HomeEmotional aspects of sexualityVaginal intercourseThe receiver of intercourse need not be aroused

The receiver of intercourse need not be aroused

Alfred Kinsey concluded that female masturbation provided the most convincing evidence for female orgasm. Kinsey found that lesbians and responsive women had orgasms on average around once every 2 to 3 weeks. Even though they did not obtain the correct stimulation (of the clitoris), women who claimed to orgasm from intercourse reported higher orgasm frequencies. These correlated with the male partner’s responsiveness, which caused Kinsey to question whether these women were truly having orgasms.

There are two distinct roles in penetrative sex: the penetrator is a man who penetrates (with an erect penis). Then there’s the person being penetrated (the receiver). The receiver can be either male or female. Homosexual men engage in anal intercourse. The vast majority of heterosexual activity is based on intercourse that ends with male ejaculation. Intercourse relies on the male penetrator having an erection and the amenability of the receiver. Women’s amenability to intercourse is a conscious behaviour and has nothing to do with responsiveness. The stimulation of an orifice (mouth, vagina or anus) does not result in orgasm for the receiver. If the penetrator uses a dildo, then they don’t orgasm either (even this obvious fact is disputed by some women).

If a penetrating male loses his erection, a partner’s disappointment is due to missing an opportunity to enjoy the sensual and emotional pleasures of being penetrated. The situation would be alleviated if the receiver was willing or able to offer alternative activity that focused on their own arousal and orgasm. But this may not be an option (especially for a woman) because the receiver is typically the less responsive partner. Anyone, who is willing, can offer an orifice and engage in penetrative sex as a receiver. Given it is always available, offering an orifice is unconnected with a person’s state of arousal.

Anyone who offers penetrative sex to a lover is not aiming for their own orgasm. They are offering that opportunity to a lover. The receiver enjoys giving pleasure, of being the object of desire and the sensations of being penetrated (even though such sensations do not cause orgasm). Being penetrated is an intimate experience. There is considerable trust involved. An orifice can be penetrated by an erect penis even if a receiver is unwilling.

Ironically, despite the risk of pregnancy, women are inclined to accept intercourse over other sexual activity because it involves them in so little effort. Just as they prefer not to see genital action, women also prefer to remain largely oblivious to what is happening in their pelvic region. They also prefer vaginal intercourse over anal intercourse partly because there is no physical sensation. Women’s lack of responsiveness makes anal sex a much less interesting prospect than for homosexual men. The possible pleasure of stimulation does not compensate a woman for the taboo and her hygiene concerns. Other reasons for women to avoid anal intercourse include the need for the couple to communicate, for the man to control his thrusting instincts and for a woman to reconcile her natural instincts to reject the practical realities of engaging in messy and explicit genital activity.

Men’s responsiveness causes them to focus on exploring any stimulation that may be pleasurable with little regard for issues of personal hygiene. Homosexual men, being both givers and receivers of anal intercourse, are more likely to understand the need for a cautious approach. But also anal intercourse is expected between gay men and so needs little discussion. Even when heterosexual men do engage in anal intercourse, they may still prefer to ejaculate into the vagina. This is very natural given the male sex drive.

A woman’s willingness to offer sexual pleasuring depends on:

  • Her personality and the extent of her personal generosity;
  • The quality of the wider relationship or other rewards that she obtains from the relationship; and
  • Her level of sexual experience and whether she is informed about the techniques described in erotic fiction.

In other mammals, mating only occurs when the female is in oestrus because this is when she can be impregnated. Oestrus causes female animals (such as cows) to be more amenable to being mounted. Even quite unattractive women can offer intercourse as a means of enhancing their appeal to men.

Some women have a strong aversion to the idea of engaging in sexual activity of any kind. Some never experience the emotions that are generated when a woman falls in love. These emotions make a woman more amenable to offering intercourse. Women who never engage in intercourse cannot reproduce and so their genes do not contribute to future generations. This is how Nature ensures that women are amenable to intercourse. But women only need to be amenable a few times in a lifetime to be able to reproduce.

A woman is aware of her sexual obligations because of attitudes in the society around her. But there are also emotional pressures. A woman knows that she has to offer regular sex to keep a man interested in a relationship with her. Some women can acknowledge this consciously. Others simply respond to male demand. A woman learns that a man’s behaviour and attitude towards her improves when he gets sex. When she offers sex, a man responds with affection. When she doesn’t, he is moody and bad-tempered.

If you are a man whose partner is less interested in sex than you, start paying attention to your friendship. Many women are wired this way—they can’t get turned on unless they feel close to you. (Michele Weiner-Davis)

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