Fast forward to the present, where we inhabit a swirling internet world of “sexperts,” sexologists, sex therapists, romance advice divas, blissful tantrikas, and snarky bloggers – all jockeying for position. And yet the reams of advice written to women who stop short of orgasm, and to those who profess to love them, must by now wrap around the earth three times or stretch to the moon and back. “Give plenty of clitoral stimulation”, “don’t miss the g-spot,” and when all else fails (or before it does), just make your vibrator your own best friend. These are all good things to consider and do, but does anyone ever ask “why?”
I'm here to tell you an astonishing thing. Sexologists forgot there was a “why.” And so sexologists forgot to tell people about it. And probably the reason we forgot is that we didn't exactly know why in the first place. Sherfey was one of the very few who identified an important fact, but it remained buried in a book that few women (or men) have ever read. So you see, most of us never really knew this fact to begin with.
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After reading Sherfey, I felt compelled to research this question: what do people believe about the female bodied orgasm? It’s been an interesting inquiry. I just finished collecting data for a brief survey which has yielded some fascinating results. Even now the data appear to support my initial suspicion about a pervasive belief: namely, that many people believe that women have an orgasmic ”point of no return” – as male bodies do – even if stimulation stops or changes, at least some of the time.
But according to Mary Jane Sherfey, this is physiologically impossible: ”It must be recalled that all women must be stimulated continuously, especially during the plateau and orgasmic phases, or the level of sexual tension will drop almost instantaneously. It must be recalled that contrary to the male’s, the female’s muscles of orgasmic response will not continue to contract involuntarily; hence an orgasm may be interrupted at any point.”
In a side note at the bottom of the page, Sherfey also says: ”The difference has not been explained. It would be interesting to determine if the same difference exists in animals, and if there is an actual difference in the neural end organs of the muscles or in the muscle fibers themselves.”
I attempted to find out more about the nature of these muscle fibers, but I suspect it will take an exhaustive search to uncover actual research, if any does exist.
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Meanwhile, we’ve got an interesting situation. Most of the people (n=164) who took my survey were highly educated and a great many of them have had formal training in human sexuality and are even practitioners in the field. Even so, an astounding 64% answered “sometimes true” to a question which read: “females have a “point of no return” when an orgasm is inevitable, even if stimulation stops.”