We have appallingly bad sex information today because those who are reassured by mysticism far outnumber those swayed by any facts or logic[i]. Surveys assume that every woman is an authority on orgasm regardless of the credibility of her explanations. Rather than apply common sense and logic to women’s orgasm claims, researchers accept them unquestioningly. Consequently, understanding of female sexuality is hampered by the courtesy we extend adults in polite society of accepting whatever they say at face value. Instead of cataloguing accounts of orgasm, a scientific study of female sexuality should justify women’s behaviours. Researchers should establish women’s motivation to enjoy intimate time with their lovers, their appreciation of eroticism, their understanding of men’s desire to live out their fantasies and their willingness to explore a variety of sex play.
You would think it was a crime to question the many anomalies and contradictions in the portrayal of women’s sexuality. Anyone old enough to have sex thinks they already know it all. But we only learn if we have the humility to accept that we don’t already know all the answers. Sex will always be taboo until we challenge the politics that makes it so manipulative. We need to differentiate between accounts of female orgasm provided as a turn-on and the logical reasoning that explains women’s responses.
The idea that women should orgasm with a lover is so accepted now that it is almost impossible to suggest otherwise. Yet this is an assumption not a fact. Sadly, few sources challenge our unrealistic expectations by explaining that orgasm is an optional pleasure some women choose to enjoy. No woman’s health or sexual well-being depends on having an orgasm at any time. Instead of attempting to justify women’s responses to sexual activity initiated by men, research that attempts to understand how female orgasm is achieved needs to focus on sexual activity that women initiate.
Men are inevitably better placed (than women) to provide explanations for how orgasm is achieved. But that does not mean that men are capable of accepting the same facts and logic when applied to women’s responsiveness. We need to differentiate between our emotional desire to justify our sexual instincts (due to reproductive urges) and the intellectual reasoning involved in explaining why men and women’s sexual behaviours differ. There is a natural fear that information will adversely affect the balance of power in relationships. But this is not so. The facts and explanations simply document the behaviours and the dependencies that already exist.
[i] Human males throughout history and among all peoples have been most often concerned with the sexual activities of the female when those activities served the male’s own purposes, and her solitary and even homosexual activities have often been ignored. (Alfred Kinsey)
Excerpt from Women’s Sexual Behaviours & Responses (ISBN 978-0956-894717)