The Orgasm Gap… What Gives?

We’ve long been familiar with the gender wage gap; we hear about it regularly in the mainstream media and may even discuss it with our family and friends. But in recent years, a new ‘gender gap’ has started to receive more focus and attention – the orgasm gap.

Sociologists and researchers have been increasingly interested in the concept of the orgasm gap, or in other words, why men are having significantly more orgasms during sexual encounters than women. Interestingly enough, it’s not just all biology and physiology.

Recent studies have shown that among college students, over 90% of men report having an orgasm with partnered sex. Unfortunately, less than 40% of women can make the same claim. This gets even more interesting when you hear the statistic that women who have sex with women have orgasms almost at the same rate as men.

So, what gives?

Well, it turns out that she is the one doing a lot of giving. Studies show that women, especially young women, tend to prioritize ‘getting their partner off’ more than maximizing their own sexual pleasure.   

This statistic makes sense when we realize that while the vast majority of men orgasm through intercourse alone; the vast majority of women do not orgasm through intercourse alone.

So, where to go with this information?

Experts have suggested that we re-define how we talk about sex. Sex, they say, is not synonymous with intercourse. Rather, sex encompasses all sexual activity  – manual stimulation, oral sex, sex toy play, caressing/massage, and yes, intercourse.

Also, look at the word foreplay – Foreplay is, by definition, play done before…the big event of intercourse. Some sex experts have suggested using the word ‘sex play’ instead of foreplay, because it’s the sex play that is most likely to result in female orgasm. Additionally, there has been increasing focus in recent years on prioritizing pursuit of female orgasm, as evidenced by the popularity of such books as “She Comes First” by Ian Kerner.

Closing the gender orgasm gap starts with prioritizing one’s pleasure. It might be a new thing for you to do, but with your next sexual encounter, start to think about what feels good for you. Even when you are actively giving your partner pleasure, be aware of if it’s providing you with pleasure. If not, try something else. Or, experiment with prioritizing your pleasure first (whatever that means for you) instead of going directly and quickly to intercourse the next time you’re intimate with your partner.

You might be surprised; sometimes enjoying the pursuit of your own pleasure can be the biggest turn on of all for your partner too!