This is an important study done by researcher Angela Towne, MEd, Ph. D. in Human Sexuality Studies, and I was thrilled to be able to be a part of it. We live in an age and society where young girls and women are sent mixed and confusing signals about how we are supposed to express our sexuality, Don’t be too sexy or you are a “slut”, Don’t be too modest, or you cant please a partner. Do both, but do neither. For so many ages and generations, society has only been focused on men’s sexual pleasure and has ignored the physical pleasure of women during sex. Thankfully, I surround myself with strong, independent women who know what they need and want and aren’t afraid to scream it out and aren’t ashamed of being sexual. But not every young woman has good, strong, older female influences to teach them to be loud and proud of their sexual needs and interests, and I certainly did not grow up either. Research such as this can and will help normalize the female orgasm, and what it takes to get us off. Research like this can help to make the world a more sex-positive place for women.
Angela Towne earned her undergraduate degree in Health Psychology from Bastyr University of natural health sciences. She has a Masters is in Education in Human Sexuality and my Doctorate is in Human Sexuality Studies from Widener University.
“I have a doctorate in Human Sexuality Studies, which in shorthand means I’m a Sex Doctor. Though it sounds like a tongue-in-cheek area of study, becoming a sex doctor was no small feat. It took eight years of graduate school; the last five of which I spent on my dissertation study on the topic of “clitoral stimulation during penile-vaginal intercourse.” Heather asked me, “Why do I think this research is important?” Why did I spend five years studying the clitoris?
Most orgasms occur for all people as a result of stimulating the pudendal nerve fibers. The pudendal nerves are stimulated mostly through the penis in male bodies and mostly through the clitoris in female bodies. It makes sense that the majority of males require direct stimulation of the penis most of the time in order to orgasm, and the majority of females require direct stimulation of the clitoris most of the time in order to orgasm. Yet, there seems to be a weird cultural denial of this simple biology. Over and over again I see representations of penile-vaginal intercourse taking place where there is little evidence of equitable stimulation of the clitoris. I see sex scenes on television, in movies, and, most obviously, in pornography where the external clitoris seems to be completely ignored altogether. I have even seen pictures on the covers of two books about orgasm showing intercourse with no hands or vibrators stimulating her clitoris. If a person is buying a book about how to orgasm, authors might want to tell them to use a hand or a vibrator on the clitoris. How strange. Can you imagine if we expected men to orgasm without the obvious touching of the penis?
I chose this research because I wanted to know how people do stimulate the clitoris during intercourse so that she can have an orgasm. I believe in working toward gender equity. I want to play a role in deconstructing this cultural myth and show how (one type of) sex can occur equitably. I choose to conduct this research because it’s time we acknowledge that the vaginal canal may be a great inclusion in sex, but it is not the main orgasm organ for most of us. The results I found showed that it’s pretty easy to stimulate a clitoris with a penis inserted. I also found that both the women and men who participated in my study were more than happy to include the clitoris in their partnered sex. Not one of my participants complained about it.
If you want to learn more about the topic, a great resource is Orgasms for Two by Betty Dodson. Right now I’m really into reading The Bonds of Love by Jessica Benjamin about the psychology of domination and submission. Excellent book. I’m also getting into body image stuff, especially Fat Studies. I like Virgie Tovar’s work as a public speaker and Jes Baker Things no one will tell Fat Girls.”
And here is the finished research, give it a read!!