In the film ‘Shirley Valentine’ (1989), Pauline Collins plays Shirley, a middle-aged housewife. Shirley comments: “I’m not particularly fond of it – sex.
I think sex is like supermarkets, you know, overrated. Just a lot of pushing and shoving and you still come out with very little in the end.” (Note: this film was set in the days before supermarkets sold everything from clothes to microwaves!)
Shirley reminisces about a conversation where one of her friends comments on their youth: “In those days everyone thought it was a case of – in out, in out, shake it all about. Stars would light up the skies and the earth would tremble.”
Shirley laughs at the ignorance of her generation of men who were unaware of the fact that clitoral stimulation is required for female orgasm. The implication is that younger generations of women expect to have orgasms either through female masturbation or with the assistance of a more knowledgeable lover.
It is assumed that men in more modern times are well-informed about foreplay techniques as well as positions and techniques for sexual intercourse. Shirley comments: “They think they know it all – the clitoris kids I call them!”
We may have more knowledge today but our expectations are correspondingly higher. Young women often don’t know how to orgasm until they try masturbation and learn how to use a vibrator to discover orgasm.
Modern hopes for fantasy sex
Women of an older generation often mistakenly assume that younger women have perfect sex lives simply because they live with a man before marriage. That’s just like assuming that all married women enjoy sex. Otherwise why would they be married? It is evident that women seek relationships with men for reasons other than the ‘success’ of a sexual relationship.
“In reality, the more sexually active you are, the more likely you are to masturbate, regardless of whether you do or don’t have a partner. … Of the women who have discovered its joys, virtually all can masturbate to orgasm …
On the opposite side, if you’re a female who has never masturbated, statistics indicate it’s quite likely you’ve never had an orgasm in your life. Pretty strong support for solo sex! The truth is good girls do do it and if you never have and won’t try, give up now on ever having a fulfilling sex life.
Masturbation is a sure way (and often the only way) to discover what turns you on sexually, and unless you know how to excite yourself, you’ve got zero chance of telling your partner how to.” (p2 Hot Sex 1998)
Women are likely to find transferring orgasm techniques to sex much more difficult than the experts imply. Although it is a popular suggestion that clitoral stimulation solves any problem with orgasm, the truth is that some completely normal women never orgasm with a partner by any means. Female sexual arousal is much more difficult to achieve with a partner.
Surrounded by unrealistic portrayals of female sexuality in the media, women often conclude that they are abnormal when they are, in fact, facing a very normal dilemma with sex and their relationships. Women’s use of sexual fantasies for sexual arousal is the most likely explanation for the different experiences of sex and masturbation.
Excerpt from Jane’s book Ways Women Orgasm (2011)