People thought women could only experience an orgasm if sperm were present. :-/
Unless otherwise noted, all facts are from Therese Oneille's Unmentionable: The Victorian Lady's Guide to Sex, Marriage, and Manners.
In the 19th century, scientists believed uterine diseases were caused by men “withdrawing” prior to ejaculation.
In other words, it was a total disgrace to pull out and keep a woman from experiencing the joy that is ejaculation. Semen deprivation = uterine disease, obviously.
People also thought that women could only experience an orgasm from sperm.
People thought women were so dependent on sperm that they could only climax if the man ejaculated inside the woman. Geez, thank goodness for men, amirite?
And what, exactly, did they think a woman’s orgasm entailed? Just a “pulsating womb.”
A real gem of a guy named James Ashton wrote that when a woman climaxes, her “womb becomes engorged with blood and moves up and down in the vagina, bringing the neck in contact with the male organ.” Hmmm. Ok.