New female sexual response cycle
excerpt from In Praise of Slow Sex by Luke Brocki, 25 May 2013, TheTyee.ca
There’s the classic linear model developed in the 1966 William Masters & Virginia Johnson book Human Response Cycle, which coined the term and described it as a four-stage progression through phases of excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. But there’s also the newer, non-linear model of female sexual response developed in 2001 by Rosemary Basson, a clinical professor in the department of psychiatry and director of the sexual medicine program at the University of British Columbia. The latter presents a more complicated feedback loop between sexual stimuli, arousal, emotional and physical satisfaction, emotional intimacy and spontaneous sex drive.
And speaking of sex drive, that’s all over the map too. The groundbreaking PRESIDE study (Prevalence of Female Sexual Problems Associated with Distress and Determinants of Treatment Seeking), published in 2008 by a team of American and German researchers in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology, collected cross-sectional population-based data from more than 30,000 U.S. women and found that while 43 per cent of respondents self-reported a sexual problem of some kind, just 22 per cent were bothered by their lack of desire, arousal or orgasm.
“A lot of women have been socialized to service the man or please the man. So women don’t enjoy sex,” says McGrath. “Religion comes into play, education comes into play. Past experiences, trauma, violence against women, sexual abuse all play a role in women’s sexuality.”