Physically Hardwired

Female Orgasm: It’s Complicated

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It would seem in this day and age of “anything goes” that not one more word is needed on the subject of female orgasm. Website after website, blog after blog, research data findings abound within news articles—all of this and yet not a word that makes complete sense to both women and men alike. At the end of all that can be found on the internet, questions remain unanswered and the mystery of female orgasm continues to be veiled in blurriness. None of these have discussed what I am about to tell you.

For 32 years of working with troubled families, I believe I have heard just about everything from women regarding their sex lives. When I was a newlywed myself, I heard one exasperated wife complain about her husband, “he’s all done in 6 minutes and it’s never been over 8 minutes.” I remember thinking why is she watching the clock? After years of listening to women, now I know. I couldn’t count the numbers of women who have said something to the effect ” I just feel like he thinks it’s too much trouble to try and get me to come too so I don’t.” Or the ones who confide “he’s at third base and I’m still in the parking lot.” Probably highest in occurrence are the women who tell me “I’m just not interested in having sex anymore.” However what surprises me the most are the women who have given birth to their third, fourth, and even fifth child and confess they have never even had an orgasm. Frankly, that does not seem fair. How do so many women find themselves at such a place?

It seems many of the scientific and medical world believe that any difficulty in experiencing female orgasm lies within the woman. What’s wrong with her? Maybe she needs some test or pills or something. There is even a formal diagnosis offered for the newest revision of the DSM V that goes with this thinking. It’s called Sexual Interest/Arousal Disorder and puts the blame smack on a woman if she has difficulty with arousal or no interest in sex. I believe a more appropriate diagnosis would be Thinking Men and Women Are Alike in Their Sexual Responses. That kind of thinking is at the core of believing that there is even a problem at all. I lay most of the blame on Hollywood for such misinformation and please check out the blog under SOCIALLY for more on that.

How many people would you imagine know that there are nine different hormones in five separate organs in a women’s body that govern her sexuality? From my vantage point, minuscule to none. A women’s sexual response is complicated — this is not an accident — it was the intention of the designer. I am appalled when couples come into my office and the woman is apoloqizing that is “takes her so long to get turned on.” Why is she apologizing? Unless a woman is on the far end of horny, most women require T-I-M-E to just get the engine started.

Perhaps you are a woman reading this thinking “oh no, that’s why I don’t get turned on? NINE hormones!! I need a prescription for more hormones.” Pills can never replace good old fashion TIME in bringing a woman to orgasm.

Men have ONE hormone in ONE organ that governs their sexual response. Just on the hormonal level alone, the comparison is similar to that of a jet engine and a lawnmower. It may take numerous buttons, switches, levers and knobs to get a jet started but once that engine gets going, it can go all the way from one end of the world to the other. A lawnmower may start up nice and quick but it won’t be able to take you from America to Australia. That is the wonder of female orgasm — this natural ability to experience multiple climaxes within one sexual encounter. With fairly brief pauses between orgasms, a woman can be brought to climax again and again as many times as she wants. The truth is a lawnmower is not made the same way.

However no one seems particularly bothered that men in general have only one orgasm when they have sex. Rather the focus of concern is that a majority of sexually active women do not orgasm or even want to have sex. Maybe the problem is not them; maybe it’s the sex itself. Maybe the sex is not enjoyable. Just try running a jet engine alongside a lawnmower. It’s no wonder lovers may get frustrated.

To complicate things even further, many times a man who longs to bring his female partner to climax can feel like a failure or worse. The way a woman is wired, typically her verbal input may be needed in getting her “engine” revved up on any given day. These spoken words can feel like criticism to a man. “No, that doesn’t feel so good” or “I’d like you to touch me here or like this” can unintentionally come across like some kind of checklist for performance. Of course, if that is the case, then man needs to speak his feelings and more on that in my blog under MENTALLY.

An ever increasing and disturbing number of young female teens who come see me describe their sexual experiences as anything but enjoyable. I had one young girl tell me her story which is similar to many I hear these days. This lovely girl told me that when she was 13 years old, she and some of her friends were with older guys and she ended up drinking too much. Before she knew it, she was on the floor of a bathroom with her head next to the toilet while some guy was on top of her rhythmically thrusting his organ into her. As she shared this I thought to myself, how do girls come to settle on being treated so unkindly? Apparently she repeatedly made weakened and unsuccessful attempts to push him off but “it was all over so soon.” She doesn’t think of it as rape — she was at a party and they were having “fun”. But that was her first experience with sex and as is typical for all of us humans, we tend to continue what we have learned and practiced. Thus began a pattern for her.

Not the toilet part, I hope, but the part where her focus during sexual coitus remained driven by what her partner wanted. Any thought to what might genuinely feel good to her was pushed out of her awareness. Now she might “pretend” something felt great because then she knew the guy would get more aroused and “be done sooner.” Over the years she developed this impression that after a boy got what he wanted, then she knew she would be history — he would “dump” her. The belief hidden way down inside of her was “no guy really cares about me” and so she kept a wall up in order that none of her sex partners would ever know her true feelings. She was simply protecting her heart.

Now fast forward this story about 15 to 20 years. The girl is now a grown woman who has a couple of kids, married to a wonderful man but they come to me because they have marital unhappiness. It turns out she just can’t seem to enjoy sex; the way she put it was “I just really don’t want to have sex and it would be fine with me if we just stopped it altogether.” When we delved a bit deeper it turned out that she realized she was having the hardest time opening her heart to him — actually telling him what she enjoyed most. In fact she realized she didn’t even know herself enough to tell him what she enjoyed most. She had spent all these years practicing at having sex where she kept pushing aside her own wants and sure enough, after all these years, well, practice make perfect.

I believe for a woman to experience the greatest sexual pleasure, the best place to start is for her to get to know her own body and sexual desires — what feels good at any given moment. Typically for women there is not a one-size-fits-all; in fact, there isn’t even a one-size-fits-anyone on a daily basis. The next step would be to share this important self knowledge with a partner who wants to take the time to know and explore the fullness of her orgasmic possibilities.

What do you think?


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Dr T Please click on About Us on the HOME page menu to read my life summary. (You'll find it at the bottom of that page)

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