Sexual phenomena (such as masturbation or gay sex) tend to be shocking and alien until we discover we enjoy them. [i] Similarly once we experience arousal, we see the positive (rather than the offensive) aspects of eroticism. Anyone who objects to eroticism does not understand the nature of arousal.
There is a belief that we all need sex. But women experience neither sex drive nor the associated sexual frustration. Men are aroused by sexual thoughts or discussions. Once a man is aroused, he can suffer significant frustration if intercourse is not available. This explains why many writers of erotic fiction are women. Female arousal is like a deep pool within a woman’s subconscious that she may be able to dip into from time to time.
As a mature woman I find that as long as the correct anatomy is stimulated (clitoris and entrance to the vagina or rectum) orgasm occurs predictably. But if I am aiming for orgasm I need to block out the physical world to focus on the sensations within my body and on achieving mental arousal.
During sex, I need time for my mind to tune into the sensations of being stimulated. During masturbation I have to spend a considerable time coming up with a fantasy that gets my mind going. Sometimes I have to give up! I have only around twenty fantasy scenarios (mostly derived from erotic fiction) that I have used for orgasm over the years. Of these I use only 4 or 5 on any regular basis. The one I have used the most often came from male homosexual erotic fiction that I read when I was still a teenager.
Before contemplating orgasm (alone or with a lover) I need to feel some genital sensation in response to thinking about an erotic scenario. I feel a sense of excitement, perhaps an increase in heart-rate or breathing. When I stimulate my clitoris I can feel a slight tingling sensation. Mentally I am able to find aspects of sexual scenarios inherently erotic and appealing. If I am not ‘in the mood’ then the idea of sexual activity does nothing for me and fantasies that would normally arouse me can seem quite unexciting.
A woman has to push her way towards orgasm at every stage with studied concentration. At no point is orgasm inevitable except once it is already happening. I cannot see how female orgasm is possible while sleeping because it is such hard work even when fully awake. But also the psychological environment of dreams is not intensely focused enough to lead to orgasm. I seldom have sex dreams but if I do they are romantic scenarios based on the prospect of vaginal intercourse. Strangely I never dream either about my masturbation fantasies or about my own sexual relationship.
[i] Moral conflicts are often strongest among those who have never had sexual experience. After experience, most individuals find it difficult to understand why the acceptance of such activity should have seemed such a momentous matter. (p157 Kinsey 1953)
Excerpt from Sexuality & Sexual Techniques (ISBN 978-0956-894724)