- The orgasm gap affects heterosexual women the most.
- Women climax less frequently and consistently than men.
- A male-focused approach to sexuality is one of the causes of the orgasm gap.
- A woman’s lack of orgasm affects the couple’s sexual satisfaction.
- Managing your ED can help you stay hard and give your partner enough time to climax.
The orgasm gap is the statistical difference in consistency and frequency of orgasms for men and women. It affects heterosexual women the most. Her lack of pleasure can make sex less satisfying for both partners. If you’re a man who sleeps with women, you can help your lover have more pleasure in bed.
What’s the Orgasm Gap?
Imagine driving that dream car on an empty highway. Maybe you’re a Lambo man, or perhaps you love a Tesla. How does it feel to get behind the wheel of that amazing machine? Incredible, right?
You know exactly what you’re going to get. Luxury, and that rush of speed as you hit the gas. Now, imagine getting into that car and not being able to start it. Or your engine dying every two miles. Disappointing, right?
Now, let’s take this example into the bedroom. When a heterosexual man initiates sex, he can safely expect to have a positive experience ending in orgasm. The woman — not so much.
In a representative Australian study of heterosexual people, 95 percent of men said they had an orgasm at their last sexual encounter, compared with a mere 69 percent of women.
A large American sample of diverse sexual orientations confirmed that heterosexual females are disadvantaged when it comes to climax. Heterosexual men take the lead with 95 percent admitting to regular orgasms. While 88 percent of lesbians reported they usually orgasmed during intimacy, only 65 percent of heterosexual women said the same.
Other research puts orgasm inequality into further context. For example, young women orgasm more frequently with a committed partner than during hookups.
Why Does the Orgasm Gap Exist?
The pleasure gap is an age-old phenomenon that modern science is only beginning to understand. Here are some of the reasons for gender inequality in the bedroom.
Tracing It Back to Freud
The father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, revolutionized the way we understand the human mind. But some of his ideas on women and their sexual function were misguided and even harmful.
Freud claimed that orgasms from the clitoris were “immature.” He thought females should aspire to orgasm during penetrative intercourse with a male partner.
This goes against basic anatomy. We know today that women’s main sexual organ is the clitoris, which is not directly stimulated during intercourse. That’s why most women need extra stimulation to reach peak pleasure.
Focus on Male Satisfaction
If we look back in history, we see that most societies celebrated and encouraged men to have sexual adventures. Those same societies restricted and even punished women who wanted to enjoy their sensuality.
Think of your own life, and be honest for a moment. If you sleep with a woman, when does sex end for you? For the majority of guys, it stops the moment they ejaculate. And, since intercourse takes an average of about five minutes, it leaves women little opportunity to get warmed up and climax through penetrative sex alone.
Vicious Circle of No Pleasure
Misinformation and prejudice aside, the orgasm gap tends to self-perpetuate. Research suggests that women who don’t climax regularly learn not to expect orgasms during their erotic encounters.
Female orgasm doesn’t have equal value in our society. This needs to change if we want to close the gap.
How the Pleasure Gap Affects Your Sex Life
If you’re a heterosexual man, you may not realize that the orgasm gap affects your sex life and relationships. Here are just a few examples:
Less Sexual Satisfaction for Both
One of the main reasons we have sex with other people is to feel connected. And orgasm is an important part of the couple’s sexual satisfaction.
If you reach orgasm every time and your partner doesn’t orgasm at all, or only once in a while, you may both feel like something is missing. Some men blame themselves for not being good lovers. Lots of women feel guilty and worry that they are “frigid.” (Reality check: They aren’t.)
She Loses Interest in Sex
Women who don’t enjoy lovemaking often complain that they have low desire. And it’s no wonder. Would you be interested in doing something you don’t like on a regular basis? You would treat it like a chore, something to get over with as soon as possible.
And that’s exactly what happens with many couples. Women agree to have sex for their partner’s sake. But treating a physical connection as a sacrifice never leads to anything good. It causes resentment and guilt, and it messes with your relationship beyond the bedroom.
Her Mood and Vitality are Affected
Low sexual satisfaction has a negative influence on women’s vitality and psychological well-being. And it’s not just a bad mood; we’re talking about depressive and anxious feelings here.
Orgasm is a powerful experience. It helps us relax, improves our confidence, and gives us an energy boost. The happiness hormones released during climax help us keep mentally stable. Women should be able to enjoy its benefits the same way men do.
What Men Can Do To Close the Orgasm Gap
Isn’t it up to women to learn how to have orgasms and enjoy themselves in bed? Yes, but that’s just part of the solution. Men and women are in this together. And with partnered sex, success depends on communication and the motivation of both partners. Here’s what you can do to help her get more pleasure out of your lovemaking.
- Educate yourself. Read at least one book about women’s orgasms and educate yourself about female sexual anatomy and arousal. A good starting point is, “She Comes First” by Ian Kerner. It’s a funny and informative book, and it was written by a man!
- Go beyond intercourse. To be a better lover, expand your sexual repertoire beyond penetration. Most women need at least 20 minutes of clitoral stimulation to orgasm. And don’t worry if she climaxes before you even get started. Women are multiorgasmic, and once she reaches pleasure, she’s more likely to peak again with you!
- Talk to her. Intimate communication is tough for many guys, but it pays off. Go beyond the usual, “Was it good for you?” Ask her specific questions. Does she like it when you massage her clitoris? Does this feel nice? Does she want you to go slow or faster? And don’t forget to tell her what you liked. Your responsiveness will add to her enjoyment.
ED and the Orgasm Gap
Your sexual functioning, especially erection health, is important for your partner’s orgasms. Women need time to get aroused and reach climax, so keeping a reliable hard-on makes all the difference.
If you struggle with erectile dysfunction, talk to your doctor about ED treatments. Modern medications, such as Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra, are safe for most men and will help you both have satisfying and orgasmic sex.
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Anka Grzywacz is a sexologist, reproductive health expert and Certified Sex Coach™. In her online practice she helps busy women and couples solve their intimate problems.