Female sexual behavior : A detailed study
 

- Reported, November 12, 2012



 

In order to determine the detailed study of female sexual behavior was conducted on a sample of 5940 white females. This study was conducted by Alfred Kinsey. He used in-depth, face-to-face interviews by highly trained interviewers.
Kinsey found only a very small portion of females with exclusively homosexual histories. He reported that between 6 and 14% of females (ages 20-35) had more than incidental homosexual experience in their histories. (p. 488, Female). 7% of single females (ages 20-35) and 4% of previously married females (ages 20-35) were given a rating of 3 (about equal heterosexual and homosexual experience/response).

22.8% of females reported reaching climax less than 2 minutes after introversion less than five minutes in coitus in first marriage.19% claimed to have lasted 10 or more minutes.100% used male-above position in marital coitus.45% used female above.31% used side-by-side positions
15% rear vaginal entry.9% sitting and 4% standing.

The Kinsey interviews showed that there is no part of the human body which is not sufficiently sensitive to effect erotic arousal for at least some individuals in the population. He estimated that breasts and especially the nipples of the breasts were erotically sensitive in perhaps half of the females (with breast stimulation alone sufficient for orgasm in a very small percentage of females), There were some 2 % of females who even by their late 40s had never recognized any sexual arousal under any sort of condition.

Among the sample, 26% of females had had extramarital sex by their forties. Between 1 in 6 and 1 in 10 females from age 26 to 50 were engaged in extramarital sex.Number of extramarital sexual partners, not counting prostitutes, during first marriage.79% reported none,15.7% reported 1-3 partners,2.4% reported 4-6 partners,2.7% reported 7 or more.

31% insisted they had never been aroused by thinking about males or sexual relations with them.
69% of females reported erotic fantasies about males,64% of the female sample used fantasy as part of masturbation,Some 2% of females in the sample had reached orgasm by fantasizing erotic situations (without any tactile stimulation).
2 to 6% of females, aged 20-35, were more or less exclusively homosexual in experience/response,1 to 3% of unmarried females aged 20-35 were exclusively homosexual in experience/response.62% of females reported that they had masturbated.45% of females who reported having masturbated indicated that they could reach orgasm within 3 minutes.

Masturbation techniques reported by females:
84% used clitoral and labial manipulation,20% used vaginal insertion,11% used breast stimulation
10% used thigh pressure,5% muscular tension,2% had fantasy alone to reach orgasm; and
11% used other techniques,Masturbation was the most important sexual outlet for single females and the second most important sexual outlet for married females, providing: 7-10% of orgasms for those 16-40.Sample reported sleeping nude, and half of the married females in the sample had regularly slept nude.Percentage of females who said they had performed fellatio:before marriage, 19.1%,in marriage 45.5%.

Sources of first orgasm for females:
40% masturbation,27% coitus,24% premarital petting,5% nocturnal dreams,3% homosexual,
1% other sources.Over the life course that 70% of females experienced sex dreams.By age 45, 37% of females in the sample had experienced a sex dream with orgasm.In the female, solitary sexual activities (such as masturbation, nocturnal dreams to orgasm) gradually rise to their maximum point. They level off and then decline after 55 or 60 years of age.

On June 12 2012 it was reported by researcher Sari van Anders, a behavioral neuroendocrinologist at the University of Michigan.

Testosterone is often cast as the manly hormone, the chemical bestower of virility and the reason for men's high sex drives. But new research turns this conventional wisdom on its head. In healthy men, it turns out, testosterone isn't linked to sexual desire at all. And in women, high testosterone is actually associated with less interest in sex with a partner.

Complicating the picture further, while high-testosterone women may be less interested in slipping between the sheets with a lover, high testosterone is linked to greater interest in masturbation in healthy women, according to research detailed online in May in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.

The findings are unique because most studies of sexual desire and hormones use either animal subjects or focus on people with abnormally low or high testosterone who come into clinics for treatment, said study researcher Sari van Anders. Healthy individuals are rarely studied, van Anders told Live Science.

"People have argued that sex research focuses too much on dysfunction and pharmaceutical treatment as opposed to questions like pleasure or relationships or stress," van Anders said. "There is a whole scope of factors that go unstudied."

When people do study factors such as stress and body image regarding people's sex lives, they rarely look at hormonal influences at the same time. That's what van Anders did differently. She recruited volunteers from university classes and community fliers to fill out questionnaires on their relationships, their stress and moods, and their own feelings about their bodies and sexuality. These questions were designed to get at factors that influence people's sex lives: How happy are you, generally? How stressed? Are you self-conscious about your body during sex?

The 196 volunteers (105 men and 91 women) also answered questions about how frequently they had partnered sex and masturbated, and how frequently they had the desire to masturbate or to have sex with a partner.

People tend to think of desire as a single phenomenon, but the desire to have sex may come from a different place than the desire to masturbate, van Anders said.

"When you're feeling sexual desire for a partner there might be other factors that play into that, for example, how you felt about that partner that day, how attracted you feel to that partner, how attractive you feel to that partner, your relationship and things like that," van Anders said.

Solitary desire, on the other hand, may be more internal and less influenced by social factors like relationship satisfaction, she said.

Each study participant gave a saliva sample for hormonal analysis. Van Anders measured testosterone as well as cortisol, a hormone released in times of stress (a surefire libido-killer).

She then compared low-versus-high testosterone participants and their self-reported levels of desire. In men, she found, levels of testosterone had nothing to do with how much guys thought about sex, solitary or partnered.

Multiple studies have found that men generally desire sex more frequently than women. And men also produce more testosterone than women. These two facts have led to the belief that testosterone is the reason for the desire, van Anders said. But that idea is based on animal studies and studies of men who produce extreme, abnormally low levels of testosterone. In men in the healthy range, an extra spurt of the "macho hormone" doesn't seem to influence interest in getting busy. [Top 10 Aphrodisiacs]

"In this regular, healthy range of testosterone, it's high enough that the variations aren't what's driving any changes," van Anders said.
Things get a bit more complicated on the female side. Women with higher testosterone reported less desire for partnered sex. It may seem strange, but the finding fits with previous evidence, van Anders said. For example, women in long-term relationships have been shown to have lower testosterone. It could be that their partner desire relates to a need to be close and connected as opposed to simply a need for pleasure, van Anders said.

Alternatively, higher testosterone might reflect higher stress in women. Testosterone is secreted by the adrenal glands, which go into overdrive during stressful times.

Solitary sexual desire, on the other hand, was higher in the higher-testosterone women, such that the 27 women in the study who reported no desire to masturbate at all had lower testosterone than the women who said they sometimes felt desire to masturbate. The finding bolsters the idea that desire for a partner is more influenced by social factors, van Anders said, while solitary desire is more innate.


Next, van Anders looked into the burning question of why men, on average, want sex more often than the average woman. Sure enough, she found that testosterone was not the culprit. Levels of this hormone did not explain the differences in desire between men and women.

The only factor that did link to gender differences was masturbation. Men masturbated more than women and reported more sexual desire (with a partner and solitary). Women masturbated less, and reported less desire.

There's no way to tell from this research whether the desire or the masturbation comes first. But there are intriguing hints that perhaps the difference in masturbation habits could explain the desire gap, van Anders said. Sex therapists often tell low-desire patients to try starting sex or masturbation even if they feel uninterested. Often, the desire follows.

Though female masturbation has become less taboo, it is still somewhat stigmatized compared to male masturbation, van Anders said. It's possible that women simply don't practice revving up their desires as much as men do.

"The idea is that if women don't feel comfortable with their genitals and masturbating, and if they don't think it's okay and refrain from doing it and don't express their desires, after a while, the desire might change as well," van Anders said.

The next step, van Anders said, is to get a better handle on the concept of desire, focusing on social factors and not just pharmaceutical fixes for low libidos. People often think that the desire comes first and drives people to seek out sexual pleasure, she said. In reality, desire is a lot like hunger, she said. You might eat because you're starving, or because you're bored, or because it's 6:30 p.m. and that's when you have dinner.

Paul Joannides, PsyD, a psychoanalyst in Waldport, Ore said:
Most women, like men, have masturbated at least once in their lives, research suggests. Frequency varies, and there's no "normal" for that. There's no ''normal" cutoff age, either, with the practice continuing into the 80s and beyond.

Women may feel guilty about it, especially if they are in a committed relationship, but there’s no need for guilt, sex therapists say. Sometimes a partner could just be tired, out of town, or otherwise unavailable.

There is no one "method" of masturbation in women that's normal. "A range of ways is 'normal,''

Fingers and vibrators are two common methods of women's masturbation. More than half of 2,056 women, aged 18 to 60, used a vibrator either during masturbation or intercourse, says Debby Herbenick, PhD, MPH, associate director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, Bloomington, who led the survey.

Other women who masturbate report they use the back of a vibrating toothbrush head, the handle of a hairbrush, or water jets in the bathtub, Joannides says.

Although some experts worry about side effects from vibrator use, such as genital numbness or pain, less than 30% of the women in Herbenick's vibrator survey said they had experienced them.

But another expert, Frank Sommers, MD, a Toronto psychiatrist, worries that excessive vibrator use during masturbation could desensitize women to orgasms with a partner. “I tell my patients, ‘Look on a vibrator as whipped cream -- you wouldn’t want to eat it every day.’’’

He believes too much vibrator use ‘’habituates your autonomic nervous system to such stimulation that a human could not duplicate it.”

However a woman chooses to masturbate, it can improve her spirits. "It can improve a depressed mood," says Kathleen Segraves, PhD, a sex therapist and associate professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University and a therapist at Metrohealth Medical Center in Cleveland, Ohio. "Not clinical depression, but the 'blue funk' days."

"With solo sex, there is no distraction, and you can focus on your own experience without making sure someone else is having a good time," she says.

It doesn't mean you don't love your partner, maybe just that you need to think only about yourself sometimes, experts say. "The woman doesn't have to be outside her head, wondering, 'Am I taking too long?'" Segraves says.

Women who masturbate on a regular basis learn what feels good for them, Segraves says. "It helps build sexual confidence," she says. "It helps you guide the partner when you have a partner.”

You can say, for instance: "Please put your hand here," and not be embarrassed, she says.

Women who use a vibrator during masturbation tend to have better sexual functioning with a partner, Herbenick says.

Sex therapists typically recommend masturbation for women who have a difficult time reaching orgasm. It can help them learn about their body and feel less self-conscious.

"We know that women compared to men have a harder time learning to orgasm," Herbenick says. Masturbating can help, and masturbating with a vibrator may help even more, she says. "Using a vibrator, for reasons we don't understand, helps women orgasm." The survey is published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Those who used a vibrator, she found, even if it had been a year since the last use, "had better sexual functioning in terms of vaginal lubrication, desire, arousal, and ease of orgasm, and they tended to have less pain or discomfort during intercourse."

But "it may be that those who don't find sex painful tend to use a vibrator,” she says.Women are more apt than men to over-analyze a bad day and think: "How could I have done this better?" They are more likely than men, some researchers have found, to replay an argument or bad interaction with people in their head. It all adds up to excess stress.

Researchers call this rumination, and it has been linked in numerous studies to depression.

"If you can start pleasuring yourself, that will often interfere with ruminations," Segraves says. "Not all the time," she says. But it may help.
Women who masturbate often report that it helps relieve menstrual cramps and to improve the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS or PMDD), such as irritability and crankiness.

Masturbating to orgasm may help migraine, too. Although orgasm has sometimes been found to trigger a migraine headache, it may also relieve it, according to some research. Scientists speculate that some factor associated with orgasm (by yourself or with a partner) may suppress pain or actually suppress the migraine process.



Credits: