HomeIntellectual aspects of sexualityMasturbationHow we know that female orgasm is uncommon

How we know that female orgasm is uncommon

Orgasm is achieved by stimulating specific anatomy. This is because mental arousal causes the erectile organ (the phallus) to become tumescent. Confusion over the anatomy involved in female orgasm arises on two counts. Firstly women are not aroused with a lover, so they do not focus on obtaining the stimulation they need for orgasm. Secondly, very few women ever masturbate to orgasm. The vagina is assumed to be a sex organ because of men’s sex drive and because very few women know how to achieve orgasm.

Women suggest that they are aroused when, in truth, they have no idea what erotic arousal involves. They attribute almost any sensation to arousal. But they cannot explain why they are amenable to sex on one occasion and not on the next. It is assumed that women are aroused either by emotional stimuli (e.g. kissing) or by genital stimulation (e.g. cunnilingus). This is the mystery of female arousal. Men rarely seem to appreciate that it is what they think about, or their senses (foremost sight) respond to, that causes arousal.

It’s easy to tell whether a man is aroused because he has an erection. We don’t have the same kind of visual evidence of female arousal. We don’t know how women are aroused because women themselves do not know. Unless a woman masturbates to orgasm, she has no means of knowing. Even a responsive woman assumes that she should be aroused with a lover, even though she knows that she needs to focus on eroticism when masturbating. If women were aroused with a lover, the erotic turn-ons and the anatomy that needs to be stimulated (to cause orgasm) would be common knowledge.

In any survey or even in everyday life there are many women who are happy to acknowledge that they have never had an orgasm. Other women clearly assume that they are supposed to orgasm through intercourse as well as all the supposed orgasm techniques suggested by erotic fiction. But they have no interest in discussing sexual pleasuring techniques or erotic turn-ons. A person knows when they have had an orgasm. Women’s uncertainty over whether they have had an orgasm is clear evidence that they have never had one. If female orgasm were common, there would be significant numbers of women in the general population able to provide explicit accounts of how they achieve orgasm as a response to erotic stimuli. This is not the case.

There’s no reason why a woman should experience erotic arousal at any time. Female orgasm has no useful function so it would be strange if it were common. This is why female orgasm was discovered by researchers rather than being a well-known phenomenon in the population. Few women ever ask about orgasm, which is natural because you cannot miss what you have never known. Few women are responsive, so mothers object to girls being told that the clitoris can be pleasurable to touch. Most women associate the clitoris with lesbians or pornography rather than with their own orgasm.

The clitoris was hardly heard of before Kinsey and remains unpopular to the present day. This reflects the difficulty most people have in visualising sexual activity that does not involve a penis penetrating a vagina. Everyone has a phallus, which means that both sexes are potentially capable of orgasm. But intercourse, involving a man inserting his penis into a vagina, dominates our view of sexuality. The biological facts that define the sex education some of us may have had, help to reinforce this definition of women’s sexuality. The impression is that female orgasm is just as much part of human reproductive biology as male orgasm (as the trigger for male ejaculation).

Men enjoy exploring a lover’s body. Heterosexual lovemaking relies on the man’s proactive role in stimulating a woman. It is assumed that women are already aroused (as men are on approaching a sexual opportunity). Yet a woman assumes a passive stance with a lover, only perhaps assisting with turn-ons. Rather than exploring a lover’s body, women talk about what a lover is doing to them. Women enjoy a man’s voice, his caressing touch and what they interpret as his passion. These are emotional pleasures not erotic stimuli. Gay men talk of sweaty smells, nutty taste of semen, glistening glans, trickle of pre-cum, silky skin of the penis and the hairy skin of the testicles.

Many women insist that lovemaking is superior to self-stimulation. Masturbation depends on a woman’s own (rather than a lover’s) motivation. It is only a responsive person who appreciates that turn-ons are required for orgasm. Many women are shocked by the idea of fantasies. They never appreciate that a woman achieves the mental arousal for orgasm by using erotic fantasies. Before a person can orgasm, they need a minimum level of responsiveness. Few women enjoy fantasies because they never experience a response to erotic stimuli. Female arousal does not occur naturally. Once sexual arousal has been consciously generated, the stimulation is instinctive.

There is remarkably little interest in knowing the explicit details about the orgasms women are supposed to have. Men only want to hear accounts of female orgasm rather than challenge them. Apparently, there are no scientists who want to improve their understanding or lovers who want to improve their techniques. Women are intimidated by the bravado of others and men are frightened to reveal that their hopes are just fantasies. Knowing the facts doesn’t change reality. It simply reveals the deceit. The only reason most people protect the deceit is because they gain some advantage from it. Sadly, it seems unlikely that this emotional situation is ever likely to change.

Also because of its small size and the limited protrusion of the clitoris, many males do not understand that it may be as important a center for stimulation for females as the penis is for males. (Alfred Kinsey)

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