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Difficulty reaching orgasm during sex

The website ‘Go Ask Alice!’ confirms that it is likely to be difficult for a woman to reach orgasm through intercourse since the clitoris is not located inside a woman’s vagina. They suggest that women should aim to have their orgasm during other sexual activity either before or after intercourse.

Any woman who can climax with a partner either by using orgasm techniques from masturbation or through oral sex can at least enjoy orgasm during love-making. The problem occurs when a woman never learns how to orgasm during sex because she does not succeed with applying orgasm techniques to sex.

“a considerable portion of the sexual maladjustment in marriage arises from the fact that the average female is aroused sexually less often than the average male, and that she frequently has difficulty in reaching orgasm in her marital coitus.” (p172 Sexual behavior in the human female 1953)

Men’s sexuality is straightforward in the sense that they get turned-on, they stimulate their penis and mostly they orgasm. Men can masturbate regardless of whether they stand, sit or lie down. They orgasm from oral sex, intercourse etc.

Women’s sexuality is not nearly as flexible. Most women only ever find one way to orgasm and the easiest way is through masturbation alone. Even then, most women masturbate in a very specific way. For example, I only ever masturbate on my front with my legs mostly together and by using my fingers. I have tried a vibrator but it didn’t do anything for me. I have tried oral sex and that also does nothing for me. My fingers appear to provide the best focused stimulation that I need for orgasm.

So the dilemma for the so-called pre-orgasmic woman, who can only orgasm during masturbation, is that she is never able to orgasm during sex. She has to accept that she has her orgasm during time alone and that sex with a partner involves making the most of other aspects of physical intimacy including enjoying a man’s arousal and more sensual pleasuring.

Modern hopes for female orgasm during sex

Sex with a partner can quite legitimately include activities other than vaginal intercourse but ultimately most of us end up with a pattern for sex that includes intercourse or penetrative sex at some point. This may simply be because Nature intended that men should get the best possible sexual satisfaction from orgasm achieved by thrusting during penetrative sex.

“One thing that all words about sex have in common, the four-letter words, medical words and euphemisms, is that they include the idea of penetration of a vagina by a penis. You haven’t really “made love” unless this has happened.” (p36 Woman’s Experience of Sex – 1983).

So the fact that intercourse does not facilitate female orgasm is still an issue even if a woman can orgasm by other means. A woman who is familiar with orgasm from masturbation is likely to be less accepting of a role focused on facilitating male orgasm. Anyone who is familiar with orgasm is likely to struggle to see the point of sexual activity without their own orgasm.

Either way whether she is familiar with orgasm or not, in the absence of her own sexual arousal, a woman approaches her sexual relationship with a man through emotional (loving and romantic) feelings rather than sexual. Romance does not help with female orgasm but it may cause a woman to be more amenable to sex by accepting her partner’s love-making.

Most women want affection and closeness and they obtain great sexual enjoyment if their partner arouses them, by stimulating their erotic areas gently and seductively; but once a woman has experienced an orgasm, she wants that too.” (p106 EveryMan 1980)

What amazes me is that everyone understands immediately if a man has even temporary difficulties with arousal but my dilemma meets with incomprehension. Why are you bothered about female orgasm when other women appear content? Sex is an unbelievably embarrassing topic and given the defensiveness and lack of sympathy I have met with I can understand why.

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