We all assume we already know everything there is to know about sex and sexuality. Even though we have never had a sex education (because no one has), we are confident that no other knowledge (beyond what we already know) exists. Certainly, there is a lack of factual information. But equally none of us ever reads the research that has been done. The findings have been rejected because they are non-sensational (compared with much more popular fantasies) or they are rejected for emotional or political reasons.
When I discovered orgasm, I did not act on information that I had been given. I did not approach masturbation by copying something I had seen in movies, something I had read in erotic fiction or been told about. I did not discover orgasm because I bought a vibrating gadget. I was not trying to have an orgasm. I was thinking about an erotic scenario and wiggling my hips instinctively. It felt reassuring to be lying face down. It was comforting to have my hands over my vulva. I had an orgasm from the instinctive stimulation I applied as a result of my mind’s response to eroticism. The first time, orgasm occurred unexpected. Thereafter, I used the same approach over decades to enjoy orgasm reliably. [i] Nothing else worked.
I have always been sure about orgasm. There was no doubting that I experienced arousal and orgasm because I could achieve them both reliably each time. It was a predictable and repeatable experience. All I needed was the initial trigger of a vague response in my genitals on contemplating self-stimulation. Every time (without exception) I had to stimulate my clitoral organ in a highly specific way. Every time I had to achieve an intense (in a way that blocked out all other mental activity) focus on a highly explicit, often surreal (activity that I could not achieve in real life) fantasy scenario.
But I never linked this experience to intercourse. They were always two quite separate experiences from the start. The reason for them being separate was that masturbation was such a limited activity. It had nothing to do with the social environment of sexual pleasuring with a lover. Because I engaged in the activity instinctively, I had no idea why masturbation had such specific characteristics. I always had to masturbate in the same way.
I didn’t understand why orgasm was such a limited experience. But I spent decades reading the research and thinking about my own experience. I spent time writing down exactly what I was doing to achieve orgasm. I considered the orgasm claims of other women. I searched the internet for information about anatomy and other aspects of sexuality that I am unfamiliar with (such as gay sex). I slowly formulated some possible theories.
[i] No one has to learn to become tumescent, to build up neuromuscular tensions which lead to the rhythmic pelvic thrusts of coitus, or to develop any of the other responses which lead to orgasm. (Alfred Kinsey)
Excerpt from Understanding Sexual Response (ISBN 978-0956-894762)