Friday, September 20, 2019
Home The politics of sex Modern sex advice What sex experts have told me

What sex experts have told me

When my partner and I decided to get married, his work-mates took him out for a beer to convince him that marriage would mean the end of his sex life.

Naturally no woman ever gave me similar advice. I accepted early on that a woman needs to invest in sex for her man’s sake. Even so, I was prepared to believe that there was something wrong with me.

So when I first talked to therapists, I simply wanted to understand how other women were able to reach orgasm during sex. What surprised me was that my questions were met with so much defensiveness.

They insisted not only that women have an equal sex drive but that they ‘naturally’ reach orgasm during sex. Later I realised that my own starting point of orgasm through masturbation was part of the problem. Many women, even sex experts, have been unenthusiastic about female masturbation.

Sex experts are never required to acknowledge the limits of their own sexual experiences. So women (and even men) can advise on female orgasm without any direct knowledge of how a woman reaches orgasm even through female masturbation. This explains why sex experts cannot agree on whether clitoral stimulation is needed for female orgasm.

The male editor of an on-line sexuality journal told me: “We don’t have enough data to say that clit stim is “required” as is fantasy. The fact that some women find that works well for them does not prove it is required. Some women report orgasm by fantasy alone, some by massage of the skin alone, some by BDSM. Kinsey pointed out the huge range of human sexual behavior.”

I agree that BDSM (Bondage, Domination, Sadism & Masochism) may cause sexual arousal. But once a person is aroused why wouldn’t they want to stimulate their genitals (clitoris/penis) in order to experience orgasm? Men certainly do.

Very few women are familiar with orgasm

Women insist that they orgasm from intercourse but they never describe HOW they reach orgasm. If women use clitoral stimulation and sexual fantasies to orgasm during female masturbation, how do they achieve a similar result during sex? Women would be more convincing if they were less defensive and more willing to provide explicit explanations for orgasm.

A female director of a UK sex clinic wrote: “I also believe that you are still over focused on the clitoris and the view that clitoral stimulation is ‘the real thing’ and that women generally are not satisfied through intercourse; again because of your own experience. I agree with you that in many cases this is the fact, but there are also many women who can have satisfying orgasms through sexual intercourse.”

Other experts tell me that laboratory experiments indicate that the clitoris has as many nerve endings as the penis and, that as an organ, the clitoris extends back into the body and so it is comparable in size with the penis. Is this a competition or what?

I do not doubt these facts but … SO WHAT? I question what they have to do with women’s real life experiences of sex. I know that a woman can become sexually aroused but how often do women experience this level of arousal in practice? And what do experts suggest is likely to cause physical sexual arousal (including a clitoral erection) in the average woman?

Another female expert was enraged by the idea that women might struggle with orgasm: “You mention nothing of the G-spot or the fact that the clitoris extends deep into the body cavity and therefore can be stimulated through thrusting. It’s still true that fewer women enjoy orgasm through penetration…”

So why is the fact that some women never orgasm through vaginal intercourse not published as part of the whole picture of female sexuality? Why does no one mention that many women never orgasm at all? Equally no one admits that women who enjoy masturbation alone, often never learn how to share the same experience with a partner (and not through lack of trying!).

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


  1. As a professional sex therapist and relationship coach my experience working with thousands of couples and individuals is very different to what you say. You take a very stereotypical view of sex and relationships. For instance, I see as many couples where the man has the lower interest in sex than the women. My experience is that men love intimacy and emotional connection as much as if not more than women. As to female orgasm, well, the female capacity for orgasm leaves men for dead! Our ability to orgasm in many different ways and from many different types of stimulation is prodigious.

    The reason women find themselves limited in their sexual interest and response is because they have bought into all those myths that pervade our society, such as that men are more sexual than women, or that sex is something a woman does to a man to keep him happy, or that men are only interested in intercourse and nothing else. It’s all social conditioning! We are different in your sexuality, yes, but not in the way most people believe.

  2. There is very little hard evidence that women orgasm at all. Any research into female orgasm relies on women’s say-so.

    Most people are referring to their own opinions based on their observations of the world rather than official research. Kinsey indicated women’s much lower sex drive.

    Everyone assumes that women have sex for the same reason that men do – to enjoy orgasm. But women don’t behave as men do.

    They don’t initiate sex and they don’t pay for sex. Most women over the longer term engage in sex in the context of a relationship.

    I am trying to bring some facts into the portrayal of women’s sexuality which is currently based on fictional media rather than any official research findings.

  3. Jane, you really need to have some sessions with me! I have woken so many women up to the beauty of their sexuality. You represent the sad majority of women who simply have no idea of their potential. It both saddens me and inspires me to continue my work.

    Look, there is such a broad range of women’s sexual experience. When a woman does reach her sexual potential (admittedly very rare in this society, most people don’t have even the faintest idea of how extraordinary that potential is) there is no way she would want to achieve the small limited orgasms that most men experience – boring!

    Look at the research done on women who do have outstanding sexual experiences, such as that by Dr Beverly Whipple and Dr Gina Ogden. That will tell you a lot more about orgasmic potential than epidemiological data from the 1950s.

    And then maybe rather than carrying on about how limited women’s sexual potential is, you could join me and a very few others in actually teaching women and their partners how to achieve it.

    Seriously, if everyone in the world was achieving their sexual potential it would be a much nicer place (and would have a lot fewer of these ridiculous exchanges).

  4. Jacqueline, I am glad to see you admit that I represent the majority of women.

    It’s a shame you appear oblivious to the emotionally loaded words you use. No wonder more women don’t come forward when therapists take such an egotistical approach.

    There is so much bravado and very few women willing to be honest. My sexuality is quite all right thank you.

    I have masturbated to orgasm regularly since the age of 17 and had an active sex life with my partner for over 30 years. I am quite happy with my experiences.

    What is wrong is other women implying that sex is some wonderful emotional experience as if that equates to orgasmic.

    No woman yet has been able to explain what it is about sex or about her partner that causes her to orgasm. Men talk of the sexual attributes they use for orgasm and the sexual activities they fantasize about. Women are silent.

    It is this lack of discussion of how women enjoy sexual pleasure that causes me to question how women orgasm at all. All women talk about is the bravado of claiming orgasm.

    I am trying to have an open discussion but there is only defensiveness and bravado out there it would seem. There is no reason for anyone to feel threatened by my experience. I have been asking women for 10 years to explain how they orgasm with a partner and not one woman therapist or otherwise is willing to be explicit.

    Everyone quotes from a textbook rather than talk from personal experience.

  5. Sure Jane, I’d be happy to describe my orgasmic experiences. I must warn you though, that it will be like a hamburger cook trying to understand the experience of a gourmet chef, the quality of the experience is so vastly different you’ll have trouble believing me and will probably brush it off as ‘bravado’.

    When I make love with my partner, it is a constant interplay of varied sensations and feeling, a constant flow of pleasure. At times there is orgasm that is clearly localised on the clitoris or in the outer, front and centre or deep inside the vagina. At times the orgasm is more diffuse as rushes of energy or spasms and convulsions pulse through my entire body, streaming up my back and along my limbs. These sensations can last for moments or can last for hours (that is not an exaggeration). I can enter into an orgasmic state, where the waves of pleasure course through my body endlessly, or I can find myself in a state akin to suspended animation, hanging in a cocoon of bliss and ecstasy.

    My partner is instrumental to me achieving these states, he holds a space for me to completely let myself go into. His attention and knowledge of my body and mind means that he plays me like an instrument, creating the sexual equivalent of ‘music’.

    At times our love-making is soft and gentle and at times rough and wild, and can go from one extreme to another in the course of a love-making session. Sometimes we just lie quietly together with his penis inside me, not moving, just feeling pleasure coursing through our bodies.

    At times I do take myself into fantasy worlds when he is giving me oral or manual pleasure. I do this when it feels right and it does enhance the sensation.

    Because I can lose myself so entirely in the experience I want and enjoy giving him pleasure too, the interaction between our bodies is seamless, there feels no difference between the giving and the receiving, it is purely about pleasure at all levels of existence, physical, mental and emotional (and dare I use an unscientific word and add spiritual).

    For me sex and love-making is a glorious experience. I also enjoy making love to myself with solo sex but it pales in comparison with the level of orgasmic and ecstatic pleasure I share with my partner.

    I have trained and developed myself over many decades to be able to experience sexual pleasure at this level. It has been a huge journey of personal development. I am blessed to have had many wonderful lovers along the way, and in particular my current lover is an extraordinary human being.

    This, I believe, is the potential of all women. This is what I share and teach, and many women have opened up to this possibility.

  6. Thanks Jacqueline but these are what I would call sensual and emotional rather than erotic experiences.

    You talk of ‘love-making’ and also the fact that masturbation isn’t rewarding is an indication that your experiences are not based on erotic mental turn-ons.

    This is the key difference between the two experiences that I am trying to highlight. I’m not saying that one is better than the other. I am just saying that they are different.

    My sexual satisfaction comes from an intense mental focus on taboo aspects of sexual fantasy and this kind of fantasy does not transfer to sex.

    This is the information that I am passing on to women who masturbate and who find that sex is non-arousing by comparison.

  7. Jane, of course fantasy enhances masturbation. Sure, tell women who have trouble having any kind of orgasm to fantasise while masturbating, that’s the first and obvious step. But there are thousands more steps after that, and when you take those steps you will realise that the fantasy masturbatory experience, how ever good you find it at the time, becomes little more than hamburger with sauce once you’ve discovered how much more erotic and pleasurable sex is when you and your partner(s) become masters of gourmet sex.

    It’s the same with sex, yes, fantasy is a good start for women with no or little sexual knowledge or experience, but it’s just the start. If they’re happy with that, great, but if they truly want to experience their sexual and orgasmic potential then there’s a lot more to do after that. In time she will reach a place where she doesn’t need to rely on fantasy because the quality of the sexual experience will be so far greater than what any fantasy in her head could create.

    I hope this makes sense. It does bother me that sex is probably the only area of human endeavour where we tend to accept the lowest common denominator – it’s assumed that because so many women don’t have great sexual experiences therefore women aren’t sexual.

    So if we as sex experts want to understand human sexual potential, we need to look at the people who excel in this area and translate that learning to the great mass of people who don’t excel but want to excel – just like we do in every other area of life.

  8. Great article, Jane, and as for the comments written by Jacquelline, it seems to me that her comments and especially their form (vague, poetic and in fact full of verbal mannierism) just confirm what you have been saying all the time here. It is sad that Jacquelline´s comments have a strong undercurrent of feeling superior and showing off – and it is even sadder that the author of these poetic expressions of her own superiority can work as an “expert”…. Such an author would be probably better suited for mystical poetry than for applied science. It is just my own personal feeling but her poetry about ecstasy and spiritual union and “orgasms” which take hours and hours really do not undermine your words.
    I am a male, so my comments do not have any ambitions to say anything about female experience but I have written this comment based on my analysis of the texts here and on their comparisons and I have come to the conclusion that Jacquiline´s texts are just another confirmation of your statements.

  9. Thanks Severin for commenting. Let’s face it – we all want to believe this stuff! Sadly my experience is that anyone can write it and often such erotic fiction is written by men even!

    I am asking women to explain the mental turn-ons and specific physical stimulation involved in orgasm. Men never eulogise about orgasm or go on about how good it feels.

    Men talk about what turns them on and I believe it is the mental turn-ons that define sexual enjoyment more than the physical. Men seem to be highly sensitive to physical stimulation from a partner but my experience is that women are much less so.

    Women don’t explain what turns them on about sex and their partner. They refer more to how wonderful and loving their partner is. This kind of talk bolsters male ego and reflects women’s loving emotions and appreciation for their partner.

    There are many human ‘potentials’ – for example, we can all sing to varying degrees. But that does not mean that we spend our lives trying to be opera singers and being told that there is ‘something wrong with us’ if we don’t make it. It is a shame that so many women are concerned about their ego and so few about promoting the facts of female sexuality to reassure other women.

    Men are responsive to varying degrees. Female responsiveness serves no purpose and hence, it would seem, is incredibly rare. This site illustrates just how few women can even discuss orgasm and sexual pleasuring. Most of them only do so to make money.