We tend to assume (on the basis of erotic fiction) that women in real life:
- Have the exact same sexual needs that men have;
- Respond to real-world erotic triggers as men do;
- Experience arousal and orgasm as easily as men do;
- Are driven to engage in intercourse just as men are;
- Masturbate as commonly and as frequently as men;
- Can masturbate themselves to orgasm with a lover;
- Orgasm from vaginal stimulation (intercourse);
- Orgasm from clitoral stimulation (cunnilingus);
- Are constantly aroused and orgasmic with a lover; and
- Are proactive lovers due to their own arousal.
It has taken years for me to reach my current conclusions. Like everyone else, I was handicapped by assumptions based on popular beliefs about sexuality as portrayed in pornography and erotic fiction. This sexual ignorance is not backed by any conclusive research findings but it is reinforced by the society around us, both in our private lives as well as in magazines or in movies. This is natural, given the lack of authoritative sex education.
Anyone who researches sexuality makes the same assumptions and has the same misunderstandings we all do. For a long time, I didn’t even realise the need to challenge these misconceptions. They are so universal that they are never doubted. Men assume, due to their own experience, that women are just as easily aroused and capable of orgasm as they are. Women profit from the attention and the money to be made out of promoting fantasies.
My research started with my own experiences of sex and masturbation. I then used Shere Hite’s work and Alfred Kinsey’s to understand how my own sexuality fitted with their conclusions. They had relied on the assumption that every woman knows what an orgasm is. Whereas my work differentiates between sexual responsiveness (our subconscious ability to respond to eroticism) and conscious behaviours aimed at pleasing a lover.
Over time I have come to realise that my work is not about science as such because science implies discovering something new. My work involves applying basic common sense. I ask questions that reveal truths. I question assumptions. Very few people appear to see the need to do this. Not only are they reassured by beliefs that are not founded in any kind of facts or logic but they are extremely unwilling to have those beliefs challenged. [i]
[i] The possibility of reconciling the different sexual interests and capacities of females and males, the possibility of working out sexual adjustments in marriage, and the possibility of adjusting social concepts to allow for these differences between females and males, will depend upon our willingness to accept the realities which the available data seem to indicate. (Alfred Kinsey)
Excerpt from Understanding Sexual Response (ISBN 978-0956-894762)