Libido Female - Female Sexual Experience
Female Sexual Experience
One perspective on Women's Sexual Experience
Sally and Joanne
As a result of the significant number and complexity of the responses received with respect to women's loss of interest in sex, we decided to provide a brief overview of one well known author on the subject of women's sexuality.
From 1972 to 1976, Shere Hite, a graduate history student, conducted extensive and intensive qualitative research by mailing out thousands of detailed questionnaires to the women of the United States. She received 3,500 anonymous replies from a wide and varied population with responses providing the most intimate and enlightening information ever before received from women about their sexual lives. Although, her research methodology has been questioned and the validity of her results devalued, it is a very interesting view of women's sexuality. Even though this research was conducted in 1976, the information is still very relevant and hopefully will provide some reassurance to whomever reviews this article.
The following information was obtained from the Hite Report on Female Sexuality, 1976, published in:
Hite, Shere. Women as Revolutionary Agents of Change: Selected essays in psychology and gender 1972-1993. London: Bloomsbury, 1993.
- Approximately 70% of women do not have orgasm from vaginal intercourse, but do have them from more direct clitoral stimulation.
- 82% of respondents indicated that they masturbate with 95% of those,reporting easily achieving orgasm whenever they wanted.
- Women stressed that they valued touching and closeness more than just as a prelude to intercourse.
- Age is not a factor in female sexuality. Older women are not less sexual than younger women. They are often more sexual.
- Orgasm during intercourse usually resulted from a conscious effort on behalf of the woman to obtain some kind of clitoral contact for herself.
Ms. Hite provided the following commentary on the findings of her research:
- Within the dominant pattern of heterosexual interaction, male pleasure is primary.
- There is nothing "wrong" with women who do not achieve orgasm with vaginal sex alone.
- Our whole society's definition of sex (act) is sexist-sex for the overwhelming majority of people consists of foreplay, eventually followed by vaginal penetration and then by intercourse ending eventually with male orgasm.
- Men make their own orgasms during sex; women should be able to as well.
In summary, women have often considered themselves "frigid" or "abnormal" as they have been unable to achieve orgasm during vaginal intercourse. However, the findings suggest that intercourse without orgasm is not necessarily indicative of any sort of problem. The research highlights that women have to take responsibility for their own orgasm. As such, both partners are encouraged to explore alternate methods of enhancing sexual intimacy and pleasure.