Female Sexuality

The popular view is that it is ‘normal’ for a woman to orgasm during sex and so any woman who do not orgasm with a partner concludes that she must be missing out. We are just playing with words here because who cares what bluffers, fakers and sex surveys claim?

What matters is that we make the most of our own experiences whether we describe them as orgasmic or not. Any woman who has explored her sexuality both alone and with a partner knows that that there is nothing either easy or automatic about female orgasm especially during sex with a partner. Nevertheless women can enjoy sexual arousal with a lover and some techniques do make female orgasm more likely.

A man’s orgasm is critical to impregnating a woman and, since a man can theoretically impregnate a different woman with each ejaculation, it makes sense that men are always interested in sex and that they are able to reach orgasm easily through sex.

Female orgasm, on the other hand, is not required for a woman to conceive. As much as we might hope for the fantasy of women experiencing orgasm as easily as men even the wonders of modern contraception cannot change women’s sexuality from what Nature intended it to be.

Understanding female sexuality involves an appreciation of the following:


  • Sexual desire: women’s lower sex drive (orgasm is an optional pleasure not a need) means that they have a much more conscious choice over exploring their sexuality.
  • Female masturbation: since many women never discover masturbation (and therefore orgasm) they often place an emotional interpretation on their experiences of sex.
  • Sexual arousal: our understanding of women’s experience of sexual arousal and orgasm is often obscured by what we would like it to be – fantasy rather than reality.

” …men and women are manifestly not the same. And nor are their responses to one another.” (p6 Bluffer’s Guide to Men 1998)

Women’s sexual arousal is not as obvious as men’s

As our bodies develop differently through puberty, young men and women become aware of themselves as very different sexual beings. When a boy reaches puberty his penis increases in size and he experiences erections. Boys start having erections as early as 8 or 9. Later through trial and error, they discover ejaculation. By the age of 12 or 13, most boys have learnt how to enjoy their own sexual arousal and orgasm through masturbation.

There is no similar natural trigger for a girl to focus on her genitals or on her sexual arousal. When girls reach puberty they get breasts and periods: developments that focus their attention on the goals of family and relationships. These body changes are linked to a woman’s child-bearing role and many people define female sexuality purely in terms of this reproductive capacity.

Unlike boys, girls do not experience spontaneous arousal and so they have no reason to investigate how their genitals might respond to stimulation. A girl has to be willing to explore eroticism and consciously develop her fantasies in order to discover how her sexual arousal works. Men’s sexual arousal is usually easy and yet women’s sexual arousal and orgasm is not automatic so unsurprisingly we all tend to find it easier to focus on male sexual arousal during sex.

So while most young men are quite naturally motivated to explore their own sexual arousal and orgasm through masturbation, most young women are, just as naturally, more focused on exploring their relationships with others. As a consequence, men and women approach sex from very different perspectives. If a couple has some understanding of the different rewards that men and women obtain from sex, they can make sure that there is a balance of giving and receiving in their sex life.

“While women read romantic novels, men read pornography. While romance packages sex with love, fidelity and marriage, pornography packages sex with violence, possession and promiscuity. This means that women and men often have very different views of sex and what it is all about.” (p.28 Woman’s Experience of Sex 1983)

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