10 Essential Revelations About Women and Sexuality
- Sexuality is more than intercourse and includes five dimensions: sensuality, intimacy and relationships, reproductive health, gender identity and sexual orientation, and body image and self-awareness.
- A woman's sexual response is complex.
- There are at least 8 ways for a woman to enhance her sexuality
- Sexual education – understanding basics of anatomy, response cycle for women, etc.
- When applicable, acquiring an understanding of sexual trauma's impact on her sexuality and learning to manage sexual triggers
- Enhancing communication with and from her partner
- Understanding her body's responses through masturbation/self-exploration
- Practicing self-soothing tools, calming music, bubble bath, breathing etc.
- Receiving a sensual massage
- Learning how to lower expectations of herself and/or intimate partner
- For women, arousal comes after the lovemaking has begun. . .once she feels the stimulation and sensations. Prior to actual lovemaking, the woman may feel uninterested.
- At least 10% of women have never experienced an orgasm (sexual climax or sudden discharge of accumulated sexual tension). To achieve orgasm, according to WebMD's sexpert Louanne Cole Weston, a woman may increase tension of the muscles in her legs, abdominal area, and buttocks. Relaxation of the mind by focusing on a mantra or breathing is additional steps recommended for enhancing the chances of orgasm.
- Sexual dysfunction (difficulty in any stage of sexual activity) is a common complaint reported to health care professionals. At least 43% of women and 31% of men have experienced this.
- There are four types of sexual dysfunction:
- Desire disorders – less interested or not interested in sex
- Arousal disorders – no sexual response or cannot sustain sexual response
- Orgasmic disorders – pain during orgasm or orgasm not possible
- Sexual pain disorders – pain during or after sex
- Common causes for women's sexual dysfunction which can be evaluated and treated by your health care professional:
- Diabetes, heart disease, neurological diseases, hormonal imbalances, menopause, chronic diseases such as kidney disease or liver failure
- Alcoholism, Drug abuse
- Marijuana, cocaine and heroin decrease libido and impact hormonal balances
- Medications such as anti-depressants and anti-psychotic
- Effects of past sexual trauma
- Stress and anxiety
- Concern regarding sexual performance
- Relationship problems or abuse
- Guilt, depression
- As far as sexual orientation, women compared to men tend to be more flexible and less fixed as heterosexual or homosexual.
- Women with childhood sexual trauma histories would prefer to be asked by a health care professional rather than volunteer information about past sexual victimization. Incongruently, health care professionals feel ill at ease to initiate discussion of sexual trauma history with patients/clients for fear of opening a can of worms or not being professionally prepared to discuss sexual abuse.
- Myth: Valuing virginity protects girls and women. In fact, valuing virginity puts girls and women at risk of violence, abuse, and assault by members of a society that believes a woman's worth lies in her sexual behavior. As I discussed on my panel, "Virginity: A Historical and Cultural Primter," violations of girls' and women's sexual and reproductive rights and health occur every day in the name of preserving and protecting girls' virginity, delaying sexual activity, or controlling the circumstances under which girls and women lose their virginity. From forced child marriage, female genital cutting, and breast ironing to slut-shaming to the deliberate withholding of information on reproductive and sexual health, the emphasis on preserving virginity has pernicious consequences for girls in the West and beyond. By Lori Adelman, (May, 2010) Rethinking Virginity Conference at Harvard University.
Suggested Websites for More Information on Sexuality and Women