Gaps, for the most part, are considered to be bad. The gender pay gap, for example, is notoriously awful. The “orgasm gap” – the fact that men achieve orgasm a lot more frequently than women during sexual frivolities – is also decidedly rubbish, and now, science has waltzed in to save the day by trying to close it.
A group of researchers from Indiana University and Chapman University surveyed over 52,000 people – which included a range of straight, gay, lesbian, and bisexual men and women aged between the ages of 18 and 65 – and concluded that there is a “golden trio” of actions that will all-but-ensure female orgasm occurs. That, ladies and gentlemen, is deep kissing, genital stimulation, and oral sex.
The study, published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, is a curious insight into just how bad the orgasm gap actually is. Of those surveyed, 95 percent of heterosexual men reported that they orgasmed during sexual acts with a partner, whereas just 65 percent of heterosexual women did.
Heterosexual women actually fared the worst out of any category, with bisexual women reaching that hallowed state 66 percent of the time, rising to 86 percent for lesbian women. For bisexual men, the figure was 88 percent, and this rose to 89 percent for gay men.
The aforementioned golden trio is the key way to close this orgasm gap – and as the authors of the study note, education is key. Nearly 30 percent of men think that vaginal intercourse is the best way for women to achieve orgasm, and as co-author Elisabeth Lloyd, a professor of biology at Indiana University, told the Guardian: “This couldn’t be further from the truth.”
This is not what an actual orgasm looks like, unless you’re particularly keen on experimenting with food coloring. Jag_cz/Shutterstock
Just 35 percent of heterosexual women orgasmed during vaginal sex alone. On the other hand, 80 percent of heterosexual women and 91 percent of lesbians orgasmed after the golden trio was applied.
The trio isn’t the only thing that helps. Writing in their study, the authors explain that women were more likely to orgasm if they were “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 anal stimulation” and “act out fantasies.”
The biology of the female orgasm is decidedly more complex than the male one – that much, the science has made clear, and this new study underscores this fact.
Although it’s likely something to do with pair bonding and/or the repurposing of an old reproductive necessity, researchers are still undecided on what the biological “function” of the female orgasm actually is.
This study notes that women are about 20 percent more likely to orgasm if the sex is a little more varied and a bit of silver-tongued linguistic devilry is used. On the other hand, regardless of setting, sexual position inventiveness, or affectionate pillow talk frequency, men are no more or less likely to orgasm in most situations during sex.
The male orgasm is necessarily simple, as it’s essential for reproduction to occur. That, and no doubt the long-standing focus on the male orgasm in society, has meant that the female equivalent has remained so-called “mysterious” for an inappropriately long time.
Based on their findings, the authors surmise that it’s a lack of awareness, specifically regarding the more intricate biological machinery associated with the female orgasm, that’s to blame for the gap. Female orgasms, simply put, shouldn’t be this rare.