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Shere Hite’s search for the female orgasm What happened to one of our most famous feminists?

'Hite died in September 2020. Her funeral was a bit like a meeting of the Stevie Nicks Appreciation Society: lots of women with long flowing hair and cheesecloth skirts.' (Credit: The Disappearance of Shere Hite/IFC Films)

'Hite died in September 2020. Her funeral was a bit like a meeting of the Stevie Nicks Appreciation Society: lots of women with long flowing hair and cheesecloth skirts.' (Credit: The Disappearance of Shere Hite/IFC Films)


February 20, 2024   5 mins

“We need to make a film about me.” That was one of the first things Shere Hite, the feminist sex researcher, said to me when I met her in May 2011. Now, three years after she died aged 77, her wish has come true. The Disappearance Of Shere Hite, released last month, charts the fascinating life of the woman responsible for exposing the uncomfortable fact that, for women, penetrative sex rarely results in orgasm.

To truly understand how revolutionary Hite’s research and findings were in the mid-Seventies, it’s important to look at what male sexologists — back then, there was no other kind — had been saying up until then. The two most famous, Sigmund Freud and Alfred Kinsey, had both promoted the notion of the “authentic” orgasm, achievable only in the vagina — in other words, as a result of penile penetration — or as Hite put it, “the great male thrust”.

In her 1976 book, The Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality, Shere offered a definitive debunking of the myth that women could only achieve orgasm through heterosexual penetration — and that those that couldn’t were “frigid”. As Hite pointed out, sexologists such as William Masters and Virginia E. Johnson had conducted their research in the laboratory, whereas hers focused on women’s experiences, told in their own words. The majority of the women who participated in the research disclosed that they could easily make themselves orgasm by masturbating, and that sex with male partners was far less satisfactory.

Of course, telling men that they are rubbish in the sack was — and remains — incendiary. The backlash was severe: Playboy magazine referred to the book as “The Hate Report”. And many found it difficult to take such a glamorous woman — one who had funded her PhD by posing for that very magazine — seriously. Still, it became a phenomenon; even today, 46 years after its publication, it remains the 30th-bestselling book of all time. In The Hite Report, Shere had put her finger on the pulse of the second wave of feminism: sex and sexuality. This was what feminists kept coming back to in the Seventies, in demanding both the freedom to live without the threat and reality of sexual violence, and women’s sexual liberation and pleasure. One cartoon that did the rounds showed a young girl asking her father, “Dad, what’s a clitoris?” to which he replied: “I don’t know, love, ask your mother.”

“Telling men that they are rubbish in the sack was — and remains — incendiary”

Hite was accused of using her research to make a political point — namely, that women didn’t need men. But what she actually did was lift the lid on women’s best-kept secret: their sexual dissatisfaction within heterosexual relationships. Women had not been asked about sexual pleasure by sexologists in the past. Her findings were damning: 84% of respondents to her questionnaire were not satisfied emotionally with their relationships; 95% reported “emotional and psychological harassment” from their male partners; 98% desired more communication, and just 13% of women who’d been married more than two years described themselves as being “in love”.

Those who hated her findings — pretty much any man who heard about them — became antagonistic. She was accused by sexologists and academics of bias and flawed methodology. Hite had distributed 100,000 detailed questionnaires in brown paper envelopes to random addresses from the phone book. Around 4,500 were completed and returned to her. Some publicly and angrily claimed the data was skewed because the women most likely to have chosen to complete and return the questionnaires would probably be those who were unhappy in their relationships with men; in other words, those with an axe to grind.

But as Hite told me in 2011, “Freud only interviewed three Viennese women.” She went on television to answer her critics, only to find herself on the receiving end of vicious verbal attacks. In 1995, tired of being one of the most notorious feminists on the planet, she renounced her US citizenship and moved to Europe, eventually settling in the UK. Yet the vitriol continued, and she was regularly followed by paparazzi. Because of her uncompromising manner with male interviewers, and the fact that she had published very unpopular findings about men, she had alienated the press in the US. Although her books were translated into several languages and sold in various non-English-speaking countries, her unpopularity was such that no American publisher would print her subsequent titles.

One of the most startling findings was that 70% of women who had been married for more than five years had had at least one extra-marital affair. The Washington Post was so angry about her findings in The Hite Report that they conducted their own survey by phoning women and asking them questions. Hite’s response was caustic, as ever: “Maybe if her husband is in and she’s making dinner she may not want to answer questions about how happy or unhappy she is in her marriage.” Male journalists and commentators didn’t like the fact that Hite had made millions by dishing it out to men, but couldn’t take it when they argued back.

Having read her book, I had wanted to interview Hite for years when she contacted me via another feminist icon, Gloria Steinem, to accept my request to write a profile of her. “I want the young ones to know how important my work is,” she wrote. We arranged to meet at a cafĂ© in Walthamstow, near the modest home she shared with her boyfriend Paul Sullivan. He escorted Hite to the meeting because, as she told me, “I can’t do anything on my own anymore”. When I asked what the problem was, she said she was suffering from “a condition”.

Brandishing a camera and accompanied by a sound person, Sullivan informed me that he was making a film about Hite that he hoped to sell, though no one had asked me if it was OK for them to film my interview. However, my irritation soon dissipated as the conventionally beautiful, ultra-feminine Hite began throwing around words like clitoris, orgasm, thrusting and fucking. The men in the greasy spoon didn’t know where to look.

Her openness had its limits, however. When I asked Hite whether she had ever had female lovers, she changed the subject. Twice. I have since been approached by two women, separately, who have told me about their sexual relationships with Hite. For all her chutzpah, Hite seemed vulnerable when I met her. She said she regretted not having children, and was considering having a baby via a surrogate, at the age of 68. As we left that interview, she leant forward to whisper to me, “because I have sold a lot of books, I think that women think that I’m fine, but I’m not fine. I hope they realise that.”

I was disappointed: this was not the kickass feminist I’d been looking forward to meeting. And anyone who looks into her life will find that her behaviour was often totally unreasonable. Hite was accused of punching and choking the driver of a limousine who was waiting at her Fifth Avenue apartment to take her to a coveted slot on Sally Jessy Raphael’s talk show. According to a producer, Hite was angry at the driver telling her that, because he had had to wait an hour, it was now too late to get her to the studio. He claims that she physically attacked him when he called her “dear”. Hite denied this. The next day, on another TV show with Larry King, Hite went berserk, storming off the set when the controversy was mentioned.

Her personal imperfections are stark, but her work still deserves to be remembered. The Hite Report is still relevant today; decades after its publication, the majority of women in the UK still reported being dissatisfied with their sex lives and feeling discomfort during sex. But though Hite was one of the most famous feminists on the planet, few talk about her now. As the second-wave feminist Phyllis Chesler remarked in The Disappearance Of Shere Hite, if she ever mentions Hite to young feminists today, they have no idea who she was. I hope the film — which includes fascinating archive material, including interviews with Hite and extracts from her personal journals — brings her work back into the spotlight, and helps more women to feel liberated.

Hite died in September 2020. Her funeral was a bit like a meeting of the Stevie Nicks Appreciation Society: lots of women with long flowing hair and cheesecloth skirts. Several of her old friends were there, almost all of whom told me that it had been a very long time since they had seen Hite. She had become something of a hermit. The last time I spoke with her, she had told me that she was writing a screenplay about her life. It never materialised. My interview with her turned out to be the very last one she ever gave.


Julie Bindel is an investigative journalist, author, and feminist campaigner. Her latest book is Feminism for Women: The Real Route to Liberation. She also writes on Substack.

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Max Price
Max Price
3 months ago

Julie you just brushed past what to my mind seems a valid critique of her methodology. Referring to Freud’s limited sample and implying that critics were simply motivated by sexism doesn’t cut it and you know it.

Simon Boudewijn
Simon Boudewijn
3 months ago
Reply to  Max Price

”she leant forward to whisper to me, “because I have sold a lot of books, I think that women think that I’m fine, but I’m not fine. I hope they realise that.””

BUT WHY NOT??? Why not? Kind of like like reading of someone trying to photograph the illusive snow leopard – and then he will not tell you if he did see one and photograph it.

OK Julie – you left out the punch line so the whole joke is meaningless and confusing…

And so my kind of problematic brain has to think:

Because:

She now realizes that marrying a good man, having a couple children and raising them as a traditional family in the suburbs with the girl doing ballet lessons and the boys playing football and Church on many Sunday mornings in their good clothes, and family holidays, and the Grandparents and a small dog, and, and unwrapping the presents at Christmas, and school and later University, and then Grandchildren, and….
That that is what would have made her happy….
Because she realized the elusive penetrative orgasm is not the be-all and end-all of living out one’s three score and seventeen……

Is that the punchline but you dare not admit it? I just could not help wondering….

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago

What if the girl wants to play football and the boy ballet?
I can also think of a thousand better ways to spend my Sunday than listening to a vicar waffle on about some old fables but each to their own

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
3 months ago

Behind those curtains, women were often punchbags, and you know it. There’s your punchline.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Exactly.

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
3 months ago

Why only a small dog? What have you got against medium and large dogs?
Signed: A Cocker Spaniel Lover
Seriously, your response echoes my feelings entirely. Shere Hite’s methodology was appalling, which means that her conclusions are also, well, s.hite.

Skink
Skink
3 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

They rang true for me, and other women I knew then. And what is standing against someone replicating the study with better methodology?

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
3 months ago
Reply to  Skink

I’m afraid that ‘They rang true for me, and other women I knew’ doesn’t cut it. I could with complete truth answer that, married for 48 years to the same man, I have never failed to orgasm; but so what? Anecdotes aren’t statistics.

Skink
Skink
3 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

Exactly. So why doesn’t somebody replicate it?

Max Price
Max Price
3 months ago
Reply to  Skink

I would imagine studies into women’s sexual satisfaction are quite numerous. Try a google search.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  Max Price

Probably not on your work computer though, the results could get you in trouble

Martin Goodfellow
Martin Goodfellow
3 months ago

Yes, and if only having orgasms was as totally important and fulfilling as Julie makes out, she could stop attacking men and live happily ever after. She might have to get a new job, though.

UnHerd Reader
UnHerd Reader
3 months ago

What you’re implying is that it’s no big deal if a woman never has an orgasm, because she has children and a good life. Is that the same for men? Would a man be content if he never had an orgasm?

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
3 months ago
Reply to  UnHerd Reader

No. So, it’s not odd that women aren’t content either.

William Shaw
William Shaw
3 months ago

If the statistics quoted in this article are accurate why do women continue to marry?
It makes no sense. Apparently they are behaving irrationally and against their own interests.
Stay single ladies, or find another woman to consort with.

Jonathan Andrews
Jonathan Andrews
3 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Quite. If women are marrying and pretending to like sex and their husbands, what does that say about them?

I have no idea what proportion of women enjoy sex, neither did Shere Hite nor does Julie.

Julie has an unfortunate tendency to search for data to support her belief that men are cruel and heartless and women, saintly.

Andrew H
Andrew H
3 months ago

“Julie has an unfortunate tendency to search for data to support her belief that men are cruel and heartless and women, saintly.” Spot on.

Wilfred Davis
Wilfred Davis
3 months ago

Julie has an unfortunate tendency to search for data to support her belief that men are cruel and heartless and women, saintly.

From my reading of Julie Bindel, this is usually true – to the extent of rendering reading her articles rather dull because one knows in advance what she is going to say. A bit of a Poor Jenny One-Note.

In this article, however, she does not spare her female subject in a number of tart critical observations.

(Though men are still dreadful, too, of course.)

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Being married isn’t the problem. If vaginal intercourse is the problem being single isn’t going to help; There’s a lot of information out there now about women’s sexuality, so it would seem lack of communication between couples might be the problem. I’d be curious to see a survey on the sexual satisfaction of lesbians.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

That’s cheating though, they’ve basically got their own practice kit. Us blokes are going in blind!

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
3 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Well then it’s time you grew up and left the lights on.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Sounds like too much effort to be honest. We’ve already knocked out multiple kids, she’s long since missed her chance to do a runner

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
3 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Ha! I enjoy a high percentage of your raillery and respect your willingness to play the rogue. Not that that’s all you’ve got–but you do have it.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  AJ Mac

I don’t mean to, I just find it hard not to push back against judgemental Puritanism.
As long as what you do doesn’t directly negatively affect others then fill your boots, life is supposed to be as fun as you can make it

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Aw,can you jet over to my locale and push back on the judgmental Puritanism that has had me wearing The Scarlet Letter for 50 years now. No,thought not,you’d be one of my accusers too.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

That reference is lost on me I’m afraid

David McKee
David McKee
3 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Yes, I get the joke too. (I am not a humourless lefty.) Unfortunately, for far too many men, that is exactly their attitude – in and out of bed.
(Oh, and BTW, it’s never too late to trade in a clapped-out old banger for a younger model. Young men appreciate the experience an older woman has, compared to their female contemporaries.)

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
3 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

It’s just not experience. It’s also inhibitedness, something women tend to slough off as they become older and more honest with themselves.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  David McKee

As long as that young stud pays the mortgage and looks after the kids then good luck to them.
I might actually get to keep a portion of my wages in that scenario!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

OMG! How callous.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

That’s where communication comes in. We learn pretty fast with f******o.

William Shaw
William Shaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

I haven’t seen any data on sexual satisfaction within lesbian marriage but one would imagine that the participants would be expert at pleasuring each other.
However, there is extensive data on other aspects of lesbian marriages.
Lesbian couples divorce at twice the rate of gay couples and at a much higher rate than heterosexual couples.
Violence within lesbian relationships is also more prevalent than in heterosexual marriage.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Two women CANNOT share a kitchen.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

I always think gay men’s sex must also be foolproof for the same reason.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

It would make your eyes water though wouldn’t it

Sue Sims
Sue Sims
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Apparently recent(ish) research shows that approximately 10% women orgasm in casual encounters, whereas within a stable marriage, the figure is just under 50%.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

Wouldn’t it depend on the man? Perhaps the man tries harder to please in a casual encounter.

Andrew H
Andrew H
3 months ago
Reply to  Sue Sims

I’m glad you brought this up. Funnily enough, Ms Bindel neglected to mention this.

Lesley-Anne Tilly Turner
Lesley-Anne Tilly Turner
2 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

Mind the gap – great book that looks into (with research) the lower organism rates for females in hetero relationships

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
3 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

Most men have learned a lot about delivering sexual pleasure to their partners in the last fifty years. Some thanks to Ms Hite, and some more thanks to Mayfair and Playboy.

Betsy Warrior
Betsy Warrior
3 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

You think sex and love are synonymous!? That women get married for sex? So ignorant. Sex is sex and love is love – sometimes they’re coincidental. Anne Koedt wrote about “The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm” a few years before Shere H. All that transgender crap about “love is love” when they’re really talking about sex without mentioning Douglas Donna Perry who seemed to like sex, but didn’t love his victims.

William Shaw
William Shaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Betsy Warrior

No man thinks that love and sex are synonymous.
Nothing distinguishes between the sexes more than this one fact.

Andrew H
Andrew H
3 months ago

“For women, penetrative sex rarely results in orgasm.” For some women that will be true. Probably for a significant percentage of women.But not “for women”.

Steve Murray
Steve Murray
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew H

Julie uses the qualifying term “rarely”, which renders your point unworthy of being made.

Andrew H
Andrew H
3 months ago
Reply to  Steve Murray

Nope, “rarely” is an insufficient qualifier in my view. To be perfectly honest, it’s more like “almost always” in my experience.

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
3 months ago
Reply to  Andrew H

Excuse my ignorance, but what can one do in a lesbian relationship that a man cannot do with his wife. Sex is not just penetrative intercourse.

Andrew H
Andrew H
3 months ago
Reply to  Peter F. Lee

Indeed it isn’t! But in actual fact penetrative sex can be highly pleasurable for both men and women in heterosexual relationships. Communication about what works for both parties certainly helps.

Andrew H
Andrew H
3 months ago

Shere Hite: a spoonerism if ever there was one. And how about that photo and that opening line for humble self-awareness?

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago

The vagina monologues are an residue of tasteless Nineties kitsch. And the whole thing is just one giant boring monologuue. Who could or would want to imagine men complaining en masse that women just don’t get it, and do violence to the p***s. And why do they always leave the toilet seat down, for goodness sake? Are they sabotaging us, or just lazy? Do they hate us that much?

Saul D
Saul D
3 months ago

The male version of the vagina monologues is frequently performed at the end of an evening, after a gallon of beer. They call it ‘Talking b*ll*cks’.

Andrew Boughton
Andrew Boughton
3 months ago
Reply to  Saul D

That does happen. Just not among civil friends from older cultures.

Charles Stanhope
Charles Stanhope
3 months ago

Reading this it makes one wonder how we ever got out of the NEANDERTHAL Valley.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
3 months ago

Charles, I’ve never heard it called that before.

2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
3 months ago

There are 3 trains an hour to Dusseldorf.

2 plus 2 equals 4
2 plus 2 equals 4
3 months ago

Some of Hite’s critics may well have been motivated by misogyny and personal abuse is not acceptable. But there seem on the face of it to be some reasonable criticisms of her methodology.

The deal is that if you make bold claims, your evidence must be open to scrutiny. It’s a good deal which has served human progress well.

The fact that others get away with it, doesn’t make it open season.

Charles Wells
Charles Wells
3 months ago

The findings set out in the Hite report were that for the majority of respondents sex with their partners was unfulfilling and that orgasm was rarely achieved through penetrative sex. That is worth thinking about, rather than attacking the messenger.

Skink
Skink
3 months ago
Reply to  Charles Wells

The Hite Report. That takes me back! One of the amazing books of my life.
And then there is this discussion, full of snide comments from men. Has anything changed meanwhile?
Why is it, that penetrative sex is so unsatisfying for us women, how did we get here, and what might turn the corner? I have always liked penises, and have not gone over to the lesbian crowd, and yet, this question remains.

Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
3 months ago
Reply to  Skink

It’s really not that complicated. Whatever the position, either the man or the woman can usually get a finger on the nub of the problem.

William Shaw
William Shaw
3 months ago
Reply to  Skink

If women don’t tell men what they want and how they like it they only have themselves to blame.
Imagine going through life with secret desires and needs and never expressing them.
And why
 is it shame or embarrassment?
Do you prefer the suffer in silence except when with your female friends where you trash your man?
Hardly a recipe for happiness. .

Skink
Skink
3 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

It’s not that simple. Both sexes were brainwashed. Hite put forward actual women’s voices which was revolutionary, in this area. It’s not so much that I had “secret desires’ 🙂 as that I did not know how to square this circle: my anatomy invited the hump, whereas I liked pressure and subtle movements… The whole culture was about the hump. Even after Hite.
Edit: And dammit, it’s not about who’s to blame!!! I am so sick of this crap. It’s some sort of a mutual misunderstanding that was pushed by the culture, and was not helped any by the war between the sexes.

William Brand
William Brand
3 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

The problem had a simple mechanical solution, a vibrator to finish off the girl. Why did not Playboy take ads for these simple machines and teach men to use them after intercourse.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  William Brand

You old romantic you! I bet you were fighting the ladies off with pearls of wisdom like that!

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 months ago
Reply to  William Shaw

I’m thinking maybe you should ask. It’s a 2 -way street.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
3 months ago

Shere Hype or S.Hite for short.

An epigraph….

E throbb (poet).

‘And so you died dear Sheer
Alone and unorgasmussed.

You sent out a questionnaire
And printed the results.

Fame and fortune
We’re then your portion.

I’m glad that you did nab it
To buy that rampant rabbit.

Forget the useless p***k
For Julie’s got a trick

Or two.

(up her sleeve or maybe sheath).’

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
3 months ago
Reply to  Mike Downing

Rude doggerel has its place, but try to be clever or funny when you can.

Gordon Black
Gordon Black
3 months ago

In my lifetime the world population has quadrupled thanks to women … just sayin’.

Rob N
Rob N
3 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Not sure if it has quadrupled but the increase is actually mostly due to men and their inventions in medicine and fields. Clearly women had the babies but they could not have done that without men and so comment a bit odd.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  Rob N

Yet it’s odd that the main reason for creating the contraceptive pill was to reduce the Worlds population as back in the late 1960s the Popular Fear idea of the time (we always need at least one Popular Fear idea) was a crushed and crowded world in which no one of could breathe and all the wild places of the earth were turned into Parking Lots like in the Joni Mitchell song that she didnt write as an Environmental Anthem but turned out to be one. Also in the 1960s many young men and women still had memories of stories about a great-grandma around 1900 living in extreme poverty with about 10 kids. So it seemed like a good idea to reduce the number of babies. And now we are being told that our populations are diminishing,while other populations are merrily increasing confident in having captured the future. And there is a theory out there that there might be a cadre of people,maybe people with access to RESOURCES who want to reduce the population and now that voluntary methods have proved inneffective are marshalling more punitive methods,War,Famine (once enough farmland has been.put out of use),and -as Gay proved inneffective in stopping breeding step it up to Trans and thus neuter them.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Another silly monologue.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

Procreation and having orgasms isn’t the same thing at all. So sad you’ve got to this stage in life and haven’t previously going that out.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Deb Grant

What?!!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Gordon Black

That’s silly they didn’t do it alone.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  Clare Knight

One did if you believe the bible

Graeme Crosby
Graeme Crosby
3 months ago

Julie naturally wishes that women are better at sex with other women than men are.

Mike Downing
Mike Downing
3 months ago

A lady called Sheer missed a trick
When forsaking the pleasureless p***k
Since to find something finer
For her loveless vagina
She used Julie’s feminist schtick.

Richard C
Richard C
3 months ago

” Some publicly and angrily claimed the data was skewed because the women most likely to have chosen to complete and return the questionnaires would probably be those who were unhappy in their relationships with men; in other words, those with an axe to grind.”
That’s not a claim, its self-evident.
The book was entertaining but the research was always dodgy and self-serving.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard C

Self serving it may have been – but she was right. End of story.

Dougie Undersub
Dougie Undersub
3 months ago

Hang on, Julie. First you say there were only male sexologists in the Seventies, then in the next paragraph you mention sexologist Virginia E Johnson. Que?

James Love
James Love
3 months ago

Stop highlighting I consistencies when the fine woman is talking about her orgasms. This is important stuff.

AJ Mac
AJ Mac
3 months ago

“Her personal imperfections are stark, but her work still deserves to be remembered”. So now it’s not just felonies, abuse, and (the wrong kind of) bigotry/bias that renders an author fit to be ignored? Generous of Mx. Bindel to extend Hite this indulgence, despite her stark imperfections. Are there any male authors to whom she’d extend the same, maleness notwithstanding?
If most men are rubbish at sex–I can neither confirm nor deny this–what are those women who lay there like dead (if pretty) fish…cowed into paralysis by the patriarchy?

Alex Lekas
Alex Lekas
3 months ago

Of course, telling men that they are rubbish in the sack was — and remains — incendiary. — Well, I imagine so, much like calling a woman ‘frigid’ is not likely to win over partners. In the adult world, meanwhile, couples figure out what each other likes because it tends to make the relationship work much better.

Daniel Lee
Daniel Lee
3 months ago

Complaints about responses coming mostly from self-selected unhappy women seem pretty valid, especially considering the societal and cultural atmosphere at the time.

James Love
James Love
3 months ago

Botox, orgasms, butt bleaching … the lower classes struggle to just live while the upper classes w**k.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago
Reply to  James Love

The non-working benefit classes took the Sexual Revolution very seriously and make having Sexual Adventures the foundation base of their lives. I can confirm my statement as back in the early 2000s I once had to attend a two week motivation course to gedda job. I’d been my Mums carer for 10 years,did it well,then – had no job! – was over 60 but was treated as if I was 22!
This job motivation course ,it wasnt called that,the Tutor who led it was lovely,told us all that stuff about believing in yourself,putting out a positive image etc. But it was my classmates who stunned me,these were people id only ever seen on TV.
Almost all of them took drugs,one had been through rehab but still smoked the odd bit..they all links,to consuming,dealing,whatever,not maybe them but they knew the dealers,the users,were a bit of both. They all,from their casual conversations,politely and tactfully carried on in the absence of the Tutor absolutely worshipped Sex and made it the Foundation of their Life,the Focus of Existence. It was more Porn and Hardcore than ….well Matron! Every so often one of them would go shhh,and glance concernedly at me for a sec,they would all share a “there’s a child in the room” look then,they couldn’t resist,lol,resume the conversation. One young woman had 8 kids at home,left on their own as if she didn’t attend this stupid waste of time (my feeling) all her benefit money,her only income would be stopped,she’d had 14 abortions,she’d had six miscarriages,she so obviously could not look after or nurture the 8 that had escaped all vicissitudes and got born yet her whole pride in life was her sexual prowess,and she wasnt even a prostitute. That course was certainly educational. And I did get a job quite soon after but thats another story.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

None of that is relevant to the focus of the article, Jane. So What’s your point, if any?

Ralph Hanke
Ralph Hanke
3 months ago

I must admit, I think Julie does not slam men in her writings.

She does, however, write about how women often see/think/feel the world in their own way. A way that is often distinct from how men see/think/feel the world. And, I think, she works hard to bring that perspective to the forefront of her work.

I am good with that as, I think, it means that I will have many more fascinating discussions with my (female) partner over the next 25 or so years as we both try and come to grips with the world we live in.

What’s not to like about that?!

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  Ralph Hanke

Well said.

Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
3 months ago

I found this article very informative – I had not heard of Hite. Whether or not the original research had flaws I think we can all agree that the findings were largely valid helpful to both men and women. I think the criticisms of Julie are unfair – the article is just relaying the facts of her life.

El Uro
El Uro
3 months ago

Very boring and pointless story…

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 months ago
Reply to  El Uro

You read it. You commented on it. Now you know.

edmond van ammers
edmond van ammers
3 months ago

Only in heaven and Hollywood is the sex perfect, the love boundless, the job meaningful, and the kid cute. Here on earth its often messy, smelly, unsatisfying, and frustrating. Welcome to the reality of our life, the endless cycle of birth, suffering, and death that is our evolutionary destiny. You can Hite it or accept it, but acceptance leads to a better life than Shere was able to make for herself

DA Johnson
DA Johnson
3 months ago

Both Hite and Bindl have a view of life in which sex between men and women can bring nothing but misery to women. Nowhere is there a recognition that there can also be great love and great joy, and that the sexual dance that produces children is the dance of the life force that enables our species to continue. Of course, there are men (and women) who use and abuse their partners, but to base a theory of sex and love on such outliers is to discount the experience of most of the human race throughout time.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
3 months ago

How did evolution manage to create the c******s and then fail to maximise its utility?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  Alan Hawkes

Does it exist? I always thought it was a myth

Fafa Fafa
Fafa Fafa
3 months ago

I wasn’t sure if I was expected to just know what “hyper-feminine” meant, so of course I googled it. On image search I found a bunch of pictures similar to the one accompanying the article – slender women in dreamy-flowy dresses. Whose fantasy is this, I wondered. Show me Gina Carano any time! On text search, the definitions were a variation on “Hyperfemininity is defined as an exaggerated adherence to the stereotypic feminine gender role, involving the use of sexuality to gain or maintain romantic relationships with men, the belief that these romantic relationships define their success, and the preference for traditional male behaviors in their partners”. I was quickly getting confused. What is JB getting at? Venus, Venus, are you from Milo or from Willendorf???

David Pogge
David Pogge
3 months ago

Of course her findings are interesting and suggestive, and since they were published other serious scientists have tried to further examine them using improved methods. However, her response to the identification of flaws and limitations in her data (i.e., ‘Freud was worse!’) is unworthy of any serious investigator. It is unfortunate that people still quote her statistics as though they were representative and accurate numbers. Of course, they are not. All survey data are incomplete, biased, and wobbly. They are still valuable, but only if one understands their inherent limitations.
But the points that Hite made about the dissatisfaction many women were experiencing at that point in time was interesting and important. However, many changes have taken place in the sexual behavior of men and women, both married and unmarried, in the Western world over the past 40 years. Therefore, newer better data are clearly needed if our understanding of ourselves is to continue to grow. Let’s hope that serious interest in the questions is seen as more important than the personal quirks of one investigator – even one who was very important.

William Brand
William Brand
3 months ago

The problem with sex is something that I did not find out until I was too old to do anything about it. I was 70 and impotent with a horny wife. I learned to use a vibrator. Problem solved. The female c******s is just located too far from the vagina to be properly stimulated by a p***s. Girls like sex with a p***s but it rarely pushes them over the top with an orgasm. A wise man gets a vibrator to finish the girl off. The alternative is the disgusting act of licking up one’s own sperm. If he comes first, she gets the female version of blue balls. If she comes first, he continues to make love, reheats her then comes and she again needs to be finished off. Men get your vibrator and finish the girl off and you will get repeat p***y.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  William Brand

I’ll wager this never happened, but moving on
.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  William Brand

This comment is an absolute nightmare!! What a mentality, is it for real? If it is you might like to know, mister, that since vibrators were available, women don’t need men like you anymore, if we ever did.

William Brand
William Brand
3 months ago

Most women are attracted to men, but Lesbians are much more likely to produce an orgasm. Their tongue does a much better job on the c******s than a p***s. A man should get a vibrator to avoid having to lick up his sperm. This instrument will finish the girl off better than a Lesbian tongue.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  William Brand

Just a heads up for next time, if you’re licking up sperm you’re probably doing things in the wrong order

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
3 months ago

Just a few pointers for those having trouble.
There are 69ways to have penetrative sex and not all women are built exactly the same way when it comes to genitalia, so experiment, you spend every night in bed together
To me, it is amazing how few married couples ever talk about sex and the sex act.
Finally a husband can do everything your lesbian buddy can and more. Lets get out of the Victorian era.

Deb Grant
Deb Grant
3 months ago

It’s not great that most of the comments on this string are ftom men. They still don’t appear yo get it.

jane baker
jane baker
3 months ago

I think the whole point is that the act of sexual union between a man and a woman is supposed to be a slow and considerate building up of ecstasy into a spiritual state in which the two not only feel as one but also experience being in the Presence of God,for an eternity fraction of Time. The ideal.is that the man and the woman like each other. Not “love” or “lurve” each other.
Sadly a lot of partners, opposite sex or same sex may love/lurve the other but don’t like each other. Actually it’s always been like that as centuries of literature and especially 19th century novels tell us. But,being an old ugly, embittered Spinster I wouldn’t know anyway.

Clare Knight
Clare Knight
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Exactly. You don’t appear to know but you sure have a lot to say, regardless.

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
3 months ago
Reply to  jane baker

Didn’t Sting used to bang on about that type of thing? Sounds incredibly time consuming

Victoria Cooper
Victoria Cooper
3 months ago

I agree with her detractors, those who responded to her questionnaires were those who had an axe to grind.

El Uro
El Uro
3 months ago

I am basically infuriated by this lady who seriously believes that sex is the most important thing in a woman’s life.
I am ready to easily reproach men who often think with their balls, but in no case will I say this about women. Their loved ones, starting above all with their children, then parents, brothers and sisters, husband – this is the object of their love and care. Those who think differently about women have mental problems. It’s easy to understand us men thinking this way about women, projecting our way of thinking onto a woman’s, but if a woman thinks this way, she is not a woman in my eyes

Peter F. Lee
Peter F. Lee
3 months ago

Orgasm revolves around the question of whether men think that it is important that his partner has an orgasmic experience. If they both agree that its important then there are no issues. What is the issue is whether both will experience this simultaneously.
The article is only useful, in the hope that it will encourage discussion of the subject between partners.

Albireo Double
Albireo Double
3 months ago

And there I was thinking that for both sexes, many orgasms actually start in the mind, with the various organs then contributing.

I must have had it wrong all these years. Still, I’ve enjoyed myself, and not had too many complaints.

ruth novaczek
ruth novaczek
3 months ago

She wanted me to make a film about her when I met her at the ICA in the 90s, we met a few times, she wanted to be interviewed by the Thames, and in a library in the south bank centre….I have lots of tapes but she was hard to work with…her resentment about everything was palpable and the interviews weren’t great…but the work she did about women’s sexuality was wow…when the Hite report came out she got letters from thousands of women thanking her for introducing them to clitorises they didn’t know existed

Mark Osiel
Mark Osiel
3 months ago

What would be most interesting and important to learn about the Hite Report today would be whether her results back then have since been replicated by other scholars, using better (less slanted) survey questions and methods. The key defect in her study, which Ms. Bindel fails to mention, is that Hite got a response rate of only 3%. A far larger percentage of women would today respond to her questions than agreed to answer them a half century ago.

Timothy Shriver
Timothy Shriver
3 months ago

The conflict exhibited here explains why I wrote an entire novel on the subject. It’s called “Pocket Change” by Timothy D. Shriver (Available on Amazon.) It’s about how a marriage is nearly destroyed because the wife has never experienced an orgasm. Set in the 1980’s, the story explains how it was possible for a couple of the period—the children of conservative Christian parents—to know so little about sex and for sex to become the battleground on which they played out the sexual politics of the era, a conflagration of rebellion against traditional sex roles, rejection of the Bible, and the toxic influence of women’s studies departments. To join the fray here, from personal experience—and having thoroughly researched the matter—I would comment that orgasm from sexual intercourse alone does not work for the majority of women and that orgasm is essential to a complete relationship for both sexes. And I agree: get a vibrator. For many women, it’s the best solution. Plus less “p***s-centered” sex, and more variety with prolonged attention to the woman, who takes longer to warm up. (Besides, it’s fun.) After doing everything wrong for ten years, I wised up. And we just celebrated our 40th anniversary. And yes, if you’re curious, I am related to Lionel Shriver. I’m her brother.