Written by Tunde Ajaja
~Punch Nigeria. Sunday, July 31, 2016.
Sex has been described as one of the activities that boost closeness in marriage, but the lack of it, or its inadequacy, can equally be detrimental to the success of union.
This all-important activity is so vital that marriage counsellors and psychologists often advise couples not to joke with it, for the sake of keeping their homes together, even if they have to prepare a timetable for it, so that the needs of both parties can be well taken care of.
Meanwhile, sex is only good when the two persons enjoyed the act and reached climax (ejaculation for men and orgasm for women), but findings have shown that in most cases, men reach orgasm in about 95 per cent of their sexual activities while about 25 per cent of women reach orgasm in their sexual encounters.
Mrs. Motun (surname withheld) is one of such women who could count how many times she has reached orgasm on her fingers; even with that, she won't go far on the first five fingers.
"And you know the irony there, my husband and I have sex at least thrice a week, but he's the only one who enjoys it," she told our correspondent.
She continued, "Perhaps there is something wrong somewhere. It has almost become a norm and it is an issue you can't talk to anyone about, so as not to be labelled as being wild. After two to three minutes, my husband ejaculates and that is the end. And the most annoying part is that he sleeps off shortly after. It can be so annoying.
"Initially, I thought it was normal, but while interacting with people, I found that a woman can also reach orgasm. Maybe because I didn't have experience about sex before I married, so I didn't know much about it. The situation has made me to lose interest in sex because he puts me in the mood and leaves shortly after."
Out of frustration of being left hanging after every sexual activity, Motun confronted her husband on the need to satisfy her as well, but was shocked when her husband told her "I'm trying my best."
Mosun, a mother of one, is one out of millions of women who rarely or never reach orgasm, as evidenced by the responses of women who spoke to Saturday PUNCH. It wasn't an issue many of them were willing to talk about, because it is considered a taboo for women to discuss such a topic in public, but those who spoke to our correspondent expressed their frustration and more importantly, the fact that they are helpless.
Even though reaching climax or not has no impact on women's ability to conceive, it has a lot of impact on how much they enjoy sex.
It is therefore helpful to decipher why many women don't reach orgasm.
Here is the reason. Men are able to reach orgasm quickly because the nerves that trigger that intense pleasure are located in the glans (the rounded part forming the head of the penis), thus, its stimulation, usually through rubbing the vaginal walls during intercourse, helps them to ejaculate in 'record' time.
But for women, those nerves that should drive them to reach orgasm are not really in the vagina where they can be stimulated during sex; they are located in the clitoris, which is located at the anterior end of the vulva, or say towards the north (upper) part of the vaginal opening.
Due to the location, the clitoris, which is female's most sensitive zone, is usually not directly stimulated by the penis during intercourse. Thus, a large number of women are not able to climax, even if the sexual act lasts for a longer time.
According to previous studies, sexual activity is usually between 33 seconds and 13 minutes, and understandably, some men could take longer before they ejaculate, but regardless of the length of time, a number of women may still not reach orgasm.
Therefore, it is for no hidden reason that women who are unable to reach orgasm get to that destination when their clitoris is stimulated by mere hand, simply because that is where the nerves are.
According to a consultant endocrinologist, Dr. Olamoyegun Michael, the primary reason women don't reach orgasm through penetrative sex is the inadequate stimulation of the clitoris by the male organ during sex.
He said some women actually do reach orgasm but that a significant percentage of women don't reach that peak and that it is as a product of so many factors. He said even among those who claim to reach that level, some fake it to satisfy the man or not to puncture his ego.
He added, "Clitoris is located at the upper part of the vagina wall. And because of that location, penetrative sex may not drive it to orgasm in some women, unless you use some other means.
"However, some women can reach orgasm through penetration, depending on the experience of both of them, how roomy the woman is, how big the man is, the technique and some other factors. So, it is not hidden that clitoris can affect their ability to reach orgasm or its frequency.
"That is why in the olden days, when women were circumcised, which is the removal of the clitoris, the belief was that those who were not circumcised could be promiscuous, and that goes to show that the clitoris is very sensitive and is important in female sexual satisfaction."
He explained further that the clitoris can be likened to a man's glans, noting that contrary to some beliefs, clitoris does not grow with age. He said the clitoris only expands in size when stimulated due to the increased blood flow.
He stated, "It is not that clitoris grows with age and it doesn't mean that the size of the clitoris in a 10-year-old is the same with that of a 35-year-old. No. It grows, but that increase is related to stimulation.
"Just as it is in men, when the male organ becomes more turgid during sexual intercourse due to the increased blood flow, the same thing happens to the clitoris. When it is stimulated, blood flow to that part increases and it expands the size, length and its sensitivity. And the rate at which it will expand varies from one person to another, just as some women release fluid in their genitals after reaching orgasm while some don't."
Overall, Olamoyegun maintained that when it comes to penetrative sex, the penis may not reach the clitoris well enough, because of where it (clitoris) is located, but that through other means, like manual stimulation, women may find it easy to reach orgasm.
Notably, there are many routes to sexual satisfaction (orgasm), including stimulation of nipples, the earlobes and kissing. And once the woman's erogenous zone is explored during that activity, it takes them to that destination.
But given these options, some women still do not reach orgasm. Olamoyegun explained that women who have previously been sexually abused, or are being abused or maltreated by their husbands may find it difficult to reach orgasm and those who are frigid (inability of a female to respond to sexual stimulus) may find it difficult to reach orgasm because of their past experience.
He noted that those who have worries, challenges and those who have financial issues may also find it difficult to climax because of their state of mind.
He added, "Some women are frigid and such people are usually tensed. Thus, they don't enjoy sex, let alone have orgasm. That could be a product of previous sexual abuse or rape. It is the same experience when the woman is being abused by the man. In addition, there are other medical conditions that can cause it, like diabetes, but there are drugs that can help that now.
"Then we have economic factor, which also applies to men. When there is no money, sex might be the last thing on his mind. So, for a woman too, if there are domestic or other issues on her mind, sex might not appeal to her."