I read a great deal as I was growing up and books often portray ideals rather than reality. Even as a teenager, I had questions about sex. When I had intercourse for the first time, at the age of eighteen, I already knew what orgasm felt like from masturbation. I immediately realised the huge deception of pornography and erotic fiction. Yet even though it was my experience, there was always the doubt that other women might respond differently. Our adult culture, of exaggerating women’s erotic response, is so widespread that it is difficult to ignore. Narrative accounts and visual portrayals of women apparently responding erotically obviously arouse men but they also appeal to women’s vanity.
Later I appreciated that although my disappointment over sex was personal to me as a woman, it was ironically more of an issue for men. Men want to believe beyond all logic that women want sex as much as they do because sex is so important to them. The trouble with this deception (men’s refusal to accept women for what they are) is that it pushes the responsibility back onto women. It’s as if men blame women for being the way they are. Men essentially insist that women must be (by pretending or faking) what men want them to be. This makes sex even harder for a woman. She either has to fake or she has to find other ways of making sex exciting for a man.
Years later when I sought advice, I was shocked by the defensive attitudes and misinformation I met with. When I consulted therapists, they claimed to have no idea what I was talking about. I slowly concluded that most women never notice that anything is missing from sex. If you experience something (such as orgasm) that is significant, you are motivated to compare notes with others. But when you find other women are unwilling to discuss the topic, you want to reassure younger women with similar experiences, that they are not alone. This has been my prime motivation for writing about sexuality. I am driven by a desire to correct the sexual ignorance that I have had to face, which has made finding answers much more embarrassing than it needed to be. It should be a basic right for everyone to have access to unbiased sex information.
Realising that the experience is rare, I have been explicit. By providing a detailed account, I hope to differentiate myself from all the fictional stories about women’s supposed responsiveness. I have gradually assumed a position of authority because I have never met anyone else who can talk about sexuality in the explicit and objective way that I think is necessary. Overall, I have probably made as much of a mess of things as the next person. I have not been a model for others but I have persevered where someone else might perhaps, quite reasonably, have given up. I have struggled where others would have sensibly accepted defeat and moved on.
I have the intellect to challenge the status quo and the courage to demand answers. I am motivated to put the picture straight. I differentiate between erotic fiction and the much less popular facts and logical reasoning that support a scientific understanding of our sexuality. My conclusions are not gospel. They are deductions I believe to be valid after many years of researching the topic. I have made my conclusions available via the internet in order to reach as many people as possible. No one can benefit from truths they are not ready to hear. The information I provide is for those who appreciate it because they themselves are looking for answers.
Excerpt from Jane’s book A Hand Full of Cards (2020)