Female sexual arousal

Jane’s video: ‘Talking to women about sex and orgasm’.

The very first time I had sex I knew that something was up. I felt absolutely nothing. I just lay there wondering what was going on until my partner ejaculated. I concluded the whole thing was a hoax. But because of the ignorance in our society, the fabrication continued: the bravado of adults in everyday life, the compelling portrayals and accounts of orgasmic women. I continued to doubt the bravado but I didn’t have time to figure it all out.

I had been interested in sex since teenage years. I wanted to understand what was wrong so I could put it right. But the therapists I talked to were extremely vague. I was told I was supposed to enjoy sex. But no one had any explanations for why sex did nothing for me. Finally, when I had time, I decided to ask women I knew about these orgasms we are supposed to have. What motivated me was the huge discrepancy between my experience and the way women’s sexuality was promoted in society. Very few were willing to comment. But their idea of orgasm had nothing to do with enjoying eroticism or fantasy. They talked of emotions and lovemaking.

We have plenty of evidence that men enjoy sex because men often make sexual references but they also pay for sex (directly or indirectly). Women do not pay for any form of sexual gratification and pornography is censored to protect women’s sensitivities. So any woman who claims that orgasm is easy, needs to explain her experience in detail. When they do this, it is clear they are talking about sensual experiences within a loving relationship.

A few women boast about orgasm because they enjoy the attention they get. They enjoy feeling superior by intimidating other women. Women rarely provide explicit details and they never talk of turn-ons. They are offended if asked for more detailed. They suggest that anyone interested in the details must be a pervert. Even sex professionals refer to a textbook or an expert.

I back up my work with my own experiences for the benefit of women who are interested (and any men who can cope with such honesty). I can explain in explicit terms how I achieve orgasm as a result of specific erotic and physical stimuli. I can also provide logical reasons for why researchers have often drawn the wrong conclusions from asking women about orgasm.

I was embarrassed in the beginning because I assumed that I must be missing something very obvious. When I went to seek help from therapists or sex manuals, I was advised that I should naturally respond to the physical and erotic stimuli of sexual activity exactly as men do. There was no one who ever hinted at an issue for women. Shere Hite provided the one and only reference to women having the same experience that I had had.

Men believe (like a Holy Book) that there are millions of women out there enjoying orgasmic pleasure from sex. Yet not one woman is willing to talk about it. A woman who blogs about orgasm told me I had to pay her $25 an hour (plus expenses) just to have a casual conversation about orgasm. And I’m not looking for turn-ons, just honesty. I have been asking women about these orgasms for over 10 years now. Most women are struck dumb.

Men’s turn-ons are very obvious but women’s are a mystery. It is assumed that women are aroused with a lover, because that is the male experience. Men’s fantasies put pressure on women to say that they enjoy sex (as men do through their own arousal and orgasm) rather than as an emotional reward for pleasing a lover. Rather than accept that women are not aroused, we insist on believing in mechanisms are too complex for us to understand.

A woman cannot explain what turns her on or motivates her to want sex because she doesn’t know. Even a responsive woman assumes that she should be aroused somehow with a lover, even though she knows that her arousal relies on the use of fantasy during masturbation. If women had orgasms with a lover, then not only would they be able to explain the turn-ons and physical stimulation involved, but also their lovers would know.

If women truly enjoyed sex, they would talk about it openly and unashamedly. They would not need to be persuaded. Women are silent to avoid conflict. Some are politically astute enough to say only what will benefit them. Many women feel threatened by unrealistic male expectations that they cannot possibly fulfil. Other women are either too frightened, ignorant, inexperienced or embarrassed to question. When I have talked to experts, they expect their opinions to be accepted without question. I have found no one, expert or otherwise, willing discuss sexual issues openly. This embarrassment suits those who profit from our society’s sexual ignorance.

I have never had an orgasm with a lover but nevertheless I have always worked with my partner to ensure that our sex life fulfilled his needs. I resent women who suggest that boasting about orgasm is all that is required or men who expect women to fake orgasm to satisfy their own sexual ego. This is why no one believes a responsive woman’s experience. They imply that your experiences cannot be. It’s quite surreal. That’s how I know other women never experience it. They are content with the fiction men tell them because they don’t know any different. But I don’t envy them. The experience of orgasm is unique and I wouldn’t be without it. I am grateful that I have had the experience of responsiveness throughout my adult life.

Males are much more inclined, and females are less inclined to discuss sexual matters with other persons. (Alfred Kinsey 1953)