Ways Women Orgasm

Women’s sexual arousal tends to be assumed or overlooked

Much of what is known about female orgasm comes from women’s exper­i­ence of masturb­a­tion. Shere Hite’s work focused on female masturb­a­tion and the clitoris.

As a research student in the United States in the early 1970s, Shere (pronounced ‘sherry’) Hite circu­lated a lengthy ques­tion­naire through women’s magazines and to passers-by on the street. She asked women to answer direct ques­tions about orgasm anonymously.

Only 30% of her respond­ents said that they were able to regu­larly reach orgasm from inter­course whereas most women who masturb­ated found it easy to reach orgasm. By comparing the two exper­i­ences, Shere Hite concluded that women will find orgasm more diffi­cult to achieve through inter­course because of the reduced clit­oral stim­u­la­tion.

The Hite Report explained why inter­course is unlikely to lead to female orgasm but it did not explain why a woman cannot orgasm with a partner by obtaining the clit­oral stim­u­la­tion needed for orgasm either from manual stim­u­la­tion of the clit­oris or through oral sex.

In common with other sex researchers, Hite’s focus was primarily on the phys­ical aspects of sex. Of course, the other char­ac­ter­istic of masturb­a­tion that is missing during sex is fantasy. That is unless a woman finds a way to incor­porate sexual fantasies into her sex life.

Later when I came across the fact that some women use fantasy to orgasm during sex, I was amazed. I could not imagine how it was possible since my use of fantasy requires a highly focused state of mind that is incom­pat­ible with sex with a partner.

Women use sexual fantasies both alone and with a partner

The real­isa­tion that some women do use fantasy during sex (and I was able to confirm this with a few of the woman I spoke to) allowed me to see a parallel with my exper­i­ence of orgasm from masturb­a­tion. I real­ised that although I used clit­oral stim­u­la­tion during masturb­a­tion it only worked when combined with an appre­ci­ation of erot­i­cism through sexual fantasies.

Sheila Kitzinger made the point that sex, espe­cially sexual arousal, arises primarily in the brain. I then real­ised that most accounts of sex focus heavily on PHYSICAL stim­u­la­tion tech­niques and that PSYCHOLOGICAL arousal tends to be simply assumed or over­looked. I concluded that this is prob­ably because psycho­lo­gical sexual arousal for men is usually a given.

My sugges­tion is that just as men need EROTIC IMAGES and stim­u­la­tion of the PENIS for orgasm, women need EROTIC STORIES and stim­u­la­tion of the CLITORIS for orgasm. This is my explan­a­tion of how I have reached that conclu­sion and how it fits with men’s exper­i­ences of sexual arousal and orgasm.

It makes sense that women will need to use fantasy more than men to reach orgasm during sex. Women have much lower levels of testosterone, the hormone that boosts sex drive. Also the naked male body does not cause women to become aroused enough for orgasm (other­wise women would buy porn as men do).

There is no logical reason why sexual fantasies should not be a part of our sex life (whether or not admitted to a partner). This conclu­sion helps explain why fore­play tech­niques may not be as effective as we would hope because, just as during female masturb­a­tion, women’s sexual arousal relies on sexual fantasies.

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

2 comments for “Women’s sexual arousal tends to be assumed or overlooked

  1. lionessefl
    July 3, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I never considered that point of view but I agree with you…but I would also say that if you really like someone, you feel the pull of that person’s energy as well as the pull of their body, not just the erotic part, but that part of that person that calls to you on a deeper level.

  2. Jane
    July 3, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    Thanks for your supportive comment.

    I am trying to differ­en­tiate between emotional feel­ings and sexual feel­ings. Men exper­i­ence both when they get turned on by a person they also love. For women, I believe, that emotional feel­ings dominate and that sexual feel­ings are much more subcon­scious during sex. Hence orgasm is more elusive.

    During masturb­a­tion, it is clear that women use explicit sexual fantasies for arousal because women buy erotic stories (but not visual porno­graphy). Some women are able to use their fantasies during sex but I have never found it possible to focus on fantasy when I am with a lover.

    I am high­lighting the fact that women’s sexual arousal is much more diffi­cult to achieve during sex with a lover than it typic­ally is for a man. I believe the reason for this is that sex is not designed to facil­itate female sexual arousal (because female orgasm is not required for reproduction).

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