A BBC documentary ‘The Human Body’ presented by Dr Robert Winston films a sex education class.
The teacher, after writing up the word ‘SEX’ in large letters on the blackboard, asks the teenagers to suggest other words associated with sex. Some time later, the teacher asks the class for the one word that is missing and, after a pause, writes the word ‘LOVE’ on the board.
Despite modern contraception, sex still involves the risk of pregnancy, sexual disease and considerable emotional turmoil (!). So we promote the link between sex and love to ensure that young people understand the responsibilities associated with a sexual relationship.
A girl of sixteen came out to the South of France one summer. On her first night she met an Australian whose self-confessed ambition was to lay every woman in the resort. She fell for his chat and blond good looks and lost her virginity. The next day he moved on (mission accomplished so to speak) and she was devastated.
Fathers are protective of their daughters for this very reason. They know that sex drive causes a young man to be highly focused on his own orgasm and that any idea of a relationship is likely to be the last thing on his mind. Since a woman does not get the same easy pleasure from sex, she offers a man short-term pleasure in the hope of longer-term companionship, mutual support and family (or a sense of belonging), sometimes referred to as ‘commitment’.
If young women are hoping for more than a ‘one night stand’ then they are best advised to make a man wait (at least a date or two) for sex. It won’t do a man any lasting harm to wait and if he is interested in you as a person then he will be willing to allow time for trust and respect to develop.
Casual sex is usually about the ego trip
In the long run, most of us find that having sex with someone we know and love adds something special to the experience. But that does not mean that sex and love are the same thing. Sex is raunchy, exhilarating, orgasmic and fun. Love is caring and nurturing. The two can go together or side-by-side but they are different. Women’s sexual expectations in our society are often confused with softer images of love and romance.
Sex education for teenagers (especially girls) should cover not only the reproductive facts but also how they can enjoy a sexual relationship. Most women who experience orgasm do so through masturbation or oral sex. Telling teenagers to limit their sexual experiences to intercourse makes it less likely that a woman might learn how to enjoy her own orgasm. Vaginal intercourse may lead to family but it was never intended to facilitate female orgasm, either physically or psychologically.
“In some cases, it was not even clear to the woman herself whether there had been an orgasm or merely high levels of arousal.” (p199 The Hite Report 1976)
Not every woman is attracted to eroticism and so many women miss out on the sexual fantasies that lead to women’s sexual arousal and orgasm. Shere Hite referred to women’s experience of heightened arousal as ’emotional orgasms’ to differentiate them from real female orgasms. Perhaps the term ’emotional orgasm’ is unhelpful.
Another way of differentiating between women’s experience of orgasm is by asking about the impact of the relationship. Some women explain their experience of orgasm through their relationship and the idea that their partner finds them sexually attractive. Many women never learn to explore their sexuality either through masturbation or through activities other than sexual intercourse and so they miss out on enjoying sexual pleasure and their own sexual arousal and orgasm.
A woman who enjoys orgasm through masturbation can enjoy orgasm quite separately from her relationship because her sexual psychology is driven through sexual fantasies. Each of these experiences is no better than the other but simply different.