Making Love and Achieving Orgasm

Women's Orgasm During Masturbation

When Kinsey conducted his survey he found that 62 percent of women admitted to having masturbated at some time in their lives. When Shere Hire conducted her research 25 years later 82 percent said they had done so.

The difference may be indicative of the differences in social attitudes toward female sexuality and of the fact that more women today consider the self-induced orgasm as just one means of normal sexual outlet available to them.

Shere Hite said that society had now accepted that females enjoy sex when it consists of giving pleasure to men, but did not yet acknowledge a woman's right to enjoy her own body in any way she wishes, and she argued that masturbation is "a cause for celebration, because it is such an easy source of orgasms for most women."

The journalist Marion Meade went further. She quoted with approval a woman who said, "Who wants men? I could do a better job than most men I know," and she quips: "When a woman masturbates, she's guaranteed to be in bed with a person she likes."

We have discussed masturbation in the previous chapter on male sexuality, and what we said about the practice of male masturbation applies equally to the female. It is a mode of sexual release but not of sexual fulfillment, and it is normal and is not reprehensible.

Nor is it, as the Freudians maintained, a sign of immaturity or some other problem - unless it is the only sexual outlet sought by an adult in circumstances when others would be available.

Kinsey found that quite a few women in his sample not only had not practiced masturbation but did not even realize that it was possible for a woman, although they knew that men did it.

woman self-pleasuringKinsey also found that women tended to start masturbation at a later age.

A greater proportion of women than men had discovered it in their 20s and 30s, and in some cases even later in life, which indicated both a lesser dependence on the practice and also that women were not prepared to discuss their sexual experiences as openly as men.

Among these women who had masturbated, there was also a smaller proportion (relative to the male sample) who did so regularly throughout their lives or for long periods.

Kinsey found that with women there tended to be long discontinuities in the practice, and he estimated that in any one year only about 20 percent of women were masturbating as compared with 75 percent of single men and 30 percent of married men.

This is imply not true nowadays - and yet, even now, there seems to be some stigma about admitting you masturbate - as recent research reveals - shown below:

  Male Female
Percentage who masturbate 96.03% 85.13%
Percentage of those who admit to masturbating 79.79% 66.56%

The frequency of masturbation among women showed a greater variation than with males, ranging from once or twice a year to quite regular sessions producing multiple orgasms.

Another interesting fact that emerged from the Kinsey studies was that among adolescent girls there was a striking correlation between educational level and the use of masturbation as a sexual outlet.

Only 52 percent of the lower educated masturbated, whereas 90 percent of the higher educated did, and the lower group often considered it physically harmful, morally wrong, or both.

Members of the higher educated group, on the other hand, were less often in conflict over the physical outcome or moral aspects of their masturbation.

As far as the actual technique is concerned, Kinsey wrote, "females may choose from a longer list of techniques than men ordinarily suppose."

He distinguished six different methods, combinations of which were normally used by women in their masturbatory practices.

Stimulation of the clitoris and the inner vaginal lips, with rhythmic strokes of one or two fingers, was by far the most popular method. Rubbing the outer lips the entire genital area was another. Crossing the legs and exerting regular and rhythmic thigh pressure was a third.

Lying down on the back or stomach and developing muscular and nervous tensions throughout the body by stimulating coital movements was another. A fifth was stimulating the nipples, and the sixth was vaginal penetration with the fingers or with some object.

Of these the majority had only made an insertion into the vestibule of the vagina and not along its length. Many women would supplement their own natural lubricant with artificial lubricants for intercourse or to aid masturbation of the clitoris and vulva.

Men tend to think that deep vaginal penetration must he the main way that women obtain satisfaction in masturbation, but Kinsey said that this was a misconception based upon their conceit about the importance of the erect penis in sex!

Kinsey's data also suggested that premarital masturbation contributed to a woman's capacity to respond sexually in her marriage. Many young married women did not experience orgasms, and this often caused problems in the marriage. Of those who had this difficulty three out of four had not learned how to masturbate to the point of orgasm.

We would again like to think that these days, things had changed, and women were sexually better informed. Here are some results from a recent survey.

Age Group = % of women who masturbate

Under 16 = 65
17 - 19 = 71
20 - 24 = 73
25 - 34 = 75
35 - 43 = 63
44 - 50 = 60
51 - 57 = 45
58 - 64 = 30
65+ = 25

Reliable?  Another survey conducted in 2008, click here, seems to indicate the figures are on the low side.

When asked if they masturbated:

82% of women said yes
15% of women said no
3% of women didn't answer

Of the women who said they masturbated:

66.0% reached orgasm "always" 
29.3% reached orgasm "sometimes"
3.0% reached orgasm "occasionally"
and just a few reached orgasm "rarely"

How they said they reached orgasm through masturbation:

73.0% played with their clitoris and/or vulva while lying on their backs
5.5% did the same while lying on their stomachs
4.0% pressed or thrusted their clitoral/vulva area against a soft object such as a pillow
3.0% pressed their thighs together rhythmically
2.0% used water massage from a shower head
1.5% used vaginal penetration exclusively to reach orgasm, and
11.0% of women used more than one of the above methods to masturbate

Frequency of masturbation:

39% of women claimed to masturbate daily
61% said they masturbated once a week or less

Several of Shere Hite's interviewees made this point: that masturbation was a learning experience that had a beneficial effect on their heterosexual sex lives. "How can you love or satisfy someone else if you can't satisfy yourself?" one of them asked.

On the other hand, the 1975 study showed that very many women, even though they masturbate, are not entirely happy that they do so.

Some even despised themselves for the practice, others still had guilt feelings about it, and many made a distinction between enjoying it physically but not psychologically. "There is a feeling of foolishness attached to the act," one said; and another, "I always feel cheap and dirty afterwards." The fact that the subject still occupies women's minds is amply demonstrated by the varying results of a search query on Google for female ejaculation, some of which are celebratory of self stimulation, others of which are condemnatory. Some women overcame feelings of guilt about masturbating and learned to enjoy it, while others regarded it simply as an uncomplicated way to experience pure joy. .

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Updated: January 10 2019