Men and Women, Sex and Orgasm
These pages describe the findings of research conducted into the female orgasm by the website VulvaVelvet.org. Over 200 women responded to a survey in which they answered questions about their sex lives, how they reached orgasm, and a variety of other sexual information. The general conclusions are as set out below:
First, although a sizable percent of women do not achieve orgasm during intercourse, in general they experience their sexual encounters positively.
In this study, the average woman enjoyed intercourse and considered the sexual dimension of her life to be a major source of gratification. She did not find intercourse painful and was not particularly concerned about getting hurt or becoming unexpectedly pregnant when she was vaginally penetrated. She spent quite a bit of time thinking about sex and preferred to have intercourse with considerable frequency. She did not feel that her partner was making inordinate sexual demands upon her. After orgasm she described herself as feeling satisfied, happy, and relaxed. If you want a clearer reference point, you may find the truth is here as far as the speed with which men reach orgasm during intercourse compared to the speed with which women reach orgasm.
A picture emerges in which sexual stimulation and all that is associated with it have a clear positive effect in the lives of the women who were studied. Sex was largely perceived by them as a source of fun and enjoyment. This positive picture contrasts with the rather grim and negative portrayals found in many clinically oriented sources in which some authors have depicted the sexual life of the average woman as a maze of difficulties, conflicts, and threatening consequences. Of course, one could object that the samples are hardly representative of women in general.
It could be argued that studies of women from lower socio-economic groups would uncover more negative attitudes. This may be so. One investigator reported that even in a sample of troubled women who had sought psychotherapeutic treatment, sexual gratification was a significant component of life. Although the sexual relationship is a complicated one and often calls for new adaptations, it is very rewarding to the vast majority of women.
Some of the confusion in the literature about how much satisfaction women obtain from sexual stimulation derives from the subjective nature of "sexual satisfaction." It is difficult to pin this term down, and so the temptation is great to use fairly simple indices such as orgasm consistency or intercourse frequency as measures of a person's sexual experiences.
Those who have criticized older work by Kinsey and Masters and Johnson because it emphasizes the measurement of orgasm would be less vociferous if they were personally confronted with the responsibility of deciding how to evaluate an individual's response to sexual stimulation. Women were asked to rank various descriptive terms with reference to how well they portrayed feelings during and after orgasm.
Other ratings involving attitudes toward sexual gratification and related issues were also secured. However, these procedures were really quite crude in the face of the complex phenomena they were supposed to evaluate. Experiences during sexual arousal can potentially be scaled on a range of dimensions. Not only are there the obvious ones involving amount of sexual excitement, sexual tension, orgasmic release, and gross sexual "satisfaction," but also the following:
This list could obviously be extended further. Those aspects of sexual experience that have been measured so far are only a small sample of the total possible.
Obviously, one cannot really treat sexual responsiveness as a unitary entity. There are many ways of defining what happens during a sexual interaction. Sexual stimulation has complex effects and each individual may selectively focus on one effect as compared to another. Sexual arousal can stir up a variety of fantasies; it may or may not eventuate in orgasm; the orgasm itself may be strong or weak; the orgasm may be enjoyable or even unenjoyable; the orgasm may be followed by relaxation or even by increased tension; there may be anorgasmia but the unresolved build-up of sexual excitement may somehow be an intriguing experience; the closeness of one's body to the sexual partner may be more prominent in awareness than the orgasm attained.
Not only do different women have different ways of enjoying (and not enjoying) sexual stimulation, but it is also probable that they individually fluctuate to some extent in their own pattern of enjoyment over a series of sexual contacts. The psychological complexity of sexual arousal in a woman cannot be overemphasized. It is too easy to slip into simplistic notions that women are neatly ordered into "sexy" and "non-sexy" categories.
The real complexity of the matter can perhaps best be conveyed by stating that there are instances in which the extremely "sexy" woman who always achieves intense orgasms may not derive as much satisfaction out of intercourse as the apparently less "sexy" woman whose orgasms are inconsistent and of lesser strength. Measures of different aspects of the response to sexual stimulation either do not correlate with each other, or, if they do, the correlations are of low magnitude. A woman may be high in terms of one index of responsiveness and low in terms of another.
She may obtain much satisfaction from orgasm but prefer to engage in intercourse infrequently. She may rarely attain orgasm and still actually have a high intercourse rate. Whether she attains orgasm may be unrelated to most of the qualitative sensations that she has during orgasm (for example, feeling tense or depersonalized). See this explanation of how to make a woman come for more information.
When referring to a woman's sexual responsiveness, care must be taken to specify a particular aspect or dimension. One can refer to her orgasm consistency, or her intercourse frequency, or her likelihood of avoiding trouble or difficulty in reaching orgasm during sex, feeling "ecstatic" during orgasm, or the frequency of intercourse she prefers, or the number of different intercourse positions she uses, but one would rarely be able to make the statement that she is generally high or low with respect to most of these dimensions. (Although a conclusion of this sort may appear to be unreasonable when applied to sexual behavior, it would not seem so if applied to another kind of appetite, such as eating.
The average person's "responsiveness" to food could probably not be adequately described by terms such as "high" or "low." One may enjoy food a great deal and yet eat only small quantities, or one may intensely enjoy a narrow spectrum of foods and dislike most others, or one may relish eating but begin to feel discomfort from it when the digestive processes get under way, or one may get more satisfaction from the social context of eating than from the food itself.)
Of course in reality life is simpler than the above information would suggest. Most women enjoy intercourse, they prefer men to know how to last longer in bed, and they desire that any lover who they are going to appreciate in the longer term as a relationship partner is able to control his premature ejaculation sufficiently to give both the woman and the man pleasure during sex. naturally enough, as you may expect, retarded ejaculation does little or nothing to enhance the sexual pleasure of couples, and indeed may lead to break up if the issue is not resolved.
This general perspective does not mean that certain aspects of sexual responsiveness cannot be viewed as being relatively more important than others. There is probably little question that the average woman places high value during intercourse on becoming highly sexually excited, being able to reach orgasm during intercourse, and finally arriving at a feeling of sexual fulfillment or satisfaction. She probably also attaches a fair amount of importance to the frequency with which she engages in intercourse.
Certain aspects of sexual arousal may, on the contrary, be ascribed low importance. In all likelihood, the average woman engaging in regular intercourse does not really care whether her orgasm is of extremely high intensity, moderate intensity, or low intensity, nor does she care about the amount of her vaginal lubrication, as long as it exceeds a certain minimum, is not terribly concerned about having multiple orgasms, and she does not have a large investment in using many sex positions or novel sex positions. Indeed, the evidence suggest most couples use only a few sex positions on a regular basis.
Email: rodmphillips "at" yahoo.com