The Role of Emotions in Orgasm

PLEASE NOTE: I’m not a sex expert, specialist, therapist or professional. I’m just a girl that has studied sex, this is an opinion, nothing more.


When pioneer sex researchers Masters and Johnson studied human sexual response, they chose men and women who were easily orgasmic and observed them masturbate to orgasm in a lab.  Sorry, I have to say it, cause I know everyone is thinking it- NOW that’s a job…and how I wonder does one go about interviewing for that test?

Anyway ~smiles~ apparently  they found that men and women could reach orgasm in about the same amount of time. Surprised? The results painted a picture of more similarities than differences in sexual responsiveness, with women actually having the upper hand so to speak. (couldn’t resist) In the lab, women demonstrated the ability to be multiorgasmic whereas men failed to come through with more than one orgasm at a time. WOOO HOOOOO…gotta love the ‘multi’


Touch me, Tilly Rivers


A theory of sexual response based on controlled laboratory research is one thing but real life experience tells another story. (Controlled they say, what exactly does that mean?  The test did not go into details about what ‘stimulation’ was used. Oh…my mind is a zinging now….)

In a more representative sample of men and women, 61% of women who engaged in self-pleasuring always or usually experienced an orgasm vs. 82 % of men; yet only 29% of women reported always having an orgasm during sex with a partner vs. 75% of men.  BOYS- are you paying attention here?

Women clearly have more difficulty finding their way to orgasm in the context of a relationship than do men.

From a medical perspective, men are somewhat more pre“dick”table. (Oh come on- that was hilarious) It has been assumed that if a man can keep his erection throughout intercourse then he will have an orgasm 98% of the time. And for the other 2% there is that little blue pill ~smiles~

The test went on to say: “This assumption stems from a medical model of sex that can be more easily understood as the friction model. The friction model of sex is straightforward, mechanical, and genitally focused. Take an erect penis, apply a sufficient level of stimulation, and voila, the result will be ejaculation and orgasm.”  You think!

“Female sexual response has proven to be more complex.” The test said; “After 8 years of research and several large-scale placebo-controlled studies involving approximately 3,000 women, Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, has ditched efforts to demonstrate that Viagra is an effective treatment for women. Simply improving blood flow to women’s genitals hasn’t translated into significant improvements in women’s subjective sense of sexual arousal or their ability to have an orgasm.”

It took a test to figure that out? Of course us girls need more then blood flow- we are psychological in nature and therefore common sense says we need stimulation for arousal. For (most) women, psychological, emotional, and relationship factors play a greater role in determining ability to orgasm. For (most) women they need a sense of emotional connection with their partners, not just a genital one, to get them started on the pathway to pleasure.

“Orgasm itself”, sex therapist David Reed says, :requires the act of surrendering to the moment. Surrendering means staying with the good sensations and not focusing on distractions — am I too fat, do I smell bad, am I making too much noise, oh no! I have to pee — and it requires trust and a feeling of safety to let go and enter such an emotionally vulnerable state.”

Trust and safety cannot be dispensed in pill form or squeezed from a tube. These factors need to be nurtured, and women gain confidence through a partner that GETS it- and is willing to take the time to create an environment of stimulation. Having a partner you like, who you do not fear, who you can talk to, who does not pressure you, and who is patient and willing to learn more about emotional and physical needs is a great start.  And the pay off is great, mind blowing sex for two!

However, if you are running into other obstacles to orgasm such as those resulting from past experiences of physical, sexual, or emotional abuse; general personality problems with attachment, rejection, co-operation, or entitlement; depression or anxiety; and sexual inhibition due to fear of sexual acts or of their possible consequences, e.g. pain during intercourse, pregnancy, sexually transmitted disease, loss of partner, loss of reputation, etc. you will likely require more than an understanding partner.

The standard sex therapy line is that you have to get to know your body first before you can teach someone else how to please you. While that may be true and there are wonderful self-help books and videos to get you started, if you are already able to experience orgasm by yourself but are having much more difficulty when you’re with a partner, seek the help of a qualified sex counselor or therapist to help you along. There is NO SHAME in that, and you can gain back your sexual confidence and pleasure zone!




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