Orgasm: Did She?

Couple Making Love

Guys, do you believe your female partner experienced orgasm during your most recent sexual experience together? Apparently, 1 out of 5 of you have answered that question incorrectly.

"While 85 percent of men perceived that their partner had had an orgasm the last time they had sex, only 64 percent of women said they actually had climaxed. While men were more likely to orgasm with vaginal intercourse, women generally needed a wider variety of activities.

"We can't help but notice the gender gap between male and female orgasms, men being a little bit clueless about their partner having an orgasm or maybe they're getting bad information," said Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle and a member of the Trojan Sexual Health Advisory Council." SourceCited Medical Reference

The following quote would appear to confirm this rate of orgasm for women during partnered sex, for residence of Australia.

"Richters et a1.(2006) confirmed that women have orgasm only 69% of their encounters with men, and these most often are the result of manual or oral stimulation." (Quote source has been deleted from internet)

The cited study found 95% of men experienced orgasm during their most recent experience of partnered sex. For women aged 16-19, 52% experienced orgasm. For men aged 16-19, 84% experienced orgasm. Cited Medical Reference

Statistics published in 2011 for the U.S. are available here.

Of Course I Did!

One of the most inappropriate questions to ask a woman after you have made love to her is reported to be, "Did you have an orgasm?" A woman's likely response to this question will be, "Well of course I did!" or "If you really cared about me you would know!" That is if she is still on speaking terms with you and you are not sleeping on the couch. Her reaction to this question may be very negative regardless of whether she experienced orgasm, real or faked. This is because of the social expectations placed upon her. Society leads us to believe she would naturally have had an orgasm, because it is required of her, if she is to be considered a normal and modern woman.

Social Pressure

While female orgasm was overlooked in the past, discarded, now it is assumed all women have them. In fact, now they may be required to have more than one, and to have them quickly. They are also expected to be orgasmic regardless of the type of stimulation their partner provides, or their partner's sexual skill and knowledge. All the women on television and in the movies do, especially adult movies that show people having "real sex." The front covers of women's magazines at the store checkout counter inform us how every woman can have "mind-blowing orgasms," if they follow the "simple" suggestions inside. Romance novels, as well as movies, are full of women who are orgasmic at the mere touch of a man or woman. A woman may believe all her friends have orgasms during partnered sex, as they have never told her otherwise, and she is not usually permitted to ask. Women are never taught how to have an orgasm so they must occur instinctively and automatically. They should simply lie there and have an orgasm, right? If they do not have an orgasm, they are not fulfilling their obligation to their partner and society.

Perception of Orgasm

Despite our expectations, it is not always easy to tell if a woman has had an orgasm. Few women present all the classic signs of sexual arousal and orgasm, as presented in textbooks and on this website. Even if they do, it is hard to be aware of them during sexual passion. These indications of orgasm are based on watching multiple women experience orgasm in a laboratory environment, not the bedroom with the lights off and the bedcovers pulled up. The "data" collected was used to compile a list of common physical responses. These common responses have become "expectations" versus possibilities. This is where mechanics can interfere with pleasure; when one tries to meet a definition they were never intended to. You cannot check off boxes on an orgasm scorecard to determine if you or your partner has experienced orgasm. The only way to know if a woman has experienced orgasm is by her telling you that she has, because it really comes down to whether she has "perceived" that she has, not whether it looks or feels like she did.

There is no foolproof way of knowing if a woman has had an orgasm, even for the woman herself. The physical qualities of a woman's orgasms, and as a result her perception of them, is likely to change from orgasm to orgasm. There are times when she may not know whether she has actually had an orgasm, versus intense pleasure, which can at times be more enjoyable than an orgasm. If a woman has an orgasm that does not automatically mean she experienced pleasure, or at least intense pleasure. An orgasm can be boring! A woman's orgasm may produce so little physical sensation she may wonder if it was actually an orgasm. Betty Dodson says she has witnessed women experiencing orgasm when they did not perceive they were, other women just do not know if they do, not knowing for sure, but they think they do. If a woman is unlikely to know whether she has experienced orgasm in every instance, is it reasonable to expert her partner to know?

Learning to Fake It!

Add to this the fact that most young men and women have no idea what a woman looks, sounds, and feels like during orgasm, because they have never been taught this information. If anything, society makes every effort to prevent young people from having access to it. We consider it abnormal and harmful if a child or teenager should witness a woman or their peers having an orgasm. Society makes little or no effort to teach people about female sexual pleasure and orgasm. What we do teach people is not an accurate representation of reality.

"Having worked at a TV station where I had to censor theatrical films for air, I can attest to the fact that one of the things that management felt was most objectionable was people enjoying sex. Rapes scenes could often be left in a movie but never a woman enjoying an orgasm -- even if you saw nothing and only heard the sounds of her pleasure. " — Beth Accomando January 17, 2012

Are movies and television a good source of information, especially given that most often the orgasms and sexual pleasure they portray are faked? If anything, this is why orgasms are frequently faked during "real" sex; fifty-five percent of women fake orgasm at least occasionally. We teach girls and women how to fake orgasm, and in turn their partner is taught to expect fake orgasms. Imagine the possibilities if both were taught about real orgasms.

Should You Ask?

Should you ask your partner if she experienced orgasm? While it is not a bad question to ask, it is perhaps not the best one. This is because you are likely in a situation of not being able to do anything about it if they did not. By this I mean, you cannot go back in time, and the desire and opportunity for sex may have passed if you wait until after the sexual experience to ask her. If they have not, all you can do about it is feel a little disappointed, either in yourself or your partner, or both. As a result, the question that needs to be asked is, "Do you want to have an orgasm?" and that question needs to be asked at the onset of the experience. You want to be proactive versus reactive.

Taking Responsibility

The primary thing that must occur is for a woman to take responsibility for her own sexual pleasure and satisfaction. She cannot leave it to chance, or dream of finding her knight in shining armor, they usually only exist in fairy tales. Each woman must decide how important her sexual pleasure is to her. The more important it is, the more effort she, not her partner, must put into experiencing it. She must also define what is pleasurable to her, not mold herself into someone she is not. While it sounds cold and unromantic, she must see her partner as an instrument for her pleasure, as a tool at her disposal, to be used for her benefit. This is how society permitted men to view women in the past. As long as both partners hold this same view of the other, neither becomes a sexual object, because in the process of fulfilling their own desires, they will fulfill their partner's. That is, if they are both honest, and as equally giving as they are selfish.

Does She Have the Desire and Ability?

Next a woman must decide whether she wants and is able to have an orgasm at the onset of each sexual experience. Women often fake orgasm because they do not want to have an orgasm, or know their body well enough to know one is not likely to occur during the forth-coming sexual experience. They may want to engage in sex because they enjoy the physical intimacy and pleasure, even if orgasm is not a possibility. If a woman wants to have an orgasm, and it is possible, she needs to communicate this to her partner up front. She can be forthright by saying, "I want to have an orgasm," or she may want to request a form of sex that will most likely result in an orgasm. She can say, "Give me oral pleasure." If she does not want to have an orgasm, or is not likely to have one, she can say, "Tonight is for you," or "I want to give you pleasure." She also has to be able to say "no" and "stop." If during cunnilingus she realizes she is not going to experience orgasm, she needs to say, "You can stop now if you want," or simply, "Please stop." I realize this does not fall within the guidelines of what we consider romantic sex, but then neither is faking orgasm. A woman really needs to be honest with herself and her partner if she is to truly enjoy sex, regardless of whether orgasm occurs or not. A woman must communicate clearly to her partner what she means by her statements and actions prior to the sexual act. A woman must clearly state what she wants and needs, even if that entails clearly stating you do not know what you want. Ladies, your partner is not a mind reader, and you did not come with an owner's manual!

Whose Pleasure is it Anyways?

What should a woman's partner do? They must acknowledge and accept that her pleasure and orgasms are for her benefit, not their own. Increasingly, men and women expect women to orgasm on command. They want women to orgasm quickly and repeatedly during every sexual experience. Not simply because they want to give their partner pleasure, but also to demonstrate their own sexual skill and prowess. They want to live up to society's expectations. They want bragging rights, even if they cannot actually brag to their friends and family. They want to feel good knowing they achieved this "goal." This has understandably resulted in women feeling pressured to have orgasms, to make their partner happy, to live up to their partner's and society's expectations. Since these are unrealistic expectations, women frequently fake orgasm to make their partner feel better about themselves. To help prevent this, a woman's partner must give her permission not to have an orgasm, and ask her not to fake orgasm.

Perhaps a woman's partner can say to her, "I understand women often fake orgasm and there are times when you may do this. If you have felt the need to fake orgasm in the past, and should feel the need to do so in the future, I would prefer that you did not. I want you to know you have my permission not to have an orgasm, if you should feel you cannot or do not want to have one. If you do want to have an orgasm, tell me so and tell me how I can best help you to have an orgasm." This is an only an example of what you can say, and these words may not be best for you or the relationship. This conversation should take place in the kitchen or living room, not the bedroom. Open communication is essential.

Treat Every Experience as if it Were the Very First

A woman's partner should view each sexual experience with her as though it were their very first. This is because you do not know what she really wants until she tells you. After she has told you, you do not know what will satisfy her needs until you try, and just because it worked the last time does not mean it will work again. If you have been together for twenty years, do you expect her to want the same thing over and over again? Just because something worked one hundred times before does not mean it will work one hundred and one times. Women, as well as men, are not machines with a set program of needs and responses that never change. Even though we often have a very narrow view of what our partner wants and desires, even if we have never asked, or she has never told us. Society tells us what they should want and we assume that is what they want. Doing this is a gigantic mistake. A woman's partner must be adaptable and accepting of her needs. To really fulfill a woman's needs, her partner must act as if they know nothing and be accepting of her expressed wishes and desires without reservation.

What Does She Want and Need?

Once you accept that you do not know what her needs are, you must find out what they are. How do you do that? Many would say read a book about female sexuality, or perhaps visit a website such as this one. The problem with this advice is, your partner probably did not write the book or create the website. Neither may be an accurate or complete guide of who she is or what her needs are, though some may try to convince otherwise. If you really want to know what a woman wants, you have to ask her. While she may know, she also may not.

The greater a woman's level of knowledge, experience, and acceptance of her sexuality, the better idea she may have of her needs. If she has never engaged in masturbation or partnered sex she probably has no idea of what her needs are and how best to meet them. She may only know what she is expected to enjoy, which is quite possibly not what she really wants and needs. Since women do change with time, because of changes in their mind and body, caused by their menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and life's ups and downs, they wont always know what they want and need. The same is true of men of course. You have to look at it as an adventure.

Become an Explorer

If you want to be a great lover, you first have to be a great explorer. To be a great explorer, you have to put the books and keyboards away and go do some field research. You have to ask questions and test your ideas. If in the process of exploring you do not make some wrong turns, find yourself at times lost, or have some failed attempts, you did not really do any exploring. If at times you are not frustrated or embarrassed, you have never challenged yourself. If you never experience failure, you may be an okay lover, but you will never be a lover your partner cherishes. He or she who has never failed has never experienced greatness!

Eliminate the Need to Ask

What if orgasm does occur, how does her partner know? If a woman has an orgasm she should communicate this to her partner, not expect them to instinctively know. She can simply state, "Thanks you," "I had an orgasm," or "Thanks for the wonderful orgasm." She should not expect her partner to know that she did, even if she thinks or feels it was obviously to her that she did. It is also a good idea for both individuals to thank their partner for the pleasure they receive, even if orgasm does not occur.

When Her Wants Go Unfulfilled

Couples should be open to the possibility of situations where the woman's partner thinks she has had an orgasm when she actually has not. After a sexual experience a woman's partner may be feeling content when she is feeling frustrated and disappointed, because of this misinterpretation of events. This happens because it is not uncommon for women to present the common signs or indications of orgasm during sexual arousal. A woman's partner, on hearing her suddenly cry out or upon feeling her thighs or vagina twitch, may believe she has had an orgasm, and stop providing sexual stimulation. One way to help prevent this is for a woman to be aggressive during sex, by taking control of what her partner does. Do not allow your partner to stop until you have had an orgasm, if that is what you want. Tell them not to stop, do not be afraid to use mild physical force to get what you want and need. If you sense they are stopping or slowing down, do not be afraid to ask otherwise. If you really want something, you have to let them know. Do not abuse your partner in the process, but don't allow your needs to go unfulfilled.

Communication

If after sex a woman did not have an orgasm, even though she wanted to, she needs to communicate this to her partner. The couple needs to address ways of preventing this in the future, when possible. Perhaps after dinner the next day she can ask her partner if they can "discuss" their prior night's sexual experience. They should eliminate all forms of distrations, like the TV. She can then explain how she wanted to have an orgasm, but was not able to, and possibly explain why. She needs to be sensitive of her partner's feelings, but be honest never the less. Once she has presented her side, she needs to ask her partner to present theirs. Both need to ask questions until they understand what each is saying. Once they both know both sides of the situation, and not before, they can consider the possible solutions. It may simply be a case where her partner did not know she wanted them to stimulate her longer, but were willing had they known, or they were simply too tired to continue. It may also be a case where they do not know how to stimulate her to orgasm, and she needs to teach them. They may need to discuss the possibility that she needs and/or wants to masturbate, alone or togther, if this situation should occur again. If a woman does not communicate her desire for orgasm to her partner, she will likely find her desires are never fulfilled.

When Orgasm Becomes a Barrier to Pleasure

Couples need to be open to the idea that orgasm can be a barrier to sexual pleasure. Couples often see orgasm as the red light of sex, the signal to stop. Both partners go for as long as the light is green, meaning orgasm has not occurred. That means sexual pleasure only takes place prior to and during orgasm. What if both partners have an orgasm within five minutes of initiating sex? Compare this situation to on in which one or both patners have difficulty experiencing orgasm, and as a result they engage in sex for thirty to sixty minutes. Which couple has the greatest potential for experiencing sexual pleasure? Surprisingly, not the couple who experiences orgasm quickly, if at all. Orgasm is like a fireworks show, dazzling while it lasts, but always over too soon. Do not make orgasm the sole goal of sex or intimacy.

There is More to Sex than Orgasm

Once orgasm becomes the sole purpose of sex, sex can become boring and unsatisfying, regardless of whether an orgasm is experienced. Orgasm is simply one form of sexual pleasure, and not necessarily the most ideal. Experiencing orgasm does not mean you will experience intense sexual pleasure or achieve sexual fulfillment. Giving your partner an orgasm does not automatically make you a great lover, especially if you expect them to. Yes, orgasms can feel wonderful, and make life more enjoyable, but one must not place unreasonable expectation upon them. When orgasm is expected, they become the source of frustration, not the means of relaxation.

View orgasms as though they were like chocolate ice cream. Some people do not like chocolate and others are allergic to it. Even when people do like chocolate icecream, they don't necessarily want it every single time they have ice cream, and there are times when you can have it, but know it is better to go without.