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)