Once a woman has learned to experience orgasm through self­stimulation, sharing her discoveries with her partner can help her partner know what forms of stimulation are most pleasing to her. Each partner takes turns visually exploring the other’s genitals, locating all the parts discussed in Chapters 3 and 4. After looking thoroughly, they experiment with touch, noticing and sharing what different areas feel like. The next step is for the woman to stimulate herself in her partner’s presence, and her partner can be holding and kissing her or lying beside her, as shown in I Figure 14.5. This step is often a dif­ficult one. One woman described how she dealt with her discomfort:

When I wanted to share with my partner what I had learned about myself through masturbation, I felt anxious about how to do it. Finally, we decided that to begin with, I would be in the bedroom, and he would be in the living room, knowing I was masturbating. Then he would sit on the bed, not looking at me. The next step was for him to hold and kiss me while I was touching myself. Then I could be comfortable showing him how I touch myself. (Authors’ files)

Next the partner begins nondemanding manual genital pleasuring. The couple can do this in any position that suits them. The woman places her hand over her partner’s hand on her genitals to guide the partner’s touch. They can use lubricants to increase pleasure of the sensations. The purpose of the initial sessions is for the woman to teach her partner what feels good rather than to produce orgasm. Once the woman thinks she is ready to experience orgasm, she indicates to her partner to continue the stimulation until she expe­riences climax. Orgasm will probably not occur until the couple has had several sessions.

Couples can use several specific techniques to increase a woman’s arousal and the possibility of orgasm during intercourse. The first has to do with when to begin inter­course. Rather than beginning intercourse after a certain number of minutes of fore­play or when there is sufficient lubrication, a woman can be guided by her feeling of what might be called "readiness." Readiness is a vaginal sensation of wanting intercourse. Not all women experience this feeling of readiness, but for those who do, beginning intercourse at this time (and not before) can enhance the ensuing erotic sensations. Of course, the woman’s partner will have to cooperate by waiting for her to indicate when she is ready and by not attempting to begin intercourse before then.

A woman who wants increased stimulation dur­ing coitus might benefit from initiating the kinds of movements and pressure she finds most arousing.

A woman can also stimulate her clitoris manually or with a vibrator during intercourse, as shown in I Figure 14.6 on page 424. Her partner’s manual stimulation of her clitoris during intercourse will likely also enhance arousal. ■ Table 14.5 high­lights how women who are routinely orgasmic during intercourse facilitate experiencing orgasm (Ellison, 2000).