Carolyn, a relationship counsellor in her fifties, told me she thought it unwise to positively encourage female masturbation. She did not give her reasons.
“Many women think of masturbation as unnatural and disgusting and a complete waste of time, and don’t understand why anybody does it and are unsympathetic to the view that people might continue to do it even though they have sexual partners.
As our bodies develop through puberty, young men and women become aware of themselves as very different sexual beings.
Boys have erections as early as 8 or 9. During puberty the penis increases substantially in size and becomes much more responsive to stimulation, both mental and physical.
The heterosexual act of vaginal intercourse is designed foremost as an expression of love between a man and a woman.
After all, if sex was purely about two people reaching orgasm, then we would more naturally engage in activities that involve more direct genital stimulation.
Sex is associated with reproduction and with pleasure.
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.
Men’s sexual arousal is usually easy, which gives them a natural advantage. As a consequence, while men can usually hope for orgasm from their sexual encounters, most women have to settle for the more diffused sensations of sexual arousal.
“Sex is a very different experience for women and men. A man experiences pleasure primarily as a release of sexual tension. A woman experiences sex in an opposite way.
Sexual desire is associated with ‘sex drive’. The male sex drive is a man’s biological drive to procreate by thrusting into a woman’s vagina until ejaculation (usually co-incident with male orgasm).
Before the sexual revolution a woman was seen to have a complementary (not identical) sexual role to men in terms of accepting a man’s sexual advances.