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The Role of Emotional Connection in Orgasm

By HERWriter
 
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Sexual Health related image Photo: Getty Images

Do women need to be emotionally connected in order to achieve orgasm? It depends on who you ask. Many women say no. Others say yes.

Orgasm is the peak of the plateau phase in the sexual response cycle. Pioneer sex researchers Masters and Johnson found that men and women could reach orgasm in about the same amount of time. However, while physical orgasmic response can be generalized, the mental experience of orgasm can be dramatically different from person to person.

For many men, sexual intercourse is an external act. Some researchers say this is due to evolution; that pre-historic men needed many partners to insure survival of the species. They say this is what allows men to more easily separate sex from love.

From a medical standpoint, men are a bit more predictable. Typically if a man stays erect during sexual intercourse, then he’ll have an orgasm 98 percent of the time. Female response is more complex. After eight years of research and several studies, Pfizer, the maker of Viagra, abandoned efforts to prove Viagra is an effective treatment for women. Simply increasing blood flow to women’s genitals didn’t turn into significant improvements in women’s subjective sense of sexual arousal or their ability to have an orgasm.

For women, psychological, emotional, and relationship factors seem to play a greater role in determining their ability to orgasm. In general, women need to feel a sense of emotional connection with their partners, not just a genital one, to get them started on the road to pleasure.

Having intercourse means allowing a man to enter her body. For many women, that can be a deeply personal act. Orgasm itself requires the act of surrendering to the moment and it can depend on trust and a feeling of safety to enter such an emotionally vulnerable state. This is why some women need emotional intimacy before they can orgasm.

Time can play a role as well. If it didn’t start out as love or an emotional connection, that might happen anyway.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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