Home Sexual Politics Female sexuality

Female sexuality

Sex is associated with pleasure (through sexual arousal and orgasm) as well as with reproduction (through family and relationships). However male and female sexuality are, often implicitly, defined differently in terms of the importance of the relationship aspects of sex.

For example, men are motivated to enjoy their own sexual arousal and orgasm regardless of a relationship. So they enjoy masturbation and are willing to pay for both pornography and sex.

Female sexuality is often defined more in terms of a woman’s attractiveness to men than her ability to orgasm so many people are confused when a woman asks about orgasm during sex.

It was Kinsey’s revelation (‘Sexual behavior in the human female’ published 1953) that SOME women do experience orgasm (commonly from masturbation alone) that lead to the popular belief that EVERY woman should be able to orgasm during sex ‘naturally and easily’.

So even today it is suggested that women with ‘the right attitude’ (i.e. attractive and sexually willing) can hope to experience sex differently to other women simply by willing it to be so.

Others believe that a woman needs ‘the right man’ to ‘enjoy’ sex fully. There is nothing wrong with finding sex wonderful, for romantic or emotional reasons, but this is not true sexual arousal.

Since female orgasm is not needed for reproduction sex does not facilitate female arousal. A woman’s challenge during sex is how to achieve the MENTAL arousal required for clitoral stimulation to lead to orgasm.

So although manual or oral stimulation of the clitoris are both more likely to lead to orgasm, women often prefer ‘love-making’. Intercourse allows a woman to assist with the much easier task of facilitating male orgasm rather than aiming for her own.

This is Nature’s design, which explains why, although female masturbation is very NORMAL, it is also quite UNUSUAL. Relatively few women explore their own sexual arousal either alone or through genitally focused sex play with a partner.

Female orgasm during sex

Traditionally female sexuality has been defined almost entirely in reproductive terms (through vaginal intercourse within marriage). Ways Women Orgasm provides women with the factual background to their sexuality in terms of a genital focus (through their own sexual arousal and orgasm) to help modern women make sense of their sexual experiences.

The discussion of female sexuality covers the following:

  • SEXUAL DESIRE: women’s own sexual desire is often confused with how sexually desirable they are to men.
  • FEMALE MASTURBATION: women’s sexual arousal is not automatic and so most women never discover masturbation.
  • SEXUAL AROUSAL: sexual arousal may be evidenced by the physical but it is fundamentally PSYCHOLOGICAL in nature.

Whereas men’s need for PHYSICAL stimulation during sex is clearly focused on the penis, it is often mistakenly assumed that female orgasm arises from the stimulation of the vagina. Unfortunately the vagina (as part of the birth canal) has very few nerve endings. Only the clitoris, the female sex organ and source of female orgasm, has a sensitivity comparable with the penis.

Similarly, whereas men rely on explicit eroticism (pornography) for their PSYCHOLOGIAL sexual arousal, it is often mistakenly assumed that female sexual arousal depends on emotional criteria. But women need explicit eroticism to achieve sexual arousal just as men do. It’s simply that women’s fantasies (effective when alone) do not always help with orgasm during sex.

“As Ann Koedt put it, in ‘The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm’: ‘Perhaps one of the most infuriating and damaging results of the whole charade has been that women who were perfectly healthy sexually were taught that they were not.'” (p46 The Hite Reports 1993)

Excerpt from Ways Women Orgasm (ISBN 978-0956-894700)


  1. Intercourse has nothing to do with female orgasm or female pleasure. There is no sensation from stimulating the vagina, which is part of the birth canal. A baby’s head passes through the vagina so a penis has little impact no matter what size.

  2. The function of female orgasm is to provide women with pleasure – not men.

    Men should be happy with their own pleasure. Men have the erotic pleasure of sex (orgasm) but women have the emotional reward of pleasing a lover.

    Which would you prefer? It sounds rather spoiled to expect both!

  3. As long as people demand something. Someone will try to supply it – at a cost.

    Sex education can help educate people about what is possible.

    But many people ignore the facts when it comes to emotional topics like sex.

    Women hope for orgasm cures & men hope for penis enlargement miracles.

    The world will probably always be so …

    I have to say though… men really are penis obsessed.

    It’s no wonder women threaten to cut off all male appendages when they are angry.

    Hardly a sign that women admire penises as much as men do!