Sex is a difficult subject to analyse because it relies on our emotions rather than our powers of logical reasoning. How many women have been as interested in sex as I have been?

Having masturbated since the age of seventeen, I knew that orgasm was missing from sex. I consulted sex experts and had it confirmed that my partner and I are completely normal. I have read extensively and have my own personal library of erotica and sex manuals. I have explored sex with a partner on a regular basis over many years. I have spent over ten years writing about sex and talking to others about sex.

Despite this experience, all it takes is one sixteen-year-old to claim that sexual arousal and orgasm were easy for her the first time and every time or one twenty-something-year-old to talk about multiple orgasms. Suddenly, anyone’s interest in a more realistic discussion deflates like a balloon – we all prefer the more sensational report. And yet these claims do not tally with anyone’s real life experiences of sex.

I may be doubting women’s claims of easy orgasm during sex but I am certainly not anti-sex – quite the reverse. I am asking: why do so many women dislike the eroticism that lies at the heart of our sexuality and our enjoyment of our sexual arousal?

I want to put an end to the intimidating and humiliating advice that is typically given to young women today. The fact is that any woman who asks about lack of sexual arousal during sex is very unlikely to be:

  • Ignorant of the basic sexual facts;
  • Sexually inhibited, have emotional hang-ups about sex or psychologically traumatised in some way; or
  • Lacking the appropriate loving feelings for her partner.

Yet, I have been patronised and humiliated with all of these opinions by amateurs and professionals alike, even as an experienced woman (over the age of thirty five). It is a crime that this ‘sex advice’ is given to young women on the web every day.

Modern day sex advice is discriminating against women by suggesting that orgasm is unimportant or that women can hope to orgasm without any of the techniques that men employ (eroticism for arousal and genital stimulation for orgasm).

The FACTS of female sexuality are lost: (1) that women need clitoral stimulation for orgasm and (2) that women are likely to have much more difficulty using their sexual fantasies effectively during sex compared with masturbation alone.

No man is thought to be odd because he masturbates. This is because every man masturbates. Masturbation is much less common for women so it is assumed to be an optional extra or even to prevent a woman experiencing orgasm with a partner.

Adult masturbation involves knowing what turns you on, how to achieve sexual arousal and orgasm. Many women never learn how to orgasm through genital stimulation (and I personally question whether there is another way to orgasm).

If my experiences were truly abnormal in some way, then others would be more sympathetic. They would be able to explain how they are able to overcome the known facts about female sexuality instead of claiming that it all happens ‘naturally’.

I have no agenda. I am not trying to make money out of anyone. I am simply trying to establish some facts and provide other couples with more logical and realistic information about female sexuality.

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


  1. Dear Jane, your work is fabulous. I am lesbian and have no preference for penetration simply because I have never felt any purpose or use for it in attaining sensation of sexual pleasure nor have any of my female sex partners wished for it. Rather, penetration is used as a means to the end and not the end act. With that, I always felt so confused when I speak to heterosexual women that describe their stunning orgasms from penetration. So to ease my dissonance, I just concluded it is because I am lesbian that I cannot appreciate the power of penetration. But after reading your work, I have such a full and well informed understanding of the sexual experience for women. As you explained from your work, penetration does bring pleasurable sensation but doing that alone does not bring about orgasm in women. I have spoken with many women on a personal and professional level about sex and have learned from them. From my own personal experience, I wouldn’t be the greatest reporter as I don’t have an extensive sexual history. My stats in my life are that I’ve had sex with 4 women and no sex with men. And funny enough, I’ve kissed more men in my life than I’ve kissed women)))))))

    I am fascinated by your work. Are you conducting a study on women’s sexual behavior comparing between straight women and lesbians? Or exploring all kinds of women’s sexuality…. I’d love to hear more about your study goals and if you’d like any help from me. I am grateful for you and how you have answered many questions for me. As a psychologist, your information has really been a great asset in helping my clients. Thank you for all you do!! Sincerely, Rosalinda

  2. Thanks Rosalinda. I usually get a hostile response from the establishment so I really appreciate your feedback. Glad to be of help! Please let me know if you have any material that I could promote on the web via FB, TW or LI. I prefer information that is realistic rather than fantasy based – as you probably realise! Also any research that is based on large sample sizes or that explains men & women’s behaviours in real life. I would really appreciate your insights into lesbianism. Given women’s low responsiveness, I have assumed it is more about affectionate companionship than achieving orgasm as such.

    I am primarily documenting women’s sexuality as it truly is and differentiating between fact and fiction. My site focuses primarily on women’s sexuality. I write from my own experience and women I have talked to. Sadly I have not encountered any lesbian women. I do not see orientation as a huge difference. Women’s emotional make-up & sexual responses are logically the same regardless of orientation.

    Very few women (almost none) ever comment on any aspect of sex. So it’s difficult. I’ve been asking women to comment for over 20 years. My new project is which aims to present a full picture of human sexuality, including all aspects of men/women, gay/straight etc. My site presents both of these plus the two other mini-books I have written – Women’s Sexual Behaviours & Responses plus Sexuality & Sexual Techniques. All of my work is available for free on these three sites. Sadly only men seem to be interested…

    I would really appreciate some insights into how lesbian women enjoy intimacy, physical and emotional. What sex play they enjoy and the role that sexual activity plays in lesbian relationships. Even if your experience is limited it still counts. I find everyone thinks that they are unrepresentative but we have to start somewhere. Media images are very misleading and cause us all to feel inadequate about real life. Do lesbian women discuss masturbation?

  3. Dear Jane. I am quite flattered by your interest in any information I may have. I am not fully in touch with the research that is out there on women’s sexual behavior. However, based on my own personal experience, experiences of friends and information I have gotten from my lesbian and female patients, I do have some insight on what it is that lesbians do sexually. I think you are doing fabulous work and would be thrilled to share any of my experiences or understanding of lesbianism.

    Such great work you are doing. You will surely go far. I certainly do agree with you that women’s intimacy does change when there is not the element of male desire for Intercourse. Just a piece of information to make you maybe laugh….. I have fake penis with the intention for penetration to please women with it. But they’ve never wanted it or requested it!!! So they are just covered in dust and spiderwebs. On a serious note, the use of penetration with a fake penis has been rarely necessary in my own experience. When it is used, it is mostly used for external stimulation of the vulva and clitoris. You are doing wonderful things. I’d love to help on the lesbian aspect in anyway I can.

  4. I am really hoping to understand more about how women define ‘love-making’. I think it would be useful to describe women’s motivations for engaging in sexual activity without the need to respond to men’s desire for intercourse culminating in male orgasm. I am interested in women’s motivations but also what sexual activity they enjoy over the longer term. I would differentiate between sensual, emotional and more erotic. I don’t think there is a need for any activity to be focused on orgasm.

  5. Dear Jane. I am very happy to share with you my own insights and personal experience as a lesbian. As far as the global experience goes for lesbian women in relationships, I would say they seem to mainly seek out companionship, emotional intimacy and there is a strong propensity to nest. What I mean is, when dating it can be quite challenging not to become quickly claimed by a woman or become cajoled into a serious relationship in a very short time period. It is not an experience I’ve had when dating men (but I have felt pressure for sex very quickly from men). I am sure you have heard the old joke about lesbians: what does a lesbian bring to a second date??? They bring a moving truck. (Or a U Haul truck)

    It is my sense from my experience that sexual activity is very strong at the beginning of the relationship almost as a way of pair bonding. But as the relationship continues over time, sex seems to become less and less. What there is more of is cuddling, holding, hugging, kissing, touching, sexy talk and sex would occur when the women’s sex drive becomes “active”. It almost seems as if women go long time without the desire for sex but then when they do have it, the desire is very strong and intense. So I would say the sexual activity is less frequent and occurs in intervals (but then occurs intensely). Like they go a long time without wanting it but then when they want it, the desire for it is very powerful.

    As far as the actual sex act, I think there is a bit of a different approach but with much similarities to heterosexual sex. I am assuming the same thing occurs for heterosexuals but I will give my own experience of it with women. When it comes to sex between females, I have found that any activity that leads to the experience of erotic pleasure is some form of sex from the mildest to the most direct and intense. I’ve had actual sex with 4 women in my life but I have had dalliances with many many women (closeted, curious, bi and lesbian). Too many to give a number. Strangely I seem to attract curious heterosexual women (perhaps because of my somewhat feminine appearance and my tendency to be quite discrete and private about my orientation and sexuality). They seem to be able to sniff me out like a narcotics customs dog in an airport. Hahahahaha. Of the 4 lesbian women I’ve had sex with, 2 were VERY GOOD and 2 were NOT SO GOOD.

    So here goes. First of all, for lesbians there really is no such thing as “foreplay”. Foreplay is a heterosexual term referring to any physical acts (kissing, touching etc) leading up to the main course being coitus. That formula does not apply at all for lesbians. As they say “it’s not foreplay, it’s alllllplay” meaning the whole experience of sexual pleasure and erotic sensation is fully part of the act as a whole. In fact, it is understood that there is a large amount of “beforeplay” between women that you can equate to foreplay. Women gazing at each other, connecting with each other on a spiritual, intimate and emotional level. Admiring each other, stealing peeks at each other, just barely touching, flirting, talking sensually to each other. These behaviors are what is considered the “foreplay”- meaning anything leading up to kissing, touching or any kind of physical contact that is erotically charged.

    Getting down to it, I would say there is great variation in the sexual activity of lesbians depending on the ladies personality. Some will engage in more hardcore activities while some may be more soft.

    In my personal experience…….For lesbians and even curious women I’ve interacted with, a very large part of the sexual experience is dirty talk or sexy talk. Myself, along with my dirty talk partner, have been able to obtain a GREAT amount of sexual pleasure and arousal through having hot chats with each other. So I believe that the erotic talk is very effective in bringing a woman much sexual pleasure- it’s almost like the “psychological penis”. And this kind of thing occurs very often. Talking sexy and gazing at each other while caressing and touching each other is a highly sexually charged experience for lesbians that brings about intense sexual pleasure and arousal.

    Then there is the physical aspect. I would say there is A LOT of kissing involved between women. There is also a lot of touching, massaging, caressing, holding and having full skin on skin body contact. And this goes on for a long time. It is a very sensual, intimate experience and mainly what the women want and crave. It also brings great sexual arousal. Oral sex is part of that experience. It is part of the whole body kissing that includes kissing the vagina.

    I know that the whole world seems to equate lesbian sex with cunnilingus and it surely is something that happens often with lesbians. However, it does not occur as often as “tribbing” does. What I mean is, lesbians engage much more in “tribbing” than they do in oral sex. “Tribbing” will take place almost EVERY time lesbians have sex but cunnilingus does not ALWAYS happen. Tribbing being rubbing their vaginas together and intermixing their sexual fluids. It is a very intimate and intense experience that maybe we can consider the lesbian form of “coitus”. Rather than calling it intercourse maybe we can consider it “outercourse”. It is surely a direct form of sexual contact. Tribbing is also very often employed while women are kissing or “just getting started”. It is very common to press up against each other’s vaginas while kissing. It is actually a very favorite act for women.

    I don’t know what other lesbians do, but here is what I do……. and what the women I’ve had sex with (the good ones) have done.
    I will engage in tribbing by either putting myself between the woman’s legs (like in a “missionary” position) and rubbing my vulva and clitoris directly against hers in a continual movement that causes friction and mixing of sexual fluids. And there are other positions that work as well (like straddling the woman and tribbing or sitting up facing each other with our legs intertwined and our vaginas connected for tribbing, and other positions) just depends which angle or approach works for the woman. This direct friction between vaginas has been effective in creating sexual pleasure and arousal and even orgasm if the woman is really “there” and fully into it. Orgasming is not so much a priority as lesbians seem to understand that it is not so easy for women to orgasm. Rather, the goal is connecting with each other very intimately and making each other feel very good. If it happens, that is fabulous but if it doesn’t -no big deal- it was all so good anyway. That is the most common sexual activity that occurs.

    Of course lesbians have penetrative sex with a fake penis-anal and vaginal. I believe that depends on the woman and if she is into that or desires that. Also depends on the woman’s mood. If she is in the rare mood of wanting to feel filled, than it is certainly used. But it is not used as the end act but rather used as an aid leading up to clitoral stimulation. When I use penetration with a woman, I always use my fingers (with short cleanly groomed nails of course) or sometimes use a fake penis. But I use penetration as a way of building up sexual pleasure. I will enter the woman with the fake penis (only of that is what she wants) but then in the end, use it externally to stimulate her clitoris and vulva. I will either do it strapped on and rub the fake penis up and down her vulva or I will do it with my hand or many times we will place it between our vaginas and simultaneously rub ourselves against it.

    There is so much more I can say that I’ve done with women but I hope this captures the idea.

    Jane, I hope I have been able to give you a good enough picture of what goes on for me as a lesbian and would happily answer any questions you have that may even provide me with access to more things that I have not thought of in this discussion. I would love to talk more and possibly help you in any way I can.

    I want to thank you so very much for giving me this opportunity to express my knowledge and personal experiences and techniques. All my best, Rosalinda

  6. Rosalinda, I guess my initial questions revolve around terminology. The vagina is an internal organ so it is not possible to stimulate it externally. Even when a penis ‘stimulates’ the vagina internally there is no sensation for the woman because the vagina is essentially inert. Only the vestibule (the outermost part) of the vagina has any sensation.

    So you are really talking about women rubbing their vulvas together from what I can understand. Please correct me if I am wrong. The key issue though is not physical stimulation at all but mental erotic turn-ons. Orgasm relies on the brain being stimulated psychologically by some erotic thoughts. In my experience this focus on eroticism only leads to orgasm when combined with an intense concentration on fantasy.

    What experiences do lesbians share on masturbation? Sex research indicates that this is when women primarily reach orgasm. What are your thoughts? Are women primarily looking for sensual and emotional sensations from sex?

  7. Dear Jane. Not being fully familiar with the terminology, I had said vagina but as you assumed, I did mean the vulva. I really do appreciate your research and extensive knowledge. You are quite impressive.

    I would definitely say that masterbation is very highly used to achieve orgasm Either the women masterbating each other or themselves. From my personal experience, masterbation would be included during the hot chat sessions and of course be used at the end to reach orgasm. Usually both women do it together while they are talking dirty. But I imagine this must be equally as common for heterosexuals.

    For sure in my experience, the women sought out the sensual and emotional sensations from sex more so than any kind of penetration. For me, that is how I get the best quality erotic sensation and feel most fulfilled psychologically and emotionally. However, Lesbians are definitely very physical where there is a large amount of kissing, touching each other, massaging and genital (vulva) contact that involves some degree of friction.

    Please don’t hesitate to ask more or share your response. I look forward to it

    Warmly, Rosalinda

  8. Thanks Rosalinda. What do you mean by ‘talking dirty’? Women can rarely account for their psychological arousal and this makes me think that they are mistaken about orgasm. I find orgasm only occurs when I am alone because I need an intense focus on explicit fantasy to achieve orgasm. Also the stimulation you describe would not lead to orgasm in my experience. I find that it is necessary to put pressure on the internal clitoral organ from both in front and behind (using the pelvic muscles) to achieve orgasm. Female masturbation occurs primarily alone – as far as I’m concerned, it’s not possible to orgasm with a lover. When sexual activity is focused on orgasm then that activity most naturally ends when orgasm is achieved. I just don’t see how it would work (even in theory) for women because they don’t cease sexual activity at any fixed point (unlike men). What exactly are you describing as orgasm? Women prefer activity with a lover for emotional not erotic reasons as far as I can see. There is no biological or logical reason why women would ever orgasm with a lover. So there has to be a very strong/compelling case for it. Any light you can shed would be appreciated! Thanks, Jane

  9. Hello Jane.

    You made some very compelling statements!! Especially about women and orgasm. For me personally, I have never had an orgasm with a lover. But I can orgasm every time I masterbate alone. There was one single time I had an orgasm with a lover. Well, technically I was not with her…. we were having a hot chat through texting and it aroused me to the point where I was able to bring myself to orgasm while chatting with her. I guess that doesn’t really count, right????? But at the same time, I have never faked it when I had sexual contacts with women (nor did I orgasm) because of the 4 women I’ve had sex with, 2 made it clear to me that they cannot orgasm and with one, I made it clear to her that I cannot orgasm. Just didn’t seem to be a pressure to have to orgasm. We agreed that we were enjoying the erotic stimulation that felt very good. However with the one woman I told I could not orgasm, she allegedly “orgasmed” EVERY TIME. Now reading your message, I have been mulling over the very possibility that SHE FAKED IT EVERY TIME.

    To answer your question about talking dirty. I am referring to things like phone sex and sexting. Depends on how clean or dirty the woman wants to talk too. And this kind of activity creates a lot of sexually pleasurable sensations and heightened sexual arousal.

    In summary, I am pretty sure I know exactly what it is to orgasm which I experience masterbating alone. That is I experience multiple strong contractions throughout my body culminating in the pelvic region that bring a pleasurable sensation and a momentary change in consciousness. I have never had such an experience with a lover but I’ve been highly aroused with a lover. Jane I would be quite interested in knowing if lesbians are actually having orgasm when they are having sex …

    Warmly, Rosalinda

  10. Thanks Rosalinda. I don’t believe any women have routine orgasms with a lover. The female body is just not made like that whatever a woman’s orientation. Responsiveness – the ability to orgasm – comes from the male. Women only orgasm because the clitoris develops from the genital tubercle as the penis does. But the development of the clitoris is much less than the penis. Also the penis becomes erect, which makes men much more responsive than women can ever be. Sadly… The ignorance over female orgasm is an indication of just how rare it is.