The differences between male and female responsiveness include:
- Orgasm is a vital aspect of male reproduction function;
- Men obtain an optimal sexual release from penetrative sex;
- Only men are aroused in anticipation of sexual activity;
- Only men are aroused by observing a partner’s genitals;
- Women are sexually passive due to lack of erotic arousal;
- The penis is an external organ but the clitoris is internal;
- Male arousal is acute but female arousal is subconscious;
- Responsive women use surreal fantasy to generate arousal.
- For women, sexual attraction does not include arousal; and
- Women offer sex as an emotional bonding mechanism.
My journey of reconciling my lack of responsiveness with portrayals of women’s arousal in erotic fiction began the very first time I had sex. I was bitterly disappointed. I felt nothing physically from vaginal penetration. In the early weeks of my first relationship, I offered pleasuring and cooperated with intercourse in ways that I knew from erotic fiction were pleasing to men. I let my partner try to arouse me by stimulating all the obvious anatomy. Nothing got anywhere close to the response I experienced when masturbating alone by focusing on fantasies. [i] There was never any erotic arousal with a lover. But I never put this experience into words until much later when, during my research, I thought about this issue in more depth.
It was clear from the beginning that my lack of responsiveness was not a show-stopper. It did not deter my partner from wanting to continue engaging in sexual activity. Naturally, he tried all the stimulation techniques that are recommended. But nothing worked. There did not appear to be anything that could be done. My partner had a drive to engage in intercourse regardless of my response to it. I later concluded that intimate relationships essentially oblige women to offer men the opportunity for sexual release through intercourse because of men’s regular arousal. Equally, society assumes that women are compensated for providing regular intercourse because of their desire for family and their consequent dependence on men.
My work presents my experience of masturbation and sexual activity with a lover. I explain the erotic stimuli that arouse me mentally. I describe the specific physical stimulation I use to orgasm. I present my conclusions for why these techniques are ineffective with a lover. I describe in detail the stimulation techniques that I have found to be pleasurable with a lover.
[i] Some women … mentioned that they have a different type of orgasm during clitoral stimulation or masturbation than during intercourse – what has often been called ‘vaginal orgasm’. By this they did not mean they felt vaginal contractions, or intense clitoral or vaginal sensations, but that they felt an intense emotional peak … accompanied by strong feelings of closeness, yearning, or exaltation. We will call this ’emotional orgasm’. (Shere Hite)
Excerpt from ‘Understanding Sexual Response’ (to be published 2021)