Learn About Sexuality

How we know women do not orgasm with a lover

It’s fairly straightforward to demonstrate in numerous ways that intercourse is not an activity that women are ever likely to orgasm from. But what about other activities with a lover, especially those that focus on stimulating the female sex organ (the clitoris)? Why do these not work? The key reason is that women are not aroused by sexual activity with a lover. There are no naturally occurring turn-ons that cause a woman’s arousal with a lover. During masturbation alone she has to concentrate 100% on a fantasy that allows her to achieve orgasm. Even the presence of another person makes it impossible for her to get the focus she needs.

It was only once the clitoris was identified as the female sex organ, that heterosexuals started to explain the orgasms women were believed to have with a lover in terms of the clitoris. Heterosexuals had never heard of the clitoris until it was highlighted by Alfred Kinsey and Shere Hite. Yet both of these researchers emphasised the association between the clitoris and female masturbation. This fact (and the rest of their work) was ignored because of the conflict with the popular belief (originated by men) that women should orgasm with a lover. The clitoris was simply added as an alternative means (to the vagina) of women achieving orgasm with a lover.

Female orgasm is a massively political topic because of this pressure from men. A handful of women gain attention by claiming to orgasm by all the means men assume are possible but they become hugely defensive if anyone questions their assertions. They do not talk about sexual pleasure or erotic turn-ons (as men do). Women simply boast about orgasm or fake it. This is easy. Providing specific unemotional explanations is much more challenging and is usually completely missing from women’s accounts of orgasm.

Female masturbation has always involved women alone. Heterosexual men have never engaged in masturbating a woman to orgasm. So heterosexual men are confused by references to the clitoris. Their sex drive (to engage in penetrative sex) focuses them on the vagina. Why would a woman have sex with a man if she wants clitoral stimulation? She can get that by herself or with another woman. A man assumes that a woman is focused on the same act that he is. He overlooks the fact that a woman is only amenable to intercourse rather being driven to obtain it.

Pornography shows women stimulating the clitoris at intermittent intervals during sex as if clitoral stimulation simply increases a woman’s arousal rather than being critical to orgasm. Such techniques do not reflect how women who are intent on orgasm stimulate themselves. It is assumed not only that every woman knows how to masturbate herself to orgasm but that a woman can use the same techniques with a lover (just as a man can).

Cunnilingus does not provide the right kind of clitoral stimulation to cause female orgasm. The kind of clitoral stimulation a woman uses for orgasm is highly specific and it is not compatible with sexual activity with a lover. A woman masturbates in a fixed position: face down with her hands between her legs. The stimulation that leads to orgasm involves pressing down over her clitoris and into the soft spongy tissue surrounding the entrance to the vagina. Simultaneously a woman clenches her buttocks so that the clitoral organ is squeezed between her hands and her pelvic muscles. It is not possible for a lover to provide additional stimulation.

Female castration (misnamed ‘circumcision’) is political because it reconfirms women’s role in pleasing men and producing children. Female circumcision is clear evidence that women do not orgasm through clitoral stimulation with a lover. Men would never eliminate a means of women having an orgasm with them. Most women are shocked by talk of the clitoris. The clitoris is associated with the more explicit genital techniques used in lesbian lovemaking. Heterosexual men also have much the same attitude so it’s evident that their lovers do not masturbate themselves either during sex or alone. Otherwise women would tell men how they orgasm.

One key reason men go to prostitutes is to obtain fellatio. Most wives and girlfriends are unwilling to offer fellatio. This is a clue that women do not orgasm through cunnilingus. The penis is designed for penetration of a warm and wet environment. The mouth provides similar stimulation to the vagina. But the clitoris is not intended to penetrate. Neither does it have the sensitivity of the penis. If any form of clitoral stimulation (oral or manual) were to work with a lover, women would have no reason to accept the act of mating (intercourse) with all its associated risks.

Men expect a woman to say that intercourse provides orgasm as a way of indicating that they ‘like’ or ‘enjoy’ sex. Men need this reassurance because women’s behaviours rarely communicate enthusiasm (outside the romantic scenario). Women rarely initiate sex. Even the word ‘orgasm’ is taboo. Men laugh nervously when it is mentioned and women are silent. If orgasm were a natural occurrence it would be more mundane.

The effectiveness of such a technique depends chiefly upon … pelvic movements and rhythmic contractions of the large muscles (the gluteal muscles) in the buttocks, and of the muscles (chiefly adductors) which are located near the front and inner surfaces of the thigh. (Alfred Kinsey 1953)

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