Intercourse does not facilitate female orgasm

Men’s sexual arousal is usually easy, which gives them a natural advantage. As a consequence, while men can usually hope for orgasm from their sexual encounters, most women have to settle for the more diffused sensations of sexual arousal.

“Sex is a very different experience for women and men. A man experiences pleasure primarily as a release of sexual tension. A woman experiences sex in an opposite way. For her, the great joys of sex correspond to a gradual build up of tension. … A man’s immediate desire to touch and be touched in his sensitive zones is a given. He does not need much help in getting excited. He needs help in releasing or letting go of this excitement. In a sense, he seeks to end his excitement, while a woman seeks to extend her excitement to feel more deeply her inner longing.” (p27 Mars & Venus in the Bedroom 1995)

Love and romance make a woman amenable to a sexual relationship but do not by themselves create orgasm. Over time, a man needs to offer some sensual pleasuring focused on his partner’s sexual arousal so that sex holds some rewards for her.

After all, not many men would be happy about not having orgasms with intercourse…

Women need other compensations for sex

Sex is much more straightforward and easily pleasurable for men. Women’s sexual experiences are more difficult to interpret especially given the belief that it is ‘natural’ for a woman to reach orgasm with a partner regardless of the facts.

“Although there has been some disagreement in the past as to whether the absence of coital orgasms without accompanying manual clitoral stimulation is an abnormality per se, most sexologists today have concluded that this is not the case. … This distinction is often of little solace to a woman who is unhappy about not having orgasms with intercourse, however, even if she is vehemently reassured that she is completely normal.” (p587 Human Sexuality (fifth edition) 1995)

For a long time, I found it difficult to interpret this advice. Initially I was outraged at the implication that women are happy settling for emotional (as opposed to physical) pleasure from their sex life. Orgasm may not be the critical goal for women that it typically is for men but any woman who is familiar with orgasm from masturbation, questions why sex does not lead to orgasm.

Apparently, some couples have the ‘problem’ that the woman can only orgasm from intercourse with additional manual stimulation of her clitoris. Many men are unhappy with this because they believe that a woman should orgasm simply from thrusting. Women also feel inadequate because they feel that manual clitoral stimulation is ‘cheating’.

Couples need to be much more realistic about expectations for female orgasm. Men need direct penile stimulation for orgasm so it is only reasonable that a woman will need at least as much clitoral stimulation (which intercourse does not provide).

It is often implied (wrongly) that a woman can orgasm as easily as men do via other means with a partner e.g. oral sex or mutual masturbation. Yet experts I have talked to have admitted that a woman is lucky if she finds even one way to orgasm.

Given the fact that women do not enjoy orgasm as easily through sex as men do, women settle for emotional intimacy over sexual arousal and the sensual pleasures of erotic massage. This does not mean that women do not hope to reach orgasm in general but that they accept that it is difficult to achieve through sex with a partner. This has certainly been my experience.

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

6 COMMENTS

  1. Actually I don’t understand why everyone says to read a book on the topic. Surely if female orgasm were common, then women would be more willing to promote their own experiences? I would appreciate some personal insights. I have never found orgasm to be possible with a lover. I believe that women are mistaking emotional sensations for orgasm with a lover. This is why they cannot specify the anatomy & erotic turn-ons involved in female orgasm.

  2. I see. Well. The book could be helpful then actually. We talk about different types reported by woman. Also remember that clitoral stimulation leads to other sensations in comparison to vaginal, etc. your analysis is a part of it too. Expectations and definitions around expressions and experiences of Orgasm are all confusing for women.

  3. Why are they confusing? Men’s seem clear enough. How can the vagina give a woman an orgasm? Surely the anatomical evidence is clear. The penis & the clitoris both develop from the genital turbercle in the foetus. Why are women so reluctant to discuss these things?

  4. There are many men though who are happy to discuss female orgasm – in explicit detail. This is why I have concluded that they are simply male fantasies. Women mistake emotional sensations for orgasm with a lover. Hence all the confusion…