Ways Women Orgasm

How we enjoy our best orgasms

Shere Hite identified two main approaches that women used to increase clitoral stimulation and their chances of orgasm during intercourse. They either maximised DIRECT clitoral stimulation by using masturbation during sex or they used positions and techniques for sexual intercourse that maximised INDIRECT clitoral stimulation caused by the penis thrusting into the vagina.

“… orgasm is most likely to come when the woman takes over responsibility for and control of her own stimulation. You always, in essence, create your own orgasm.” (p52 The Hite Reports 1993)

Since direct clitoral stimulation is likely to be more effective, sex experts will often recommend applying orgasm techniques to sex learnt from masturbation. Evidently some women do succeed with transferring their orgasm techniques from masturbation to their sex life but Ways Women Orgasm asks women to comment on how successful this approach is for them in practice.

“For many women intercourse is not the best way to get the type of clitoral stimulation needed to have orgasm. In these cases manual or oral stimulation of the clitoris combined with intercourse and other pleasurable activities usually leads to orgasmic response.” (p113 Dictionary of Sexual Terms 1992)

Hoping for someone else’s sex life

It is sometimes implied that because someone else has succeeded with a certain technique that we might all be able to use the same orgasm techniques with the same success. Unfortunately there are no guarantees. What works for one woman will not necessarily work for another because we all have different personal backgrounds, personalities and attitudes.

The overwhelming reaction I have had when asking experts about lack of orgasm is that I am expecting too much. Essentially, if you can orgasm ever then you are luckier than most women out there. The fact that a woman can’t orgasm when she wants (e.g. during sexual activity of any description with a lover) is just plain spoilt. Others appear to assume that a woman who knows how to orgasm one way (e.g. through masturbation) should be able to orgasm in any other situation (much as a man can).

Men’s innate level of arousal is usually so high (especially when younger) that they orgasm no matter how they are stimulated. So masturbation works (either alone or with a partner), oral sex works, intercourse works etc. etc. Equally, although standing can be the most natural position for masturbation alone, a man easily adapts to sitting or lying when with a partner. Women’s minds and bodies are not as flexible in the way they respond to stimuli – often we only orgasm in specific circumstances.

“Many males, projecting their own experience, are inclined to overestimate the incidences and frequencies of masturbation among females. For the same reason, they poorly understand the techniques by which females masturbate, the anatomy which may be involved, the nature of the female’s physiologic responses and the part which fantasy plays in her masturbation.” (p133 Sexual behavior in the human female 1953)

Explanations for female orgasm are often too vague to be useful but even when they are specific it is not clear why they do not work for all women. For example, Shere Hite catalogued a variety of positions/techniques that women use for masturbation including legs apart/together, rubbing against pillow/object, on front, on back etc. I have always masturbated on my front using my fingers to stimulate the clitoris. Despite trying other positions and vibrators none of them has worked for me.

Likewise even though many women say they get their best orgasms from oral sex, I have never found oral sex arousing enough for orgasm. Interpreting our sexual experiences in a way that can be useful to others is difficult and it may be that each woman learns differently how she can orgasm. This makes it difficult to pass on sexual experiences to others because in the end we all have to learn what works for ourselves. Perhaps a woman learns only one way to enjoy the best orgasms.

Excerpt from Jane’s book Ways Women Orgasm (2011)

2 comments for “How we enjoy our best orgasms

  1. Changez
    May 17, 2017 at 11:56 am

    Is there no general principle for stimulation, orgasm or arousal for a woman? Like you said, most things work for most men; there must be some overarching principle that most women can apply for arousal, other than self motivation.

  2. Jane
    May 17, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    Men experience spontaneous arousal as a result of testosterone (the hormone responsible for sex drive) and by the sight of a woman’s body. Women have neither of these benefits. They have to CONSCIOUSLY decide to achieve their own arousal. This is where fantasy comes in.

    Men are able to go from masturbation to sex fairly easily because they use images of a naked woman for masturbation and then during sex they can substitute a real woman’s body. A woman tends to use quite surreal sexual scenarios (basically kinky and unrealistic) during masturbation.

    I have not been able to use my fantasies effectively during sex. I would like to compare notes with other women to understand more about how they overcome the difference between their experience of masturbation and sex with a partner.

    For the first time over the age of forty I have experienced climax with a partner (using clitoral stimulation with anal sex or vaginal fisting). I don’t use explicit fantasy but get turned on more by the thought that my partner is enjoying my body and penetrating me. I still focus on the idea of his orgasm as the main trigger for my own orgasm. The sensations are very pleasant but do not feel like a sexual release in the way that masturbation does.

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