Women Discover Orgasm


Publisher: Free Press

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Research by Kinsey and his associates and later findings by Masters and Johnson, Shere Hite, and others have revealed that 10-15% of sexually active women have never reached full sexual climax–an additional 30% or more never or only rarely experience orgasm with a partner. Countless women, seeking a solution to the problem of anorgasmia, have bought how-to sex manuals or have participated in some form of therapy.

In this book, Dr. Lonnie Barbach has transformed her highly successful sex manual for women, For Yourself: The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality, into a unique guide for sex therapists, presenting a new approach that has already been effective in treating orgasmic dysfunction in thousands of women. Barbach’s new method overcomes the limitations of both individual, psychoanalytically oriented treatment that is costly and long-term, and behaviorist approaches that involve conjoint therapy and are therefore inaccessible to women without partners.

In Women Discover Orgasm, Barbach presents a group treatment method that is short-term, therefore inexpensive, that relies largely on behaviorist techniques, thereby focusing specifically on the orgasmic problem with a high rate of success, that can be used with women who do not have partners, and that is just as effective with homosexual women as with heterosexuals. Most importantly, Barbach’s approach exploits the therapeutic potential of the group process to enhance the client’s individual progress. Problems of individualized treatment, client resistance, and psychological issues related to orgasm as well as group process dynamics are covered, providing the reader with clinical skills necessary for successfully treating anorgasmic women in a group setting or individually. The group treatment approach is outlined in detail with regard to selection of participants, content of information presented, and session-by-session analysis of the process, illustrated by case examples and transcripts from taped sessions. Detailed instructions are provided for the daily homework assignments that are the heart of the method. Homework is assigned in carefully graduated steps designed to remove inhibitions and to develop the women’s ability to accept and assert their right to sexual gratification. After the first few sessions, homework is individually tailored to meet each woman’s special problems, learning pace, sexual value system, and relationship needs.

Women Discover Orgasm is a unique guide for therapists–doctors, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, or religious counselors–who seek a better understanding of women’s sexual problems and a proven technique for dealing with them. It is also of interest to all adults concerned with human sexuality. (212 pp.)


“This is the book for therapists who are leading or want to lead sex therapy groups for nonorgasmic women. In a clear and readable style, Dr. Barbach covers all of the essentials–including forming a group, therapy methods, homework assignments, dealing with resistance, working with the clients’ partners, co-therapist problems, and the limitations of the group method. The numerous case examples are to the point and helpful. A most welcome addition to the literature on the treatment of female sexual problems.”

–Bernie Zilbergeld, author of Male Sexuality

“Women with orgasmic difficulties owe Lonnie Barbach a great debt. In this enormously useful new book, she adds the powerful therapeutic influence of group solidarity and group support to the highly effective self-help techniques she presented in her earlier work. Not only the professional sex therapists to whom the book is addressed but women’s self-help groups should find it invaluable.”

–Barbara Seaman, author of Free and Female and Women and the Crisis in Sex Hormones

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