Female sexuality and intercourse
For men who want to know more about female sexuality and satisfying their partners during intercourse (especially if she doesn’t reach orgasm easily)
It is difficult for the layman to appreciate the enormous influence which the mind exerts over our sexual functioning. An almost innumerable variety of psychological reactions can affect our sexual performance. The smallest incident can create such a psychological block that we are prevented absolutely from obtaining the natural conclusion of sexual arousal relief of tension through orgasm. The causes of psychologically induced partial impotence in men are numerous enough, but the psychological causes of anorgasmia are even more so. They fall, on the whole, into two chief categories – those which have the relationship with the husband or partner as their mainspring, and those which have a wide spectrum of non-relationship bases.
Let us take the relationship causes first. Jane had been happily married, so she claimed, to her husband, James, for three years. During all that time, he had only been able to make her come to orgasm during the first six months or so of married life. She was twenty-seven when she became James’s wife, and had given up a very responsible and lucrative job to marry. She and James had had sexual intercourse six times before they married, and had never failed to enjoy the experience and reach orgasm. He had no signs of retarded ejaculation and she had no problems or difficulty in achieving orgasm.
‘Looking back,’ she told me, ‘it was good fun during the first few months we were married, but gradually I became conscious of my desire getting less and less, and my ability to reach orgasm correspondingly impaired. By the end of eight months, whatever James did during sex play, though I used to respond physically to his stimulation I had little or no arousal sensations, and even if he prolonged sex play for an hour or more, he still could not make his woman orgasm during sex. I love him, and in all other aspects of our life together, we were happy. Recently, though, I’ve sensed that James is beginning to lose interest. I wouldn’t blame him if he were. I have a suspicion that he’s got another girl-friend and it’s because I still care for him enough not to want to share him that I’ve come to you.’
‘Why have you waited so long?’ I asked her. ‘Well, after about a year with nothing happening we did go to see our doctor. I suggested it, because James was getting into such a state. He blamed himself, said he was a failure as a lover, and was becoming so frustrated that his temper was suffering terribly, and we nearly always finished our lovemaking with a row. The doctor told us that what was happening to me happened to a lot of women, and that everything would be all right after we’d had a baby. So we had Mark, but everything isn’t all right. In fact, things are getting worse.’ It was these last few sentences that gave me the clue.
“How are you coping with the baby?” I asked. She looked at me puzzled, and said just a little bit aggressively, “Quite well. Why do you ask?” “I wondered whether you might be finding having to devote so much of your time to him a bit of a chore.” “Oh, I see,” she replied. “Well, he does make quite a bit of extra work, naturally, and I’ve always found housekeeping rather frustrating, I’m afraid.” Now I was sure I was on the right track. Jane’s trouble in reaching orgasm during lovemaking with James, I believed, had its origins in the fact that James had insisted that she should give up her job when they got married. It could also have had its origins in the fact that she was not aroused enough, and that she needed great sexual stimulation, such as that which could have been achieved by use of the sybian orgasm machine (details here)
When I put it to her that she missed her work and would be delighted to go back to it, she was honest enough to admit it straight away. She was naturally somewhat startled when I suggested that she was resentful towards James for depriving her of her career, and she resisted at first. But as we talked I managed to show her that what I was suggesting was fact. Not only was she resentful towards James for depriving her of her career, her resentment was also fanned by the success James was so obviously making of his own career. The extra work the baby made only served to accentuate the resentment.
Jane found it very hard to believe that unconsciously she was deliberately withholding her orgasm in order to punish James for depriving her of her career, but she was an intelligent girl and eventually was able to accept my diagnosis. The difficulty remained, nevertheless, in finding a practical solution to her problem, because very often though the psychological block may be uncovered, the recognition of it does not necessarily make the difficulty magically disappear.
The baby of course complicated matters because he was so young. She could not take a job outside the home immediately, but I thought it might go some way towards a solution if James would agree that as soon as their domestic circumstances permitted he would not object to Jane taking a job. He had vetoed her carrying on with her job after marriage because he believed in the rather old-fashioned idea that a husband should be able to support his wife without her having to work. He admitted this and added that his business colleagues might think he could not afford to support her himself; in other words, that he was not being all that successful. But he was now so patently successful, that no one would believe he could not support his family, and he was able to accept this point.
Well, he agreed that Jane should have a job, and though she knew that it would not be for a year or two, she could accept the promise he had given her. I had not expected Jane to have an orgasm the first time they made love; I thought it might take a little time for her to get used to their new understanding. It was obvious, however, that though she had unconsciously resented him so bitterly, she had been telling the truth when she had told me she loved him. I suggested that if possible they should place Mark with one of his grandmothers for a couple of nights, and that they should go off by themselves for a weekend. They were able to arrange it. Early on Monday morning Jane rang me.
I could tell from her voice that something had happened. ‘It’s wonderful,’ she said. ‘It seems as though we hardly stopped enjoying sex all the weekend, and I came every time. I can’t tell you how often I had an orgasm! I don’t know now whether I shall ever go back to work, but it makes all the difference knowing that if ever I want to, James won’t say no.’ This shows how how easily unconscious attitudes towards the sexual relationship can affect the physical sexual functioning quite drastically. Resentment against the partner is only one of the causes of psychologically induced sexual dysfunction.