It’s nothing new, but these days it has a name. Basically, when it comes to orgasms in heterosexual sex, there is a considerable difference between men and women. And there are no prizes for guessing which one is the least likely to reach orgasm.
The orgasm gap is nothing more than the difference between men and women in terms of the number of orgasms reached during heterosexual sex. It’s as simple as that. So, let’s dream up two completely imaginary people to bring the following scenario to life: Carolina, a sexually active, heterosexual woman; and Bruno, a sexually active, heterosexual man. Let’s imagine that they are friends, they are on holiday and go out every night. By the end of the adventure, they have both had the same amount of sex with people they have met on the trip - let’s assume 10 sexual encounters each. Does this mean that they will both have had 10 orgasms (not counting masturbation)? No. The most likely outcome is that Bruno will have had 9 orgasms and Carolina 6. And this, ladies, is the orgasm gap.
Despite the fact that these characters are fictitious, the details are anything but. A study carried out on 50,000 adults in the United States, and published in 2018 in Archives of Sexual Behavior, indicates that 95% of heterosexual males reach orgasm every time they have sex, followed by homosexual men at 89%, bisexual men at 88%, lesbian women at 86%, bisexual women at 65% and, finally, heterosexual women at 65%.
It’s all very well knowing this and giving it a name, but how do we put an end to it?
Cut out the drama
So, you’re a bit of an actress on the quiet, and we’d love you see you unleash your dramatical side, but not in bed, sister. We know that it is society which pushes us to have-to-orgasm-every-time and not damage the ego of the man you’re sleeping with, but the reality is that you’re not doing anyone a favour, not you and not him. He is systematically going to associate that way and means of getting the job done with your pleasure when, truth be told, that way doesn’t bring you pleasure and, quite frankly, you deserve to have it and he deserves to know how, don’t you reckon?
The ins and outs
In heterosexual relations there is one practice which far outruns all the rest, not because of how pleasurable it is for us, exactly, but rather because of the amount of time we spend obsessing over this practice defining sex above all else: PENETRATION. Yes, it’s great and no-one is suggesting that it should disappear (nor anything like it), but there are other ways, other rhythms, other textures... After all, variety is the spice of life, isn’t it? Try it out. Experiment!
And, so, between trying and experiments, what have you discovered? It could be said that sex is like learning how to walk. When you take your first steps, it is always on terrain which is known, safe, where you can control your environment; it is only when you have learned how to walk that you launch yourself into the world. Discovering sex and pleasure with someone is all well and good, but wouldn’t it be great to really know yourself before giving and receiving pleasure with other bodies? Knowing what we like and what we need to guarantee pleasure in sexual relationships, whether you will achieve orgasm or not.
Less fumbling and more blah blah blah
Based on a system of repeated practising and failing you can manage to play a beautiful tune on the piano, for sure; but if you find someone who can show you how, not only will you learn faster, but you will also save yourself a whole lot of frustration. Well, the same goes for sex. Practising is great, it’s a treat! But communicate the theory when you hear the tune is sounding a little off-key. Good communication with your sexual partner(s) won’t guarantee you pleasure and orgasms, but it will considerably narrow the gap. State what you like, what you don’t, and what you want at any given time. And remember: no faking.
So, did you know that the orgasm gap was so big? Give us your opinion on the matter in the comments. We will read it!