The Orgasm Gap

A gap exists between the number of orgasms men and women have, especially if they’re heterosexual. Knowledge of this gap has existed, at least scientifically, since 1953 and the gap is still apparent in research from 2010 through to this year. To be specific, the gap is about the frequency of orgasms;  heterosexual men say they usually/always orgasm up to 95% of the time while heterosexual women do up to 65% of the time. That’s a significant gap. In this post, I’m going to address some more information regarding the gap and how to close it.

The study found a long list of things which women who had more orgasms were associated with. That list includes: receiving more oral sex, higher relationship satisfaction, praising their partner for something they did in bed and acting out fantasies. I’ll put the whole list below the sources. Although there are many things which the women having more orgasm were associated with, researchers found a combination of three acts which gave the highest rates of orgasm in heterosexual women. The combination was oral sex, manual genital stimulation and deep kissing; this brought the number of women usually/always having orgasms to 80% from 65%.

Behaviours resulting in orgasm go far beyond the combination of those three acts. Varying sex through location, position, contexts, toys etc. can help to overcome habituation to sex, promoting arousal and orgasm. Although this post is orgasm-focused, there are other things which promote sexual satisfaction. Longer foreplay, longer sexual encounters and more affectionate behaviours (cuddling, petting) before and after sex all contribute to greater sexual satisfaction. I actually have a problem with the word ‘foreplay’ as it suggests that everything is done for the sake of vaginal sex and viewing only vaginal sex as real ‘sex’ demotes other sexual acts therefore, making them less important and reducing how much time is spent on them. I hope that people can shift their attitudes away from this as I have no doubt it will move us towards closing the Orgasm Gap.

Only 50% of women who had only vaginal sex in their last sexual encounter reported orgasm yet this number jumps up to 73% when manual stimulation was included and then 86% when oral sex was also received. Oral sex was the strongest predictor of orgasm for heterosexual women with relationship satisfaction being the second strongest. Through increasing these two variables, heterosexual women can increase their chances of having an orgasm.

Support was also provided to strengthen previous findings that show heterosexual men overestimate the orgasm frequency of their partners. Whether this is a result of faked orgasms, not knowing what their partner’s cues for orgasm are or some other possible reason, isn’t detailed. The overestimation would make the orgasm gap seem smaller and therefore, less of a problem in the eyes of some. The gap is a large one and I’m not trying to say here that orgasm is the focus of sex, there’s plenty more to enjoy than just that. Regardless, I’m sure people are still going to want to orgasm and if this gap is apparent in their relationship, they may want to close it.

I have two suggestions for closing the gap. The first is to increase the amount of orgasms the hetero female partner has. Now to do this you can use the information I’ve presented here or you can go out and buy books or look online for information on sexual technique. My second suggestion is that the hetero male partner doesn’t orgasm unless their partner does – this is the more instant option. If as a counterargument you were to bring up blue balls, pain experienced by some men after sexual arousal if there’s no orgasm, women also experience this pain, coined as blue walls. So, you can try one of my suggestions or if you aren’t concerned about the gap, you don’t have to do anything. Not everyone is looking to orgasm all the time, just see what your partner wants and do your best to meet their needs. Within reason, of course, and closing this gap is entirely reasonable.


Entire list: receive more oral sex, have longer duration of last sex, be more satisfied with their relationship, ask for what they want in bed, praise their partner for something they did in bed, call/email to tease about doing something sexual, wear sexy lingerie, try new sexual positions, anal stimulation, act out fantasies, incorporate sexy talk, and express love during sex.


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