More specifically, let’s talk about what makes sex good for women. Here’s a hint: it rhymes with c l i t o r i s. I know – it’s counterintuitive to speak openly about unmentionables, but let’s give it a go. Talking about what is good for us sexually is one way that we can experience more pleasure and close the orgasm gap!
It’s Not All About the Vagina
We often say vagina when we mean vulva or labia or clitoris. Sometimes we use cute names for it that make us giggle, like vajayjay, hoo-hoo, Lady V. I could go on, but no matter what you call it, the vagina is the muscular tube that extends from the cervix to the vulva. Simply put, it’s where the penis goes during heterosexual intercourse.
The penis and the clitoris are similar in that they begin the same in utero and they both have lots and lots – thousands! – of nerve endings. This makes them the respective pleasure centers for him and for her. Yet, when it comes to sex between men and women, clitoral stimulation is usually considered foreplay – something you move past to get to the main event. Curious, but understandable since our society trends toward men and their pleasure. Not to mention the fact that heterosexual sex is portrayed in film (ahem) as vaginal intercourse resulting in orgasm (for the man and the woman) almost 100% of the time.
Based on its definition alone, I’m curious as to how the clitoris ever failed to receive top billing when it comes to female sexuality!
There is a place where perhaps no orgasm gap exists. According to at least one study, both men and women have similarly high rates of orgasm during masturbation: 94% for women and 98% for men. (That’s compared to 86% for men and 68% for women during relationship sex.)
According to Elisabeth Lloyd (author of The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution): “The most striking thing about female masturbation is how likely it is to produce orgasm and how little it resembles, mechanically, the stimulation provided by intercourse.”
That’s about as direct a way to describe the issue that I’ve ever heard. And it lends itself to the self-discovery (and pleasure) that can be had when we learn about ourselves from ourselves and bring that knowledge to our shared sexual experiences.
Sarah Hunter Murray, Ph.D is a sex researcher and relationship therapist who posted an article on the very subject, “What Science Has Discovered About the Female Orgasm – Working to close the ‘orgasm gap’ one sex research study at a time”. Here’s how she summed up her article:
“There is no single best way to reach orgasm. However, the research findings from this year  suggest that when women prioritize their sexual pleasure, they may increase their orgasm capacity and ultimately decrease the orgasm gap.”
Here’s how, according to Dr. Murray:
- Make your orgasm a goal during sex
- Use direct clitoral stimulation and certain body movement during sexual penetration
- Approach sex with your own needs and desires at the forefront
- Avoid trying to simply appease your partner
I guess it really comes down to this: we need to make our sexual satisfaction as much of a priority as we make his (we can do it, ladies!) and we need to discover and be true to whatever it is that works for us.
So what do you think? Did you learn something or am I preaching to the choir? We’re starting the conversation at Activ Intimates and we want to hear from you!