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Clitorian Herstory

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Article of the Month

The New Face of Female Orgasm

Starting in 1957, William Masters and Virginia E. Johnson pioneered research into the nature of human sexual response psychology and physiology of sexual behavior, through observing and measuring masturbation and sexual intercourse in the laboratory. Their findings on the nature of female orgasm showed that the physiology of orgasmic response was identical, whether stimulation was clitoral or vaginal, and was the first step in disproving the theory (Freudian) that there is a seperation between the two.

While this was a step forward regarding Female Orgasm, very little attention was paid to the understanding of a woman's orgasm outside of the male ejaculation model, and they readily grouped women into their 4-step human sexual response cycle without much thought.  This model of orgasm has become the norm and is what most people think of when the term orgasm is used.

Much attention in the media as of late has been on the purpose of Female Orgasm.  Male Orgasm is required for reproduction, but not Female Orgasm.  Some theorize that there may be an advantage to Female Orgasm as means to selecting an attentive partner, or that one gender or the other is more likely to occur if conception takes place in the presence of Female Orgasm.  However, these are just theories as there is virtually no way to scientifically guarantee that Female Orgasm occured during the said act. 

It is important to note that what is being referenced to is still the understanding of orgasm as it applies to the sexual response cycle; excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution.  Even within this definition, orgasm is limited to the specific occurance of climax, and is provided at a specific point on the linear graph as step 3.  This is what "scientific" research provided us on the first attempt, and in 50 years this theory has yet to be challanged, altered or expanded upon.

The point is that most women do not experience the orgasm (climax or ejaculation) phase.  At least in the way that men do. Ejaculation is required for reproduction, but ejaculation for a woman is not required for pleasure.  Women also have a greater capacity for feeling sensation seeing that the clitoris has twice the concentration of nerve endings as does the man's penis. 

Most women are aware of their clitoris and know how sensative it is and it is common knowledge that it's sole function is to feel pleasure. The limitation is that, even as we have come to realize the orgasmic action of the clitoris, what we are still trying to acheive is formulated after the human sexual response cycle, or what contemporary researchers are now referring to as the "male model" of orgasm. 

Could it be that women simply aren't built that way.  Wouldn't it make sense that an organ which has a different biological function and double nerve endings be capable of lending it's owner to a different experience of orgasm? An orgasm that isn't linear, with peaks and valleys, and sensations that can build over time to be even more than what is experienced in a single climax. Perhaps we all have something to learn by paying more attention to our bodies and from there creating a definition of orgasm that includes these experiences.  A definition that can return sex to something fun, something that we look forward to experiencing  with a partner or on our own, and something that just keeps getting better, for the rest of our lives.  I beleive, this is what the New Face of Female Orgasm has to offer us.

Submitted by Theresa L, 2008
 


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