Kinsey’s work remains the most comprehensive data we have on sexuality. It represents a unique opportunity to study female sexuality at a time when women felt much less obliged to claim orgasms with a lover. Kinsey’s work was the first exposé of women’s covert sexuality (women’s masturbatory and lesbian activities). But the idea that women were commonly motivated by orgasm (rather than lovemaking) was universally rejected.
Kinsey and Hite collected data anonymously from women of all ages. They highlighted women’s experiences of orgasm: rarely or never by any means, only when masturbating alone and with a lover through intercourse. There are no prizes for guessing which one has most appeal! It is assumed that women can orgasm as easily and as frequently as men even though the research shows women to be much less responsive than men.
A woman is not biologically driven to have sex with any man she finds attractive. A woman agrees to have sex with one particular man but only once he has shown himself willing to romance her into bed (by being loving and supportive). Most women offer intercourse over the longer term to a man they have identified as a reliable mate and supportive companion. The availability of reliable contraception, such as the pill, has given women more choice over planning a family but it cannot change how women’s responsiveness has evolved over millennia. Women today only think they have a sex drive because they don’t risk pregnancy every time.
Reproduction relies on two factors. Male sex drive is part of the story. But equally if a woman was aroused with a lover then she would be able to orgasm every time by stimulating herself. A woman accepts intercourse as an act of lovemaking because she is not sufficiently aroused with a lover to achieve orgasm through her own efforts. Women are not driven to want intercourse but given the right circumstances they may be amenable to it.
Homo sapiens emerged around 200,000 years ago and we have been sexually active ever since. Men’s orgasmic abilities do not change over time because responsiveness evolves over millennia. Neither is it possible for the physiological and psychological responses that are involved in women’s orgasmic ability to have changed in the space of a few decades. [i] Women are sexually passive due to lack of arousal. That allows men to obtain the intercourse that they need for optimal sexual release. This is the goal of reproduction. So women’s passivity (lack of arousal) and men’s proactiveness (due to acute arousal) are both vital to human reproduction.
[i] In general, the sexual patterns of the younger generation are so nearly identical with the sexual patterns of the older generations in regard to do so many types of sexual activity that there seems to be no sound basis for the widespread opinion that the younger generation has become more active in its socio-sexual contacts. (Alfred Kinsey)
Excerpt from Women’s Sexual Behaviours & Responses (ISBN 978-0956-894717)