Women's Sexual Experiences - Orgasm Consistency
In originally offering a model to explain the possible influence of a woman's feelings about a love object in relation to her orgasm consistency, emphasis was placed upon the fact that the process of attaining orgasm involves a retreat from what is "out there" induced not only by diminished sensory acuity but also by focusing upon immediate body experiences that diminish awareness of outside objects. It means, for the average woman, giving up her perceptual hold on the usual world of objects and allowing herself to be "carried away"' by sexual sensations that are aroused in her by a man's behavior.
The writer earlier conjectured that if a woman has preexisting doubts about the dependability of love objects the process of becoming sexually excited is disturbing to her not only because it results in a less articulated perceptual "hold" on objects in general, but also because, while in this less articulated condition, she has to "trust" the behavior of a man who, by means of his stimulating behavior, exerts control over her state of consciousness and the clarity of her object relations.
Presumably, if she finds such conditions too threatening she will develop anxiety that inhibits the buildup of sexual excitement and blocks orgasm. One cannot help wondering whether the woman with low-orgasm consistency might not also have difficulties with orgasm frequency in other situations in which the action of some outside male agent produces changes in her level of consciousness or exerts control over the way she experiences the world.
For example, would she find a hypnotic induction procedure particularly threatening? Would she respond with special negativism to medical procedures that produced loss of consciousness or called for "submission" to a physician who would be in a position to do radical things to her that she could not control? Would she be the one who would be most resistive to taking a drug or other medications prescribed for her that might have unpredictable effects? Might her anxiety about losing her perceptual hold on objects make her avoid such conditions as loss of sleep, extreme fatigue, and intake of substances that really alter her awareness? Some doubt is cast on this last possibility by the fact that no relationships were found by the writer between orgasm consistency and amount of use of (or liking for) alcohol.
These thoughts might, in some ways, imply that the woman with low-orgasm consistency is concerned about potential loss of self-control, but it would be more accurate to characterize her concern as a fear of finding herself completely alone (without the support of a man who really cares). If so, one could expect that orgasm would be facilitated by any conditions that increase a woman's feeling that the man with whom she is having sexual intercourse can be counted on to be loyal and to maintain steadfast interest in her. What are the practical implications of this generalization? Consider some illustrative formulations.
1. A woman will probably have more female orgasms when her relationship with him has been formally stabilized (as through marriage).
2. A woman should be less orgasmic in transient, temporary sexual liaisons.
3. Increasing duration of marriage (within certain age limits) should increase orgasm consistency.
4. Conditions that magnify the probability of a husband having to be absent unpredictably (for example, war duty, job responsibilities) should decrease the wife's orgasm consistency.
5. A wife's discovery of her husband's infidelity with other women should decrease her orgasm consistency.
6. Wives who find themselves in competition with other wives (as in a polygamous culture) should manifest decreased orgasm consistency.
7. A woman whose husband cannot give up close investment in his mother, and who is therefore uncertain of his investment in her as his wife, should have special orgasm difficulties. I also suspect this is a cause of other male sexual dysfunction such as premature ejaculation.
8. Although one would be tempted to argue that the birth of a child would help to reassure a woman about the stability of her marriage and therefore to enhance her orgasm consistency, there are also other repercussions of a birth (for example, its possible estranging effect on the husband who sees the new child as a competitor) that prevent such a simple generalization.
Perhaps one could say that if a child is born to a marriage and the husband is genuinely pleased by the event (does not feel seriously competitive with the child), this may, through its further formalization of the long-term nature of the marriage, increase the wife's sexual pleasure and orgasm potential.
These various conditions would be expected to have a significant impact upon orgasm consistency mainly in women with a moderate to high amount of concern about object loss.
Those with a low degree of such concern would probably be less sensitive to fluctuations in external conditions that bear on object dependability. It should be possible to test the propositions that have been presented by measuring changes in orgasm consistency in women (high and low in their concern about object loss) under such conditions as pre- versus post-marriage, early versus late in marriage, and husband frequently absent versus husband seldom absent.
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