Women mature sexually much later than men do so a young woman[i] is very unlikely to discover orgasm with a lover. Over time a woman’s body may respond to being stimulated by a lover and her mind may respond to the more subconscious turn-ons associated with sexual activity.
Women are not spontaneously aroused so it is never apparent (alone or with a lover) even to them what stimulation they need for orgasm. For a younger woman inept clitoral stimulation can be highly uncomfortable.
Anyone who is aroused by a lover’s body stimulates the anatomy that turns them on because it assists with their own orgasm. Lesbians may stimulate the breasts and the vagina. Such sensations act as an erotic turn-on so that the stimulation assists with arousal but if women are aiming for orgasm they stimulate the clitoris (not the vagina or the breasts).
Whether alone or with a lover stimulation is similar but arousal is different. The clitoris has to be stimulated with a ‘feather-light’ touch. It takes years of dedication for a man to learn how to stimulate the clitoris.
The conscious use of fantasies does not transfer to sex with a partner. To experience orgasm with a lover it is vital that a woman knows what turns her on and what orgasm feels like. The experience of masturbation does not guarantee orgasm with a lover (by any means) but the fact that a woman can stimulate herself to orgasm indicates that she is capable of orgasm (she has the minimum sexual responsiveness needed for orgasm).
It often appears as if men are intent on orgasm. Yet rather than discuss orgasm men like to talk about the turn-ons that initiate their arousal cycle that culminates in orgasm. Women do not experience sex drive or arousal (as men do) so orgasm may have more significance for women.
But even if she does eventually discover how to orgasm with a lover, a woman is not as strongly motivated by sex as men tend to be (nor does she want it as often) because of the effort involved in achieving orgasm.
A woman has to be in the mood to relax and to allow a lover to pleasure her. Her lover has to be motivated to explore providing continual clitoral stimulation regardless of orgasm. The end result is completely different.
The physical sensations are very pleasurable but there is not the same sense of psychological release. They do not compare with the more satisfying orgasms that come from the use of fantasy during masturbation.
[i] Many younger females … may engage in such specifically sexual activities as petting and even intercourse without discernible erotic reaction. (p157 Kinsey 1948)
Excerpt from Women’s Sexual Behaviours & Responses (ISBN 978-0956-894717)