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The Orgasm Gap: Solutions for Boosting Sexual Pleasure

by | Jul 14, 2021 | RELATIONSHIPS, SEXUALITY, WOMENS HEALTH

A woman bemoans the orgasm gap.

Everyone deserves an exhilarating sex life. While orgasms aren’t the only source of pleasure during sex, they definitely are a significant source. Unfortunately, a consistent orgasm gap exists between men and women and how often they reach climax. 

 

What is the Orgasm Gap?

The orgasm gap is a phenomenon where during heterosexual sex, men report that they reach orgasm during sex significantly more often than women do. In fact, the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior asked adult Americans about their most recent sexual encounters. The results showed that 64% of heterosexual women reported experiencing an orgasm at their last sexual encounter compared to the 91% of heterosexual men that reported an orgasm – a consistent 27% difference.

The survey also asked about the sexual behaviors the participants were participating in and compared that data to the orgasm rates. These results showed that men still stayed around the 90% mark for orgasming no matter the sexual acts that were performed. Female orgasms, however, varied greatly. 64% of the women reported an orgasm when partnered masturbation was included during the sex, and 81% of the women in the study reported an orgasm when they received oral sex. This shows that varied sexual acts are a critical component to closing the orgasm gap.

Interestingly enough, many heterosexual men reported that their female partners are also experiencing orgasms, but the same women are reporting otherwise. This could mean that some men believe that they made the woman orgasm when they did not or that the woman faked an orgasm.

These discrepancies are mostly arising in heterosexual relationships. Lesbian women, for example, report orgasming 86% of the time.  However, these problems cannot be blamed on the men or women in the heterosexual sexual encounters. Rather, the orgasm gap highlights the problems surrounding female sexuality within our culture.  There is a societal lack of understanding of female anatomy – such as the importance of the clitoris for pleasure – and female pleasure is heavily stigmatized.

 

How to Close the Orgasm Gap & Increase Sexual Pleasure

Stop faking orgasms!

This goes for any gender. Whenever you fake an orgasm, your partner assumes that whatever they were doing was pleasurable for you, and they are more likely to try that same technique in the future. Instead of faking an orgasm, try to suggest a different technique, or make sure to encourage your partner when they are using a technique that you enjoy.

Don’t forget foreplay.

Oftentimes people underestimate the power of foreplay. It helps to increase arousal and makes sex more enjoyable. Many women have an easier time reaching orgasm when they recieve oral sex compared to vaginal penetration. Therefore, increasing the duration of foreplay during sex can contribute greatly to closing the orgasm gap.

Communicate.

Communication for any relationship (platonic, romantic, sexual, etc.) is key. Specifically within a sexual context, communication takes away all the guessing of whether or not your partner is enjoying themselves. Being clear about your sexual likes and dislikes will not only help you enjoy better sex, but it will give your partner more confidence and potentially lead to more orgasms.

Use varied sexual techniques and experimentation.

Oftentimes, vaginal penetration alone is not enough for someone to achieve orgasm. Instead, someone is much more likely to have an orgasm if their partner uses a variety of sexual techniques such as clitoral stimulation, utilizing sex toys, oral sex, etc. The best way to find out what you and your partner enjoy is to experiment and communicate what new techniques you did and did not enjoy.

Get curious and comfortable with your sexuality.

Female sexuality has been very stigmatized in today’s society. This often leads to intimidation, and many women may not feel comfortable speaking up for what they want during sex. Embracing your sexuality is a great place to start to help close the orgasm gap.

Knowledge.

A significant reason that the orgasm gap exists is because society as a whole tends to be uneducated around female sexual pleasure. You don’t need to be a sex educator to be an expert on you and your partner’s desires. Taking the time to learn about and understand sexuality can significantly contribute to closing the orgasm gap.

The orgasm gap cannot be blamed on any gender, but there are steps most can take to try to solve the problem together and close the gap.

Modern Intimacy is a group therapy practice, founded by renowned Psychologist and Sex Therapist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri. This inclusive blog is designed to provide a wealth of information and resources for mental health, relationships, and sexuality. Subscribe today to get the latest information from our expert contributors from all around the world.

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Author Bio

Jessie is a junior at the University of Miami (FL) who is thrilled to be an intern for the 2021 Psychotherapy Internship Program. Currently working towards a Bachelor of Science in Public Health and Psychology, she hopes to become a clinical psychologist and a certified sex therapist. She is passionate about empowering women to speak up in a professional and a personal setting

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