What Sex Scientists Know (And Have Yet to Learn) About Women's Orgasms
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But how do these pieces fit together? And how do they compensate for one another’s absence?
Many of us know – whether from personal or professional experience — that it’s possible to have orgasmic sex with a partner one doesn’t know well or feel connected to (even if that person is a relationship partner or spouse). In those situations, is it a woman’s own technique that trumps care, affection or familiarity?
There’s also the power of our own minds. Recent research demonstrates that mindfulness and self-talk may play a role in women’s sexual response. As I described in “Sex Made Easy,” my own personal experiences with orgasm suggest that the mind plays an important role in learning how to experience orgasm and multiple orgasm. Yet strikingly little research has examined women’s mental processes in regard to orgasm.
Many of us also know that it’s possible to have highly enjoyable sex, even without an orgasm, and perhaps in these situations it’s the care, affection, intimacy or hormones that compensate for what’s lacking in terms of partner technique or willingness to engage in certain sexual behaviors. A hand on one’s breast, or in the right spot of the vagina, can be highly pleasurable – even if an orgasm never rears its head.
We also know very little about the “gray areas” of orgasm – those spaces where one comes close to having an orgasm, but doesn’t, even though it’s those “almost there” experiences that often eventually lead us to experiencing orgasm.
So where does this leave us? Somewhat satisfied, I supposed. But left wanting more – just like a hookup.