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reaching orgasm


Orgasm can be reached by oneself and with oneself, or in conjunction with a partner who either helps or inhibits the process.  I don't propose to go into the physiological causes and effects of the actual experience of orgasm because any sexology text will do that.  My purpose in writing this is to discover how sex affects us as human beings, our feelings, perceptions and behaviours.

Put clinically, orgasm is the pleasurable outcome of a series of physical changes in the body brought about by direct or indirect stimulation of specific areas.  It is a reflex and so is perfectly natural and achievable.  Being unable to attain orgasm, therefore, is the exceptional behaviour — but it should never be seen as a failure.  More likely it is because of the existence of a mental or emotional block in the individual.

It is a baby's natural tendency to touch itself, including the genital areas.  We are born sexual, but a baby's impulse is not sexual in the usual sense of the word.  It is purely a tactile response and based on curiosity about its own physical reality.  As the baby grows, however, sensations will become 'sexual' and certainly pleasurable.  By the time a child is seven or eight, it may very well feel the desire to masturbate and reach orgasm.  A boy can feel the sensations of an orgasm but will not ejaculate until puberty.

Girls may be unaware that touching themselves is masturbation as such.  It just feels nice and may or may not end in a climax.

When teenage boys and girls start dating, mutual masturbation is often the first activity they engage in.  Orgasm is relatively easy to achieve in this way if both parties know what to do.  It's in sexual intercourse that problems can manifest for the first time.

Male sexuality is more overt and available, thus orgasm is simpler and usually automatic.  Many teenage boys ejaculate within seconds of stimulation and this can be the start of a lifelong problem with premature ejaculation.

Unless a boy specifically knows the location and use of a clitoris, he may not be able to bring a girl to orgasm, and may not even realise he should try.  In intercourse, this problem becomes more pronounced as there is usually very little foreplay involved in teenage sex and the average girl simply gets left behind.

Social attitudes come into play here as well.  From a young age, boys and girls are taught that there are different standards for each gender.  Boys must 'perform' and 'do things' to the girl.  The girl should preferably lie there and enjoy it, but not too much.  With this attitude, girls can grow into women who either endure their husband's caresses or never fully enjoy sex.  If you think I'm behind the times in saying this, talk to the many nonorgasmic women walking around — you may be surprised to find that they're your sisters and neighbours and friends.  Even in this enlightened age, many, many women do not know how, or are afraid, to let go sexually, to explore their potential in an area which is virtually unlimited.

I often have clients who tell me that they enjoy sex with their husbands but feel 'no need to climax'.  I not only find this puzzling, I find it very sad that women should deny themselves the pleasure of sexual fulfilment in this way. They are participants in their partners' sexual pleasure yet never tap into their own deep well of sexuality and sensuality.  We women need to stop thinking of orgasm as an 'optional extra' but as a natural conclusion to arousal.  If a man expects to have an orgasm every time he has sex, then so should a woman.

I am not talking about women's rights.  This is not a matter of principle; it's a matter of love — self-love, and knowing that you're allowed the same experiences and privileges as your partner, whichever sex you are.  A lot of men feel that, since the improvement of women's status in society, they are now pressured by demands and expectations they didn't have to deal with before, such as making sure their female partners are satisfied.  Well, my answer is that any caring partner always makes sure his or her lover is enjoying the experience and is not left frustrated or unfulfilled.  Perhaps this once again stems back to the argument about sex education — how do people know these things unless they're told?  It may not be a lack of caring but rather ignorance that causes neglect and insensitivity in sexual matters.

It isn't the male's responsibility to give his female partner an orgasm anyway.  Nor is a woman obliged to satisfy her man every time he wants sex.  Sexuality is a personal experience which can be shared but never bestowed upon another.  One of the challenges in any sexual relationship is the differing needs and the development stages of each individual.

It's important to mention that some women reach orgasm far easier than others and some would even say that they climax 'at the drop of a hat', but they are in the minority.  Most of us have to be in the right frame of mind, be sufficiently aroused, feel comfortable with ourselves and our partners, stay focused and not be pressured.  That can be a tall order at the end of a long day, or during pregnancy, or after a quarrel.

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