Why Do Women Have Orgasms?

Keeping Herself Happy

The idea that women’s orgasms need a special explanation
plays into old stereotypes that women need a good reason
to have sex, whereas men need only a suitable place.

But heterosexual sex requires at least one woman and one man.
So shouldn’t an incentive for women to have sex be a key part
of the sexual-reproductive bargain?

Before the squabble over why women orgasm, we had the Freudian
idea that women who are normally developed have vaginal rather
than clitoral orgasms. And before Freud, we had centuries of silence.

Perhaps the tendency to over-complicate women’s orgasms arises
from the knowledge that women have a secret weapon –
fake orgasms. Research shows more than half of all women
regularly do it. One in five orgasms isn’t the real deal.

But only about 18 per cent of men reckon their partners fake it,
and by their estimates only one in 20 orgasms is faked.

Men, it seems, are pretty clueless about when their partner
is faking this important signal of sexual satisfaction.
No wonder men occasionally downplay its importance.

Women Who
Never Orgasm

Desire Disorder

Eighty per cent of women who seek help for impotence are suffering from this disorder – which leaves a woman with little or no sexual desire.

Tiredness, depression, illness, stress, anxiety, relationship disharmony, drug or alcohol abuse can all affect energy levels and sexual desire.

Countless articles explore the embarrassing subject of male sexual impotence or erectile dysfunction..

It’s often assumed that women never have to worry about a “no show”. But they can suffer from impotence too. They frequently “don’t show up” in the bedroom. Most women don’t achieve orgasm through penetrative sex alone.

A man can insert his penis into a woman’s vagina and thrust and thrust. Usually he will climax, the woman won’t.

Sadly, there’s still a pervasive myth that most women come through penetration only. As a result, many women find themselves frustrated by what feels like a type of impotence. That is, their lack of response.

In my 20s, I wasn’t a good lover and never met men my age who were good lovers either. We were all highly sexed, but mostly immature.

Back then, sex was disappointing. Men seemed to enjoy having sex with me, but I didn’t “show up”. My body was a labyrinth of secret crevices and places hidden to me, let alone to my lovers.

How did I get to have orgasms like Kim Basinger in 9 1/2 Weeks, rolling, thunderous full-bodied spiritual highs? Years went by, and I felt let down. I wasn’t having the sex I thought I was entitled to, the sex modelled by Hollywood.

In my 40s I assigned myself to tantric sex school, took lessons from gifted body workers and tantric masseurs and finally discovered the wondrous variety of orgasms my body had to offer.

All women possess a clitoris, g-spot, vagina and anus – all can produce much sexual ecstasy. Only now do I get the sex I dreamed of, and yet it’s nothing like Hollywood sex.

Hands-on skill, experience and a lot of showing, asking and giving are part of it, as well as very intimate verbal communication. Good sex is harder to get than I thought, yet worth all the fuss.

How to Help Yourself

About 10% of women have never had an orgasm, neither with a partner or during masturbation. And quite a few of them have found their way into my therapy practice. That’s when I tell these women the good news: It is possible to learn to be orgasmic.

The first and most important lesson is to practice developing a balance of tension and relaxation during sexual activity. But, my women clients ask, how can they be both tense and relaxed at the same time? It’s a good question, and here is my two-part answer:

How to Have an Orgasm Step 1: Tense Up

The type of tension that helps women reach orgasm is muscle tension (myotonia). Many women have the mistaken impression that they should relax and “just lie there” because they’ve heard that relaxation during sex is important.

But it turns out that muscle tension is often necessary for an orgasm. In my experience, the majority of women learn to have their first orgasm by incorporating a fair amount of leg, abdominal, and buttock tension.

Not surprisingly, women report that the most orgasm-inducing muscle contractions are in their lower pelvis. These are the same muscles you squeeze to stop the flow of urine midstream (a conscious contraction of this group is called a Kegel exercise).

What is the connection between tensing muscle groups and having an orgasm? Arousal. Contracting (or tensing) certain muscles increases blood flow throughout the body and often to the genital area. And arousal, of course, is the road map that helps lead most women to orgasm.

How to Have an Orgasm Step 2: Wind Down

So, where’s the relaxation part of this equation? In the brain. During sex, a woman should be focused simply on feeling the sensations of the stimulation.

Have a hard time relaxing? Think of a Times Square billboard in which words stream into view from the left-hand side to the right edge, and then disappear off the screen.

During sex, many women find it helpful to program their own Times Square news crawl with a repetitive mantra such as “I can take as long as I want” or “This really feels great” on their mental silent radio.

It keeps the brain occupied but with a thought that will encourage sexual arousal rather than with a nervous, negative thought that might decrease arousal.

After this first lesson, I send my clients away with a homework assignment. During sex, they are to tense up their muscles and let their minds go silent.

This technique takes practice, but it can work over time. And more often than not, my clients return to a future session with their own good news to report.

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