When it was suggested recently that UK schools should explain the role of the clitoris, mothers were up in arms. They objected to their daughters knowing that a girl might find it pleasurable later in her life to touch her clitoris.

There was no uproar over boys’ genitals. Were the boys also told that their willies might give them pleasure later on? Boys discover their sexuality ‘naturally’ and many people believe that girls should be left ‘naturally’ not to discover theirs.

I suspect very few mothers ever talk to their daughters about enjoying orgasm through clitoral stimulation. But then how many fathers talk to their sons about their enjoyment of orgasm through penile stimulation? They don’t have to because it’s so obvious. Male sexual arousal and orgasm happen fairly spontaneously but many women never orgasm throughout the whole of their lives.

One mother believed that her five-year-old should be left alone in childish innocence happily ‘pushing her dolly around in a stroller’. It’s questionable whether children as young as five would be able to make much of this information even if they could comprehend what they were being told. But what about that dolly in the stroller? To have a real baby, male ejaculation and orgasm are essential but many people do not see that an explicitly sexual phenomenon such as orgasm is relevant to women.

“Intercourse is necessary for reproduction, and sexual pleasure and orgasm are involved with reproduction. But exactly how? Looking closer, one sees that only male orgasm during intercourse is necessary for reproduction.” (p37 The Hite Reports 1993)

Many women relate to their role as a mother (the reproductive aspects of female sexuality) but are less comfortable with the idea that women can enjoy sexual pleasure through their own arousal and orgasm. Since the concept of female sexuality (in terms of their own arousal) is alien to them, many women are never even interested in discovering orgasm.

Women have to learn to appreciate eroticism

Girls need information and encouragement if they are to experience what boys learn more spontaneously. If girls explore sexual activities other than intercourse, not only might they discover orgasm but also ways of enjoying sex with a partner with a lower risk of pregnancy (oral sex, for example). But you can’t make girls as interested in orgasm as boys naturally are.

A fascinating collection of letters by two literary men, who correspond with each other between 1955 and 1962, provides some enlightenment. Rupert Hart-Davies explains his extra-marital affair, which came about after his wife lost interest in sex: “She is one of the (I suspect) many women whose sex instincts are in fact wholly directed to the production of children, and when their quiver is full they want no more (as they say in the courts) intercourse.”(p150 ‘The Lyttelton Hart-Davies Letters’ 2001)

Even in 2009, a major UK bookseller told me they remove the women’s erotic fiction before a head office audit. Many women are offended by books such as those in the ‘Black Lace’ range and yet for me they are so mildly erotic that I can rarely use them for orgasm. I go to London for erotic literature with any bite (e.g. book stores along the Charing Cross Road).

Many people believe in sheltering young women from eroticism and yet enjoyment of eroticism is fundamental to a long-term sexual relationship. A loving partnership involves supporting each other’s life goals of both family and an active sex life.

“The person who said that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach was aiming too high” (p98 Why men don’t listen 1999)

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


  1. I don’t understand why more women don’t speak out about sex. On the other hand, I know how difficult it has been for me. As soon as you say anything other than sex is blissful, the whole world comes down on you.

    I am trying to bring more realism and factual information to sex advice for women. I believe that the current popular belief that sex is totally amazing all of the time silences people.

    Thanks again, Jane

  2. Conditioning I imagine. Folks from different countries do have different systems built in, but the universal standard still seems to be to withhold true feelings.

    I will share your website with all the women I think can handle it. Maybe I’m part of the problem. I immediately think some can and some can’t.


  3. No, you’re right about women. So many of them take offence at even the mention of the word ‘sex’. You’d think it was a plague or a crime or something.

    Other times I have been amazed when a woman I really wasn’t expecting to be open, has just sat down and launched into a complete sexual history totally without embarrassment.

    The problem is that you just can’t tell. Even with the experience of treading carefully, I have a trail of women behind me who will probably never talk to me again just in case I ever try to talk to them about sex.

    And we’re supposed to live in liberated times!

  4. Not generally offended by much, however, I am offended when I offer my own insights and contribute to the discussion frankly and then am taken to be crass or easy, don’t assume because I am a sexual being that I am available to be used for your own gratification or objectification at your whim!

  5. Sorry – what is offensive? Women have to stop being offended so easily. This is another way of allowing the male view to dominate. Male sex drive makes men pushy. Just ignore them if they are disrespectful. Many other men are ok…

  6. I have found that often if women speak frankly about sex in mixed company they are frowned upon or it is assumed that they will do the activities they discussed with whomever might want to do them, this is a wrong assumption, and often times accompanied by unwelcome physical advances…not ok. And yes that is offensive. I generally do not ignore it in favor of speaking up for myself and saying that such behavior is unacceptable and unwelcome, just because I have done something, doesn’t mean I will do it with them!

  7. Well men keep telling me that the women they are with have all these orgasms. But women themselves won’t talk about it or any kind of sexual pleasure. I’m not talking about kink or weirdo stuff. I just talking about straight vanilla sex. There shouldn’t be anything wrong with that?! I get offers from men all the time but I just ignore them. It’s just men trying it on.

    The problem is that women don’t appreciate just how sensitive men are to any sexual suggestion. Men are attracted by sexual opportunities. A woman represents an opportunity for sex. But if she starts talking about sex then she becomes even more of a target. This is male sex drive.