My Website

Saturday 11 June 2022

Somehow, this keeps getting discussed, and then forgotten again, seems to me

[T]he basis of female sexual pleasure has remained a relatively neglected topic, probably because not having an orgasm does not affect female fertility, according to Prof Mihaela Pavličev, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Vienna. “The whole topic has been a bit weirdly discussed,” she said. “For a long time it wasn’t interesting to the medical community. All the focus has been on men with ejaculation problems["]

And goes on to invoke Freud! in 2022!

Maybe I'm remembering a different history to everybody else and am on a different timeline? But quite apart from all the discussions in the 1970s around female sexuality and female pleasure, and the work of Shere Hite, there's a much longer history of talking about female pleasure and how assumptions based on a simple penetrative act pleasurable for the male partner weren't necessarily useful?

Admittedly, the early advice writers such as Marie Stopes, Theodoor van der Velde, Helena Wright and other pioneers had to frame their recommendations within monogamous marriage and usually the assumption that the husband would be the one to initiate, arouse and satisfy his wife, but at least they gave instructions.

Alfred Kinsey's work resulting in the published study Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female (1953) led him to the conclusion that clitoral stimulation, and not penetration, was the desideratum for female sexual gratification.

Anyway. Whether or not the 'medical community' has been interested in the topic - van der Velde was a physician, the women doctors such as Helena Wright and Joan Malleson who were involved with the Family Planning Association were very interested, so what medical community are we talking about? - there is a substantial literature going back over a century discussing What Women Want and suggesting ways of providing it to them.