Virginia Ironside: 'If this research allows people to be at ease with themselves, I like it'

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The Independent Online

"This study, if true, comes as a relief and should be welcomed.

"This study, if true, comes as a relief and should be welcomed.

"It could stop people worrying about their sex lives if they thought there was a genetic, rather than physical, reason for problems. Women would stop blaming themselves for not relaxing, and stop blaming their partners for not getting them aroused. So if this research allows people to be at ease with themselves, I like it.

"Paradoxically, the less anxious you are about sex, the more you enjoy it, and the knowledge that it's not anyone's fault might make you enjoy sex more. However, if taken to extremes, it could be problematic. Men would stop bothering and women could give up, and that would be ridiculous.

"But it would be wrong to say that not achieving orgasm is a defect. Not everyone is that sexy - and thinking that you should be able to achieve orgasm easily can cause a lot of unhappiness.

"There are different shades of sex in everyone. Some are too sexy, while others are not sexy enough and neither are very nice places to be.

"As for the claim that a woman's failure to achieve orgasm easily is a mate-selection tool - that is absolute rubbish. A great sexual partner could turn out to be just that and nothing more.

"Finally, it doesn't surprise me this research was done by a man. These studies are always based on the male sexual experience - this rigid idea of penetration, orgasm, followed by sleep. We should ask the question: what do they mean by sex? Does that include cuddling, or oral sex?

"Research into sex always seems to assume that women should become more like men. For them, orgasm is the be-all and end-all, but that is not necessarily the case for women."

Virginia Ironside was talking to Kate Morris

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