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Talk of orgasm does not necessarily lead to more sex

Ironically (because only men’s responsiveness declines with age) women are often more sexually active when younger. Once a woman has children she is much less motivated by sex. Women are more confident about admitting that intercourse does not cause orgasm as they age, by acquiring status or wealth or through education. Women today say they have orgasms during sex and yet they are less amenable than older generations. [i]

Andrea Burri’s notes that ‘female sexual dysfunction’ (FSD) is increasing: “One of the diagnostic criteria for FSD is feeling distressed. But what causes the distress? Is it the condition itself, or is it what you think is expected of you and in turn, what you start expecting of yourself? The way sex is portrayed in the media and in films often provides us with a base of comparison that is not always realistic for the individual.” (2011)

For men, any lower body contact with an attractive partner is erotic and therefore, to varying degrees, emotionally fulfilling. Men perceive women to be ‘inhibited’ because they assume that women should naturally be aroused as men are by physical proximity to a lover. In fact women’s lack of responsiveness means they do not respond to sexual scenarios as readily as men do. This is not inhibition but simply the way women have evolved.

The Italian researchers Vincenzo & Giulia Puppo explain the key misunderstanding: “Many men think long intercourse is the key to having orgasms during intercourse, but long intercourse is not helpful to women and some females may be grateful to get it over with quickly… The majority of women worldwide do not have orgasms during intercourse: as a matter of fact, female sexual dysfunctions are popular because they are based on something that does not exist, i.e. the vaginal orgasm.” (2014)

Both sexes feel responsible for female orgasm through intercourse and the resulting taboo makes it difficult to find answers. Telling women that they should orgasm through intercourse causes disappointment and frustration. Women end up accepting their unresponsiveness as an excuse for not making any effort in sex. Telling women they need to take an interest in sex for their lover’s sake (in return for his engagement on more emotional and romantic interaction) may work for those who can cope with such honesty.

Women’s genitalia change significantly as they age. I found that increased vaginal secretions made intercourse more comfortable over time but I have no sense of arousal. I offer vaginal intercourse when I know my own arousal is unlikely or once I have had a climax through clitoral stimulation.

[i] this improvement in the quality of the coitus … had occurred coincidently with some reduction in the frequencies … It is our impression that today the males of the younger generation more often limit their contacts to the frequencies which their wives desire. (p358-359 Kinsey 1953)

Excerpt from Jane’s book Sexuality & Sexual Techniques (2015)

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