THE FEMALE SEXUAL RESPONSE
This is a sequel to a previous article of mine titled, “The Male Sexual Response: How Long Does It Take To Cum?”
If you’re not up to 18 years, or you are, but you’re not comfortable with unrestricted mentioning of the female parts, neither are you with discussions bordering on sex, READ NO FURTHER! Or do so at your own peril.
Humans bearing the XX chromosome, genetic females, are sexually disadvantaged, cheated by nature. “How?” you may ask. But the answer is not far fetched.
Unlike their male counterpart,whose orgasm [ejaculation] is a prerequisite for conception, conception can occur irrespective of female orgasm. And because of this, little or no attention has been paid to the female orgasm over the ages.
Arguably, the principal biological purpose for sexual intercourse is conception and procreation. And because this can still happen, whether or not the female achieves orgasm, the primitive man must have assumed that the female orgasm, unlike the male’s, was of no use, and paid less attention to it. Over the ages, and across several civilizations, this mentality must have been handed down, and as a result, the female orgasm has become elusive– a form of “psychological evolution.”
Studies show that less than 30% of females as against over 90% of males, are able to achieve orgasm at will, or at least more than 90% of the time. Also, more than 30% of females live out their lives without ever experiencing orgasm, despite being sexually active.
Perhaps if the female orgasm were a prerequisite for conception, humans would have been running helter and skelter, just like they do for anovulation [failure of ovulation to occur]. And who knows, by now we may have found a way to ensure that a greater percentage of females achieve orgasm, more than 90% of the time.
We can’t put this on nature. No we can’t. We have to put it on our shortsightedness, lack of knowledge, and perhaps our selfishness. For nature, knowing fully well that the purpose of sex was not only for procreation, strategically placed the CLITORIS [ an organ whose sole purpose of existence is for sexual pleasure] directly above the vaginal entrance!
What more clue do we need?
📝 THE FEMALE SEXUAL RESPONSE
The female sexual response, just like the male’s, is divided into four phases: the phase of excitement/arousal, the plateau phase, the orgasmic phase, and then the phase of resolution.
However, unlike the male sexual response, which is almost strictly a linear model, the female response is more complex, varying from one individual to another, and even in different sexual cycles in one individual!
Thus while some may progress directly from arousal to orgasm, totally bypassing the plateau; others may move from excitement, through plateau, to resolution, bypassing the phase of orgasm.
Generally speaking, following exposure to an appropriate sexual stimulus [which ma be visual, auditory, psychic, tactile, or olfactory], the female’s body undergoes a myriad of physiological changes in preparation for sex, initiating the phase of excitement.
The first noticeable change is vasodilation of the vaginal blood vessels, with resultant lubrication of the walls of the vagina, giving a sensation of “wetness.” The essence of this is to aid penetration and repetitive in-and-out thrusts without frictional resistance. Also, water being a good conductor of current, this helps intensify the bioelectricity generated during sexual intercourse.
Other changes that heralds arousal, or excitement, includes nipple erection, vulval engorgement, enlargement of the clitoris, lengthening of the vagina, and the flushing of the skin [the so called “sex flush”]. Also, the pupils of the eyes becomes dilated and sexier, the heart quickens, and breathing accelerates.
In the plateau phase, these changes becomes more intense, preparing the body further for satisfaction and orgasm.
At the peak of excitement, orgasm occurs with resultant release of sexual tension, and rapid return of the body to its pre-arousal state– a phenomenon known as resolution.
Without orgasm, resolution takes longer to occur. This resultant clumsiness in the resolution of the engorgement in the female genitalia and pelvis, in some, may lead to varying degrees of discomfort, and may be perceived psychologically as “frustration.”
It is important to note that– unlike in males, where the phase of resolution is marked by a refractory period– the phase of resolution in females has no period of refraction, and as such, MULTIPLE ORGASMS is possible with continuous stimulation.
However, in some women, further stimulation, after orgasm, may lead to pain and discomfort, instead of pleasure.
📝 THE FEMALE ORGASM
The female orgasm is an “out of the world” feeling of intense pleasure, and release of sexual tension, that is the climax of a sexual experience in females. It is characterized by involuntary, rhythmic contraction of the perineal muscles, the vagina, and the uterus.
Unfortunately, not all women get to experience this in their entire reproductive career. This is partly because, unlike the male orgasm –which is simple and straightforward, with a defined pathway– it is complex, and like a maze, has several routes to the same destination.
The pathway to the female orgasm differs, changing from one woman to another, and in some cases, from one sexual encounter to another, in the same woman!
Statistically speaking, studies show that nearly half of women [47% to be precise], who experience orgasm, had their first ever orgasm through masturbation [and were able to repeat that “feat” subsequently, during heterosexual intercourse, by guiding their male partners to the right parts]; about 1/3 had their first orgasm through penetrative sex; while the remaining fraction experienced it first by mere foreplay! Yes, foreplay! The female orgasm is weird like that.
Generally speaking, the female orgasm is of two types, with several intermediate varieties. The two types are vaginal and clitoral orgasms.
🔕 VAGINAL ORGASM
Vaginal orgasm occurs from continuous stimulation of the vaginal walls by an erect penis, fingers, dildos, or any other suitable object.
Given that the vaginal walls are not that rich with excitatory nerve endings, it is more difficult to achieve, and thus rarer [only about 25% of women achieve orgasm from vaginal sex alone].
However, it becomes easier with continuous stimulation of the Graffenberg’s spot [“G-spot”], an area in the anterior wall of the vagina with enormous amount of excitatory nerve endings.
[There has been an unending argument, within the scientific community, whether there’s an anatomic evidence for the existence of the G-spot, or not. However, one certainty has been established– that physiologically speaking, there’s a highly erogenous zone, in the anterior wall of the vagina, that causes an intense pleasure in most women when directly stimulated. There’s an ultrasound evidence to this claim. And more interestingly, functional MRI shows explosive activity, in the brain pleasure centre, that is out of proportion with the norm, following direct stimulation of this area.]
With a woman lying down, and facing upwards, a finger inserted few inches deep, and hooked in such a way as to “scratch the roof,” can easily locate this erogenous area. Also certain sex positions are said to increase the chances of direct stimulation of this area by the erect penis.
🔕 CLITORAL ORGASM
This is the type of orgasm that comes from direct stimulation of the clitoris with a finger, tongue, vibrator, or any other suitable material.
The clitoris has an enormous aggregation of nerve endings, and is the most sensitive part of a female’s body.
Interestingly, it has only one function in the body: provision of sexual pleasure.
However it is important to note that being overtly sensitive also means that overstimulation may cause intense pain.
There’s a myth that says that clitoral orgasm is more intense than vaginal orgasm. It is important to note that this is not true as both forms of orgasm are basically the same.
📝 ACHIEVING ORGASM: ROLE OF THE FEMALE
A lot about achieving orgasm in a female is dependent on the female. Unlike in males where orgasm is mechanical, the female orgasm requires a lot of “rituals” both in the psychological and physical plain.
As stated above, almost 50% of women who achieves orgasm experienced their first orgasm during self pleasuring, that is masturbation. Studies show that women who explore their bodies, and are comfortable with it, understands their bodies better, and are more likely to have an orgasm, during peno-vaginal intercourse, as they are more likely to guide their male partners to the right parts.
Hence communication is also very important, as it helps the man know what he is doing right, what he’s not, and how it could best be done.
Sometimes, the female can also take it “upon herself” to bring herself to orgasm during a peno-vaginal sexual intercourse. This can be done in a lot of ways, for example stimulating the clitoris while the man thrusts away, or being in the dominant position, and going back and forth– rubbing the clitoris on the man’s pubis, instead of hopping up and down.
📝 ACHIEVING ORGASM: ROLE OF THE MALE
Most females needs to feel loved, beautiful, relaxed, psychologically prepared, before they can achieve sexual satisfaction and/or orgasm.
Sex for a female is More than just the act itself; it is more about the acts leading up to the sex, than the sex itself. Men need to understand this.
The importance of cuddling and a CREATIVE foreplay cannot be overemphasized. As stated above, a fraction of women can achieve orgasm and/or sexual satisfaction by just cuddling. Scientifically speaking, cuddling, and certain acts of foreplay such as nibbling and sucking on the nipples, releases enormous amounts of the “cuddle” or “love hormone,” oxytocin, which aids in achieving orgasm. [NB: currently research is underway on how to prepare commercial forms of oxytocin that will aid the female sexual response, and ultimately orgasm]
“The vagina is the ideal organ to stimulate the penis and lead men to orgasm, but the penis is not always the ideal organ to lead women to orgasm,” says Nelson Soucasoux, a gynaecologist.
No truer words! Fact is that while the penis may be the ideal organ for sex for the purpose of procreation, as it introduces sperm-laden semen into the female genital tract, it may not always be ideal for sex for the purpose of pleasure. The reason is that being controlled by a not-so-dexterous part of the body, the “waist,” its prowess is limited to “monotonous” thrusting. [Little wonder, then, why more than 75 to 80% of women never achieve orgasm by penetrative, peno-vaginal sex alone!]
For this purpose therefore, use of fingers, lips, and tongues– parts of the body that can be more easily controlled with dexterity, is advisable for maximum pleasure. Not only does these enable one to reach and stimulate parts that may not easily be accessible to the penis, it also gives a different “feel,” spicing up the experience.
And there are no rules, there shouldn’t be any rules rather; the above three, can be combined, and/or alternated in various ways for maximum pleasure. I will let your imaginations run wild with different shades of creativity at this point.
📝 SEXUAL SATISFACTION and ORGASM.
It is important to note that the above two are not the same; one can achieve sexual satisfaction without orgasm.
As a matter of fact, people should not make orgasm the sole goal of sex as that creates unnecessary pressure which most times is counterproductive.
People should rather have sex to enjoy themselves, with no unnecessary pressures. That way, satisfaction would almost always come as a matter of certainty, and who knows, orgasm may follow as jara, if things are done right.
1. This article was written from the point of view of science and evidence-based research. And as such, it should not be read with a religio-moralistic bias. If your faith, for example, frowns on masturbation and oral sex, well jump the lines where they were mentioned and pass.
2. The female orgasm is not yet fully understood. And as such, there are no hard and fast rules to achieving it. The aim of this article was just to bring to notice the facts, about the female orgasm, as they are known today, with the hope that couples would have better understanding of it, and would exploit that knowledge to their benefit in “the other room.”
Dr Chibuike Joseph