I believe that everyone deserves a fulfilling and enjoyable sex life, because pleasure is your birthright. Being with someone you can easily communicate your needs and desires to is important to make a fulfilling sex life a reality. Unfortunately, there are key differences that persist in the reported rates of orgasm, especially for heterosexual women and bisexual women who sleep with men.
Statistically, men report orgasm or climax more consistently than women. This difference is the orgasm gap or pleasure gap. I see this issue with a lot of couples that come in stating there’s strain in their sex life. While orgasms shouldn’t be the main goal of every sexual encounter, equality of pleasure and enjoyment is incredibly important, with or without the big “O.” But what is the orgasm gap exactly, why does it exist, and what can you do to fix it if you’re experiencing it in your sex life?
What is the orgasm gap?
The orgasm gap refers to a consistent difference seen in research, where in heterosexual sexual encounters, women have far fewer orgasms during sex than men. This disparity varies by study, but on average, heterosexual men orgasm 95% of the time while heterosexual women orgasm about 65% of the time.
Why does the orgasm gap exist?
While it’s difficult to pinpoint exact reasoning for the orgasm gap, there are a few general ideas that might be causing it.
Lack of sexual education and understanding of female sexual anatomy
- Proper sexual education, especially in the US, is minimal, often even non-existent. When sexual education is taught it rarely, if ever, focuses on pleasure and only briefly discusses sexual and reproductive anatomy. Understanding anatomy is important in knowing what you like and showing your partner how to pleasure you and vice versa.
Lack of equality in the bedroom
- Historically, men’s pleasure and orgasms are prioritized over women’s pleasure and orgasm. In recent years, this inequality improved, but women’s pleasure is still not valued to the same extent as men’s – I mean, hello, that gap is pretty wide! Porn also reinforces the notion that sex is more about men’s pleasure and climax than women’s. Foreplay, or outercourse, is often valued little by men, but it is something almost necessary for women to climax.
How do you fix the orgasm gap in your relationship?
Now that you have an idea of what the orgasm gap is and what causes it, you should be able to evaluate if it exists within your relationship. If you think it does, here are a few tips to help you minimize, if not close, your orgasm gap:
Learn proper sexual anatomy
- We have the world at our fingertips, so we are always around technology and information. However, some people use this to their disadvantage and only use porn to learn about sexual anatomy, which is highly unrealistic. Skip the free porn and check out educational videos, articles, books, websites, or pictures instead. Both partners should learn to identify and recognize different parts of the vulva. Having basic knowledge of the vulva and the clitoral structure will help with navigating stimulation with confidence. Also asking your partner what they like or having a touch and tell session can help determine what will best pleasure them.
- Women typically take longer to become sexually aroused than men, so foreplay, also known as outercourse, is incredibly important. Outercourse helps arouse the vagina, making penetration easier, less painful, and much more pleasurable. Even though, on average, men take less than half as long as women to reach their “O,” outercourse is a great way to help men last longer. This also helps prioritize the journey of pleasure together. Try using toys, (safe) items laying around the house, and more to make outercourse even more fun and interesting!
Talk sex more
- During the act, you can seductively ask if she is enjoying a certain action or pay attention to her non-verbal cues, like moaning and changes in breathing patterns, to figure out what works and what doesn’t. This helps create strong sexual communication and trust between you and your partner. After and in-between sexual encounters, check in. Ask them what they liked, how it felt, what they want to try next time, and what they’d rather not do again. She needs to also be willing to answer and ask in reciprocity – sexual communication is a two-way street. Talking about sex regularly, not just during sexy moments, helps build better trust and intimacy between you both.
While a gap may exist in your relationship, it’s important to also know that an orgasm is not the only indication of a good time. The gap may not bother her at all! Or it’s close enough that no one is left wanting – that’s okay too! You can see, though, there’s a lot to try if you do want to close the gap. Start with strengthening your sexual education and understanding along with forming better sexual communication skills to ensure you and your partner are enjoying yourselves. What are you going to do to fix the orgasm gap in your relationship?