The similarities between male and female responsiveness include:
- Mental arousal must always precede physical stimulation;
- The mind responds to erotic stimuli: concepts or objects;
- Orgasm is a one-off release followed by a recovery period;
- Orgasm involves identifying with the penetrating male;
- The same organ, the erectile phallus, is involved in orgasm;
- Orgasm is achieved by massaging the corpora cavernosa;
- Stimulation that leads to orgasm is applied instinctively;
- Stimulation and a focus on eroticism continue until orgasm;
- Orgasm comes at the end of activity intended to achieve it; and
- Orgasm is not the goal of sexual activity with a lover.
One area that has been lacking in all the research is a unification theory (if you like) for the human nervous response that is called orgasm. There is an assumption that orgasm means the same thing to men and women. Yet people believe they are achieved in completely different ways. I have challenged this assumption because it makes no sense that the characteristics of sexual responsiveness would differ between the sexes or because of sexual orientation. I have concluded that orgasm must be a response common to all. My work attempts to define how orgasm is achieved by anyone.
I have compared my experience of arousal and orgasm with the equivalent responses that I have observed in my partners and in the sexual behaviours of men in everyday life. I have described the characteristics that male and female responsiveness have in common. I have also highlighted those areas where men and women respond differently to sexual stimuli. I present a definition of what is involved in sexual response. Essentially an erotic stimulus, a mental trigger, causes the brain to send blood to the genitals. This nervous excitement motivates us to stimulate our erectile organ.
I have found parallels between male responsiveness and my own. Before orgasm is possible, I always need to be mentally aroused (as a direct result of explicitly erotic stimuli). I feel no embarrassment in admitting this because my pleasure derives from the erotic aspects of my fantasies. I have never met another woman who understands the role of psychological erotic stimuli in achieving orgasm. I have concluded that women’s reluctance to talk about orgasm is due to a lack of confidence in their experiences, which are unsensational compared to those portrayed in erotic fiction. I think this lack of confidence explains why women cannot provide explicit details.
[i] Female sexuality has been seen essentially as a response to male sexuality and intercourse. There has rarely been any acknowledgement that female sexuality might have a complex nature of its own which would be more than just the logical counterpart to (what we think of as) male sexuality. (Shere Hite)
Excerpt from Understanding Sexual Response (ISBN 978-0956-894762)