Some women refer to ‘making love’ because the term more accurately describes their motives in terms of loving emotions rather than as an explicit sex drive.
Modern expectations cause some women to talk about their sexual experiences (whatever they are) in terms of arousal and orgasm. Some women knowingly fake orgasm but there is almost a sense of bravado associated with faking. We assume that women only fake part of the time or are sexually experienced enough to know how to fake. Many others interpret sex as a loving act without needing to talk about orgasm at all.
The resulting confusion leads many people to believe that women orgasm during sex despite their own experiences (that women are much less driven by sex) and despite the fact that intercourse provides insufficient clitoral stimulation for female orgasm.
As in the fable ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’ it takes great courage to question ‘truths’ that the majority consider indisputable. Any woman brave enough to question is labelled ‘sexually dysfunctional’ and this humiliation alone is enough to silence most people.
Women who question are confident of their experience of orgasm from masturbation. Sadly the majority of women do not understand this interest in orgasm though genital stimulation, which is more readily associated with men and with gay women.
Intercourse was never intended to lead to female orgasm
Confusion over female orgasm arose during the sexual revolution, which discovered that women were capable of orgasm. It was mistakenly assumed that female orgasm must naturally occur during the core heterosexual love-making act of vaginal intercourse. Consequently although men and even lesbian women use genital stimulation to reach orgasm, heterosexual women get away with claiming that they orgasm during sex without any clitoral stimulation whatsoever.
Vaginal intercourse is a reproductive act whereby the male impregnates the female. Male orgasm (since it usually involves ejaculation of sperm) is required for reproduction but female orgasm has no role in reproduction. Therefore women do not need to be as sexually driven as men nor do they need to become aroused or to reach orgasm as easily as men.
Some women are motivated to explore their sexuality and do discover orgasm. However, there is no reason for Nature to ensure that this experience of female orgasm occurs during sex. Relatively few women masturbate but, even if they do, sex with a partner does not naturally provide women with thesexual arousal that causes genital stimulation to be effective.
Since women’s sexual arousal is not needed for reproduction, there is no natural phenomenon that causes female arousal. Some women make a conscious effort to become aroused but it does not happen spontaneously as it tends to with men. Women’s use of fantasies may work well when masturbating alone but during sex, male orgasm needs to be centre stage.
Not only is female orgasm more elusive but also women generally are not as strongly motivated by sex as men are. So, for example, when I have offered my partners oral sex (fellatio) they almost swoon with pleasure and yet I rarely find oral sex (cunnilingus) arousing enough for orgasm. Even women who orgasm from cunnilingus need the circumstances to be just right and I suspect that few women would be willing to pay for the pleasure as men do.
Women’s ‘sex drive’ is much more likely to revolve around ensuring the welfare of their children. Equally, their sense of their own sexuality or sensuality is much more likely to involve an ability to make themselves sexually attractive to men than to involve them actively seeking sex with the aim of enjoying their own sexual arousal and orgasm.
By Jane Thomas founder of the female sexuality forum Ways Women Orgasm.