Ever since Meg Ryan faked a loud and very convincing orgasm in the middle of a New York City restaurant in When Harry Met Sally, the question of women’s sexual satisfaction has become a mainstream topic of conversation. And presumably, for straight men, a real concern.
Flash forward almost 30 years, however, and it would seem that women’s needs still aren’t being met. According to a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, 65 per cent of heterosexual women say they reach orgasm during intimacy, and only 35 per cent do so from intercourse.
So, what’s a conscientious partner to do to elicit a euphoric exaltation? The study’s authors say it depends on what has been dubbed the “golden trio” of moves that combines deep kissing with manual stimulation and oral sex.
“Women were more likely to orgasm if they had experienced oral sex or vaginal stimulation during their last intercourse event,” says David Frederick, lead author of the study and assistant professor of health psychology at Chapman University in California. “But the fact that deep kissing was also a factor says something about how foreplay and passion can affect a couple.”
In instances where this trio of moves was used, 77 per cent of women reported reaching orgasm. But what’s more surprising, in cases where only these moves were used and there was no intercourse, 80 per cent said they had an orgasm.
In addition to indicating that heterosexual men may require an education in how to please their partners (especially considering that 30 per cent of men believe women only climax through intercourse), the study also highlights the “orgasm gap” between people of differing sexual orientations.
Of the more than 50,000 people surveyed, 2,000 classified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual, and the dichotomy between their responses and those of heterosexual women was significant. Sexual intimacy usually or always results in orgasm for 89 per cent of gay men, 88 per cent of bisexual men, 86 per cent of lesbian women and 66 per cent of bisexual women. Heterosexual men report a 95 per cent orgasm rate.
Sadly, it would seem that women who choose to be intimate with men are least likely to have a toe-curling experience in bed.
“One reason for explaining why there’s a gap between all men experiencing orgasm and all women might just be straight biology,” Frederick says. “In terms of sexual intercourse, the glands and receptors that cause men to orgasm are directly stimulated during sex. That’s not the case for women, who require direct clitoral stimulation.”
There’s an argument to be made for putting in the extra work, however. The study found women who orgasm more frequently are more satisfied with their relationship, and more likely to praise their partner in bed, wear sexy lingerie and express love during sex.
“Besides the obvious benefits that come with bringing a woman to orgasm, pleasure can also help relieve stress and tension,” Frederick says.
Plus, those women are also more prone to variety in the bedroom like dirty talk, new sexual positions or light S&M.
In other words, it’s something that benefits everyone.