Many women talk about sexual arousal and orgasm in terms of their relationship. They describe their loving feelings for their partner and explain their sexual arousal in terms of the idea that their partner finds them attractive.

Masturbation has no meaning for them because, for such women, sex focuses on the emotional benefits of sharing physical intimacy with their man. It’s important not to judge other people’s experiences and, as long as women are content with what they have, I don’t want to cause them to feel that their experiences are lacking in any way.

Women who are unfamiliar with orgasm are simply placing a different interpretation on their sexual experiences. They accept their sexual experiences for what they are because they never know what they are missing. Women are told that orgasm occurs easily and naturally during sex so many believe that they orgasm when, in fact, they don’t.

Such women will describe their sexual experiences, even in terms of arousal and orgasm, as if they arise from their feelings for their partner. They interpret orgasm as an accumulation of emotional sensations rather than as a true sexual release.

One female sex expert told me: “Relationship of course, also plays a big role and impacts how and whether women will climax during love making – whether as a result of intercourse or other forms of stimulation.” Women often assume that female orgasm relies on a good relationship (quite how I’m not sure) and so they never understand how a woman masturbates to orgasm.

Remember that you are never too old to learn about enjoying eroticism and orgasm through female masturbation. It’s all about having an open mind. A woman who has explored her own sexual arousal through an appreciation of eroticism and through developing her own sexual fantasies is better placed to make the investment in exploring sex with a partner.

A woman who finds sex and eroticism disgusting or morally offensive is likely to be less willing to be adventurous in bed. If a woman has these attitudes but is willing to consider a change, I would suggest starting by reading some innocent romantic stories. I read ‘Catherine’ by Juliet Benzoni as a teenager. Then you can build up to reading some more directly erotic stories.

Portrayals of women as sexual beings are not negative or disgusting. Women just find the raw crudity of sexual activity less appealing than men tend to but with fantasy you can gloss over these practicalities. Women need to approach sex through the mind and through imagining sexual scenarios where the woman is in control (at least as the director of the fantasy!).

Imagine yourself as the object of a man’s sexual desire. This in part depends on a woman being able to see herself as desirable. She may have to work on her self-image. Remember that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and for every woman there’s a man who will find her attractive. Not every man wants a blonde bombshell anorexic model in order to enjoy his sex life.

In the end women stand to lose out if they do not explore activities other than vaginal intercourse with a partner. Most women who do experience orgasm do so through direct clitoral stimulation – either oral sex or female masturbation.

The early years of any relationship are relatively easy as a couple explores ways of enjoying sexual pleasure together. Long-term relationships (over 10 years) are more challenging because a couple needs to open up to each other on a different level.

My partner and I have found talking to other people, relationship counsellors and sex therapists, very useful and more couples (especially men) should be brave enough to try this. If you really care about your sex life, you may need to re-think some basic attitudes and behaviours. No one is going to force you into anything and it’s totally up to you how you choose to change things.

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


  1. In this article you say…
    “It’s important not to judge other people’s experiences and, as long as women are content with what they have, I don’t want to cause them to feel that their experiences are lacking in any way”

    Then you go on to say…
    “They accept their sexual experiences for what they are because they never know what they are missing”

    The inference then seems to be that there is in fact a “lack” (from your perspective).

  2. I apologise if my article is unclear. I am saying that if a woman thinks she is having an orgasm then presumably she is happy with her experience of sex (regardless of whether she is truly having an orgasm or not). But it is important (for the sake of other women) to be explicit about how orgasm is achieved and when it is possible. I am asking for clarity. Sorry if this offends. Many women are talking about orgasm during intercourse as an emotional experience. Other women are talking about orgasm through masturbation as an erotic response. There is a difference. But many women never masturbate…

  3. Well you said it yourself. For many women thinking of themselves as desirable, in our stereotyped world, is often difficult. The feeling of being desirable or feeling desired is perhaps a function or a relation of having a romantic and intimate relationship with someone, perhaps the fulfillment of a fantasy. In those situations, a woman achieving orgasm is perhaps as likely as through fantasies describing her ideal sexual experience, allowing her to escape the narrow confines of a make-believe reality that she needs to orgasm and experience it in a new way every time.

  4. Thanks, Changez, for commenting. My point is that:

    Orgasm involves (1) achieving sexual arousal through an appreciation of eroticism and (2) using (genital) clitoral stimulation to orgasm.

    The relatively few women who masturbate know this but it is often implied that a woman’s sexual arousal with a partner depends more on her emotions and her relationship rather than on anything as sexually explicit as eroticism.

    Most women dislike the eroticism that is key to achieving sexual arousal and so they do not understand why anyone would want to stimulate their genitals.

  5. Well I would just contend that perhaps your view of what orgasm involves is narrow. I would think that most women know instinctively that the key to their sexual arousal is genital stimulation and they cater to it as best they can while with a partner. At that point it is for the partner to know genital stimulation techniques. Even women who do appreciate eroticism and masturbate may no be able to achieve orgasm with a partner they have no emotional and mental affinity with. Though I’m sure it would help.

  6. This is part of the problem with understanding women’s orgasmic ability. Men encourage women to describe almost any sensation as orgasm and then everyone believes them. Orgasm is a specific phenomenon – not one that anyone can just make up to suit their own purposes.

    My definition of orgasm comes from masturbation. Many women do not masturbate and so, given they are not necessarily even hoping for orgasm, they are more accepting of the emotional rewards of a sexual relationship.

    If women are hoping for orgasm, as they experience it during masturbation, then they will need to generate their own mental arousal before genital stimulation by anyone (themselves or a partner) can be effective.

    Women use sexual fantasy for arousal during masturbation but they are likely to find it much more difficult to use the same techniques with a partner because of the mental focus required.