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Women’s sexual arousal and orgasm are not automatic

Almost complete mystery surrounds women’s sexual arousal. Women’s PHYSICAL arousal is rarely acknowledged and our understanding of women’s PSYCHOLOGICAL arousal is very vague. No wonder many of us gain the impression that female orgasms simply mushroom up out of nowhere.

Explanations for women’s sexual arousal often defy belief. It is suggested that women, unlike men, can reach orgasm in response to many different sources of physical stimulation – even amazingly from a woman brushing her hair!

This is just one example of how we are asked to believe that women can achieve what even a man would find difficult. It is worth bearing in mind that the majority of men generally know what an orgasm is. Many women are unfamiliar with real female orgasms and are more likely to be talking about sexual arousal.

Of course male orgasm does not occur automatically either, for the most part. Male arousal happens fairly spontaneously but men usually have to work at achieving orgasm. It is men’s ease of arousal that explains why every boy discovers masturbation and makes it inevitable that boys learn how to use what turns them on (fantasy aided by pornographic images) enough to reach orgasm.

Shere Hite found that women, who reach orgasm during intercourse, either ensure that they obtain DIRECT clitoral stimulation by applying orgasm techniques to sex (by masturbating themselves during sex or having their partner masturbate them) or they find ways of maximising INDIRECT clitoral stimulation by finding suitable positions and techniques for sexual intercourse.

Sexual arousal originates in the brain

Female orgasm is one of Nature’s optional freebies – take it or leave it. But just to state the obvious: if anyone is to experience orgasm, they must first be motivated to do so and secondly they must know how to become aroused enough to reach orgasm. Physical stimulation is all very well but before that, something has to be happening in the brain.

A physical and psychological build up is required to generate the consequent sexual release that we call ‘orgasm’. Rather like climbing up the steps of a slide in order to enjoy slipping down the other side, it seems unlikely that even women can reach the peak of orgasm without a build-up of any kind. In other words, a woman is not going to discover orgasm while doing the ironing!

“The more you fantasise, the higher your libido. … it’s pretty well established that the more you think about sex, the more you want it. That makes fantasies the cheapest, most effective sex aid around.” (p249 Hot Sex 1998)

Since female arousal is not required for intercourse women can engage in sex through intercourse without the need to be aroused or orgasmic. This is a major advantage in relationships where a woman can focus on facilitating male orgasm (which, when co-incident with ejaculation, leads to reproduction) rather than aiming for her own (which is not involved in reproduction).

Very few women are familiar with how true sexual arousal is achieved. Unlike male masturbation, which happens fairly naturally, a woman only discovers orgasm through masturbation as a result of consciously choosing to explore her sexuality.

Women have to learn about their sexual arousal and a woman needs to be open-minded enough about eroticism to be able to overcome any moral objections she might have to indulging in the sexual fantasies which lead to orgasm.

“Approximately 30 percent of women don’t have sexual fantasies. For some, it’s a vestige of the old notion that fantasy is something only men do. Others are embarrassed by the harshness of their sexual inspiration and quickly squash it.” (p190 Satisfaction Guaranteed 1996)

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