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Women do not masturbate as a substitute for intercourse

Male responsiveness gradually declines from adolescence onwards so that few men masturbate regularly by the age of 50. But at any age most men only masturbate if there is no chance of sexual activity with a lover.

It is a subtle point but masturbation clearly fulfils quite different functions for men and women. Male masturbation is primarily a kind of safety valve for young men’s sex drive. But women use fantasy as a conscious psychological technique for the sole purpose of enjoying orgasm.

Men do not have to consciously decide to indulge in fantasies. Men are aroused spontaneously or they respond to an external stimulus (e.g. an attractive woman). Orgasm is simply a consequence of sexual activity.

Male and female masturbation techniques are similar in that men and women both stimulate the external genitalia (the penis or the clitoris).

The difference arises when we compare masturbation with intercourse.

The techniques a man uses to masturbate (both the penile stimulation and the mental turn-ons) replicate a real-life opportunity for intercourse.

A man masturbates by using a manual technique to simulate the sensations of penetration and he may thrust his hips forward. His fingers grip the penis close to the glans and stimulate the organ through the foreskin.

A man stimulates the same anatomy that is involved in intercourse. Men might easily assume that female masturbation also simulates intercourse.

But this is not so. A woman does not masturbate by replicating the sensations of vaginal penetration (that is of course if she is aiming for orgasm).

For a start women stimulate the clitoris and not the vagina.[i]

A woman’s stimulation techniques are also less explicit than a man’s. She does not manipulate the shaft of the clitoris. She stimulates herself by using her fingers (or some other object) to exert a firm pressure through the skin increasing her focus on the clitoris as climax is reached.

Equally women’s use of mental turn-ons does not typically involve visualising everyday opportunities for intercourse. Women focus on highly taboo and unrealistic scenarios that generally fall outside the kind of loving relationship most women hope for with a real-life sexual partner.

[i] Some 84 per cent of those females in the sample who had ever masturbated had depended primarily on labial and/or clitoral techniques. (p158-159 Kinsey 1953)

Excerpt from Jane’s book Women’s Sexual Behaviours & Responses (2013)

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