Men, Myths & Female Pleasure

Young Couple in Relationship Conflict

You understand how to fix your car. You can recite hockey stats like a scout. You understand renovations. You are good at your job. So why can’t you figure out a clitoris? The G-Spot? Do you really know if she’s faking it?

It is staggering the number of females in a longterm heterosexual marriage or relationship who tell me they rarely orgasm unless they do it themselves. The percentage is so high that I am nervous about how believable it would sound if I ventured a guess. The words, vast majority, have a truthful ring to them. Many women admit that they used to have more pleasure. Often women will tell me that their partner tries to pleasure them. More often than not, however, it’s tempting to just “lie back and dream of England”. So what is the big deal? Why is this so hard?

It really isn’t. 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 August 4, 2014, in men, psychology, relationships, sex and sexuality, women and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Fascinating post. To begin, I agree with the above sentiment that men (and women) alike have had awful teachers when it comes to the pleasure of sex on behalf of women. In sexual education classes, to what my memory retains, the discussion focused on the “process” of sex from a purely biological standpoint. I’m not advocating that we should change our curriculum but focus too much on the biological functions, practicing safe sex, and learning about pregnancy/birth while necessary do not explain emotional associations with sex. Understanding how to pleasure women in the bedroom is difficult partly because we are all different and want different things from our partners sexually. There are differences between modes of sex too– such as one night stands, romantic sex, sex when married, etc. Women often learn about pleasure from their older sisters, mothers, aunts, friends– the people who form their innermost social circles. In a sense, our ideas about sexual pleasure have been socially constructed along with our ideas about gender, sexuality, and so forth. We find through porn, where much our original ideas about pleasure have some impact on the way we anticipate orgasm that much of the material focuses on pleasure for the man. Different categories such as POV (point of view) highlight this trend in pornography that it is the male who in his pleasure, is pleasuring the women obviously as we know– this is not always the case. Porn also generates trends of genital beauty– in the 1960s-70s there was a “natural” wave of genital beauty where women were sexually attractive with ungroomed pubic hair. Today, genital beauty in porn and media advertisements centers portrays genital beauty as a bare pubic area. All of these facets of influence create a false narrative in the minds of women and men alike. Both men and women may feel self-conscious around sexual partners based on these influences; therefore, unwilling to express their desires suitably. In our society, it is uncommon for sensual pleasures or sexuality, in general, to be discussed openly– it’s not necessarily a dinner table topic. However, if we can be more fluid in the areas that sex is widely considered we could help understand more about both men and women regarding sexual pleasure. For example, in education (where the discussion is usually impartial), in porn (where women should be able to present their points of view equally as men do), and in our relationships (where communication should allow for open and respectful discussion about sensuality). All of these platforms and more–such as in the media– would propose that talking about pleasure, sexuality, gender, needs, and sensuality by understanding both needs of partners. The more open discussion is respected in regards to satisfaction whether it be with partners, friends, in the media, or classroom– can allow for stronger consensual relationships and more satisfying sexual romances for both parties.

  2. Timothy Dela Cruz

    This is a very interesting post about the impatience and lack of knowledge that men have towards women’s orgasms, but I would like to flip the script a bit. The number one question at cosmopolitan magazine that dates back years ago and is still relevant today is, “how can I come during intercourse?” Studies say that less than 1/3 of women will come during intercourse. For a man it is simple, he sees his erection, focuses on his erection and sees that through until he gets an orgasm. Women are a lot more complex and social programming has caused women to miss their own arousal. A lot of women expect to get an orgasm from a man, but they need to claim their own pleasure. From the way I see it and I’m guessing I’m not alone, what women need is permission to bring attention to their own bodies and reactions. Get rid of the “good girl” mentality for not arousing themselves and the notion of only paying attention to arousing the man. I believe that there are a huge number of women out there who do not know how to give themselves orgasms, so my question is; how do you expect a man to give you an orgasm when you do not know how to give one to yourself? Lust dies technique is forever.

    • You have to look at all of the data as a whole, Because it can look contradictory.

      43% of US women have experienced sexual dysfunction: low interest, no interest, pain, difficulty with orgasm, Inability to orgasm

      One third of women feel sad and depressed after sex

      Women are on average both more bored with sex and more satisfied with the amount of sex they get. Sounds strange? On the other side of that number are men to feel unsatisfied because they aren’t getting enough sex. Women are more likely to feel like they get plenty of sex, even if it is zero-Low.

      Other research shows men much more likely to have an orgasm. For instance, in their 20s, about 99% of men consistently orgasm. But only around half of women. Men are also more likely to say they enjoyed sex last time they had it, at the percentages pretty much correlate with whether or not a person had an orgasm.

      All of that is reflecting the repression of women’s sexuality.

      At the same time, on average women could be more sexually adventurous than men. There are two possibilities there:

      1) even though on average women enjoy sex less, among those men & women who are adventurous, women are more likely to be.

      And then either:

      a) those women are super-hot for sex.

      or b) Women adventurousness may even be consistent with their repression: since it’s harder for women to get pleasure, They may feel more motivated to try a lot of new things to get there.

      But thanks, maybe I will blog on this sometime.

  3. Interesting and enlightening. Curious about the reason for the drop in pleasure after the initial high. is it familiarity?

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