We as women are supposedly the more sensitive sex. We differ from the male ‘players’ and are, supposed to be more likely to achieve orgasm with someone we know and trust. But is that really true?
Recently I wrote a blog about women having orgasms while they were working out in the gym. These orgasms were quite unexpected and not the result of sexual thoughts or physical stimulation. The exercises which hit the spot centred around the core abdominal muscles — produced this phenomenon and given the name ‘coregasm’.
The female orgasm is as diverse as it is fascinating, and we’re still a long way from understanding it. But, I do believe that women are able to experience a feeling of sexual arousal every bit as easily and intensely as men can.
For too long, our views on the female orgasm have been mired in misconceptions based on old-fashioned ideas of how women should behave. Science just doesn’t bear most of it out.
The truth is, very little research has ever been done into women’s sexuality. And what research was done, for example by Masters and Johnson in the Fifties — the ‘pioneers’ who recorded some of the first laboratory data on the anatomy and physiology of human sexual response — was very heavily influenced by the culture of the time, which assumed that women didn’t really enjoy sex.
They were right in a way. Many women didn’t. But how much of this was because both sexes were so ignorant about the mechanics of the female body?
A generation ago, most people hadn’t even heard of female erogenous zones and, if they had, they certainly didn’t talk about them. In fact, to this day, there’s still debate over whether the G-spot even exists, let alone what its actual role is during orgasm.
So thank heavens scientists are finally exploring the issue of what happens to a woman’s body during sex coolly and objectively. Some of the findings have been pretty explosive.
Australian psychiatrist Prof Lorraine Dennerstein recently embarked on a large-scale study of the sexual responses and habits of menopausal women, which will revisit them over many years.
Many hoped that Dennerstein and her colleagues would find some kind of smoking gun — something lacking in older women that could be linked to a decrease in sexual desire as women aged.
Instead, she found something more curious. The biggest factor regarding whether an older woman was enjoying an active sex life? Not her weight, her health, or even her hormonal status. It was whether or not she had a new partner.
That’s right — women enjoyed more orgasms if they were having sex with a new man.
Other studies have shown, that some women can climax purely by having less obvious parts of their body stimulated, such as their breasts. There is also scientific backing for the idea that for females, sexual satisfaction is ‘literally all in the mind’.
Emerita Professor Beverly Whipple at Rutgers University, in the U.S. — who pioneered the discovery of the G-spot in 1982 — found in 2004 how some women with spinal injuries can have orgasms simply by thinking themselves into the mood.
In short, the biggest sexual organ could well be the brain.
The implication is that women’s brains behave differently when experiencing pleasure according to whether they are alone or with a partner. It also suggests that a woman’s solo orgasm may be different to one she experiences with another person.
Perhaps the most important message is that when it comes to discovering how our bodies work, we are at the start of a long and fascinating journey.
A workout at the gym? A series of sexy thoughts? A loving evening under the marital duvet with a long-term partner, or a passionate clash with a new boyfriend? They all have their ways of leaving us satisfied.
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