Most of us are insecure about pleasing or performing for a lover. We want to know how we can be good in bed. But men ask, much more than women do, about how they can pleasure a lover. Men believe that they would get more sex if they could provide the stimulation a woman needs for orgasm. Men never seem to wonder why women don’t do this for themselves.
Even if a woman is not as sexually proactive as a man would like, talk of orgasm indicates a willingness at least to cooperate with intercourse. Men assume that women who are selling sex do so because they want sex. But women can find sexual partners easily enough. A woman’s challenge is to find a man who is willing to offer a supportive relationship in return for sex. Apart from ego, emotional problems and a desire make money, women have no need to go looking for sex. Men always have to seek women out.
Many women find that losing their virginity is a severe disappointment because there is almost no sensation from intercourse. Instead of being sympathetic, men find it impossible to accept that a woman’s experience could be so different. A man imagines that the issue of a lack of female orgasm is easily solved. A woman knows that she is nowhere near being aroused by either the prospect or the reality of intercourse. The fact that a man cannot comprehend this, makes the subject impossible to discuss. A man is likely to be cautious. He doesn’t want to challenge because he doesn’t want to risk losing a woman’s amenability. He is similarly happy to accept a woman talking of arousal and orgasm regardless of the lack of evidence.
Much of the sexual activity between heterosexuals is carried on without communication. Once intimacy has been established, by kissing for example, a man assumes that he has been accepted as a lover. He increases his exploration of a woman’s body. A woman responds by allowing him access to her body. There is no explicit discussion. A man knows what he wants and a woman cooperates because she has no agenda of her own.
There is an advantage in having silent acquiescence. If a person’s objection is explicitly acknowledged then it becomes more difficult to ignore. All men want intercourse regardless of whether a woman experiences pleasure, so men prefer to assume that issues with female arousal are a woman’s problem rather than an issue for men. Some men enjoy foreplay as a means of feeling that sex is not so one way. But many others do not want to waste time on peripheral activities. They want to get on with obtaining their own release.
Another reason couples don’t discuss female arousal is because nothing works. Many couples are unadventurous in bed but even those who try everything do not solve the problem of how a woman can orgasm with a lover. This again is natural because intercourse focuses on male arousal and orgasm by design. For the purposes of reproduction, a woman has to be willing to continue intercourse until a man ejaculates. If women’s reason for engaging in sexual activity with a lover was focused on achieving orgasm, then they would stop all activity as soon as they had their orgasm just as men do.
Male arousal is very evident. Men find it difficult to ignore the sensations that accompany their arousal. A man’s erection is highly visible and identifiable. He is also acutely aware of the sensation of the increase in blood-flow to his penis. Finally, his mind is highly focused on an opportunity for sexual activity. Some men are happy to share their fantasies with any woman who will listen. Many men enjoy sharing their fantasies with a lover.
A man could ask his lover to explain the specific stimulation they need to use to achieve orgasm. If a woman is embarrassed, angry or defensive then she doesn’t know. Men don’t ask about turn-ons because they know that women talk about emotional factors that men do not relate to. Confusingly for men, the suggestions for arousing a woman relate to relationship issues. Women need to be in the right mood for sex. A woman wants a man who is respectful and loving. By definition, these are very different experiences. Men are aroused by sex so they fail to appreciate that women only need to be amenable to intercourse rather than be aroused by it. A man can easily stimulate a woman but he cannot provide the erotic turn-ons that arouse her.
Even if a woman tells her lover that sex does not arouse her, he is undeterred. He sets off on a life-long quest to try to please her sexually. This is the mission of every heterosexual man who is sensitive enough to realise that his lover obtains considerably less pleasure from sex than he does himself. But most men simply have no idea what they could do differently. Others are unwilling to explore beyond intercourse, which satisfies their own sexual needs. Men’s sex drive is emotional and cannot be justified logically.
Women’s responsiveness has no role in sociable activity with a lover. Women are not aroused by talking about sex so they do not have the same incentive to talk about sex, either in reality or fantasy. Even a responsive woman may assume that she is aroused with a lover even if she never has an orgasm. This is because she feels diffuse sensations from anticipating intercourse. A woman is not aroused consciously as men are. Female arousal is largely a subconscious phenomenon. If she wants to orgasm, a woman has to be alone to achieve the mental focus on surreal fantasies that she needs.
The average female is not aroused by nearly so many stimuli as is the male. (Alfred Kinsey 1948)