Learn About Sexuality

Women might think they orgasm but they don’t

Orgasm is the obvious motivation for engaging in sexual activity, at least for men. Although men have varying levels of sex drive (which affect the frequency with which they want sex) once a man engages in specific genital stimulation he most usually does achieve orgasm. So it doesn’t occur to men that women, who are generally unresponsive, might need other motivations (such as love or a desire to be found attractive) to engage in sexual activity with a lover.

When a man masturbates or engages in sexual activity with a lover, all a woman sees is an erect penis and how a man stimulates himself. But what is going on in his head (before he stimulates anything) to cause that erect penis? Men’s prime motivation for engaging in sexual activity (alone or with a partner) arises because of their mental arousal.

Men’s heads (to varying degrees) are full of sexual thoughts. These are generally private and personal to each man. If a man has a partner who is amenable to sex chat, he may divulge some of what he thinks. But he is likely to keep some (less socially acceptable) thoughts to himself out of embarrassment or to avoid offending a lover (particularly a woman). The orgasms that men have are clearly based on eroticism. So if we want to compare the two experiences then we must compare like with like.

Being ignorant of what orgasm feel like, some women imagine various physical sensations to be orgasm. Other women use physical stimulation during masturbation alone to enjoy certain pelvic muscle spasms. Who knows what these sensations are that women feel. But anything that starts when a child is pre-pubescent cannot be a true orgasm. A very few boys do orgasm spontaneously at this age but these are one-offs and boys are much more responsive than girls.

In very rare cases, a woman has so many orgasms that she needs a trip to hospital to stop them. This is not a response to erotic stimuli. This is purely a nervous system disorder. There are a number of nervous system phenomena that have symptoms in common with orgasm. These include anger, fear and epilepsy. Men are so quick to identify instances of female orgasm (which only proves how rare it is) that they have little concern for any evidence that a woman enjoys sexual pleasure. Orgasm is defined by the pleasure a person enjoys and the erotic inputs that caused their arousal.

A woman can stimulate her genitals, without anything happening. Some women masturbate without ever achieving orgasm. Perhaps they are responding to some latent instinct. Perhaps they are experimenting. Perhaps they feel that they should masturbate. Women who believe they masturbate to orgasm refer to internal sensations in their lower pelvic anatomy. But these orgasms occur without any erotic context. They never refer to any turn-ons.

Some women believe they orgasm during sexual activity with a lover (just as the porn actresses do) is not experiencing orgasm. They are most likely feeling mildly pleasurable sensations. These physical or emotional sensations that women feel are all quite normal and do no harm. They are not orgasms because they are not a response to erotic stimulation.

Women who claim to orgasm with a lover talk only of physical stimulation. They talk about what is happening to their body during sex. Women don’t talk about stimulating a lover. They do not talk of their enjoyment of a lover’s body or any other turn-ons involved in engaging in sexual activity. There are no erotic stimuli in any of these scenarios. Fantasy provides women with turn-ons by avoiding the graphic nature of sexual activity in reality.

Women’s erotica is often associated with themes of humiliation, domination and sadism. Just as with fear or horror, such themes can cause sensations similar to arousal but they do not cause orgasm. If women were familiar with orgasm, then they would appreciate that orgasm relies on explicitly sexual scenarios. Fantasy allows a woman to be the man who is doing something to the woman while at the same time being the woman who is being penetrated by a man.

Women are silent because they don’t want to face difficult situations. Life is tough enough. They find it depressing or demoralising to discuss a subject that is so fraught and a situation that is unsolvable. Most women never understand what it is that they are supposed to feel in the first place.

How do women learn what an orgasm is? Your parents aren’t talking to you about it. Where would you learn? I don’t know. Maybe they’re reporting orgasms just when they’re having a pleasurable sensation. (Nicole Prause 2014)

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