Pleasuring A Woman

Men get much of their sex ed from porn, which has little to do with pleasing actual women (porn stars are acting ecstatic, after all, and the focus is often on pleasing the man). So WebMD asked reputed sex educators, Tristan Taormino and Lou Paget, to talk
about some common sex mistakes men make. Go here to see the full text. We’ll also look at research from Cindy Meston and David Buss, who researched and wrote, Why Women Have Sex.

Men imagine that women feel something parallel to what they feel, says Paget, leaving a “huge disconnect” about what feels good to women:

When a man has intercourse with a woman, and his penis goes into her body, that sensation is so off the charts for most men, they cannot imagine that it isn’t feeling the same way for her. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

The vagina is actually less sensitive than the clitoris and the surrounding parts for most women.

And a vibrator can help. So don’t be insulted, thinking something is wrong if that’s what she needs, say the authors. “Some women can’t have an orgasm with less than 3,000 rpm, so think of a vibrator as your assistant, not your substitute.”

But many men continue to believe that women should be able to reach orgasm from vaginal penetration. Taormino says:

I still get letters from people who say things like, my wife can’t [orgasm] from intercourse unless she has clitoral stimulation — please help. I want to write back and say, ‘OK, what’s the problem?’

And then there’s the myth that bigger is better. It all depends. Length is great for women who enjoy having their cervix stimulated, say Meston and Buss. But the same stimulation can be painful for other women. And if the penis is too long, “it feels like you’re getting punched in the stomach,” Paget explains. “It makes you feel nauseous.” Still others feel neither pleasure nor pain—and often not much of anything.

Generally speaking, width is more important than length. But depending on the woman, some prefer larger and some smaller.

And men should not assume they know what a woman wants based upon what other women have wanted. Taormino points out that:

You develop a repertoire as you mature sexually, but you should never assume that what worked for the last person is going to work for this person.

So open the lines of communication. But consider: If you constantly ask her if she’s coming, do you really think she will? The badgering can move her from erotic to just feeling pressured. So don’t overdo it.

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About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on November 9, 2011, in men, pornography, psychology, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 31 Comments.

  1. Pron is something I’ve never looked at but after reading this I did a little research into some the video’s and I can see how its all pleasuring of men. Young people are taught about the basics of sex eg. penis and vagina ” bird and the bees”. They are really not introduced to the idea of enjoyment of sex, understandably at a young age you more then likely don’t want to encourage the act. However as these young people start to encounter the world, they are going to the internet and “googling” what they think they need to know or things they have heard of from older people. Men are not the most communicant in our human race and they generally don’t have the best understand of how their verbal reactions may make us feel. Men in our society seem to be taught to embrace their sexuality, get to know their genitalia as in what works, how they feel etc.. On the other hand woman aren’t, in our world you don’t see woman encouraged to masturbate,touch themselves sexually and gather a stronger understanding of themselves. This can lead to a down fall on what may work for women, as they personally don’t know themselves. Porn maybe a downfall for men’s understanding but women are also at fault as they aren’t able to express what works for them as they may not know what does and doesn’t work. If you sick you go to the doctor and tell them whats wrong, there is not difference in telling you sexual partner what isn’t working for you. Both men and women need to be taught from a young age that they need to be comfortable with their bodies and that its OK to whats good and not good. This is something that school should be teaching while they are learning about their body. This been said it should be also taught at an age appropriate level. 5th graders or 10 year old’s don’t need to know more about their body’s then keeping it keep but seniors in high school should have the opportunity to talk about this openly as there is a high maturity level there.

    • And I don’t even see it as “Men are at fault” versus “Women are at fault” because we all unconsciously internalize our culture — we don’t even realize we are doing it. Which is why I agree with your point about the need for education. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

  2. This post addresses a common expectation for receiving partners to be able to reach orgasm through vaginal penetration. While a minority of vagina owners regularly orgasm through nothing but penetration, most do not because vaginas are not all that sensitive. It seems to me that this widespread misunderstanding of female anatomy stems from the definition of sex as first and foremost penis in vagina (PIV) sex. It’s probably the only sex act that everybody considers to be sex or “real sex,” whatever that means. Even if vagnial penetration isn’t explicitly mentioned, the mainstream understanding of what sex is relies heavily on penetration, which is rather explicitly phallocentric. Many people’s conceptions of sex are focused on what a penis does and whether or not its owner orgasms. Male pleasure is considered essential and important, while female pleasure can be seen as optional or absolutely puzzling and impossible to be understood by mere mortals. Dispelling these myths and educating people about female anatomy (clitorises!) and prioritizing female pleasure is in the interest of people with clitorises and the people who have sex with them, which is most of the population.

    • Because we live in a society where much of our sexual information has historically come from men — who don’t have women’s bodies, we’ve had a lot of confusion. Even among women who think there is something wrong with them if they do PIV and don’t orgasm. When actually, they’re just typical.

  3. women arent pleasured by men, because they arent attractet to men, for them its the same think like a straight guy getting his flaccid penis sucked by another guy, if a men or women dont get a boner/vaginal lubrication sex dont brings pleasure.

    • Two things.

      First, visual stimulation isn’t the only route to sexual arousal. Tribal societies don’t fetish women’s breasts and butts. Yet the men get very aroused by the women. And vice versa (there and here). Also, after a man has been with a woman over months or years, the fetish diminishes or goes away with regard to HER breasts. But he still gets aroused by her. It’s just isn’t a visual stimulation. That’s how it is for women. They get aroused, but the trigger isn’t visual.

      Second, I forgot that you seemed to think women found men “ugly” because they weren’t aroused by men’s bodies. That’s not the case. Men can be beautiful without being arousing. Here’s part of what I wrote when I edited the above comment to you: If the man’s body is fit, I’m sure women see it as beautiful. But it’s just not fetished/arousing.

      It’s like hair. Men see women’s hair as sexy and attractive. But it’s not fetished/arousing. Unless you live in a place where hair is covered, like Iran (esp years back when it was completely covered). I had a student from there who said she’d pull her scarf back a bit, on occassion, and watch the men go wild. It’s the covering + society calling/understanding the thing covered as “sexual,” that creates the fetish.

  4. Most girls know that guys watch porn and learn about sex but they also know guys tend to assume that if they do things in the way they see it on porn, they can pleasure girls. But as the article points out, that does not always work. Porn stars act as if they feel good no matter what guys do, but most women cannot always feel good and reach organism as easy and fast as they do. The porn stars seem to feel good although a guy moves his penis fast and puts it in her anus. Yet moving his finger and penis fast as much as he could in a vagina does not always make girls feel good and can give them pain instead. Men use pornography not only to deal with their sexual arousal but also to lean about sex, but what they see on porn is not always true and leads them to misunderstand about how girls feel and what they want during sex.

  5. In many ways I believe this article is true in the sense that men often become so unraptured by sexual intercourse that they forget about their partner and how it feels for them. I think commitment and love in a relation ship can help this. If the woman opens up to the man about her experience it will help them increasingly. Sex is so different for different people that what a man did with his last partner might not cut it for you. experimentation is key to find what turns you on adn what feels awkward, especially with a new partner! The closer the couple becomes assumedly the better sex will get as both the man and the woman discover their partner’s needs and how to pleasure them in a way that ccomfortable for both of them. Also, a woman achieving orgasm takes so much more than physical arousal but also emotional stability and the feeling of being safe in her environment with her partner. Once a man understand this, he will further be able to help his woman finish.

  6. Like many of us have already stated, porn does leave a distorted image of sex in the minds of many men. It has provided them with false pretenses regarding sexual intercourse. The existing stereotypes about women when it comes to sex is also a huge contributing factor to these misconceptions. I completely agree with this article because all women are not the same, as well as men. Everyone has preferences when it comes to sexual intercourse. Ive met men that absolutely love oral sex and also a few that hate it. I feel as if the unwritten rules about love making apply to both males and females.Communication is key in order to establish an understanding between you and your sexual partner.

  7. It is interesting how women can only feel about an inch in the beginning and then nothing at all. But some women do feel everything becasue of something in side of them is able to feel the whole thing or pain depending on the person.

  8. As a male, information of the opposite sex naturally attracts us almost certainly as their physical appearances do. It’s just our livelihood (or probably just my own). As may be expected, the title of this blog attracted me as instantaneously as would a gorgeous lady. I believe your opening sentence of this entry, “Men get much of their sex ed from porn…” is false to an extent. As much porn as we watch, I believe a good majority of it is viewed to satisfy us, and majorly not used as a basis for learning. If men wanted to empower himself with the techniques and strategies to pleasuring women, he would not replay pornography over and over, rather, he would essentially research what piques his interest and read about it. Sites such as AskMen is an online website loaded with topics of interest aimed towards men, which includes but is not limited to: Cars, Poker, Amateur hypnotism, Gaming, Cars, and of course, Sexuality and Women, to entertain, help us pass the slow day at work, and ultimately, as one of their website mottos, “Become a Better Man.” There are also books out there such as the infamous Kama Sutra to better help “position” men in experimenting with their partner new ways of making love. I’m glad this post debunks the “larger the better” myth with male sex organs, because it’s all about preference for women. So my point is, as WebMD reputed sex educator Tristan Taormino examines, “You develop a repertoire as you mature sexually, but you should never assume that what worked for the last person is going to work for this person” is essentially informing males to not imitate the moves they observe in the portrayal of explicit sexual subject matter for the sole purposes of either sexual excitement or erotic satisfaction. Also, there are products such as ribbed condoms or lubricants and moisturizers aimed to enhance the sexual experience, which I assume men purchase instead of the girls… after all, it’s not like it’s women carry condoms on them as do males. Or do they?

    • Thank you for your perspective.

      On porn as sex ed for men, I don’t think any men purposely go to porn to learn about women, but as Wed MD and men’s studies experts point out, men watch porn and believe that what they see is an accurate portrayal of women and their desire, including the following myths:

      . All women want huge penises
      . All women get orgasms from intercourse
      . It doesn’t take all that long for women to come to orgasm
      . Women love threesomes

      But again, thank you for your thoughtful response

  9. Pornography has left men with all the wrong impressions of good sex. Communication is always a big factor to great sex. If a woman feels uncomfortable she’s definitely not going to hit the high note and have an orgasm. It’s not all about the dude, he has to remember that he’s not the only one and should consider being in sync with his partner to give off the right experience. Everyone knows that a woman’s body is different, they can reach an orgasm if they have the right partner, and for the most part size really has nothing to do with it. In porn they emphasize that faster is better. Yeah for the guy, in most cases your probably gonna hurt her by jabbing that thing in her like crazy. It sounds corny but slow is better, gradually escalate but do it at a pace that is comfortable for both of you. The key to having a women orgasm and to lead her down the path to pleasure is by insuring connection, having an understanding of the woman’s body, and also keep in mind that sometimes its not the guys fault sometimes women have issues that prevent her from having an orgasm.

  10. I agree with most of the others as well. Every woman is different and needs to be pleased in an individual way. This sort of leads back to the history of women being seen more as objects rather than as equals. Women are not a “one technique fits all” object each women prefers different forms of stimulation and it is a partners responsibility to take the time to understand what their partner needs. However, there are many men who not only want to bring pleasure to women but who also find pleasing a woman to be arousing. What most people tend to forget is that it is not always a man’s fault for not knowing how to please his partner. It is important for women to be vocal and express how they feel and what they need. Too often women feel uncomfortable talking about sex like it is something to be ashamed of resulting in an unsatisfying experience. Women need to do their part just as much as men need to do theirs. Pornography is entertainment … Actors are giving an audience something to go off of they are not instructing the audience. I do believe that many men assume that by watching a video they will be able to create the same response in women as they see in the videos. What men really need is to buckle down and educate themselves on the female anatomy and his partners personal preferences.

  11. Ultimately, I find the main deciding factor to be how caring and attentive a partner is to my needs. Sure, size can help, but large or small, if a partner has cared more for his own pleasure while mine is negligible, it’s “meh” sex at best. Experience is no guarantee either, as some men assume that “one size fits all” and think that what works for one woman works for all.

    Another decisive factor is simply how secure a man is in his own masculinity. Someone who is secure (or willing to overcome insecurity) welcomes anything that helps his partner achieve pleasure, such as a vibrator, and does not perceive it as a threat.

    Good male sexual partners also understand that one must give pleasure to get the best pleasure. For example, some women are uncomfortable with rear-entry or woman-on-top positions, as the penis can push too hard against the cervix. However, some women find it more comfortable, or even pleasurable, if a male partner takes the time to make sure that she has at least one or two orgasms first; she feels more psychologically and physically relaxed, and so both partners have a greater likelihood of enjoying various positions.

  12. It’s true that men should avoid assumptions about women that all women like the same thing and they all have the same taste and same genital sensation. We all know that we all are individual and our needs are going to be different so how can someone make assumptions about what one likes and dislikes. As is mentioned in the article you develop good performance as you mature sexually, but don’t assume that what works for the one person is going to work for another person too.

    In terms of the bigger size, it’s not true that women will enjoy more sex and have orgasm if men have their powerful tool working effectively in their body. It’s more important that you make the connection and deep bonding with the partner rather than impressing the women with what you have and what you can do. Sometimes it’s more like a man’s ego: who is stronger and who can promote more orgasm, or maybe a competition. I agree with the earlier comment that sexual satisfaction on the part of women are varied from one another so men may not assume the same experience with every women. It’s more important that both partners enjoy the time being together and be happy because happiness does matter when it’s comes to a sexual relationship between two genders.

  13. Mens expectations for sex in really high to due their watch of porn. Porn isnt real, it surely isnt that long and brutal. Mens expectations are really high when first having sex. But to women it downgrades them because they dont meet the expectations. Porn makes it seem that the bigger the penis the hotter the women would be. These are just actors trying to entertain. The vagina will adapt to any penis with almost the same sensation. Size really dont matter when it comes to sex. It just gets the women more excited, which can help her to cum. But now a day people are having sex for their own pleasure. Using one another to get what you want. Most relationships are based on sex. I dont believe in love till the age of 25 plus. Its really rare to find love at an early age. Girls just give themselves excuse to have a bf. and get what they want. People should live for the moment not for the future.

    • You’ve got some good points. But on this one “Size really doesn’t matter when it comes to sex. It just gets the women more excited,” that’s what porn tells men, not what women usually experience. Again, it’s about men thinking that women experience a corollary to what men do. They get aroused by breasts, so women must get aroused by a big penis. Not even close.

      On a related topic, see: Sexy Weiner?

  14. I think that sexual satisfaction on the part of women varies from individual to individual. I agree that different parts of the vagina, especially the clitoris , may play a huge role for women to attain orgasm ,but I would also say the mind plays an even bigger role, that is concentration. I think that some men enjoy porn because, they are looking for variety, that variety that they can’t have, given the fact that they may have a girl fiend or a wife which may then be considered as cheating. Also it is important for both parties to get involved during sexual intercourse, this would certainly also promote orgasm on both sides. It should be noted that pornography can become very addictive, and with no offense, I would advise men who get into it to be cautious .I think sex was destined to be enjoyed with a physical partner ,and not images that one may never ever see.

  15. As we say at Burning Man, “Communication is the best lubricant.”

    Any two people having sex should be invested enough in their partner to want to help them enjoy it as much as they do themselves. The only way you can do that is by talking – or otherwise communicating, speech isn’t necessarily required – to them. Simply pursuing your own pleasure, or assuming that what you enjoy they will enjoy is incredibly self centered, and even ignorant. There are just a few biological differences between the sexes, to say nothing of the social ones, after all. If you ignore the desires of your partner, you’re just masturbating, except that you’re wasting another person’s time while doing so.

    Plus, there is nothing more beautiful than the face of your partner when they’re enjoying good sex, and knowing that you played a part in making somebody you care about feel like that is more erotic than any blind race to the finish line.

  16. I think the majority of men are uneducated on how to please a women but are are so intrigued with figuring out how. I believe a lot of men do turn to porn to learn how to please and have sex with a women which is totally the wrong way of going about it. However, I do believe women are just a clueless when it comes to the other gender but I think it is a little easier for women because the penis is such a sensitive organ. The whole issue of “bigger is better” I believe is a male ego thing. Society puts pressure on men and one of the pressure happens to be If you have a big penis you are an alpha male basically.

  17. This article can help a lot man. It s important to now how to please a woman and not always assuming what you think is good is good. The different body types the different pleasures. Many men can automatically ask if a woman is having an orgasm. But like the article said it always don’t work that way. Just because you said it doesnt mean it will happen even faster or better, It is moment for erotic expression. Which another point of mind is porn does not work for all woman when its time to fulfill those erotic desires or knowing how to satisfy a women. Your best bet in receiving the best pleasure is getting to know that person you have a connection with and figure out what that like without being blunt and to obscured about it.

  18. Gladys Knowles-Price

    I agree with the others on this. I believe that for a women to reach an orgasm it depends on the man, I believe that men believe that if they make one female have an orgasm that they can make all females have orgasms, and I also believe that men imagine that women feel something parallel to what they feel. In my past relationship I had experienced a few of the statements mentioned above. It is a waste of my time to have sex and don’t get an orgasm. I personally believe in the saying “That a closed mouth don’t get fed”. So in other words, if I am not sexually satisfied I will let my significant other know. I never assume that a man knows how to satisfy a woman because sometimes men honestly don’t know, especially if they are taking tips from porn.Some men believe that because they have a big penis that the sex is good. But the truth of the matter is not what you have, but how you use it.

  19. I see this problem as an issue with overinflated male egos. It is easy for men to assume that women have the same sexual tastes as men and should be pleased by what men see in porn. But the reality is far from what men tend to envision. Porn has made sex for men more of a game than an experience that two people share, in porn it is more about how you look during sex than how you feel during sex. What makes sex amazing is that it is literally the closest two people can ever get and with this closeness comes deep emotional connections. Porn takes all this away and replaces it with an androcentric affair which is more appearances and pleasuring the man; where women are no more than tools of male erotica. Seeing this images on the internet dops men into thinking this is what sex is like and what it is about. This leads to many sexual encounters between men and women that leave women performing acts that they may not find comfortable and leaving them unsatisfied with sex overall.

  20. It is true that most men get their education on this stuff from explicit films but there are that small 2 percentage of guys that read romance novels and occasional chick flicks. For example i have a buddy. I personally don’t think the case is that most men think they know how to please a woman, but rather they aim to please themselves. Going to the sizes reference, the race for the biggest penis isn’t for determining who pleases women best but in fact a guys’ competition against another. True that even though guys are not aiming to please women, they still don’t know how to even though they wouldn’t agree. However when i was talking to my buddy about this article he commented and said he never has sexual encounter with a female without bringing a sailboat. I did find it interesting that the female feels sensitive not on the inside, especially with all the buzz on a ‘g-spot’ (whatever that is)

  21. It is absolutely correct that men should not assume that every woman loves certain posture or procedure of having sex. Just like characters and interests, everyone has different preference and view. We should not think that the stereotyped preference of women taught from porn to be correct all the time. Because everyone has individual thinking and is born physically different. The important message pointed out by the author is that, to maximize happiness, we should try to communicate instead of guessing each other’s feelings. We should not take the tradition, what we are taught from various media or what we are now doing as the forever right ways of doing. Because who knows if they are wrong?

  22. The insistent need for a woman to reach orgasm through vaginal penetration is all about the man. Such a man might need to feel studly enough to accomplish this task. He needs to feel in control, he needs to feel that his equipment is all-powerful.

    Maybe such a man just needs to be educated, and that is okay. If he is open to such education, if he is willing to listen and change as needed: Great!

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