Learn About Sexuality

Orgasm has no effect on women’s interest in sex

When talking about sex, adults often fail to take into account the very different experiences we have. We may also have very different responses to the same experience because of our different personalities. Being married for 30 years is very different to being single. Living with a man who wants sex every day is different to being with a man who is content with sex once a week. This range in male responsiveness is rarely acknowledged. Nor it is recognised that frequencies with which a woman is expected to be amenable to intercourse is related to her partner’s sex drive and has nothing to do with her own desire for intercourse.

Alfred Kinsey concluded that couples have intercourse with a frequency related to the man’s responsiveness. He found no correlation between women who reported orgasms during intercourse and the frequency with which couples have intercourse. So female orgasm (even if we believe it’s possible, which it’s not) makes no difference to women’s amenability to intercourse. Yet this is the very reason why men want to believe that women orgasm through intercourse.

Kinsey found that the rates of sexual outlet for married men who were adolescent before the age of twelve were about twice as high as men who were adolescent at a later age. This was exactly the same difference that he found for single men. Given intercourse is a significant (sometimes only) sexual outlet for married men, this means that couples have intercourse with frequencies that depend solely on male responsiveness.

Kinsey found that some women believed that they could orgasm through intercourse, not every time but at least sometimes. But this orgasmic ability did not have any effect on women’s enthusiasm for intercourse. So although some women say that sex is orgasmic they do not initiate sex more than other women. Kinsey found that women generally (regardless of whether they believed orgasm was possible) were not as keen on intercourse or genital stimulation as their male partners were.

Couples have intercourse between two and four times a week when young but this drops to about once a week by age forty. Kinsey found that couples have intercourse with a regularity that is not matched by any other type of sexual activity that women engage in. This suggests that men are responsible for the frequency of intercourse.

There are two distinct roles in penetrative sex. There’s the person doing the penetrating who must have a penis (the penetrator). Then there’s the person being penetrated (the receiver). The receiver can be male or female.

In either case the receiver does not orgasm from the stimulation involved in penetration (of the vagina or the anus) by itself. The penis or clitoris of the receiver must always be stimulated for them to orgasm. If the penetrator uses a dildo, then the penetrator doesn’t orgasm either. Orgasm always involves a highly specific massaging of the sex organ together with a tensing of the pelvic muscles to thrust forward.

A woman can enjoy a man’s responsiveness that he wants to share with her. This comes from her nurturing instincts to provide him with the sexual release he needs. This is like breast feeding a baby. A woman breast feeds because she knows that it is expected and even required. But she also enjoys providing sustenance because it makes her feel needed and loved.

A woman’s body is made to sustain others. Her breasts feed the baby and her vagina gives a man sexual relief. A woman may feel loved just because she is needed by those she loves. This may explain why so many women assume their vagina is a sex organ because it provides men with so much pleasure. The vagina is the natural complement to the penis. But the clitoris is the parallel to the penis, which is much less intuitive given men’s sex drive.

Intercourse has a much greater emotional significance for men. But it has a much greater social significance for women. If a woman has intercourse and is impregnated she will be identified by society as a mother. If the father is absent or unknown the shame falls on her and the child.

Kinsey also noted that single women do not have intercourse as often or with as many partners as single men do. Some women will agree to intercourse with complete strangers but usually they need the compensation of ego or money. For men, also their attitude towards sexual opportunities varies. This depends mostly on the man’s own ability to become aroused and the degree to which he feels the woman is enthusiastic about intercourse with him. Spontaneity and variety help both sexes.

Whether or not she herself reaches orgasm, many a female finds satisfaction in knowing that her husband or other sexual partner has enjoyed the contact, and in realizing that she has contributed to the male’s pleasure. (Alfred Kinsey 1953)

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