Perfect Buds

The If-Busters

Late Bloomers

Early Bloomers


Sexual Explorers

Sexually Dissatisfied Wives

Overcoming Rejection

Why Sacrifice Pleasure?

A Way of Classifying Sexual Identity

How Pleasure-Claimers Get Better Orgasms

Some Observations from the Survey


"Looking back, I can see that I had no boundaries. I just didn't know how to say no. I did anything any guy wanted me to do because I had no clear sense of myself and what my sexual needs were and how to get them met.'

- Renee, thirty-nine, a former wildflower

She may behave more outrageously than any early bloomer you've ever know, yet not be one at all. While early bloomers want to get their need met without getting pregnant or losing status within the peer group by being labeled "sluts,' wildflowers flaunt their behavior. Responding to something other than their own sexual needs, they seem to desire the labeling , negative attention, and judgments their behavior invariably elicits.

            Some wildflowers are, or later become, sexual explorers, a category we'll examine more closely in Chapter 22. Like all wildflowers, sexual explorers have more partners and/or report greater participation in sexual variations, but they differ from other wildflowers in that they are motivated primarily by their own pleasure drives, and they protect themselves from the negative consequences of sexual exploration, disease, and unwanted pregnancy. Rarely, however, is a woman a true sexual explorer in her youth.

            "I was a bad girl for four years," says Jessica, age twenty-nine. "The last year of high school, I was totally wild, out of control. In one week, I had five partners. Don't ask me why. None of them were any good. I don't know how I kept from flunking out of school.

            "I just had to heal touch somebody, have somebody hold me. It sounds sick, but my drive wasn't sex, it a touch-me drive, hold-me drive. I had to have the physical connection the way guys had to get their rocks off.

            "In college, it was a little different, the sexually frenetic periods corresponded to school breaks and summer vacations. I was either very controlled and serious about my studies-or totally out of control. My roommate at college didn't know I had this other life until out second year rooming together when she went home with me on break. My parents were in Europe. The first night I had a party. I can still see the look on her face when she walked into my bedroom and saw me naked, tied to the bed with pantyhose. The guy who'd tied me up had gone to the bathroom.

            "During those wild years, I didn't have many orgasm. I didn't masturbate until I was twenty. Orgasms didn't matter that much. It's funny but, at the time, I thought I was doing it for pleasure. It was crazy. Even after I started having orgasms, I wasn't having good sex. I would be attracted to a guy and go to bed with him, but it was just me getting off on using him for a change.

            "I don't know why I needed to feel that. I don't know why."

Who Is She?
Wildflowers are 19.1 percent of the total survey group. They are women who:

  • Reported five or more partners during any given year.
  • Had more than the average number of lifetime partners, men with whom they've had sex at least once, for their age groups. The average figures are: for the twenties, eight partners; the thirties, twenty-nine partners; the forties, forty-seven partners; and the fifties-plus, nineteen partners.
  • Reported greater than "occasional" or "once only" participation in anal sex, bondage, and S & M activities

            Almost half are sexual explorers, women who are in charge of their sex lives, who choose to participate in sexual variations, and who have multiple partners-or have made such choices in the past. The explorers are more often easily or multiply orgasmic than are other wildflowers. Their behavior is motivated by the quest for more exciting experiences, more or get better orgasms, and the need for more variety and anal stimulation than the average woman has. Generally regular users of birth control and condoms, they protect themselves against the negative consequences of sexual experimentation.

            But the other half of the wildflower group, the subject of this chapter, was rarely or never orgasmic during lovemaking. And, 34 percent of this group had never had an orgasm with a partner. Unlike explorers and early bloomers, these wildflowers are not strongly focused on orgasm. And they are appallingly casual in their approach to birth control and disease prevention.

How People Respond to Them?

Wildflowers, though a minority, get a lot of attention. Writers of magazine articles huffily cite them as examples of negative behaviors in articles about sex and sexual relationships . Other girl's mothers point warning fingers at them and admonish their daughters, "Men don't marry girls like that!" And they are personification of modern moral laxity held up for scorn by everyone interested in controlling female sexuality, from the pulpit to the press. Feminists and conservatives alike often attack them.

            Wild boys, of course, are another story. They are accepted or tolerated and even forgiven for their errant ways-by women, the very group most hurt by their behavior. Several recent studies on the double standard-conducted again on the ubiquitous eighteen-to twenty-two-year-old collegiate population-indicate how little attitudes have changed. A study published in The Journal of Sex Research found women students more condemning of their sisters for playing around, or in therapeutic jargon, "participating in extra premarital intercourse," than they were of male students behaving the same way. The women were also harsher in their judgments of each other than the male students were in their judgments of women. A different study in another issue of the same journal found women participants rating women with multiple partners as "less responsible' than men with multiple partners. And the authors of a third study concluded, not surprisingly, that the double standard "is declining, but still persists-especially in the hearts and minds of women."

            Yet, nearly everyone forgives wildflowers if they renounce their wild ways by "settling down" in a monogamous relationship, entering a period of voluntary celibacy, or coming out as a sex addict and seeking help within the sex addiction treatment industry or through Love and Sex Addicts Anonymous, the newest offshoot of the twelve-step programs.

            What are they getting out of sex if they're not getting regular orgasms? A lot of attention.

Next >>

Sexual Victims

Discarded Women

The Clock Women

Independent Women

Revirginized Women

Monogamous Women

Second-Chance Women

Surviving the Droughts

Wives Who Have Affairs

The Saboteurs of Pleasure

Conclusion: Your Sexual Turning Point?

The Women Who Doesn't "Need" an Orgasm

What Does She Know About Sex that You Don't?