A September survey by the Journal of Sex Research sought to answer the question, what, exactly, is sexual satisfaction. A number of answers came from the respondents but most importantly there may be an answer to the age-old question of satisfying women sexually.
The study, published in September, has garnered attention based on some of the respondents’ comments. Researchers interviewed 449 women and 311 men in monogamous relationships asking them for their definitions of sexual satisfaction.
What resulted were responses that paint a clear roadmap for partners. Women experienced satisfaction through connecting with a partner and find that just as important, if not more, than orgasm. Men are not all that different.
The study was based on the premise that sexual health is strongly related to sexual satisfaction. Research in the past has not focused on what that actually means to individuals. They asked people in heterosexual, committed relationships, “How would you define sexual satisfaction?”
Two themes popped up when studying responses. The first was personal sexual well-being and the second emphasizes things like romance, creativity, expression of feelings and frequency. Results showed that partners of both sexes feel mutual pleasure plays a big part in satisfaction and positive sexual experiences are more important than a lack of conflict or dysfunction.
Defined by one study participant as, “Satisfaction with one’s sexual life as a whole. It does not imply necessarily to reach orgasm, but it means to have as much pleasure as possible.”
The word most used to describe satisfaction, both male and female? Mutuality of the shared experience. People, of both sexes, believe that pleasure of both partners is important and that it plays a part in one’s own pleasure.
The Huffington Post took the study one step further and asked six women to respond about sexual satisfaction. Their responses mirrored what the study reflected.
“Sexual satisfaction is a well-received and sought-after form of communication. To me, sexual satisfaction is a conversation of love. When my man makes it a point to do the things he knows I like, to ask what feels good, and to make the conversation two-sided, I am satisfied. I am motivated to reciprocate this for him. When my man doesn’t stop when he is finished, or makes it a point to see that I am finished, that is sexual satisfaction. At the end, when we both have reached our goal, and he holds me and whispers, ‘I love you,’ that is sexual satisfaction.” Age 22, Salt Lake City, UT
Another woman notes that satisfaction comes not just from the sexual act but what leads up to it. She wants foreplay that is physically satisfying so having sex does not feel like “a chore.”
A London participant says, “Sexual satisfaction means two people exploring each others’ physical desires with respect and reciprocation. You don’t necessarily need to be in love to fulfill someone’s sexual satisfaction, but the experience is enhanced to another level when you are.”
Participants within the study, male and female, responded almost unanimously that the satisfaction of their partner was important. So, according to a sex survey, what is the key to women’s sexual satisfaction? Surprisingly, it appears to be the same as their partners.
Written by Linda Torkelson