By Julie-Ann Sherlock

Thanks to Katherine Rowland’s riveting read—The Pleasure Gap: American Women and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution, women’s sexual needs are once more hitting the headlines. 

Almost every movie, Netflix show, or porno has us believing that women orgasm at the very touch of a man. Certainly, we are led to believe that a good old round of penetrative sex will have you screaming OMG and writhing like a fish out of water. 

Well, if you are anything like millions of other women the world over (and me!), reaching that peak takes a lot more than a bit of in, out, shake it all about. It’s no wonder we have been known to feign headaches or claim exhaustion rather than ripping our men’s clothes off with excitement if that is all they have to offer. But, shhh, come over here, I have a secret to tell you….

It doesn’t have to be like that. 

Mind The Gap

Generally speaking, heterosexual intercourse is where the pleasure gap is most frequently an issue. Those lucky enough to have a female partner to play with are more likely to have an orgasm during sex than us ladies engaging with men. 

For her book, Rowland spoke with 120 women of various ages and circumstances. She found that most of them thought there was something wrong with them as they seemed to be suffering from low sex drives. But honestly, why would anyone be gagging for more of the same, dull, unsatisfying sex? Caught in the routine of a quick fumble, one woman in the book put it best when she said: “If it’s not about your pleasure, it makes sense you wouldn’t want it.”

A survey conducted in 2017, with over 52 thousand Americans found that 95% of the heterosexual male participants almost always orgasmed during sex. Compare this to the 65% of heterosexual females polled who made the same claim and you can see already a big gap forming. Add to this the fact that most of the females noted above who frequently orgasmed stated that they did so due to reasons other than just a “wham bam thank you mam” scenario, and we really begin to get down to the nitty-gritty. Those with a female partner fared much better achieving the desired peak 86% of the time. 

Elisabeth Lloyd’s “The Case of the Female Orgasm” book unveiled further evidence of the gap. Lloyd had examined 33 studies from over 80 years of research to write her book and revealed that only 25% of women regularly orgasm during intercourse. Shocking! 

Yes, only a quarter of women reach that peak by penis regularly with approximately 50% occasionally getting there. The saddest stat I saw was the one that showed 5% of women never experience orgasm. At all. 

It truly is a man’s world. 

The Science-y Stuff

So why is there such a vast difference in the levels of satisfaction from sex? Sure, even without climaxing, many women, myself included, still enjoy the act of lovemaking. It is vital for reproduction and can help make a relationship feel special. That connection you feel while he is inside can really make you feel loved and safe. If it’s not within the confines of a relationship, the thrill of the chase can be a significant factor in the fun of the horizontal tango.  

But if you never or rarely orgasm during sex, it can start to feel like a routine or chore and in some cases lead to a complete lack of interest in the act or your partner. 

While psychologists and medical professionals can’t fully agree on a definition of the impacts of orgasm, they all agree that they are a healthy and beneficial aspect of sex. From the promotion of healthy hormone levels to helping you to fight infections like colds and flu, sexual satisfaction can really change your life! So, if this element of your engagements is missing, you are also losing out on the physical and psychological benefits. 

Get Some Satisfaction

So how do you turn your sex life around and grab yourself the tantalising thrill of the Big O? Many factors must be considered really, but the easiest way to get there is to ask your manfriend to spend some time on you. Foreplay, oral sex, and clitoral stimulation before, during and after intercourse are some ways to get your motor running and help you achieve nirvana. 

Clearly communicating your needs, preferably in a fun and engaging manner rather than barking orders — unless of course, you are both into that — will help to bridge that gap. Now is the time to start finding your pleasure during sex and training him in. 

If he is unwilling or unable, some DIY might be called for from time to time. And while I am not saying to dump his ass if he doesn’t help you board the O-train, maybe his selfishness is something you need to consider as a red flag? 

Ladies, the reality of the situation is: we all deserve to feel satisfied and pleasured during sex. If this isn’t the reality for you, it is time to make a change.