Biologists at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University, and researchers at Binghamton University say that “practice yields better results”. The men in the study said that they are less focused on pleasuring their partners during hookups than when they are in relationships. Adversely many women are not comfortable expressing what they want and need in bed during casual sexual encounters.
As I read this research I couldn’t help, but wonder about pleasure conditions on the ground. How might the results of this research be different if conducted in Ghana or in Sierra Leone.
Many moons ago one could naively believe that African women weren’t into casual sex. That we and our sisters were conservative sexual beings waiting to be plucked by marriage least we meet the shame of a broken virginity.
In 4 years living in West Africa, there was little social censure on casual sex. Men and women of all classes, and ethnicities hooked up in Accra, Freetown, Lagos, and even in Dakar. They just don’t talk about hooking up as much. A recent Status of Youth report in Sierra Leone showed that 65% of all young people there between the age of 15-24 were sexually active. Of these 68% of girls were already pregnant by age 20. (Page 80)
So we are having sex, now as to the question of pleasure during sex whether casual or in relationships one can not say since the study has yet to come to campuses across West Africa. But here are some things we can say.
African women for the most part don’t grow up in societies where they are taught that sexual pleasure is their right too. If anything, the rule of thumb is that we are to play coy, and to never want or ask for sex, let alone try to tell the men how you like it while you’re in bed. If only just a quarter of women in the US for example climax from intercourse then surely we can assume that African women even less so. And then if you add the fact that for Sierra Leone for example over 80% of the adult female population is circumcised then who really knows for sure how many among those can still climax.
The goal of sex isn’t always to climax, at least not for women anyway. Sex has so many functions, and for many women it is a tool to manipulate men. In African cities especially, sex is the one sure way that women can have power over men. Often using men’s sexual desires to exploit them for everything from expensive designer bags to houses.
So maybe the African version of the survey would show that less women were having pleasure during casual sex, but I don’t think many expect to whether its a hook up or in relationships. If you don’t expect pleasure, and it doesn’t happen I wonder if you would still feel like you weren’t having a good time during sex? Maybe its the expectation of pleasure that ruins it for all. What do you think?
Dr. Garcia said, “We’ve been sold this bill of goods that we’re in an era where people can be sexually free and participate equally in the hookup culture. The fact is that not everyone’s having a good time.”
What women need to achieve orgasm can be very different from what they find in casual sex. Roughly one-quarter of women reliably experience orgasm through intercourse alone, according to a review of 32 studies conducted by Elisabeth Lloyd, a professor of the history and philosophy of science at Indiana University, in her 2005 book “The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution.” Another third of women rarely or never have orgasms from intercourse.
Vanessa Martini, 23, from Marin County, Calif., learned early on that most men she slept with casually would not intuit her needs.
“I haven’t hooked up with anybody who was so cavalier as to just, like, not even care,” she said. “But I think most of them were somewhat baffled that it would require more than just them thrusting.”
Ms. Martini said she was never taught how to have good sex, let alone how to ask for what she needs. The education she received in school was aimed at stopping teenagers from having sex at all; there wasn’t much discussion of arousal. Ms. Martini said most cultural representations of sex left out the messy details.
“The way we view sex in porn and in movies and in books, people aren’t talking to each other like, ‘Oh, my foot’s falling asleep, we need to move,’” she said.
Communicating about those particulars is especially tricky in hookups. When one awkward exchange or misread text message could end the arrangement altogether, there’s a certain amount of pressure to tread softly, Ms. Martini said.
“You have to balance a lot of things in your brain, like what’s more important to me — just getting off, or do I actually want to have a connection with this person?”