physical sex play and techniques, because they enjoy eroticism through fantasies.
Women need to stimulate their clitoris for orgasm just as men need to stimulate their penis. Intercourse does not provide enough clitoral stimulation for female orgasm no matter how long and enthusiastically a man keeps thrusting.
What is confusing, for women who masturbate, is that clitoral stimulation can only lead to orgasm once a woman has achieved the necessary psychological arousal through fantasy. Women do not become aroused enough for orgasm by looking at the naked male body. If they did, then women would enjoy pornography, lap-dancing and pole-dancing bars as men do.
Women’s sexual arousal depends on sexual fantasies with a complex psychological context (often BDSM) that can be tricky to combine with a real life sexual relationship. Many women do use fantasy during sex but others find that their mind-based fantasies are ineffective with a partner. A woman may need to learn other ways of incorporating her fantasies into her sex life.
This may include reading some erotic fiction immediately prior to sex and during foreplay (man doing all the work!) or bringing some ideas from her fantasies into physical sex play (activities other than intercourse) that may be combined with intercourse.
Excerpt from Jane’s book Ways Women Orgasm (2011)