When I had intercourse for the first time (as a virgin) I was shocked that I felt absolutely no physical sensation whatsoever. I was unaware that my partner had inserted his penis into my vagina. I couldn’t feel any sensation from his penis thrusting into me. The only reason I knew he had finished was because he withdrew his penis to avoid ejaculating into my vagina. I was worried that he had not used a condom but I was also shocked that I felt absolutely no sense of arousal. There was nothing about the whole scenario from start to finish that excited my mind. It was purely functional.
I was shocked by the lack of arousal and physical stimulation of intercourse. The stimulation part I could not have known about before because I was never motivated to stimulate the inside of my vagina. But there is a clue here. If the vagina was an erectile organ (in a way that made a woman conscious of her physical arousal) then a woman would be motivated to stimulate it herself. I could also have deduced the lack of erotic arousal beforehand. Boys know well before they have the opportunity for intercourse that they will be aroused by it. This is because they are aroused by the prospect of penetration (that they simulate by masturbating) as well as by the anatomy and the physical presence of an attractive potential partner.
When I have told others of my experience, no one expresses surprise. Nor do they offer any possible explanations. I assume they are amazed by my honesty. I’m not the first woman to complain about lack of orgasm with a lover. But I can explain how I achieve my own erotic arousal and orgasm. In order to experience arousal, a person must first be responsive. This is straightforward for men because their responsiveness is biological or hormonal. It occurs as an automatic part of adolescence and, importantly, in sociable, real-world situations (much to their embarrassment at times!). As a virgin, I was amazed by the physical evidence of my lover’s erection and the ease with which he could be stimulated to orgasm. I had no comparable experience. For me, masturbation was a very private, solitary experience.
Men are proactive lovers due to their arousal and some men enjoy stimulating a woman’s nude body before seeking intercourse. But regardless of whether a man is willing to spend time on foreplay to extend his own arousal, every man’s ultimate goal is intercourse. This is because reproduction depends as much on male sex drive as it does on male orgasm. There is no point to a man having an orgasm if he is not motivated to have it with his penis inside a woman’s vagina. Yet many women clearly have no conception of the sexual urge that compels men to seek intercourse. [i]
[i] … even if a man has a strong physical desire for orgasm – an erection, for example – there is nothing in nature, nothing physical, that impels him to have that orgasm in a vagina. (Shere Hite))
Excerpt from ‘Understanding Sexual Response’ (to be published 2023)