The benefits of valuing a woman’s sexual pleasure

sexual pleasure, orgasm, a woman's pleasure, desire

The benefits of valuing a woman’s sexual pleasure

As we approach 2020 my wish is for a year where women make their pleasure a priority. I see this as an important step for women who want to have good, pleasurable sex in their lives and to assert their wants and needs in sexual matters. 

And what does that really mean? It means that we as women will be happier if we focus on our sexual pleasure. To place value on your sexual pleasure means not giving up your right to pleasure in any relationship. Because all too often women tend to focus more on their male partners’ pleasure (in a traditional heterosexual relationship) than their own. It means understanding what your body likes and responds to, and  developing the necessary communication skills to tell partners exactly that is. 

If you follow my writing you know this idea isn’t new for me. I frequently talk about women’s pleasure and ways in which we can make that our focus. It rises to the top again after reading a recent article on the female orgasm.  

“…new research suggests that due to women’s tendency to devalue their sexual pleasure, particularly with a male partner, not prioritizing orgasms or making orgasms a goal of sexual activity may be working against us.

Across two studies, Gusakova and colleagues explored the degree to which women pursued an orgasm when having penetrative sex with a male partner. Then they looked to see to what degree this might impact orgasm frequency.

The researchers found that women who reported that having an orgasm was a goal they had in mind when having sex were more likely to say that they had an orgasm in their most recent sexual encounter.

The findings suggest that while we may not want to make having an orgasm the only goal of sexual activity, making it a priority (versus not thinking about having an orgasm at all) makes it more likely to occur for women.”   Article    


Researchers looked at the experiences of women who actively seek to have orgasms. (note that the majority of women do not regularly have orgasms during partnered sex) They looked at what happens when women intentionally value their right to have an orgasm during sex. 

Women who decide they want to experience pleasure during sex, specifically an orgasm, typically worked to make those things happen. Instead of passive participation in what is primarily a penis-focused experience, women chose to focus on their own sexual desires. And those women were more likely to orgasm. 

The article did not discuss what steps women took to shift into a more active role. That might depend on what kind of relationship you already have. It does mean you need to know what kind of touch, or mood, position, etc., is most likely to help you have an orgasm. Is it a primary focus on your clitoris? Is it longer periods of play and arousal before penetration. Is it sex that involves no penetration? What do you like? What does your partner know about what turns you on?

If you don’t know what you like chances are your partner won’t either.

The article spoke to the notion that these women learned to ‘value their sexual pleasure’. That’s the key element. Secondary, but very important, is having a partner who also values your sexual pleasure. 

If you’ve been with a man who asks, “was it good for you?” or “Did you come?”, it’s likely that he’s not as focused on your pleasure as he could be.

The dynamics shift when women take charge of their own pleasure and insist on an equal partnership during sex.  Those women are more educated about their bodies, more comfortable talking about their sexual needs, and more importantly, are seeking equal pleasure. They have stopped placing a partner’s needs above their own. Or as the article’s author says, they are no longer devaluing their pleasure. 

We can change the roles and the rules about what sex is supposed to look like. We start by valuing a woman’s sexual pleasure. We can ask for what we want in bed with a partner. We can initiate. We can bring toys into bed. We can masturbate, as a learning tool, for heightened arousal, or to give us the pleasure we want if we’re not partnered  We can say No. We can say Yes. We can allow ourselves to enjoy all aspects of sex. We can luxuriate in our own sexuality. 

We can invite sexual desire into our lives. Here’s to a sexier, more fulfilling 2020! 


There are lots of websites and books which address female sexual desire and pleasure. My book, Inviting Desire is written on just this topic—how to open up to desire and pleasure, asking what you want, and finding the tools to bring it into your life. Not just to have sex, but to voice what your body desires and learn now to have those conversations with a partner, or if single, how to create your own pleasure.

Here are some articles I’ve previously written about valuing a woman’s sexual pleasure: 

When Changing Bodies Lead to Changes in Sexual Response

Age Doesn’t Define a Woman’s Sexual Desire. 


Photo by Victoria Strukovskaya on Unsplash

  • Kathleen
    Posted at 12:00h, 05 January Reply

    We are 66 and 69 and due to a lot of family circumstances have never experienced the pleasure of being empty nesters .I think that for a long time led me to put my needs ,my desires on the back burner . Reading some of your writings has taught me NOT to put myself on the back burner any longer. I instituted “date night”. That is dinner and a movie if there is something I’d like to see. The more alone time we got the more we sought out alone time and that and viagra has worked wonders in the bedroom as well as me taking pleasure and directing if I must .Thankyou .

    • Walker Thornton
      Posted at 13:15h, 06 January Reply

      That is so wonderful. I’m so happy you took steps to get what you need!!!

  • Shona
    Posted at 03:27h, 30 March Reply

    It took me till the age of 30 to realize what I like and what I want. I had to leave my husband and step outside my safe zone in order to get to know my own body and wishes. And it was worth it. I don’t have a partner now, but I feel more free (sexually and in other ways). I have a small collection of sex toys and a sexual partner now and then 🙂 and I am happier then ever. Ora as my best friend is not a bad situation.

    • Walker Thornton
      Posted at 09:16h, 31 March Reply

      Thank you for sharing that. I’m glad to hear you’re having fun sexually, particular as a single person–it’s so very important.

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