Women's Sexual Experiences

Intercourse Frequency and Sexual Responsiveness

The fact that orgasm consistency did not correlate with certain measures is in several instances more intriguing than any of the significant correlations that were obtained. One is struck with the finding that orgasm consistency is not correlated with either intercourse rate or preferred intercourse rate.

This means that the ability to reach orgasm, as such, is probably not a prime determinant of how much a woman wants or engages in intercourse.

There is no indication that the capacity to attain consistent orgasm provides an incentive for a woman to seek a high frequency of intercourse. Conversely, there is no indication that the woman who attains orgasm inconsistently compensatorily seeks more frequent intercourse than the women who are unable to orgasm with their partners.

This implies quite directly that a woman's ability to obtain orgasm - an important component of sexual satisfaction - does not determine her interest, or willingness to participate, in intercourse.

However, still another perspective on this issue opens up if one considers the correlations of actual and preferred intercourse frequencies with another of the sexual indices that is based on the woman's rating of her own sexual responsiveness.

This index proved to be positively correlated with preferred intercourse frequency and also actual frequency. Why should it predict such frequencies better than orgasm consistency does?

The first thought that comes to mind is that, although the two indices are positively correlated, the self-rating of sexual responsiveness involves a judgment about how one responds overall to sexual stimulation, whereas the orgasm consistency measure concerns only one specific form of response to such stimulation.

It is the woman who feels that she is, in general, most responsive or aroused when sexually stimulated who seeks intercourse, rather than the woman with the greatest probability of attaining the peak kind of excitement we label as orgasm.

This obviously suggests that there are various arousal experiences produced by sexual stimulation that have more power to motivate a woman to enter into intercourse than does orgasm itself This is true despite the already mentioned fact that a woman's likelihood of feeling satisfied after orgasm is greater if she attains orgasm consistently and also despite the finding that satisfaction after orgasm is not related to how generally sexually responsive a woman judges herself to be.

Qualitative Feelings During and After Orgasm

It is important to specify that the consistency with which women attain orgasm does not seem to be related to the qualitative terms they use in describing their typical orgasm experiences.

As earlier described, the women in all samples were asked to rank-order ten terms with respect to how well they depict one's feelings during orgasm and to do the same for another set of ten terms with respect to one's feelings five minutes after orgasm.

Except for the fact that those attaining consistent orgasm were particularly inclined to state that they felt satisfied during and after orgasm, no other terms were significantly related to orgasm consistency. of course, any orgasm would be inhibited by the experience of some physical illness or condition, such as hiatus hernia or acid reflux, genital yeast infection or arthritis.

Those consistently reaching orgasm did not feel that descriptive terms such as "ecstatic," "as if I would burst," or "happy" were more applicable in describing orgasm than did those who had trouble or difficulty reaching orgasm. Similarly, there were no differences with respect to more negative terms such as "tired," "weak," "slightly embarrassed," and "slightly guilty."

Clitoral - Vaginal Stimulation

Another issue of interest is the lack of correlation between orgasm consistency and a measure of how much clitoral versus vaginal stimulation is preferred. Whether a woman is vaginally or clitorally oriented in her preference for sexual stimulation is in no way predictive of whether she will be able to reach orgasm.

There is no apparent superiority of either form of stimulation over the other in its orgasm arousal potential. Penile stimulation delivered to the vagina may indirectly transmit stimulation to the clitoral area. However, there is a very considerable amount of non-clitoral arousal produced by vaginal stimulation in its own right via vaginal stimulation of the G spot, stretching, and its psychological meaning (intimacy and fusion of body parts).

Looking at the data, one finds that a woman's preference for clitoral versus vaginal stimulation is not related to how frequently she engages in, or prefers to have, intercourse, or her own rating of her overall degree of sexual responsiveness, or how satisfied she feels during and after orgasm, or the strength and duration of her orgasm, or the amount of time required to attain orgasm, or the likelihood of having more than one orgasm in an hour period, or whether she feels pain during intercourse, or whether she is aware of images or fantasies in her mind during intercourse.

Interestingly, too, the clitoral-vaginal index has no relation to the degree to which vaginal pulsation is experienced during orgasm.

These negative findings just listed emphasize how difficult it is to distinguish basic differences between the response patterns of those differing on the clitoral - vaginal continuum.

There was, however, one distinction observed with respect to the quality of the orgasm experience. It was found that the greater a woman's preference for vaginal stimulation the less likely she is to characterize her orgasm as having produced an "ecstatic feeling."

That is, the ecstatic sensations seem to occur relatively more often in those who prefer clitoral stimulation. If further work continues to substantiate this finding, it would stand in direct opposition to the theorists who assert that vaginal stimulation produces a richer, more intense experience than does clitoral arousal.

Another point worth mentioning with regard to clitoral-vaginal arousal is that there is a consistent positive relationship (4 of 5) between the degree to which clitoral stimulation is preferred during intercourse and the degree to which the clitoral area (as compared to other genital areas) is judged to be most aroused during foreplay. It would also be interesting to know how fear of sex affected the frequency of orgasm in general and vaginal versus clitoral orgasm in particular.

Finally, it should be indicated that there is no relationship between clitoral-vaginal preference and either the amount of masturbation engaged in or the degree of enjoyment derived from it. This is interesting in view of the fact that clitoral stimulation involves manual manipulation in many ways analogous to masturbation; one might thus have expected the clitorally oriented to be more positive than the vaginally oriented to masturbation.

Continued here

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