More and more studies are shedding light on the “orgasm gap,” which refers to how men orgasm during sex more frequently than women.
But why does this gender gap exist, and what can be done to achieve orgasm equality? After all, about 40% of women experience sexual dysfunction, associated with a chronic difficulty in achieving orgasm.
Experts are offering some answers.
“All groups of men — gay, bisexual, heterosexual — orgasm more than all groups of women,” said David Frederick, assistant professor of psychology at Chapman University, who has studied human sexuality.
“Lesbian women orgasm more often than heterosexual women but less often than men,” he said. “What makes women orgasm is the focus of pretty intense speculation. Every month, dozens of magazines and online articles highlight different ways to help women achieve orgasm more easily. It is the focus of entire books. For many people, orgasm is an important part of sexual relationships.”
The reason for the orgasm gap could be sociocultural or evolutionary, Frederick said.
“Women have higher body dissatisfaction than men, and it interferes with their sex life more. This can impact sexual satisfaction and ability to orgasm if people are focusing more on these concerns than on the sexual experience,” he said.
“There is more stigma against women initiating sex and expressing what they want sexually,” he said, adding, “one thing we know is that in many couples, there is a desire discrepancy: One partner wants sex more often than the other. In heterosexual couples, that person is usually the man.”
Therefore, a woman might engage in sex with her partner when she isn’t necessarily in the mood, and then she may be less likely to orgasm, Frederick said.
There is also the idea that male orgasm helps facilitate reproduction, as it is invariably required for ejaculation. For women, however, there is no clear tie between orgasm and reproduction, Frederick said.