How to Fix the Orgasm Gap Between Straight Men and Women
Significant inequalities pervade modern society, even in the bedroom. For example, women have far fewer orgasms than men.
The divide is especially pronounced between heterosexual men and women. According to a new survey with 52,588 respondents published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, 95 percent of straight men reported usually or always achieving orgasm when sexually intimate. Only 65 percent of straight women did.
While a significant number of straight women seem to be missing out on the peak of sexual pleasure, far fewer lesbian women are. The overwhelming majority of lesbian women taking part in the survey, 86 percent, reported usually or always reaching orgasm. The disparity between lesbian and straight women clearly hints that heterosexual couples (and especially men) have a thing or two to learn.
Thankfully, the researchers, led by Dr. David Frederick, an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Chapman University, were able to glean a number of pivotal lessons from their survey.
"Women were more likely to orgasm if their last sexual encounter included deep kissing, manual genital stimulation, and/or oral sex in addition to vaginal intercourse," they found. Heterosexual women who reported engaging in this triad of activities were almost as likely as lesbian women to achieve orgasm.
Other activities might also help close the orgasm gap, the researchers say. Compared to women who orgasmed less frequently, women who orgasmed more frequently were more likely to ask for what they desire in bed, sext their partners, wear lingerie, try new sexual positions, engage in anal stimulation, act out fantasies, incorporate sexy talk, and express love during sex.
Some of the orgasm gap between straight men and women is biological, as the clitoris -- the primary source of the female orgasm -- is often not directly stimulated during vaginal sex. However, the present research shows that most of the difference in orgasm rates is cultural. There's a lot of misinformation out there about the female orgasm, with some media sources treating it as an almost mythical phenomenon. Female sexuality also has a history of stigmatization. These factors translate to both men and women lacking the necessary knowledge to reliably produce female orgasms.*
To put it bluntly, women simply aren't getting the attention in bed that they deserve. Adopting a number of sex-positive habits can ensure that women enjoy just as much pleasure as men.
*Section updated 2/27 with more nuance
Source: Frederick et al. "Differences in Orgasm Frequency Among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men and Women in a U.S. National Sample."Arch Sex Behav. 2017 Feb 17. doi: 10.1007/s10508-017-0939-z