5 MYTHS ABOUT WOMEN’S PHYSIOLOGY
The female reproductive system has long remained a taboo and closed topic. However, even now, in the age of access to information about scientific research, there are a lot of speculations and myths around it. Let’s try to figure out where the fiction is, and where the truth is.
The physiology and anatomy of the female reproductive system, it would seem, should have been of interest to scientific minds, and after them the whole of humanity from time immemorial – because it is with them that the process of the appearance of children and, consequently, the reproduction of the population is connected. However, in reality, everything turned out to be not quite so.
Researchers (most of whom were men – women were not supposed to get an education until the 19th century) were occupied only by organs and conditions directly related to pregnancy and childbirth1. Echoes of this approach can still be observed in school biology textbooks: in the illustrations for the “human reproductive system” section, the male organs are represented in sufficient detail, while the female organs are indicated by a diagram that does not contain signs and half of the really existing elements2. Why are there textbooks – the internal structure of the clitoris was described only at the end of the 20th century, when human anatomy, it would seem, was studied up and down3!
At the same time, such subtle matters as female subjectivity and feelings in the field of sexuality remained “in the shadow” even longer. Parents in families4, doctors in medical institutions5, and even psychologists in articles6 still actively broadcast speculations that substitute real knowledge. The consequences of this, alas, are sad and cover a wide range of negative phenomena – from accusations of victims of violence in the style of “herself to blame” to replacing gynecological treatment with the advice of “lead a regular sex life so that everything works out itself.”
Let’s look at a few popular myths in this area.
MYTH 1: SEX IS REQUIRED FOR “WOMEN’S HEALTH”
This myth has two sides. First, scientists have indeed established a link between sexual activity and women’s health status7. The researchers themselves only note that regular sex is not a cause, but a consequence of well-being. If libido is reduced or absent for one reason or another, then forcing yourself to have sex “because you need to” is a direct path to poor health and the development of various neurotic disorders.
Secondly, there is evidence8 on the benefits of regular orgasms for the female reproductive system: blood supply to the pelvic organs improves, oxytocin and prolactin are produced that have a beneficial effect on the emotional state, etc. However, it is clear that the penetrating heterosex is not the only one (but for many women – and not the main one) the opportunity to get sexual relaxation. Moreover, for this it is not even necessary to have a partner – especially since the assortment of “adult” stores is able to provide a huge variety of sensations without the risks of pregnancy and STDs.
MYTH 2: THERE ARE MANY SPECIES OF FEMALE ORGASMA
For a long time, it was customary to divide the female orgasm into “mature” vaginal and “infantile” clitoral9. Particularly advanced theorists even reached the ideas of a “throat” and “anal” orgasm10 arising as a result of appropriate host practices — however, this belief was not found to be scientific. Studies of the anatomy of the female reproductive system have shown complete failure of such a division.
It turned out that with vaginal penetration, pleasant sensations do not arise due to the reaction of the walls of the vagina – they themselves are characterized by a rather low sensitivity. However, the clitoris legs are adjacent to them, which consist of cavernous bodies and when excited, are filled with blood, due to which they tightly clasp the vagina. Friction during sexual intercourse is transmitted through the walls of internal organs and stimulates the numerous nerve endings located in these clitoris legs. This entails an increase in voltage and the subsequent discharge. Thus, any female orgasm is due to the impact on a complex system, called the “clitourethrovaginal complex” 11.
MYTH 3: A “PRESENT” ORGASM SHOULD BE ACCOMPANIED BY A SQUIRT
This myth is from the category “I hear a ringing, but I don’t know where it is”. Squirt, aka “jet orgasm”, is the allocation of a special secret produced by the glands of the Skin12, sometimes accompanying a female orgasm. The key word here is “sometimes”: the presence, quantity and frequency of secretion of this secret depend on many individual factors, including the anatomical and physiological characteristics of a particular woman. According to various researchers, squirt accompanies sexual discharge from 10% to 54% of women and is not a mandatory component of orgasm13.
An attempt to use “female ejaculation” as an indicator of the “truthfulness” of an orgasm points to two problems at once. The first is men’s uncertainty in their own ability to give pleasure to a partner – otherwise why would they invent such checks?