Although many sources refer to women’s ‘sexual dysfunction’, it is rare to find a definition of what is supposed to be sexually ‘normal’ for women in the first place.

Sex involves both reproduction and sexual pleasure. So in reproductive terms, a man could be described as sexually dysfunctional if he cannot impregnate a female (male orgasm required) and a woman if she cannot conceive (female orgasm not required).

Enjoyment of sexual pleasure certainly includes sexual arousal and orgasm for men. However, many women are unconcerned about a lack of orgasm during sex.

Men can usually enjoy orgasm through masturbation alone, masturbation with a partner, oral sex or intercourse. Many women limit their sexual experiences to ‘love-making’ despite the fact that intercourse provides insufficient clitoral stimulation for orgasm.

Even if a woman is willing to try more direct ways of stimulating her clitoris during sex with a partner, the fact is that she is unlikely to be aroused enough for clitoral stimulation to lead to orgasm. Many women are only able to orgasm during masturbation alone because this allows them to generate sufficient arousal for orgasm by focusing on their sexual fantasies.

Around 10% of women are estimated to be ‘an-orgasmic’, that is, they never experience orgasm ever. Women who only orgasm from masturbation are referred to as ‘pre-orgasmic’. The number of men who cannot orgasm during sex throughout their lives is negligible whereas, for women, the figure is around 50% (including an-orgasmic and pre-orgasmic women).

“Only about half of all the women who have told me about their sexual experiences say they usually have orgasms during lovemaking. The others either do not have orgasms, or find that they usually have an orgasm only when masturbating.” (p80 Woman’s Experience of Sex 1983)

Lack of female orgasm is not a sexual dysfunction

It is unreasonable to categorise such a high percentage of women as having a sexual dysfunction. So there is nothing abnormal about either an-orgasmic or pre-orgasmic women. Such women do not have a ‘problem’ at all. They simply need to accept that this is the way things are for many women who hope for orgasm in their sexual relationships.

Even these statistics for women’s sexual performance are likely to be optimistic because women who respond to surveys or talk to others about sex are already in a minority. Many other women justify their sexual relationship in terms of loving their partner or having children rather than as a means of enjoying their own sexual arousal and orgasm.

From Shere Hite’s survey (1976) 30% of women claimed to be able to orgasm regularly from intercourse alone. This is quite amazing when you think that it is equivalent to 30% of men boasting that they prefer to orgasm without stimulating their penis.

An equally amazing 44% said that they masturbate during intercourse. At least this is a more realistic way to achieve orgasm but means that almost every other woman masturbates herself during sex. How likely is this? Well given that very few women masturbate at all and even fewer succeed with the same techniques with a partner, I am guessing not very likely.

Only 26% of the women surveyed were brave enough to admit that they could not orgasm during intercourse at all (only through oral sex, masturbation alone or that they never orgasm by any means). As Rachel Swifts points out:

“Furthermore it’s a pretty safe guess that the statistics are worse than that. Because if it’s a volunteer sample, the women most likely to come forward and be candid about sex are likely to be those who are also successful with sex. And while many people might be tempted to pretend they do orgasm when they don’t, few are likely to pretend that they don’t when they do. That’s about as probable as a woman claiming she weighs ten stone when she actually weighs nine.” (p19 Women’s Pleasure 1993)

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


  1. Diana, it’s not possible. Women are not meant to orgasm with a lover. We need to be capable of continuing intercourse until a man ejaculates. Sex ends with a man’s orgasm… Please believe me – it’s all a hoax.

  2. I believe you honey
    I alwas reach orgasm by myself by masturbating and using my mind

    my husband never go down on me
    he only penetrat me for few minutes and he ejaculate fast
    even I don’t feel him since his penis is very small and thin

  3. That’s the way it works! But your experience is rare. Very very few women ever experience orgasm. So make the most of it. Sex is about pleasing your partner and hopefully getting him to pleasure you in a sensual way. Just relax and let him do all the work. But unfortunately many men think that it’s women’s role to make sex exciting for them…

    It would be great to know more about your experience. When did you start masturbating? What position do you use for masturbation? How do you masturbate yourself exactly? What do you fantasise about in order to reach orgasm? Have you tried fantasising with a lover?

  4. hello sweetie thank you for your kindness
    I am 48 y old I was married at the age of 19 I was virgin
    I never had sex with another men except my husband
    from the day one he serve himself only during sex
    arousal for himself, penetration for few minutes, ejaculation, pull back and start snoring
    this was for about 5 years
    at the age of 25 I start exploring myself and my sex organs specially my clit , nipples ,,,,, and so on after some time I reached true orgasm
    I started masturbating at the age of 25
    during masturbation I lay back and put 2 pillow behind my back, legs wide open
    start by caressing my tits, inner legs , squeeze my nipples – this for about 5 minutes
    I do it while my eyes are close, lick my lips by my tongue
    imagine another woman caressing and touching me
    usually a stranger woman or a woman I know
    than I start rubbing my pussy gently until my inner lips are wet
    this will go for about 10 minutes
    than I start caressing and rubbing my clit for more than 10 minutes
    when I am fully aroused I start inserting fingers into my pussy same time rubbing my clit
    at the edge of full arousel I start inserting more fingers and rubbing hard my clit
    at this time, some times I imagine and fantasy about stranger men make love to me and start to moan , my throat start to be dry
    some times I fantasise about something strange and weird which I can not say it
    when I orgasm , my pelvic start to spasm ummmmm
    thank you jane
    love you