The argument is that a woman does not experience orgasm and is only satisfied by the thrusting motions of the man during sexual intercourse. Some have suggested that the size of the penis is also a contributing factor to the sexual satisfaction for women. Yet others still claim that a woman cannot reach orgasm by penetrative sex alone but can be assisted by oral methods and masturbation. Well, let us find out if this is true.
The body of a woman is nothing short of miraculous considering the many roles it plays: Menstruation, ovulation, conception, gestation, parturition, lactation and female ejaculation. Perhaps what defines the female form more than anything is its insistent generation of fluids. Women’s bodies are wet! But all that juicy opulence can be offensive to our civilized sensibilities. Therefore women are admonished to contain it and control it. And some people seem to need to shame it.
Whenever female orgasm and frigidity are discussed, a false distinction is made between the vaginal and the clitoral orgasm. Frigidity is a term used by men to describe the failure of women to have vaginal orgasms. Actually the vagina is not a highly sensitive area and is not constructed to achieve orgasm. It is the clitoris which is the center of sexual sensitivity and which is the female equivalent of the penis.
The facts of female anatomy and sexual response tell a different story. Although there are many areas for sexual arousal, there is only one area for sexual climax; that area is the clitoris. All orgasms are extensions of sensation from this area. Since the clitoris is not necessarily stimulated sufficiently in the conventional sexual positions, we are left “frigid.”
Aside from physical stimulation, which is the common cause of orgasm for most people, there is also stimulation through primarily mental processes. Some women, for example, may achieve orgasm through sexual fantasies, or through fetishes. However, while the stimulation may be psychological, the orgasm manifests itself physically. Thus, while the cause is psychological, the effect is still physical, and the orgasm necessarily takes place in the sexual organ equipped for sexual climax, the clitoris. The orgasm experience may also differ in degree of intensity – some more localized, and some more diffuse and sensitive. But they are all clitoral orgasms.
All this leads to some interesting questions about conventional sex and our role in it. Men have orgasms essentially by friction with the vagina, not the clitoral area, which is external and not able to cause friction the way penetration does. Women have thus been defined sexually in terms of what pleases men.
What is an orgasm?
An orgasm is a physical reflex, brought on through sexual stimulation, most commonly that of the clitoris, which is the most sensitive organ in the vagina. “It’s a build up to a time frame during sexual stimulation where there’s just this big release of pleasure,” says Dr. Holmes. During sexual arousal, blood flow increases to the genitals and your muscles tense throughout your body. The orgasm then “reverses this process through a series of rhythmic contractions,” according to Brown University. During an orgasm, “endorphins are released into the bloodstream and these chemicals might make you feel happy, giddy, flushed, warm or sleepy.”
Sigmund Freud on the vaginal orgasm
Sigmund Freud, the Austrian psychologist and the founder of psychoanalysis, contended that the clitoral orgasm was adolescent, and that upon puberty, when women began having intercourse with men, women should transfer the center of orgasm to the vagina. The vagina, it was assumed, was able to produce a parallel, but more mature, orgasm than the clitoris. Much work was done to elaborate on this theory, but little was done to challenge the basic assumptions.
To fully appreciate this incredible invention, perhaps Freud’s general attitude about women should first be recalled.
Women have orgasm
It can be tough to tell what an orgasm really feels like for a woman. Whether you’ve been trying to have one on your own, or with a partner, you’re likely looking for that intense, explosion-like sensation so many people seem to talk about. And while that can happen, it’s much more common to feel like you’re never really quite getting there, and are left wondering: How can I know if I’m having an orgasm? Having an orgasm is an incredibly personal experience, and it varies from woman to woman.
Don’t expect every orgasm you experience to be the same
Orgasms can happen at different intensity levels, so you might have big ones some days, and smaller ones other days. There are also different kinds of orgasms that can occur in various areas of your body. Did you know you can have a clitoral orgasm, a vaginal orgasm, or orgasm during a really passionate kiss? There are erogenous zones all over the body, which means you can stimulate yourself in more than one way.
Signs of an orgasm
According to Marin, if you find yourself truly puzzled about whether or not you’re having an orgasm, try paying more attention to how your body responds when you think you’re close. Again, everyone is different, but most people will have some sort of involuntary physiological response. You might feel your muscles shaking or twitching uncontrollably, for example, or your heart rate increase suddenly. Similarly, if your breath skips a beat, or your chest gets flushed, you might be having an orgasm.
Some can trigger emotional releases, she says, or feel like when you have to sneeze really badly, but the sneeze dies in your nose.
Making your orgasm better
Like the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. “The more you keep masturbating, the better you’ll get at making yourself orgasm,” It can be a frustrating process to go through. After all, you just want to have that amazing sense of release, and to be able to achieve it again and again. But the absolute best thing you can do is try to enjoy the process of figuring out how to masturbate. Remember that masturbating should feel pleasurable throughout the entire experience, not just at the end, learn to enjoy the ride, and I promise that you’ll have more obvious orgasms in the future!
Sexual Behavior in the Human Female, Alfred C. Kinsey, Pocketbooks, 1953.
Female Sexuality, Marie Bonaparte, Grove Press, 1953.
Sex Without Guilt, Albert Ellis, Grove Press, 1958 and 1965.
Sexual Feelings in Married Men and Women, G. Lombard Kelly, Pocketbooks, 1951 and 1965.
I Accuse (Jeg Anklager), Mette Ejlersen, Chr. Erichsens Forlag (Danish), 1968.
The Sexually Adequate Female, Frank S. Caprio, Fawcett Gold Medal Books, 1953 and 1966.
Thinking About Women, Mary Ellman, Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968.
Human Sexual Response, Masters and Johnson, Little, Brown, 1966.