A responsive woman’s use of fantasies means her experiences do not fit with any of the descriptions of sexual activity that we see portrayed in society. Sexual activity is usually sociable but it is also portrayed in graphic terms. When something happens in your head, it can be purely conceptual. This is probably why women prefer reading erotica rather than looking at images.
A woman experiences orgasm by delving into her subconscious. She has to concentrate on the script she remembers from prior sessions. Alternatively, her mind may be focused on the text of a book she is reading. She cannot be distracted even by a dripping tap. She needs 100% concentration to dredge up enough arousal that enables her to orgasm. Afterwards it is difficult for her to remember exactly what she felt in the build up to orgasm.
While fantasising a woman’s mind is focused on some of her most intimate memories or ideas that cause her arousal. Fantasies are concepts that reach into the more instinctive rather than thinking parts of the brain. They may include the idea of enduring pain, of inflicting pain, of being vulnerable, of fearing attack and the mystery of what another person may do to us. Many of these thoughts are like vague dreams and not consciously acknowledged. They are the kind of thoughts that we never consciously admit to ourselves.
When we read, we can imagine the setting, the people and their emotions as narrated by the author. These images are not like focused photographic images. They are more like a collection of impressions or feelings when we dream. They are like echoes of the real world. The scene is presented in terms of the feelings and motivations of the persons involved. This builds anticipation in a way that books do (but movies don’t). Erotic fantasies that a responsive woman uses for arousal are psychological, full of anticipation and the idea of others doing things to her. The action focuses on bondage, BDSM and penetration. Ultimately the action of the fantasy escalates her state of arousal so that the climax of the fantasy coincides with her orgasm.
Women who discover how to masturbate to orgasm, understand the need for a source of eroticism. Although they don’t respond to pornography in the way that men do, they may be more understanding of men’s need for an arousal mechanism in the absence of a partner. Responsive women do not reveal their erotic fantasies because they are private and surreal. Our fantasies represent aspects of sex that we find most arousing and taboo. Even men do not readily admit the explicit and crude sexual images that they need to focus on for orgasm. These are our most private and personal thoughts.
Most men are lucky because they are aroused by body parts and basic concepts, such as a women’s sexual amenability. Women use much more disturbing fantasies to masturbate to orgasm. Arousal relies on BDSM concepts and the idea of inflicting penetration on someone. Having a fantasy about a particular activity does not mean that a person wants to engage in that activity for real or that they would enjoy such activity in reality. Nor does a fantasy represent an unconscious desire. This in part, explains why women are reluctant to tell anyone, even a lover, what they fantasise about.
Eroticism is a male portrayal of intercourse. Penetrative sex is arousing from the point of view of the penetrator. Penetrative sex is not arousing for the person who is penetrated by an erect penis (the receiver). A woman needs to be able to identify psychologically with the male perspective in order to achieve orgasm. When a responsive woman immerses herself in a surreal world in her head, she can put herself in the male position psychologically. She does not do this as a result of a conscious decision. It occurs naturally as she explores scenarios in her mind that cause her mental arousal. The experience is strange and inexplicable because it is an instinctive response. It is not a conscious behaviour based on information she has been given.
The concept of penetration is key to achieving erotic arousal. A woman obtains a sexual release from the idea of dominating or doing something to another person. A woman’s fantasy focuses on her own body that is being conceptually penetrated as well as the psychology of the man penetrating her. She is not trying to be a man. She uses the psychological technique of emulating a man’s proactive role as penetrator. This is not done consciously but occurs as a subconscious response to mental arousal. Women sometimes describe this technique as putting themselves in the director role.
Fantasy is a mechanism for enjoying the sensations of orgasm rather than being an activity a woman engages in for itself. Responsive women use erotic fantasies as a conscious psychological technique for the sole purpose of enjoying orgasm. A woman’s sense of release comes from the use of fantasy. Women have a limited menu of fantasies to choose from. This seems to be a result of a natural apathy over making effort to search out erotic material. A woman may have only a handful of fantasies that she uses on a regular basis, some of which originate from when she first started masturbating.
Given a choice a woman finds the romantic scenario much more emotionally rewarding than the erotic. Women may avoid masturbating feeling that it is immoral. This is not so. When we fantasise, we release the subconscious thoughts that are there, whether we consciously admit to them or not. Women may use a constructed rape scenario (these lack the real-world sense of violation) that allow a woman to assume a passive role and to focus on the psychology of the male taking his pleasure from her body.
There is a startling gulf between fantasy and what a woman is really seeking in a sexual relationship and she may find this very disturbing. (Sheila Kitzinger)
Excerpt from Learn About Sexuality (ISBN 978-0956-894748)