Women who masturbate to orgasm are called pre-orgasmic. Rather than celebrate the fact that they experience orgasm, the implication is that they are inadequate because they should be able to orgasm through intercourse. Men’s sex drive makes intercourse an obligatory activity for heterosexuals. In men’s eyes, a woman’s sexual role is to provide intercourse for a man.
If a woman cannot or will not offer intercourse, men assume that there must be something wrong with her or she is a lesbian. Female sexual dysfunction is defined according to this male point of view. Although most people assume most women masturbate or use sex toys to stimulate themselves, there is little interest in female masturbation. Men have little interest in the orgasms women enjoy alone. The success of female masturbation threatens men who want women to respond to the stimulation they provide. A woman is not considered to be dysfunctional if she doesn’t masturbate. Almost all men masturbate. But research indicates that female masturbation is much less common. Masturbation is an indication of sexual responsiveness.
Men assume that it is women’s biological function to be penetrated. Men are intended to be penetrators. Women are intended to be penetrated. If a man enjoys penetrating woman then she should enjoy being penetrated just as much. Unfortunately, these conclusions do not follow. The carnivore preys on the herbivore because otherwise it will die of hunger. Even if it is the herbivore’s lot in life to be eaten by the carnivore, the victim does not actively seek out the situation. Many women want a family but they do not typically oblige men with intercourse nearly as often as men would like.
Male sex drive naturally causes men to focus on the female anatomy involved in intercourse. In the most basic terms, a man views a woman’s vagina as an orifice to be penetrated and a place to deposit semen. To a man, it makes no sense for a woman to orgasm at any other time. What would be the point from a man’s perspective? The point of female orgasm is a woman’s sexual pleasure. A woman orgasms alone because she focuses on her own arousal rather than assisting with a man’s need for release.
Vaginismus is a reproductive issue because intercourse leads to pregnancy. The sexual issue arises because of a man’s sex drive. This male need means a man feels rejected when a woman cannot provide him an opportunity for intercourse even if she has good reason. A man assumes that if a woman loves him that she will always be amenable to sex. So consent within a loving relationship has little meaning to men. Yet ironically men cannot be persuaded to engage in sex unless they are aroused and have an erection.
Women accept intercourse because it involves them in very little erotic engagement. Men may be satisfied with being masturbated by a lover or receiving oral sex (fellatio). Women however are not typically motivated to offer these more explicit forms of genital stimulation. Ultimately men want the optimal sexual release through intercourse. This is the biological drive.
Women accept painful sex because it is often implied that a woman is being selfish if she deprives a male lover of his sexual outlet. A woman assumes that it is her personal failing that she does not enjoy sex as a man does. Even during pregnancy or after childbirth it is difficult to persuade a male lover than penetrative sex may be uncomfortable or even painful for a woman.
Women feel guilty because they think it’s their fault that they don’t orgasm with a lover. They don’t realise that every woman is the same. Women are told that they should orgasm naturally through intercourse. This is like telling a blind man that he should be able to see. It doesn’t help him to be told what might be possible for other people. No one can explain why one woman can apparently experience what others cannot. Fantasies about female orgasm intimidate women into silence by implying inadequacy.
Women are largely disinterested in sexual discussions unless they are selling something. Women who are selling a positive view of sex, often claim to orgasm. This is a false show of confidence. It hides an insecurity. Because they can’t explain anything in the real world with confidence. Telling women that they should be able to do something that they are clearly incapable of undermines women’s self-confidence. Personal confidence comes from knowing the facts; not from putting on a show of false bravado.
Men assume that vaginal stimulation should cause female orgasm. So of course some women assume they orgasm during intercourse. Not knowing what orgasm feels like, they mistake sensual pleasures for orgasm. Sex information that promotes the many ways in which women are supposed to orgasm causes people to feel inadequate. These fantasies create demand for sex therapy because people want to be reassured that they conform to sexual norms. A key objective of sex research should be to provide explanations for the behaviours of real men and women. Yet there are no real women (only those employed by the sex industry) who can talk explicitly about these supposed orgasms. This is probably the key failing of sex research today.
One of the diagnostic criteria for FSD (female sexual dysfunction) is feeling distressed. But what causes the distress? Is it the condition itself, or is it what you think is expected of you and in turn, what you start expecting of yourself? (Andrea Burri 2011)