Our ability to become sexually aroused through an appreciation of eroticism is a normal as well as a necessary part of human sexuality. Sex (male arousal and orgasm in particular) leads to family and yet hypocritically, while family is encouraged, sex remains taboo.
Young boys learn about orgasm through masturbation because an erect penis is difficult to ignore. Girls do not experience spontaneous sexual arousal and so they have no similar reason to explore how their genitals might react to stimulation through female masturbation.
“Unlike a boy’s very obvious penis, which he knows is pleasurable to touch and fondle, a girl’s genitals are hidden, mysterious, remote.
I find it remarkable (and disturbing) that many women have never used a mirror to see what their genitals look like and to find out where their clitoris is.” (p106 EveryMan 1980)
If men learn how their sexual arousal works through masturbation, how do women experience orgasm as men do but without any learning process at all? Surely the reasonable assumption is that female masturbation fulfils a similar role for women?
From puberty onwards, boys are fascinated by their penis: the way it grows and is pleasurable to touch. They learn that their appreciation of the sexual attributes of women or men (depending on sexual orientation) takes them from arousal to orgasm.
Women do not have the same experience. In fact, if anything the childhood message that touching around the genital and anal area is ‘dirty’ is reinforced by the practical necessities of dealing with the periods that signal the start of female adolescence.
More than this, women’s minds are simply not wired to appreciate the physical aspects of sex. This is why many women (even those who work in the sex industry) think men are ‘like animals’. Men seem to revel in all the things that women find unappealing: the hairy skin and the musky smells associated with the genitals as well as the bodily fluids that accompany sexual activity.
As a woman who enjoys eroticism, I have been able to put aside these concerns to some degree. I never think that pornography makes the woman ‘dirty’. The key is whether a woman identifies with the positive aspects of eroticism because, even when they don’t masturbate, some women are able to share their partner’s enjoyment of eroticism by watching porn movies together.
Women are often blissfully unaware that men masturbate regularly throughout their lives. Men cover up the strength of their sexual urges because women can sometimes be insensitive about men’s passion for sex. The daily sales of pornographic magazines are a clue. Of course, men have a higher sex drive but also they enjoy their own sexual arousal and orgasm.
Women, who masturbate, enjoy their own sexual arousal and orgasm in much the same way. They use sexual fantasies (based on their appreciation of eroticism) to bring their sexual arousal to orgasm through genital stimulation (of the clitoris).
Many women never learn to appreciate the eroticism that leads to sexual arousal so they never explore their sexual fantasies. Without the experience of true sexual arousal, they never understand why anyone would ever want to stimulate their genitals.
Many women are shocked by any form of eroticism. This shows a lack of understanding about the nature of sexual pleasure. After all, eroticism lies at the heart of our ability to become sexually aroused. A woman who never discovers her own sexual arousal through masturbation is likely to have difficulty generating positive associations. Such women prefer ‘love-making’ because it avoids them needing to engage on the crude practicalities of more explicit sexual activity e.g. oral sex.
Men do not see sex purely in terms of family or ‘making love’. Men also want to enjoy sexual pleasure with a partner. If there was more education for women to help them understand men’s appreciation of eroticism, perhaps more women would be willing to explore sexual activity with a partner and then fewer men would be looking for sex with a prostitute.
Excerpt from Jane’s book Ways Women Orgasm (2011)