Female Sexuality Facts
Facts, Theories, And Information on Female Sexuality
Female Sexuality Facts aims to explore the sexual anatomy, behavior and psychology of women, with comments from an experienced female sexual therapist.
She selects questions from her readers and supplies the answers as a Q & A section on some of the pages of this site.
The social and sexual context of the physical aspects of female sexuality are also explored.
The first section of the site, which you can find below, is all about Women's Sexual Anatomy. Advice on how to help a woman achieve orgasm - that's advice for men! - can be found here. In particular, advice about making orgasm pleasing to a woman is available here.
Culture & Sexuality
We take a lot of things about female sexuality for granted, but it's also true that there are many aspects of female sexuality which are a mystery to men – and possibly to women as well.
For example, have you any idea why a woman in a secure relationship (marriage being top of the list here), seems to "go off" sex? Or at least no longer finds it as important as it was before the relationship was "confirmed"?
Does this mean that women have unrealistic expectations of sex, or does it mean that men have unrealistic expectations of female sexuality?
And what's the truth around woman's sex drive, and who defines what actually is "normal" when it comes to making love?
For example, there's a book called "Perfectly Normal, Living With Low Libido" which seems to suggest that our expectations of women as sexual creatures might be misguided, if not downright wrong.
Or is it that female sexuality is somehow oppressed by cultural expectations and male sexual behavior? These are questions that are important to establish equality between the sexes, so we should just briefly look at a few of these issues to see if we can get any clear ideas about what determines the expression of female sexuality in our society.
To start with, there's no question that sexuality – both male and female sexuality – is culturally determined, at least to some degree.
For example until a hundred years ago women were not regarded as having the potential to reach orgasm and/or the capacity to enjoy it if they did. Furthermore, a woman who enjoyed sex and expressed an interest in obtaining sexual pleasure could be diagnosed with mental illness.
In the context of such oppression of female sexuality, it's no surprise that we are at a loss to understand what constitutes healthy female sexuality in our society today.
One of the major influences on female sexuality – and male sexuality, for that matter – is the media.
The Media and Sexuality
These things affect our sexual and everyday self-esteem in astounding ways, because their influence is unconscious, and their effects pernicious.
Essentially where women are concerned, a physical ideal of beauty and sexuality (even around the appearance of the female genitalia), is so pervasive and so widely believed, that many women think it is their duty and responsibility to look beautiful, kiss beautifully, make love beautifully, and please their men in every way possible in the bedroom.
But the reality of such a dynamic is that it destroys the natural expression of free, natural female sexuality.
And what about romance? Of course you could argue that romantic novels and romantic ideals are so widespread in our society simply because we are motivated by an unconscious desire to be romantic.
And that means to be in love, to connect with each other through intimacy and to find ways of bonding as a basic human drive.
Of course, the romantic storyline of passionate monogamy is "lust ever after" in a relationship where both partners' sexual needs are equal and met in every way, and where we all live in a state of happiness, intimacy and connection forever.
The reality is that more than half the marriages currently forged in America will end in divorce, sexual desire and libido decline due to age and stress, and many people find life so stressful they can't even maintain a loving relationship.
That doesn't mean to say that the romantic storyline is irrelevant or inappropriate for the human condition. But it does mean that our expectations of love and romance have been raised far too high by the media and society. For example, that every woman wants a man to love her - and, perhaps more to the point, that as a woman you know how to make a man fall deeply in love with you and enchant him to the end of time. (As Leonard Cohen sang...)
In reality, to make sure a loving relationship lasts, we need to adjust our expectations and probably our sexual and romantic behavior as well.
Nowhere is this more clear than around sexual desire.
There is a new trend of medicalizing normal human conditions such as low libido. Women who have a low libido (which happens to be normal) are now being diagnosed as having something made up by the medical profession called hypoactive sexual desire disorder. It will not surprise you to learn, perhaps, that a lot of the researchers responsible for coming up with this definition are funded by pharmaceutical companies.
And what about the sexless marriage? Doesn't this just demonstrate the absolute truth of the fact that sexual desire and libido diminish with time, almost inevitably?
Sexless marriages are apparently currently defined as a relationship in which couple have sex 10 times a year or fewer – but in reality sex once a month seems to be about average for people over 40, and in fact the many people under 40 as well.
So somehow what's normal is now being brandished as a stick to beat people with for not matching up to some expectation that's been set by – well, who exactly? Drug companies. Great.
And if you have children, it won't surprise you to learn that most couples' desire for sex diminishes considerably after they have children.
There are many issues involved in this: declining sexuality, changing body image, hormones, and genital function.
But it isn't merely a physical issue for women: of course tiredness and stress and body image after birth are major factors in women's vision of their own sexuality, but again we can blame the media for this.
The fact that a woman think she might be unattractive after she's given birth, or as she ages, is a disgraceful state of affairs. But then, so is the expectation of men who believe that only when a woman is youthful and in her "sexual prime" is she desirable.
To get the rewards of a good relationship, people need to get familiar with the concept of our natural sexual desires, instincts, sexuality, and the emotions and spiritual aspects of our existence which is our natural condition in life.
To put this another way, neither male nor female sexuality can be measured by the number of times a year that people have sex.
Somewhere in a pharmaceutical laboratory near you, a researcher is currently trying to come up with a drug which targets low female libido.
And although they're not yet on sale, they are being trialed, and therefore, as you will no doubt immediately realize, female sexuality is now being regarded as a disease or condition that needs to be treated for the purpose of generating profit for pharmaceutical companies.
Of course female sexuality is mysterious (and so is male sexuality). But since there's no clear definition of female sexual dysfunction, and there's no way of knowing what actually constitutes normal sexual desire for women, we lack any meaningful standards against which we can judge ourselves.
But the tragedy of the fact that women have no objective standard against which to measure their sexuality is that they have to fall back on their own conviction of what constitutes normality.
And, while surrounded by the force of the media, backed by bigoted, corrupt and sexist politicians, and a considerable level of prejudice against women from men who would have done the Neanderthal race proud in terms of their misogyny, women may well find it hard to locate an inner strength which can sustain their belief in their own natural "rightness".
Finally, the good news is that there are many things women can do to reclaim their full sex drive and natural libido. That is, if they want to, and if they are empowered to do so by their own conviction of what it is to be strong and loving.
Certainly one simple thing women can do to recapture their own sense of their individual female sexuality is to follow the advice of David Schnarch in his book Passionate Marriage, where he makes the point that a healthy relationship thrives on differentiation between the couple, not on merging.
In essence, this is about a woman identifying her own sexuality, and what makes it unique for her. Because, at the end of the day, that individuality is what liberates a woman from the trials and tribulations of a culturally determined sexuality, and in the process will give her (and her partner) a more sensual and more sexual life full of joy.
Email rodmphillips @ yahoo.com (remove the spaces when emailing)