A recent study suggests that men need women to orgasm to feel more masculine.
For the study, researchers from the University of Michigan developed an experiment, ‘The Imagined Orgasm Exercise,’ which randomly assigned 810 men to read a vignette where they imagined that an attractive woman climaxed or didn’t during sex with them.
Results showed that men felt more masculine, and reported higher sexual esteem when they imagined that the woman climaxed.
“Certainly, many men who experience women’s orgasms as a masculinity achievement may also be genuinely invested in women’s pleasure and thus may be motivated to attend to women with zeal,” the researchers wrote in The Journal of Sex Research.
They also report that women frequently fake orgasms to preserve a man’s masculinity and make him feel good about himself.
According to researchers, women are made to feel like they are missing out on good sex if they don’t climax or want to do so via non-partnered stimulation.
Also, infrequent orgasms could be seen as a failure of a man’s skills or some kind of medical or psychological dysfunction or disorder within the woman.
“Women who seek medical consultation for their own orgasm problems have described their concern as stemming from their male partner’s feelings of sexual inadequacy,” the researchers write.
Co-author of the research, Sara Chadwick, said research has shown “quite convincingly” that sexuality between women and men has historically been about men’s pleasure.
“It usually ends with men’s orgasms and often a woman’s orgasm isn’t even part of the story. In the Victorian era, women were thought not to have any kind of sexuality whatsoever,” she said.
“The sexual revolution of the ’60s and ’70s brought increased focus on women’s pleasure, making women’s orgasms a symbol of gender equality. Today, there’s increasing pressure on women, and men, to fulfil certain sexual norms — lots of sex, ending in orgasm — in a culture of almost compulsory sexuality.
“Yet studies have found that many women fake climaxes to please their male partners highlighting that women sometimes prioritize their male partner’s ego” over communicating their own sexual desires.”
Lead researcher, Sari van Anders, an associate professor of psychology and women’s studies, said: “I want to be clear — certainly this isn’t something that all men would experience and this isn’t something that most men are doing consciously or on purpose.
“This is about how our cultural norms about gender and sexuality can turn heterosexual interactions into an arena for performance — meaning there’s pressure to perform and less scope to enjoy what’s going on, learn from it and experience it for what it is.”
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