This morning on The View, the gals dug into this study, from the November issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology, which reported that a whopping 40% of women report sexual dysfunction — including lack of arousal and inability to achieve orgasm — while only 12% of them care about it. As Joy pointed out, it could be argued that because an overwhelming majority of these women with sexual problems aren't bothered by it, then it's kind of a non-issue — and that's probably the biggest problem of all. Of course women are going to not care about not having a physical feeling they may have never experienced to begin with. The fact that many women are still so uncomfortable talking about sex and/or the idea of masturbation undoubtedly contributes to their lack of knowledge about their own bodies and desires. It would seem that, in this case, ignorance inhibits bliss.
This is exactly why openly discussing our sex lives — especially with our girlfriends — is crucial; hearing about others' experiences is helpful in gauging our sexual health. This isn't to say that we should automatically think something is wrong if our sex lives don't measure up to that of our peers. But many sexual health problems stem from a discomfort with the topic, and the more we talk about sex and masturbation, the more comfortable we will be with the issue. Familiarity breeds orgasms!
Of course, this might be a generational thing. Pretty much every woman I know talks sex — and often. But we've grown up in a culture — with pop icon sex educators, Sex and the City, designer vibrators — that facilitates and encourages such discourse. According to the study, "The highest prevalence of sexual dysfunction was in older women, but they experienced less associated distress. The most distress occurred at mid-life." However, it also says that "the youngest women had the lowest prevalence of problems and of associated distress," which would indicate that we're still not 100% comfortable with our our bodies, and ourselves.
Almost Half of Women Have Sexual Problems [U.S. News & World Report]