In her essay ‘A Sex Which is Not One’, Irigaray interestingly expounds on the sexuality of a woman , that she considers as plural,( “but woman has sex organs more or less everywhere”), having more than one or two pleasure centres, .”The lips” are constantly in contact with each other (nearness of the other) and therefore there is perpetual pleasure, yet she is not able to feel it for the nearness is too much to distinguish. The penis, by penetrating only violates this auto-eroticism and makes ‘her’ dependent on a man for pleasure, not of her own .
Men need an external object to masturbate, but woman needs nothing extraneous, is celebrated as her triumph as a sexual being. The violation of her womb is seen as being done ,as a means for the man to excavate into that space that gave birth to him ;the womb. He seems to be trying to get back to the origin of his existence that has been a mystery to him since discretion .
It has also been said that she is the recipient of his pleasure and an abode to the phallus, as a substitute to the hand. There is anger at the general feeling that the woman’s sexuality is brought to nought during intercourse and seen as a passive receiver of male domination.
Penis envy, the woman’s lookout for a representing penis in her father, husband and as a last resort in her son were also discussed in class. As has been said in the essay the woman learns to caress herself by fondling the ‘Baby-Penis-Clitoris.’ The child becomes the medium through which the couple fondle and care, as if a part of them is there and the mother enjoys a free rein of touch in compensation to repressed female sexuality.
Irigaray sees only revolution as the solution to the problems of the woman in the exchange market of men. The need is to find herself and her kind !!!