Women’s Quite Different Experiences of Orgasm – Alone and During Sex




Sheila Kitzinger (British childbirth expert) gives her experience of talking to women:

“Only about half of all the women who have told me about their sexual experiences say they usually have orgasms during lovemaking. The others either do not have orgasms, or find that they usually have an orgasm only when masturbating.” (1983)

It cannot be right to call an experience that so many women have throughout their lives ‘dysfunctional’. Men are never ‘dysfunctional’ in this way because the norm is defined in terms of the male experience.

A woman may choose to please herself or to please her partner. Who is to say which scenario is better or which woman more sexual? Why is the phenomenon of female masturbation so taboo among women?

It is incredibly undermining and isolating to tell women that their sexual experiences are abnormal and to imply that they can be explained simply by ignorance, inhibition or a partner’s ineptitude. No wonder women are reluctant to be open about sex!

But why are ‘normal’ women so reluctant to explain how they orgasm with a partner? Why is there only sexual bravado, defensiveness or talk of sex as a loving experience?

So women admit to making shopping lists during sex, married women come to view sex as a chore and others admit they never orgasm. Yet because this is so contrary to the male experience, no one ever considers that it might be NORMAL for women.

Anyone can be embarrassed about sex but any woman who talks openly about her sexual experiences can be contradicted by some other woman confidently claiming the exact opposite. The problem is the wildly different accounts that women give from no orgasm ever by any means to easy orgasm every time with a partner.

Men’s ease of orgasm inevitably pressures women into describing their experiences as orgasmic. Yet there is no consensus even on the sexual anatomy involved in female orgasm let alone an appreciation of the mental turn-ons women need for orgasm.

We can deduce that most women do not masturbate because otherwise they would understand why men enjoy pornography so much. Women don’t masturbate because they never appreciate the link between eroticism and arousal. How can a woman possibly orgasm with a partner if she doesn’t know how to give herself an orgasm?

Women’s sexual behaviours are the same whether they orgasm during sex or not. Women rarely initiate sex and they tend to lose interest in sex over the longer term. So, if the result is the same, what difference does it make whether a woman orgasms during sex or not? Surely we are just playing with the meaning of the word ‘orgasmic’.

Male and female sexuality are very different particularly in relation to levels of sex drive, ease of arousal and the importance of orgasm. We can only start to compare these responses once we have accepted that they are different in the first place.

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About The Author

Jane Thomas

Jane Thomas

Jane is founder of the sexuality forum 'Ways Women Orgasm'. Both her book ‘Ways Women Orgasm’ (ISBN 978-0956-894700) and a free download (slides & You-tube video) of her presentation to the Royal Society of Medicine in London are available from her website. Jane's new e-book 'Women's Sexual Behaviours & Responses' will be available later in 2013.

Author's Website

One Response to “Women’s Quite Different Experiences of Orgasm – Alone and During Sex”

  1. Hello.This post was really fascinating, particularly since I was browsing for thoughts on this matter last Wednesday.

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