The Marriage Orgasm Gap Is Real. Time To Step Up Your Game.

Want to play your part in closing the so-called "gender orgasm gap"? Here are five essential points to remember.

by Carrie Weisman
Originally Published: 

According to a study published in the Journal of Sex Medicine, 87 percent of married men say they consistently experience orgasm during sex. Meanwhile, only 49 percent of women say the same. It’s one of many statistics that support the idea of the Gender Orgasm Gap, a phenomenon that speaks to the disparity between men and women and the rate at which they each experience orgasm. Some attribute the circumstance to a difference in libido. Others point to gendered roles that unfold during sex. And, some, to a lack of information out there about female sexual anatomy.

Fortunately, there are other, more inspiring statistics on orgasm and the apparent pleasure gap. A survey of more than 52,000 adults found that lesbian women bring their wives and girlfriends to orgasm quite frequently. Another study found that heterosexual women are almost always able to reach orgasm during masturbation. Perhaps it’s the part about being partnered up that messes up their flow.

So, what can men do to close the marriage-orgasm gap? What should you focus on more in and out of the bedroom, and what should you focus on less? In the interest of making sex more pleasurable for all women, here are some advice on and about the female orgasm.

1. Take an Interest in Her Pleasure

A lot of us develop our sexual scripts as adolescents, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. In a study of 71 young adults aged 16-18, researchers found that women were more likely than men to perform oral sex on their partners, even if they “didn’t want to.” Both male and female subjects contended it was a “bigger deal” for men to perform oral sex than it was for women. They also said it was “easier for men to receive oral sex than women,” and that cunnilingus was more “distasteful” than fellatio. Too often, girls who grow up believing their bodies are not deserving of pleasure become women divorced from their sexual potential. So what can you do? Take an interest in her pleasure. Be encouraging. Be enthusiastic. Do your best to reverse the script.

2. Remember: Sexual Variety Enhances Sexual Pleasure

According to the Kinsey Institute, women are more likely to experience orgasm after engaging in a variety of sexual acts. Men, on the other hand, seem to do just fine with penetration alone. So please, remember, what works for you probably won’t be enough for her. Do your best to diversify. Put more petting on the menu. Entertain some oral. It will help you maneuver her towards a more orgasmic experience.

3. Don’t Try To Synchronize Your Orgasms

Research holds that women take upwards of 20 minutes to experience orgasm. Men, on the other hand, can typically get there within the first five minutes of sex. And that’s ok. It just means that you might have to put in some more work after your ejaculation. So please, try to stay awake after the big explosion (when men climax, they release prolactin, a hormone strongly linked to sleep). She played along when it was your turn. Now it’s time for you to step up to the plate.

4. Know Her Pleasure Centers

There is a whole lot of evidence to suggest that a good majority of women require clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm. That should perhaps be the least surprising bit of information to appear on this list. Unfortunately, penetrative sex doesn’t always provide an opportunity to stimulate the region. Of course, sex doesn’t have to include orgasm to provide pleasure. But if one partner is able to hit that mark during sex, it would be considerate to try and help the other one get there, too. Some women prefer direct clitoral stimulation by means of a hand, tongue or vibrator. Others enjoy a less direct approach, through the vaginal, or even the anal, walls. Talk to your partner about her pleasure preferences. Be creative, and keep an open mind.

5. Encourage Honesty

It’s good to hear your partner make some noise in bed. It’s proof of enthusiasm during sex. It’s also a major turn on for a lot of guys. But, unfortunately, it’s not always indicative of an orgasm. According to a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, 87 percent of women moan to boost their partners’ self-esteem. Again, that’s not a bad thing. It’s a selfless act and one done with good intentions in mind. But it can be a little self-defeating. Check in with your partner. Encourage them to be honest with you. Make sure they hit their mark, just as they made sure you hit yours.

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