HomeIntellectual aspects of sexualityEveryone achieves orgasm in similar ways

Everyone achieves orgasm in similar ways

Everyone achieves orgasm in similar ways

Orgasm is a primitive response of the human body. It is achieved through an identical mechanism regardless of gender and orientation. The key characteristics of orgasm include: mental arousal must precede stimulation, stimulation focuses on massaging the blood flow within the corpora cavernosa of the phallus and stimulation ceases once orgasm is achieved.

People often focus on physical stimulation techniques when talking about female orgasm. The psychological aspects of erotic arousal are rarely acknowledged. Male arousal may seem automatic. But even men need some kind of mental stimulation, a fantasy or turn-on, to arouse them. Women rarely understand the need for mental arousal, which is typically omitted from their orgasm claims. It is assumed that women are aroused just as men are but this assumption is backed by no evidence (women censor all forms of nudity) and no logic (female arousal is not required for reproduction). Equally it is often mistakenly proposed that female sexual arousal depends on emotional criteria. This misunderstanding arises for a variety of reasons. First, women tend to associate sexual activity with a loving relationship. Second, many women are uncomfortable with the kind of explicit eroticism that causes arousal. Third, women cannot account for any erotic turn-ons.

Orgasm is a response involving genital stimulation as an instinctive response to mental arousal. Just as men and women (or gays and heterosexuals for that matter) experience responses such as hunger or anger in the same way, they must experience orgasm similarly. In the 1950s when the public first learned of female orgasm, there was great excitement that women might be capable of the same sexual response as men. Male orgasm involves a mental focus on eroticism and a rhythmic massaging of the phallus from start to end. Yet female orgasm has come to be associated with emotional factors and a variety of physical stimulation techniques applied to inconsistent anatomy.

There are differences in the orgasm techniques that men and women use. But it is not logical to suggest that a person of one sex achieves orgasm in a different way to another person of the same sex. So, for example, lesbians must use the same orgasm techniques as heterosexual women. This is because our minds and bodies respond in similar ways according to sex. Our orientation does not affect our responsiveness or how orgasm is achieved.

Female masturbation is associated with lesbians because of the masculine connotations of the clitoris. But responsiveness varies among women, gay and straight, just as it does among men. Gay women do not masturbate any more commonly or more frequently than straight women. The anatomy involved in orgasm must be consistent for all women of all orientations whether they are alone or with a lover (regardless of their lover’s gender).

We need to contrast the different stimulation men and women obtain from various sexual activities: masturbation alone, oral sex and intercourse. Each of these involves consistent penile stimulation for a man. But both the anatomy and the stimulation technique are very different for women.

The phallus (penis or clitoris) is the only erectile organ of the body. Within the phallus are the corpora cavernosa that fill with blood when a person is mentally aroused by stimuli of an erotic nature. This process is almost automatic in young men but requires specific conscious focus for women.

Sexuality includes both conscious behaviours and responsiveness. In terms of reproduction (intercourse replicates the mating act that is so rewarding for the male), a woman has to employ conscious behaviours to complement male responsiveness. But a woman’s enjoyment of her own responsiveness parallels the male experience. This is because the anatomy and mechanism involved in achieving orgasm are the same for everyone. The brain must first respond positively to erotic stimuli so that blood flows to the erectile organ. Only once the penis or clitoris is tumescent, does orgasm become possible. Very few women ever experience this instinctive response to eroticism that makes it possible for a woman to access her subconscious arousal and achieve orgasm. This is why women continue to be silent on sexual topics.

Kinsey noted that some women masturbate by lying face down and thrusting in a way that is typical of male mammalian copulatory activity. Women achieve orgasm by emulating the male (not the female) role in intercourse. Once the clitoris was identified as the source of female orgasm, couples were told to include clitoral stimulation in their lovemaking. The clitoris was added as an optional extra and never replaced the vagina. Men still wanted vaginal penetration regardless of female orgasm. But if clitoral stimulation caused orgasm with a lover, heterosexuals would have discovered the clitoris themselves. They would not have needed to learn about it from researchers.

There is no logic to the beliefs people have about how women are believed to achieve orgasm with a lover. We know that these orgasms are fictional because even a man, who is much more responsive, could not orgasm in the ways that are suggested for women. For example, to orgasm from intercourse a woman must orgasm within time constraints set by her lover’s responses of erection and ejaculation. Even a man cannot orgasm on demand within precise time limits. In addition, no one (certainly not a man) continues the stimulation that caused their orgasm once they have had an orgasm. Men’s need to believe that women will always be amenable to offering intercourse and women’s desire to be attractive to men (to get what they want from relationships) mean that no one has any desire to question these anomalies.

Rhythmic pelvic thrusts during sexual activity are among the distinctive characteristics of the class Mammalia. (Alfred Kinsey)

Excerpt from Learn About Sexuality (ISBN 978-0956-894748)