National Orgasm Day. For some, the most wonderful day of the year. And why not? Orgasms are a wonderful thing for reasons that go far beyond sexual pleasure – like the many mental and physical health benefits they provide. Not to say that sexual pleasure isn’t plenty reason for celebration in and of itself.
This year, let’s celebrate by shining a very bright spotlight on the clitoris - after all, that’s where your orgasms are coming from, if you own one. As it turns out, the source of women’s sexual pleasure has been ignored and misrepresented throughout history - while our culture has given top billing to the penis. This has resulted in an orgasm gap that persists to this day leaving clitoris-owners with the short end of the stick.
What Is An Orgasm Gap?
Studies show that heterosexual men experience orgasm during intercourse more often than heterosexual women – quite a bit more. A major study published by the Archives of Sexual Behavior concluded that men orgasm about 91% of the time compared to women’s 64%. There are lots of studies with differing stats, but there is a common denominator among all of them: the orgasm gap between men and women is real.
How Did It Happen?
According to the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, only 18.4% of women orgasm from vaginal sex alone. (I believe that number is too high, unless they remembered to factor in the times that orgasms are feigned.) In our culture, sex looks like vaginal intercourse where everybody orgasms every time and the clitoris is rarely featured. However, in real life, when orgasm doesn’t happen this way, it’s easy to feel like there’s something wrong with us. For women, the idea that vaginal sex results in orgasm is false most of the time. While some women experience orgasm this way, the overwhelming majority do not – not without clitoral stimulation.
Sex has traditionally been centered on the penis while the clitoris has played second fiddle to the vagina, which makes for fewer orgasms for the partner without the penis. That’s the orgasm gap in a nutshell.
Can We Close The Gap?
Knowledge is power when it comes to female sexuality. And knowledge of our sexual anatomy – in particular – is a good way to harness that power. Here are some more ways we can begin to close the gap.
Understand and acknowledge our true sexual pleasure center
One word. Clitoris.
Prioritize our own pleasure
The cat’s out of the bag! Our pleasure is as important as our partner’s!!
Become intimately familiar with our own bodies
Figuring out our own pleasure points is prerequisite to getting what we need from someone else.
Communicate honestly with our partners about what turns us on
Without input from us, it’s a guessing game. So much easier to explain exactly what we want when it comes to the when, what, where, and how of touching. (And remember that you don't necessarily have to use words to communicate what you want.)
Open our minds to new experiences – alone and with our partners
Variety is the spice of life and sex (of course!) is no different.
Resist the temptation to fake orgasm
I get it. It’s easy to want to make sex look like it does in popular culture. But when we do, we reinforce the wrong behavior.
Try different ways of stimulating your clitoris
Don’t relegate this type of touch to foreplay – it’s more of a before, during and after situation.
When it comes to celebrating, the clitoris is a good place to start. It’s the one organ that exists for only one reason – pleasure. The kind of pleasure that hopefully results in a very happy ending.
Happy happy, everyone.
Pleasure Better; 45 Orgasm Statistics; Kate W; February 25, 2022