Treatment For His Inability To Achieve Orgasm
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Jean is a 28-year-old woman, who was seeking treatment due to her inability to climax during sex. Frustrated at the impossibility of orgasm she hoped for therapy to make her more confident and possibly gain more pleasure during sex. She resided upon the poor outskirts of a Brazilian state capital earing inconsistent wages as a waitress. Jean’s social life consisted of mostly superficial relationships those of which did not psychologically aid her during childhood. According to Sigmund Freud, “When erotogenic susceptibility to stimulation has been successfully transferred by a woman from the clitoris to the vaginal orifice, it implies that she has adopted a new leading zone for the purposes of her later sexual activity”. This quote implied that a clitoral orgasm is based on sexual immaturity, whereas a vaginal orgasm signifies a women’s sexual maturity. It was because of this statement that women who claimed needed clitoral stimulation were diagnosed with “hysteria.”
“Hysteria is a psychological disorder (not now regarded as a single definite condition) whose symptoms include conversion of psychological stress into physical symptoms (somatization), selective amnesia, shallow volatile emotions, and overdramatic or attention-seeking behavior. The term has a controversial history as it was formerly regarded as a disease specific to women”. It was because of this said disease that many women were often ridiculed and labeled as insane. These women were not only undermined by society, yet they were subjected to “hysterical paroxysm.” Women were violated as a result of these treatments in which they were masturbated to reach orgasm, this task was labor intensive thus contributing to the early development of the vibrator. Research shows, “18% of women orgasm by vaginal penetration alone 82% need clitoral stimulation”. This study essentially debunks the Freudian theory that the type of orgasm had is based on sexual maturity. Although there are many time gaps and current research has long ways to come, with today’s knowledge we are closer than ever to a broader understanding of how a female orgasm works in both the eyes of society and science.
To further understand an orgasm we must acknowledge its raw definition as well as the differences by gender. “An orgasm is a climax of sexual excitement, characterized by feelings of pleasure centered in the genitals and (in men) experienced as an accompaniment to ejaculation”. During orgasm men and women are mostly similar, although men experience a refractory period in which they can no longer be stimulated. Women do not have a refractory period meaning they are able to continue sexual activity. Kelly Tatera states, “Female orgasms can last 20 seconds or more, while male orgasms typically last about 3 to 10 seconds.” Though the female orgasm lasts for a longer period of time research shows males orgasm 95% of the time during sex, while females only orgasm about 69% of the time (Tatera). This vast difference may seem idle, yet it raises a question. Why are the majority of women dissatisfied? About as soon as we learn what sex is, we understand orgasm is our goal.
Yet, depending on what body we are born into chances are you get two very different messages. Television and movies often portray the male orgasm as easy. While the female orgasm remains to be seen as complicated. When men do not climax sex is seen as a failure; when women do not it is portrayed as normal and her fault. A Chapman University, Indiana University, and the Kinsey Institute study researched over 52,000 Americans of different genders and sexual orientations to look into how orgasm frequency varies (Hosie). This study had intriguing results heterosexual men were most likely to say they usually orgasm with 95% agreeing, gay men 89% followed by bisexual men 88% (Hosie). This data is mostly positive yet in comparison to female satisfaction rates lesbians orgasm most at 86% while bisexual women drop at 66% and straight women at 65% (Hosie). According to Rachel Hosie, “The researchers believe that these “orgasm gaps” have come about as a result of sociocultural and evolutionary factors.” Learning what is good or bad is what sociologists call a sociosexual script.
More often than not these scripts are one-sided depictions from porn. We are not taught that woman know what they want. That is not seen in the script, it is the person behind the camera who decides. In western society, directors are often white and male. Thus contributing to how a majority of society view the value of a female orgasm. In the Journal of Sex Research it states, “As a result, representations of male and female orgasm in mainstream pornography may serve to perpetuate unrealistic beliefs and expectations in relation to female orgasm and male sexual performance.” Due to these depictions, our view on what sex should be is manipulated. Many follow these ideas although they are vastly unrealistic and should hold no real significance for an outcome of genuine pleasure. Data shows lesbian and homosexual relationships experience more satisfaction in comparison to straight couples. Due to the lack of sociosexual scripts, there was no technical norm or taboo to base their sexual relations on. These couples were forced to begin from nothing communicating what they wanted in order to reach a sexual climax; a factor that often sets heterosexual relationships aside.
Many women are often left dissatisfied during sex. Though there are many external and social factors there are also cases in which the inability to orgasm is biological and psychological. Just as mentioned earlier Jean a 28-year-old woman who was diagnosed with “female orgasmic disorder.” According to Psychology Today, “Female orgasmic disorder is the difficulty or inability for a woman to reach orgasm during sexual stimulation.” This condition is often triggered by a variety of factors. In Jean’s case specifically, her negative feelings about sex began as she became disgusted by her parents’ marriage (Female Orgasmic). Her mother led a promiscuous life after separation and she felt repulsed by her cousins and sibling’s incestuous relationships (Female orgasmic). Her feelings of repulsion were not only shared among external feelings towards her family yet she was often shamed at the idea of masturbation. In the Huffington Post, it states, “women are less likely to try masturbating, however, there is still a large gender gap when it comes to routine masturbation.”
Jean is not unlike many women who have been shamed for the act if masturbation. In fact, in many cultures, it is seen as immoral or sinful. According to the Huffington Post, “only 7.9% of women between the ages of 25 and 29 masturbate two to three times a week whereas 23.4% of men do.” This data shows us that there is a large gap in which women are not receiving pleasure this shame does not allow for women to experiment and learn their bodies. In many cultures pleasure is a privilege, in Jean’s case she was ashamed and not allowed to have it. It is important women are allowed and able to understand their desires in order to reach climax as well as live a healthy life, unlike Jean. Although, in many cultures, masturbation is seen as taboo. There has recently been up-rise in the sex toy industry. The sex toy industry all began from what was previously known to be used to treat hysteria. To what is now used for personal pleasure and stimulation. Due to the up-rise of sex toy usage in western society women have claimed more right of passage into their journey to reach orgasm.
As stated by Charles Passy a journalist for Market Watch, “ Global sales of sex toys were estimated to reach $15 billion in 2014, according to Statistic Brain. And some observers say that figure could grow to $52 billion by 2020.” This data is remarkable considering how quickly this industry has grown in a society in which masturbation was not open or largely talked about. Clinical sexologist Dr. Marlene Wasserman, popularly known as Dr. Eve, explained: “It is quite revolutionary how women have claimed their sexuality and the sex toy sales really affirm that women are proudly buying these products” (Mkize). As the growth of this industry continues women are often targeted, providing a safer platform for women who do want to become in charge of their pleasure. As well as men who are becoming more interested in providing women more pleasure. All in all the sex toy industry has come a long way from being portrayed as sleezy to now overall empowering women with its more holistic and wellness promoting view of sex (Manning).
This shift in societies view can be attributed to women who have taken charge of this industry and their bodies. By doing this they have provided a step towards better intimacy and higher satisfaction rates beneficial towards women. In a nutshell, the history and knowledge of the female orgasm still has many ways to go. The female orgasm though has many similarities and differences in occurance, is just as valuable as the male orgasm. We should not base our sexual intimacy and preferences off unrealistic depictions from porn. Yet rather, choose communication and vocal approaches based off you and your partners preferences. Although Jean was reprimanded and ashamed to take control of her own pleasure. Women do not have to be like Jean, and just as the women who have helped flourish the sex toy industry. New age women can much rather take the path of empowerment on their journey to the female orgasm.