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CHAPTER 10: TECHNIQUES OF AROUSAL

AND COMMUNICATION
Lecture Points

1. Introduce Chapter 10.


2. Define and explore the concept of erogenous zones.
3. Compare techniques of male and female masturbation and the content and nature of fantasy
during masturbation and marital intercourse by males and females.
4. Describe the stimulation techniques used during sexual activity, how various nontactile
senses contribute to sexual arousal, the four basic coital positions for heterosexuals, and
sexual activity between gays and lesbians.
5. Define the terms aphrodisiac and anaphrodisiac and describe the evidence for and against the
claims that various foods and drugs function as either.
6. Discuss the treatment of intercourse and orgasm as goals.
7. Describe the problems and possible solutions that are associated with sexual inexperience
and boredom.
8. Learn about intimate communication in discussing helpful and hurtful communication
patterns.

Resource Guide

Lecture Discussion Classroom Internet Activity Outside Activity


Point Question (DQ) Activity (CA) (IA) (OA)
1 1*, 6** 1*, 2*, 3*, 14** 1*, 2*, 9*** 1*, 6**, 7**
3 2*, 7**, 8** 4* 3*, 4*, 7** 2*
4 3*, 4*, 9** 6*, 15** 6*, 8**
6 5*, 10** 7*
7 8*, 9*
8 11** 5*, 10*, 11*, 12*, 5* 3*, 4*, 5*, 8**
13*
Considerations

Chapter 10 discusses techniques of sexual arousal and the communication patterns that
contribute to and detract from intimate relationships. Perhaps more than any other chapter in this
textbook, this chapter bears the burden of competing with an overabundance of other easily
accessible sources. Between the media, self-help books, and peers, students have already
received an enormous amount of information about sexual technique; however, much of this
information is driven by the desire to profit from insecurities, making the creation of insecurities
an important part of any marketing scheme. Therefore, this chapter and your treatment of it can
be a welcome change. Addressing sexual technique in a demand-free context, with a heavy
emphasis on communication and the importance of a quality relationship, can help alleviate some
of your students worries of inadequacy and counteract the prevailing media messages.

Discussion Questions

DQ1*: Our Expectations. What does sex look like on television? Describe the typical sexual
encounter. Is this what we expect sex to be like? Is it usually like this? Is it like this even the first
time? Does awkwardness, silliness, and boredom also have a place in sexual activity? Do you
think our expectations for sexual activity are too high? How might these expectations lead to
unhappiness?

DQ2*: Sexual Fantasy. What do you think about sexual fantasizing? Is it a good way to enrich
ones sexuality? Is it hurtful to a partner? How would you feel about your partner using sexual
fantasy? Does this chapter suggest that sexual fantasy is harmful or beneficial to a person (p.
252)? To a relationship? Are your ideas consistent with the results of the research?

DQ3*: Appreciating Our Partner. The textbook states: One of the things that makes hand
stimulation most effective is for the mans partner to have a playful delight in, and appreciation
of, the mans penis (p. 254). What does this mean exactly? Why do you think the authors felt it
was important to state this? Do you think an underappreciation is common? How might such an
appreciation be communicated to our partner?

DQ4*: Sounds. The textbook suggests that sounds can contribute to an erotic atmosphere (p.
256). What sounds does the textbook mention? What other sounds can you imagine might
contribute to an erotic atmosphere?

DQ5*: Rethinking Sex. Your textbook quotes a man who says, What the masculine disdain for
feeling makes it hard for men to grasp is that the state of desire . . . is one of the best, perhaps the
best, part of the experience of love (p. 267). To emphasize this, orgasm could be considered a
part of sex instead of the goal or outcome of sex. How do you think sex might be different if
people really believed this? How might this belief decrease the amount of dissatisfaction and
sexual disorders?
DQ6**: Two-Person Sex. What are the images we think of when we think of partner sex (p.
254)? Who are the two people? What is their sexual orientation? How old are they? What are
they doing? For what part of the interaction is the female responsible? For what part of the
interaction is the male responsible? How do such norms limit our own sexual expression?

DQ7**: Stereotypes of Masturbation. The textbook suggests that many men imagine women
to masturbate in a particular way (p. 251). What way is that? Why might they think that women
masturbate that way? What cultural beliefs about sex direct men (and many women) to that
conclusion? How do these same ideas influence how men try to pleasure women in partnered
sex? What is the consequence for her sexual pleasure?

DQ8**: Advocating Masturbation. Read the quote by Betty Dodson at the beginning of the
chapter (p. 250). What does Betty believe we can gain from masturbation? What does it mean to
learn to love ourselves? Why does she suggest that sexual skill isnt natural? How do you feel
about the insistence that sexual skill is something to be learned and practiced?

Note to the Instructor. This Discussion Question complements Internet Activity 3*.

DQ9**: Gay and Lesbian Sex. What are the stereotypes of gay sex? Lesbian sex? Describe the
sexual techniques of gays and lesbians covered in the textbook (p. 265). Which of these
techniques can heterosexual couples also do? Which of these techniques do you think
heterosexuals do regularly? How different do you think gay and lesbian sex is from heterosexual
sex?

DQ10**: Real Sex. What is real sex? Is there one thing without which sex hasnt really
occurred? What is that? Is there a point at which you know sex has ended? What point is that?
What other criteria can you imagine might be used? Who benefits from this definition of sex? In
other words, whose pleasure is privileged? What does it mean to say that someones pleasure is
privileged?

DQ11**: Thoughtful Honesty. Is honesty always the best policy (p. 274)? Can you think of
some things that it is better not to share with a partner? If so, how do you differentiate between
those things you should share and those that are better kept to yourself? What is editing? How
can you balance editing and leveling?
Classroom Activities

CA1*: Personal Reflections. Have students anonymously answer the questions in Personal
Reflections on Sexual Pleasure (Handout 10A). Ask them to disclose their answers and discuss
them with the class.

CA2*: Quiz. Pass out Whats to Know about Techniques of Arousal? (Handout 10B). Use it to
remind students how much they dont know and to stimulate interest and discussion.

CA3*: Guest Speaker. One of the most powerful experiences in a classroom can be when the
students have the opportunity to listen to and talk with a person who embodies the facts and
issues at hand. Contact a local (perhaps university-affiliated) marriage and family therapist to talk
with the class about communication.

CA4*: Benefits of Masturbating. Brainstorm a list of benefits of masturbation. At what point is


masturbation unhealthy? What benefits might there be to masturbating in front of a partner?

CA5*: Sex Advice Columns. Bring in a set of sex advice columns from magazines such as
Playboy, Playgirl, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Forum, or Penthouse. Ask one student to present each
problem and the columnists advice, then have the class discuss the following points: How
common do you think this problem is? Is the advice given by the columnist useful? Does the
columnist appear to have any biases? How would you improve on the advice given in this
column? What are the alternatives to these columns in terms of the information they provide
(e.g., Oprah, Geraldo, Sally)? Is one form better or worse?

CA6*: Faking Orgasms. Women often fake orgasms. As a class, brainstorm a list of reasons
why a person might fake an orgasm. Make sure to include sociological reasons as well as
psychological and interpersonal ones. Once your list is complete, split your students into groups
and ask them to come up with solutions to the problems that lead women to fake orgasm.

CA7*: Forced Choice: Orgasm as the Goal. Make the two following statements: (1) Orgasm
should be the goal of sexual activity, and (2) Orgasm should not be the goal of sexual activity.
Ask students who agree with statement 1 to stand on one side of the room and students who
agree with statement 2 to stand on the other. Undecided students must pick a side. Ask one or
more students on the underrepresented side to explain why they chose their side. Then, allow the
other side to respond and to explain why they chose their side. Allow the discussion to progress
and allow students to freely switch sides when they are convinced by the arguments from the
other side.
CA8*: Taking Action to Decrease Boredom. Place your students in groups. Ask them to
imagine that they have been in an intimate relationship for two years and are getting bored with
sexual activity. List five things that could make a sexual relationship more satisfying. How would
a person communicate a desire to do each of these to a partner? What can a person do on their
own that might spice up the relationship?

CA9*: Forced Choice: Sexual Boredom. Make the two following statements: (1) Some degree
of sexual boredom is inevitable in a long-term relationship, and (2) Sexual boredom in a long-
term relationship can be avoided. Ask students who agree with statement 1 to stand on one side
of the room and students who agree with statement 2 to stand on the other. Undecided students
must pick a side. Ask one or more students on the underrepresented side to explain why they
chose their side. Then, allow the other side to respond and to explain why they chose their side.
Allow the discussion to progress and allow students to freely switch sides when they are
convinced by the arguments from the other side.

CA10*: I Messages. After discussing I messages (p. 273), pass out one of the statements
from I Messages (Handout 10C) to each student. Have each student read his or her statement
out loud to the class. Then, as a group, discuss whether the statement qualifies as an I message
and why.

CA11*: Talking About Sex. Why do you think it is difficult for most couples to talk about sex?
Why is sex, in particular, so hard to discuss. Brainstorm a list of all the words for penis, vagina,
breasts, and intercourse. What kind of words come out? How do these words make talking about
sex difficult?

Note to the Instructor. Almost all the words students contribute to these lists will be
scientific/medical or slang. Neither set of words is very comfortable to use in a romantic setting.
Therefore, part of the problem with talking about sex with our lovers is that we dont have an
appropriate language to use.

CA12*: Role Plays. Have students break into groups of six to eight and do one or more of the
role-plays in Sexual Communication Role Plays (Handout 10D).

CA13*: Honest Communication. In groups, ask your students to brainstorm reasons why a
person might not be honest with a sexual partner. What might be the consequences for failing to
communicate? What can both partners do to facilitate honest communication?

Note to the Instructor. Make sure that your students bring up being afraid of rejection or
judgment, misunderstanding, and privacy issues.
CA14**: Sexual Advice Yesterday and Today. Before the beginning of the semester, search
through old bookstores or put your interlibrary loan staff to work finding marriage manuals from
the 1920s and 1930s. One example is A Guide to Purity and Physical Manhood; Advice to
Maiden, Wife and Mother; Love, Courtship, and Marriage (1920) by B. G. Jeffries and J. L.
Nichols, which explains that women naturally love large men (in overall body size) and that
being large compensates for being homely. These manuals have information about everything
from masturbation to tests of virginity and provide a fascinating look at our sexual past. Compare
these manuals with the information presented in the text with regard to contemporary ideas about
healthy sexual expression.

CA15**: Discussing Sexual Techniques. Photocopy discussions of different sexual techniques


from The New Good Vibrations Guide to Sex by Cathy Winks and Anne Semans (San Francisco:
Cleis Press, 1997). Arrange your students into groups and pass out the discussion of one sexual
technique to either of them. Once each group has had a chance to discuss their sexual technique,
have them report it to the class. This activity is a good way to encourage your students to be
comfortable talking about sexuality.

Internet Activities

IA1*: Annual Editions Online. Visit www.dushkin.com to access the online version of Annual
Editions and read extra articles about the body and its response or responsible quality sexual
relationships.

IA2*: Quiz Questions. Visit www.mhhe.com/hyde8 to take a practice quiz and test your
understanding of Chapter 10: Techniques of Arousal and Communication.

IA3*: Masturbation for Women. (WARNING). Betty Dodson is the most famous advocate of
masturbation for women. Visit her website at www.bettydodson.com/newhom3.htm. Why does
she believe so strongly about masturbation, and what does she propose women should do about
it? What other values are tied up in her support for masturbation? Also see www.clitical.com.

Note to the Instructor. This Internet Activity complements Discussion Question 8**.

IA4*: Masturbation for Men. (WARNING). Visit www.jackinworld.com for information on


male masturbation. Click on First Visit to read about what the website offers. What is the
websites mission? What are the commonly asked questions? What myths about masturbation
does it address?

IA5*: Assertive Communication. How do you balance your approach to communication? What
does it mean to be a passive communicator and an aggressive communicator? Visit
www.umr.edu/~counsel/assert.html to learn more about assertive communication and ways to
build assertive communication skills.
IA6*: Sex Toys and Technique. (WARNING). The Society for Human Sexuality offers a guide
to sex toys at www.sexuality.org/sextoys.html. Then visit
www.sexhealth.org/bettersex/index.shtml to read tips for improving your technique.

IA7**: The History of Masturbation. (WARNING). Visit


www.jackinworld.com/library/articles/history.html to read about perspectives on masturbation
throughout history.

IA8**: Douching. (WARNING). Commercials and grade-school boys often suggest to women
that their natural vaginal odor is unhealthy and unpleasant. Visit
www.womenshealth.about.com/library/weekly/aa052901a.htm to read about douching. What is
it? Why do women do it? Is it healthy? Some say no! Read www.mum.org/vagdouch.htm and
visit www.mum.org/Odor.htm to see how advertisers make money by making women insecure.

IA9***: Balancing the Good Girl and the Bad Girl. (WARNING). Young women today are
stuck between a rock and a hard place. Theyre supposed to be sexy but not sexual. Read
http://eserver.org/bs/20/Nicolini.html to learn more about the dilemma of women who want to
embrace their sexuality in American culture.

Outside Activities

OA1*: Extra Reading: The New Joy of Sex. (WARNING). Ask your students to read all or part
of The New Joy of Sex and More Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort and Clare Park (Simon and
Schuster, 1998) and to write a short essay. In the essay, ask them to discuss the part of the book
that they found most interesting or helpful and why.

OA2*: Reflective Essay. Ask your students to write a short, reflective essay answering the
following questions: What are your feelings about masturbation? If you do not masturbate, why
not? How would you feel if it were suggested that you try it? If you are willing to try it, do so.
How does trying make you feel? If you already masturbate, is it something you enjoy and feel
good about? Why or why not? Have you told your sexual partners that you masturbate? Why or
why not? Have you ever masturbated in front of a partner? Why or why not? Would you be
willing to do either of these things? Explain. How would you feel if your partner told you he or
she masturbated and/or masturbated in front of you?

OA3*: Destructive and Constructive Patterns of Communication. Ask your students to write
two short stories in which a couple is having a disagreement. In one short story, ask them to
include destructive patterns of communication discussed in the textbook (for each pattern they
include, ask them to footnote it). In a second short story that begins the same way, ask them to
include constructive patterns of communication. How do the two stories compare? What is the
outcome in either case?
OA4*: Extra Reading: You Just Dont Understand. (WARNING). Ask your students to read
all or part of You Just Dont Understand: Men and Women in Conversation by Deborah Tannen
(New York: Ballantine Books, 1991). This book discusses the differences between how men and
women are taught to communicate. See also Focus 10.1 (p. 269).

OA5*: Evaluating Your Own Relationship. Ask students to fill out the quiz in Focus 10.3 of
the textbook (p. 279280) about a current or past relationship. In a short, reflective essay, ask
them to discuss the following questions: How do they feel after filling out the quiz? Which of the
questions did they feel were difficult to answer? Where do they think their relationship may be
weak? strong? What have they learned from the rest of the chapter that could (or could have)
helped them improve their relationship?

OA6**: Getting To Know Your Own Body. Read Focus 10.2, A Personal Growth Exercise:
Getting to Know Your Own Body (p. 272). At home, in private, ask your students to do the
exercises suggested and to write a short, reflective essay about how they felt about the exercises
and what they learned.

OA7**: Field Trip. Direct your students to a local bookstore and ask them to find the section on
sexuality. In a short essay or report to the class, ask them to discuss the kinds of books available
at the bookstore. For what audience are the books designed? How do the books attempt to sell
themselves? What are the limits to what these books can teach? What other kinds of books would
you like to see in the sexuality section?

OA8**: Autobiographical Essay. Write an essay reflecting on the communication pattern you
maintain(ed) with a lover or close friend. Which of the communication tactics (both positive and
negative) do you sometimes use? Overall, is your communication pattern positive or negative?
What could you do to improve your communication? Do you think your lover or friend would
cooperate in attempts to improve? Why or why not?
Handout 10A: Personal Reflections on Sexual Pleasure

Please write an answer to each question. Do not write your name on the survey.

1. Describe the first time you remember hearing about the clitoris.

2. Where were you? Who did you hear about it from? Approximately how old were you?

3. Did you ever receive information about the clitoris that you now know is wrong? If yes, what
was it?

4. Describe the first time you remember hearing about the penis.

5. Where were you? Who did you hear about it from? Approximately how old were you?

6. Did you ever receive information about the penis that you now know is wrong? If yes, what
was it?
Handout 10B: Whats to Know About Techniques of Arousal?

1. Women urinate through the clitoris. True False Dont Know

2. The clitoris becomes erect during sexual arousal. True False Dont Know

3. Most women will have an orgasm from (penis- True False Dont Know
vagina) intercourse.

4. The G-Spot is another name for the clitoris. True False Dont Know

5. Mens nipples are not erotically sensitive. True False Dont Know

6. Both women and men can have an orgasm in True False Dont Know
their sleep.

7. Orgasm and ejaculation are the same thing in True False Dont Know
men.

8. Most women masturbate with dildos. True False Dont Know

9. During intercourse, women are most likely to True False Dont Know
orgasm in the woman-on-top position.

10. Pregnant women probably should not have True False Dont Know
intercourse.

11. Homosexuals do the same thing sexually that True False Dont Know
heterosexuals do.

12. There is no known substance that works as an True False Dont Know
aphrodesiac.

13. Orgasm is clearly the end and goal of sexual True False Dont Know
activity.

14. Some women ejaculate. True False Dont Know


Handout 10C: I Messages

I feel unhappy because I dont have orgasms very often.

I hate that I dont have orgasms.

I really wish I had more orgasms.

I know you think women arent much interested, but I want more orgasms.

I feel like you dont want to give me orgasms.

I feel like youre a big jerk.

You make me feel like you dont want to give me orgasms.

I fake orgasms.

You make me feel like faking orgasms.

I feel like you dont care about my orgasms.

I hate it when you have an orgasm and I dont.

I feel like you dont care about my orgasms because youre selfish.

I want you to read this book about giving women orgasms.

I feel like you could try harder to give me an orgasm.

I hate it that you dont try harder to give me an orgasm.

I told you that all my friends were having orgasms.

I told you that I wanted to try to have more orgasms.

I dont care if youre tired of trying to give me orgasms.

Youre so sweet to try to give me orgasms.


Handout 10D: Sexual Communication Role Plays

Melissa. You have been dating Juan for two months. You see him at least twice a week and you
care for him very much. In the past you have kissed and caressed each other, but always fully
clothed. You are growing impatient with the progress of your relationship. You want to know
when (if ever) you are going to engage in sexual intercourse.

Juan. You have been dating Melissa for about two months. You see her at least twice a week and
you care for her very much. In the past, you have kissed and caressed each other, but always fully
clothed. You feel that Melissa is growing impatient with the progress of your relationship and
wants to engage in sexual intercourse.

Scott. You and Tiffany have been dating for four months. You feel extremely lucky to be dating
her because she is outgoing, fun, and extremely attractive. This is the most serious relationship in
which you have been involved, and you think you are in love. You and she have never had sexual
intercourse, although you have asked Tiffany to do it. Although Tiffany has never really said no,
in the past she always ended physical contact just when you started to get aroused. You think this
is just her way of teasing you. On this particular day, something seems to be bothering Tiffany,
but she has refused to talk about it. You feel that if she did have sex with you, she would really
enjoy it and it may help her to get her mind off her other problems.

Tiffany. You and Scott have been dating for four months. This is the most serious relationship
youve ever had. Lately, you have been colder and more distant toward Scott. He wants to have
sex and has been pressuring you. In the past, you have always stopped physical contact when you
felt he was becoming too aroused. You would like to go all the way with Scott, but in the past
your relationships have always ended shortly after you had sex. You have never talked about your
past relationships with Scott and feel that if he found out you were not a virgin he might drop
you.

Joey. You and Jeff have been living together for a year. You live full lives and are serious
college students. Both of you have maintained close relationships with other friends. You are an
avid runner, and Jeff enjoys sports with his friends. You do find time to spend together, but you
are not happy with the frequency with which you have sex. You have sex once a week, but you
would prefer to have sex daily. You wonder if you should move out and meet other men.

Jeff. You and Joey have been living together for a year. You both live rather full lives and are
college students. Both of you have maintained close relationships with other friends. Joey is an
avid runner, and you enjoy sports with your friends. Nevertheless, you do make time to be with
Joey. You have sex once a week, but Joey does not seem to be happy with the frequency. He says
he would like to have sex more often.
Handout 10D: Sexual Communication Role Plays (Continued)

Steve. You and Juanita have been dating for six months and are quite committed to one another.
You have sexual intercourse about once a week, usually on Friday or Saturday. Typically, you go
out for the evening, have a few drinks, return to Juanitas apartment, and watch a little TV. Then
Juanita goes into the bedroom and gets ready for bed. You get very excited during this time
because you know she is preparing herself to make love with you. When you enter the room, you
first turn out the lights because you find it erotic to grope for her in the dark, with only the scent
of her perfume as your guide. Once in bed, you slowly undress her while kissing and caressing
her for about five minutes. During this time, you become extremely aroused and often fear that
you will ejaculate before satisfying her or even entering her. So, you move on top of her and have
intercourse. Over the course of your relationship, you have greatly improved your ability to
withhold ejaculation until Juanita has orgasmed. This pattern seems to you to be normal and
comfortable for Juanita as well as you.

Juanita. You and Steve have been dating for six months. You are quite committed to each other
and have sex about once a week. The scene typically goes like this: Go out, have a few drinks,
return to your apartment, watch some TV, and go to bed. Then, the lights go out, Steve gropes for
you, you kiss for about five minutes and then have intercourse. You care for Steve but are
growing bored with your sex life. You havent mentioned your dissatisfaction because you feel
that Steve is happy and that you are just being selfish.

Pedro. You and Maria have been sleeping together for about three months. After you have sex,
you dont say much to each other. You are convinced that Maria is not satisfied. You know that
women are capable of having multiple orgasms, and you would love to fulfill Maria in that way,
but you believe Maria is not having orgasms at all. You think she is faking her orgasms, and you
have some concern you are not a good lover. In addition, you are angry because you feel like
Maria is deceiving you.

Maria. You and Pedro have been sleeping together for about three months. During sex you are
very vocal, moaning and making sounds, because you think this really excites Pedro. After sex,
you are both quiet and lay in each others arms. Although you get deep satisfaction out of
bringing Pedro to orgasms, you often feel physically unsatisfied because you get to a plateau but
dont have a strong orgasm like when you masturbate.