The Orgasm Gap
I recently put a poll up on my instagram. The question was - “If you are in a heterosexual relationship who cums more often on average, man or woman?”. The results were not shocking. 74% voted Man, and 26% voted Woman. Granted, I don’t have a big following on instagram and it was not even close to a representative sample BUT it did reflect the results of some real studies, with real samples and real data. The results of those studies reflect a gap of about (roughly) 70/30 in heterosexual relationships. When it comes to masturbating, the rate is equal between men and women. It’s also equal in homosexual relationships. Hm…
This orgasm gap is not new information. Most people are well aware that it’s not super easy for a woman to cum with a male partner. This definitely isn’t the case for everyone, and individual sexual experiences are about as unique as snowflakes - however I can’t help but think there’s something more to this drastic gap. Something deeper, and foundational about heterosexual relationships that makes this gap so wide.
Because orgasm rates via masturbation are equal between men and women - it is clearly not a biological issue nor can the gap be explained by “it’s easier for men to cum”. Women know how to cum. So what is it about having sex with a male partner that brings this rate down so much?
There are a few theories pertaining to this gap - in this article I will share mine. I once read a study done in the Journal of Sex Research that assessed the attitudes and ideas of college aged men and women about the female orgasm. There were a few common trends brought forward by the female focus group that are really interesting..
It is the responsibility of the man to bring the woman to orgasm
Having an orgasm was not a huge factor in having a satisfactory experience. But for men it was.
Their male partner’s ego (harmed if the woman did not cum, and inflated if she did) ranked higher in importance than their own pleasure
Orgasms are more likely to happen within a long term relationship rather than casual ones
As a woman, you might relate to these trends and you might not. But the way I see it is these are huge clues to figuring out the source of this orgasm gap.
Based on these trends and conversations I’ve had with many women I believe this gap exists because hetero-sex is male-oriented and penis-centered. I could get into how this is the fault of the patriarchy.. But that’s another article ;) On to how I’m supporting my theory…
In the study previously mentioned - both men and women agreed that it was the man’s responsibility to bring a woman to orgasm. This idea alone suggests the man is seen as the subject (doing the sex) and the woman is seen as the object (receiving the sex). It suggests that women are just acting as passive bystanders in the act of sex. They are having sex done to them rather than being an active participant in their own pleasure.
The study also suggests that women are not placing enough value on their own orgasms. I don’t want to push the idea here that sex should be goal-oriented. Orgasms are not the most important thing about sex, and there is so much sexual pleasure to be discovered outside of having an orgasm. But they do matter. Amazing sex can happen without an orgasm - but why shouldn’t we hold our orgasms at the same standards that men do?
The fact that women are placing their male partner’s ego as a higher priority than their own pleasure, further explains how women are not valuing their own orgasms. This right here is why women fake their orgasms, leading themselves further away from their own pleasure.
So how do we as women, close this gap caused by male oriented and penis centered sex? Well, I suggest we slowly, one by one, dismantle these attitudes and ideas about hetero-sex. We destroy these ideas and build new ones. Take control of our sex, have conversations, and speak openly and without shame about our desires.
As a feminist, sex blogger who sells sex toys for a living - I love to imagine a perfect world where women are having all the orgasms that they wish to have. A world where they value their pleasure, and are active seekers in it. I wish every woman to be sexually liberated and released from the type of sex that uses them for male pleasure.
Orgasms heal you
Orgasms release you
Orgasms move you