Is it making women’s pleasure more elusive?
Leaving men confused and women frustrated.
And both missing out on the pleasure they are capable of.
It is surprising how much of our reality is influenced by the beliefs of our time.
You might think it’s just you in the bedroom with your partner. Yet there are many other voices in the background as well, both heard and unheard. Voices that help determine women’s pleasure. And man’s.
Maybe it’s “women must bear these things for the compensating joys of motherhood”.
Or “It’s a man’s obligations to sow his wild oats so he can show off his experience to his woman”.
Or even that “sex is dirty, you shouldn’t be doing it.”
One of the most detrimental ideas we carry about sex is that women’s pleasure is complex and tricky, and men’s is simple and straightforward.
It’s detrimental because believing this puts us on the back foot in approaching female sexuality. Whether it’s our own, or our partners.
And this idea is possibly not even true.
It’s possibly something we’ve simply come to believe.
Women’s pleasure statistics
Now a large, collaborative study published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour has revealed that 95% of women orgasm every time they practice solo sex.
This drops to around 65% in women when they are with a known male partner. And it drops even further in casual sex experiences with men. This same drop is not experienced in lesbian sex.
Whilst (straight) men are shown to orgasm “usually-always” 95% of the time. This is whether they’re alone, with a long time partner, or having casual sex.
There are several reasons for this pleasure gap
The people who responded to the survey may have been more comfortable in their sexuality (although it was a very large survey, over 52,000),
In masturbation the orgasm for a woman could be serving a purely functional, even stress relieving purpose. In other words, it’s kept simple.
In sex, especially with a male partner, it is easier for a woman to get her orgasm tangled up with desires for romance, intimacy and commitment. Which would make it easier for her to lose focus on achieving her orgasm.
Though we still have a way to go, the rise of female power and equality is happening across the world. But even in this emancipated day and age, a woman is still likely to give her man’s orgasm a higher priority than her own.
A woman will give a man’s orgasm higher priority because:
- she has a lifetime of conditioning to give to others before herself.
- both her and her man have been conditioned by the patriarchal system to think he is entitled to his orgasm every time, and she is not.
- women still hold a lot of shame about their pleasure and can hold it back in front of their partner.
- she has been conditioned by the patriarchal, goal oriented way of viewing sex that doesn’t work for her feminine body, leading her to not be in touch with what it wants, or how to ask for it (even though she can easily order three different kinds of lattes, muffins and smoothies).
- she doesn’t want to offend him by making him think he’s not doing it right.
- it’s common for her to endure suffering eg. in periods and childbirth. So it’s easier for her to endure a lack of pleasure long enough for him to come, rather than cause offence.
- she has got really good at faking her orgasms.
Yet underlying all these are two very powerfully held beliefs.
Firstly, that a woman’s pleasure is complex and tricky, so it is easier to give up on.
And secondly, that a man’s pleasure is simple, like a microwave, 30 secs and beep, beep, beep, he’s done. Giving him no reason to hold it back, just a little more effort and it’s done.
These beliefs are doing both men and women a disservice.
- makes a woman’s pleasure seem more daunting, and off putting to seek.
- keeps her in a straight jacketed, uninformed way of thinking about her pleasure capacity.
- keeps both thinking that one good come and he’s done. This view of male sexuality is a very limited, purely biological one.
- short circuits man’s ability to have the more deeply fulfilling, full bodied, multiply orgasmic pleasure he is capable of.
How would it be to believe that both mean’s and women’s pleasure were more similar than different?
Both deserving of time and attention.
Both deserving of a curious, rather than a goal oriented approach.
In a goal oriented approach you have a pre determined outcome that you try to achieve.
A curious approach is more experimental and open ended ie. let’s try this and see what happens.
Leaving both lovers more in the moment, in their bodies, aware of their responses, open to seeing their desires.
Women who orgasmed more frequently were more likely to receive more oral sex, deep kissing, manual genital stimulation in addition to vaginal penetration, have longer duration of sex, be more satisfied in their relationship, ask for what they want in bed, praise their partner, be flirtatious and adventurous eg. use sexy talk and lingerie, and express love during sex.
Wouldn’t men benefit from this variety of approaches to more parts of their body as well?
Leaving them more capable of experiencing more extended pleasure.
Not to mention leaving them more interested in trying a few tantric tips. Tips that leave both lovers even more more in the moment, in their bodies, aware of their responses, open to seeing their desires. Leading them to higher states of ecstasy and bliss, and receiving more of the benefits.
Pleasure Benefits such as:
- enhanced mood and body confidence
- reduced stress and better sleep
- improved relationships through more enhanced oxytocin levels
- better communication
- boosted immune system
- improved skin
- increased release of the body’s natural painkillers, called endorphins, which are released during touch and sex.
There are, and likely always will be differences between men and women’s pleasure, and their psyches, sexually speaking.
But perhaps it’s time to put some of those differences to bed.