Learn About Sexuality

Why couples don’t discuss female arousal

Male orgasm is explicit and defines the end of heterosexual activity. It is accepted that a man thrusts until he ejaculates. Couples never discuss the explicit details of how and when female orgasm occurs. This is because of the confusion and ignorance in society about how orgasm is achieved.

Most people are insecure about pleasing or performing for a lover. We want to know how we can be ‘good in bed’. But it is noticeable that men ask much more than women do about how they can pleasure a lover. Men assume that women’s sexual pleasure is focused on orgasm. For this reason, men are much more interested in discussing female arousal and orgasm than most women ever are.

Initially men have the impression that women are turned on by the same stimuli that arouse men. This is because women who are selling sex tend to do and say things that turn men on. But women in everyday life do not behave or talk in this way. Confusingly all the suggestions for arousing a woman relate to relationship issues. A woman wants a man who treats her as if she’s special, spends time talking to her or offers a romantic dinner. A man can’t relate to arousal in terms of these non-erotic stimuli.

Couples talk very little about the explicit details of pleasuring. Women will often stop a man who is stimulating her because she accepts that she is a long way off being aroused or ever achieving orgasm. Some men may interpret this behaviour as an indication that a woman has been ‘satisfied’.

A handful of women claim to orgasm with a lover. They are usually women in the sex industry: therapists or sex toy vendors. Men don’t eulogise about their own orgasm or even fantasy. Men talk about the aspects of sexual activity that arouse them. Women are under enormous pressure to say that they orgasm with a lover. Some attribute their orgasms to the vagina and others to the clitoris in random fashion. It is also easy to refer to fantasy.

These women make a mockery of the silence on the part of millions of women. They imply that they are special in some way but they cannot explain why other women do not experience what they experience. They suggest that other women are ignorant, uninformed or perhaps (usually implied) just stupid. Yet all women must have similar responses.

Their solution is simple: all you have to do is stimulate the correct anatomy and you can orgasm with a lover. The correct anatomy (the clitoris) was identified by women who masturbate not women who think they orgasm with a lover. Women who masturbate know that the kind of sexual fantasies that women use for orgasm do not work with a lover. Unfortunately, men are so eager to hear and believe stories of female orgasm that these women attract the attention they want.

It is nonsensical to suggest that certain women can achieve orgasm in circumstances where others cannot. The only explanation would be levels of responsiveness. But any woman who is responsive would orgasm through masturbation, which research clearly indicates is the most natural way for a woman to experience orgasm. Unless a woman is responsive (and she has no control over that) she will never know what orgasm is.

People are inclined to believe what other people say even when it conflicts with their own experience. So couples who want to understand how a man can arouse a woman or bring her to orgasm assume that other couples have discovered something they have not. It’s all about expectation at the end of the day. The less you expect the happier you are.

Alfred Kinsey noted that when a person is aiming for orgasm they stimulate their genitals using a continuous rhythmic movement until orgasm is reached. He contrasted this with foreplay techniques which involve changing both rhythm and the form of stimulation. This constant changing means there is no time period when women could orgasm even if the correct anatomy were being stimulated.

Many of men’s chauvinistic attitudes are instinctive. They grow up in a world where men dominate, earn more and have more power than women do. So they just assume that their superiority is the natural order of things. Men dominate women as a means of controlling their prime sexual outlet.

We can talk of ‘trade’ or ‘exploitation’ but these words all have inappropriate negative connotations. The only way women can counteract male supremacy is by explaining that relationships involve an exchange. Men get what they want in return for women getting what they want.

Women let men have their way and then later women get what they want. Each sex keeps the other happy in their own way. Equally a man is cautious. He doesn’t want to ask too many personal questions. He accepts that a woman might say that she is aroused or that she has an orgasm even if she is not as proactive or as enthusiastic about sexual activity as he would like her to be. He doesn’t want to challenge whether a woman is aroused because he wants her to be amenable to intercourse.

The average female is not aroused by nearly so many stimuli as is the male. (Alfred Kinsey 1948)

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