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Women’s conscious use of sexual fantasy

Unless she masturbates to orgasm a woman is unlikely to appreciate that orgasm relies on psychological turn-ons. But equally if she has never had an orgasm then she has not explored her own sexual psychology sufficiently to discover what is arousing enough for her to achieve orgasm.

It is the ‘whys and wherefores’ of sex that appeal to the female mind. Sex as an abstract concept can be arousing even though the reality is not. What makes sex exciting for a woman[i] is thinking about the male desire to penetrate. An erect penis is both an offer and a threat, which is why women are often offended by any uninvited display of the male genitals.

The psychological context of sexual activity is much more crucial to a woman than it is likely to be for a man. A woman fantasises about a man doing things to her because men initiate and drive penetrative sex. It is the mind behind the penis that makes men more exciting than a sex toy.

Rape (and intercourse) requires only that the penetrator is aroused. Even when the person receiving intercourse is aroused it is still the soft organs of the vagina or rectum that may be damaged rather than the erect penis.

A woman can pleasure a man through intercourse but she cannot harm him. She has nothing to gain. She cannot impregnate him nor can she use a man’s body for orgasm since female orgasm occurs most readily alone.

Unless you are a true masochist, rape and other sadistic activities are not turn-ons in real life. The turn-on is not the reality of pain but the concept of inflicting pain on (having control over) another person. In fantasy a woman can simultaneously imagine herself as both giver and receiver.

Men are lucky because they find basic concepts (such as the look or feel of a lover’s body) arousing enough for orgasm. Male fantasies map onto sexual activity with a lover. Women do not have the same advantage.

Women’s fantasies include taboo themes such as sadism, domination and rape. They involve unrealistic scenarios with a complex psychological context that can be difficult to relate to day-to-day sexual opportunities.

So women can fantasise about sadistic activities that are not likely to be pleasurable in real life. Many women decide that such disturbing thoughts are either immoral or unhealthy. If a woman discovers the sensations of sexual release that come with orgasm then she is more likely to explore her body and her fantasies regardless of any moral misgivings.

[i] Many males … poorly understand the techniques by which females masturbate, the anatomy which may be involved … and the part which fantasy plays in her masturbation. (p133 Kinsey 1953)

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

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