Masters and Johnson (1966) were among the first researchers to study the physiological and behavioral indexes of orgasm in laboratory setting. Orgasmic disorder is a common sexual complaint among women of all ages, cultures, and social economic status. Females who have experienced this complaint often feel that they are “deficient and sometimes depressed” (Lieblum& Rosen, 2000, p. 118). As a result, women’s sexual relationships may have suffered since there is no definitive measure for an orgasm. Some contributing factors may be due to the damage of the central nervous system, genital changes that occur after menopause, multiple sclerosis, and medications/substances. A number of different medications have been associated with sexual dysfunction. Most associated with sexual problems are antidepressants, hormonal contraceptives, antipsychotics, and antihypertensives (Balon, 2006; Fusco, 2014). Some physiological factors such as fear and anxiety related to past sexual traumas, anger, depression, and relationship issues can also inhibit orgasm (Comer, 1998). “ Spectoring” is a term that was coined by Masters and Johnson’s in 1970 that describes how a female is more of an observant participant in her own sexual pleasure, and this has been associated with performance anxiety and orgasmic dysfunction (McCabe and Delaney 1992).
It is important to note that orgasmic problems do not always cause sexual distress or marital unhappiness with women. A recent report by Frank and Anderson of a nonrandom sample of couples found 63% of the women who reported arousal and orgasmic problems were happily married and that 85% reported they were satisfied with their sexual relationship. So feelings of distress, about either one’s own sexuality are ones sexual relationship, are not necessarily associated with orgasmic problems. There are no consistent empirical findings that support a constellation of factors separating orgasmic and non-orgasmic women. It could be more useful if the research focused on patterns of orgasmicity and nonorgasmicity based on historical factors, will physiological and psychological factors, and relationship factors. It is summarized that current evidence points to cognitive – behavioral interventions as effective, particularly with primary orgasmic disorders, and that an active approach to treatment is more effective than a purely reflective one. It is without question that the data is limited in that further testing of both psychological and physiological treatments would benefit women and their partners.