Only women are ever described as frigid (meaning cold or unloving). An unenthusiastic lover is a turn-off and causes a man to feel unappreciated. [i] Even today so-called female sexual dysfunction continues to be defined in terms of a woman’s ability, or her willingness, to cooperate with intercourse rather than in terms of her ability to achieve her own orgasm. So women are considered to be dysfunctional because they do not provide the male turn-ons that assist with male orgasm as portrayed in pornography.
Men approach relationships with unrealistic expectations set by erotic fiction, which depicts a fantasy world where women take the sexual initiative and offer enthusiastic foreplay. If a woman is honest, a man goes on a quest to prove how he can give her an orgasm. Alternatively a man looks for another woman who is happy to reassure him that she has an orgasm. When women masturbate, they can stimulate themselves to orgasm almost as quickly as men do. Women are only slow to arouse with a lover. The suggestion that women should orgasm from intercourse indicates the inherent bias. Sexual response is instinctive. There is no should about it.
It is implied that vaginismus is a dysfunction because a woman cannot enjoy intercourse. But it is not possible for painful intercourse to be arousing. Vaginismus is a reproductive issue because intercourse leads to pregnancy. The sexual issue arises because of a man’s desire for penetrative sex. Men experience a significant biological urge to engage in intercourse so a man feels rejected when a woman does not oblige him even if she has good reason. A woman’s dilemma is her instinct to care about her partner.
Women who question the non-orgasmic nature of intercourse are considered abnormal only because others claim to orgasm from intercourse. So pre-orgasmic women are treated for an experience that is unusual only because so few women have the responsiveness needed to achieve orgasm. Responsive women masturbate regularly. They clearly know how to orgasm and no one who enjoys erotic fantasies can be described as inhibited.
Women cannot fairly be blamed for a lack of sexual responsiveness but they can be blamed for not responding affectionately and erotically to intercourse with a loving partner (in moderation). In other words, if a woman is offering penetrative sex, she should be willing to make a good job of it. We feel loved when a lover respects our emotional needs by taking an interest in concerns that are important to us. A woman’s generosity depends on a man’s sensitivity to her needs and on the quality of the relationship.
[i] The failure of the female to reach orgasm may also be a source of considerable disappointment to the male… Such failures lead not only to disappointment, frustration, and a sense of defeat, but sometimes to contrary emotional responses which become anger and rage. (Alfred Kinsey)
Excerpt from Women’s Sexual Behaviours & Responses (ISBN 978-0956-894717)