Any research that focuses on responsiveness is likely to conclude that female sexuality is inferior to male. But the behaviours some women employ makes their sexuality much more flexible than male sexuality. Men engage in sexual activity with the simple goal of enjoying their own pleasure and sexual release. Women can be much more generous as lovers. They offer a lover an opportunity for sexual release through penetration. Due to a lack of arousal, women can continue sexual activity for longer and with many consecutive lovers (e.g. in prostitution). Some women enjoy providing erotic turn-ons and they use conscious behaviours to facilitate male orgasm.
Intercourse is a mating act. The purpose of intercourse is to facilitate male orgasm and ejaculation of semen into the vagina. Female orgasm is not involved in this reproductive process. A woman only experiences orgasm because of how the sexes have evolved. Men and women have different internal reproductive anatomy but we each have a phallus. Responsive women who have the ability to respond positively to eroticism, stimulate the internal clitoral organ in an instinctive thrusting motion when they are alone. Women masturbate to enjoy orgasm rather than to satisfy a sexual need.
Men never witness female orgasm (because women orgasm alone). Neither are men aware of how female turn-ons work because a woman uses fantasies for arousal that she prefers to keep private. So men’s idea of these phenomena is based on women’s behaviours (not their responses). Women are not nearly as flexible in the circumstances in which they can orgasm. Women are not aroused nearly as easily as men or by as many erotic stimuli. Women’s sexual psychology is largely subconscious and difficult to tap into.
Men’s sexuality is straightforward in the sense that men naturally focus on the mating act. Men are motivated to engage in intercourse because of the pleasures of thrusting, the release of orgasm and the satisfaction of ejaculation (which is the reproductive event). It has been assumed that women should orgasm from intercourse because of men’s drive to engage in penetrative sex. Most women never stimulate themselves. So the only time that their genitals are stimulated is when they are with a male lover.
If female orgasm occurred routinely with a lover, all heterosexuals, male and female, would know what anatomy and turn-ons are required. Yet researchers ask the general public these basic questions. How do they expect to discover something from the public that they themselves do not know? The problem with researching a topic that women know nothing about is that women cannot provide answers that they do not know themselves. Rather than conclude that women cannot explain erotic turn-ons because they are not aroused with a lover, men have assumed that women must be too timid to reveal details of this mysterious phenomenon.
Researchers focus on the key anatomy involved in orgasm but they don’t specify the kind of stimulation involved. What is not appreciated is that the stimulation that women need is very similar to the stimulation men use. Our fingers massage the blood flow within the corpora cavernosa. Simultaneously we thrust with our hips and clench our buttock muscles. This combined rhythmic motion (squeeze technique) massages the whole organ from outside (fingers massaging) as well as inside (pelvic muscles).
Most women have no idea how orgasm is achieved. So when researchers ask women about arousal and orgasm they get confusion not science. The more women are told that they should orgasm the more confusion there is. Women are asked simple yes-no questions such as “Do you orgasm?”. Due to ignorance of what orgasm feels like, women can ascribe the word orgasm to almost any sensation, emotional or sensual, that they experience with a lover. Anyone who can orgasm knows what kind of stimulation and what erotic turn-ons they need to use. Yet women are not asked to provide any evidence that they understand what orgasm involves either mentally or physically. Women who are shocked (or even disgusted) by any form of eroticism are assumed to orgasm simply because they engage in intercourse.
Men need genital stimulation and a mental focus on eroticism to achieve orgasm. Most women never experience orgasm so they don’t understand this. This ignorance over female orgasm is compounded by men who believe anything just so they can convince themselves that women want sex. Women claim to orgasm from nipple stimulation, belly-button stimulation and even brushing their hair. Inadvertently, Kinsey’s research fuelled the popular belief that women were capable of orgasm from breast stimulation and multiple orgasms simply because a few women reported them. Men are naturally inclined to accept all and every account of female orgasm.
Our definition of female sexuality needs to reflect reality and what women are physically and emotionally capable of achieving in the real world. Common sense tells us that if a man can’t do it then a woman can’t either. We are limited by the responsiveness with which we are endowed. The advantage of a more realistic approach is that couples can build on what is practically achievable rather than hanker after the unachievable fantasy.
Let us ponder Beyoncé’s anthem “Single Ladies” with its ass-slapping, butt-chugging choreography. It basically says that if men want to keep hitting it, tapping it, or otherwise jumpin’ on it, they had better put a ring on it. (Joan Sewell 2010)