These findings seem ‘consistent with the typical American pattern of sexual interaction in which, as long as the wife neither complains nor refuses to have intercourse, the husband assumes that all is well’, Ms Frank writes. The husbands seemed to be unaware of, or insensitive to, the need for pleasuring and emotional sensitivity in love-making.

The findings have a further implication. If so many women are not enjoying their sexuality as much as they might, where does the fault lie? Does it lie in the way that women have been brought up to understand their sexuality, or is the main problem the lack of sensitivity of men to women’s sexual needs?

It seems that both factors are important, but the lack of sensitivity by men is the more important. One reason why sexual relations are so liable to disturbance is because although we know how the body responds to sexual arousal, we know very much less about the psychological responses.


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