An orgasm study published earlier this year is currently making the rounds on gay and sexual media for its startling(?) finding that gay, bi and lesbian people experience more orgasms than heterosexual women.
Researchers from Chapman University in California who conducted the orgasm study analyzed 52,588 U.S. adults, asked them to self-identify their sexual orientation (as either heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual) and asked how often they’d orgasmed during their last month’s sexual encounters.
Researchers found 95% of heterosexual men, 89% of gay men, 88% of bi men and 86% of lesbian women reported usually or always orgasming during sexually intimacy. However, only 66% of bi women and 55% of heterosexual women said the same thing, suggesting either that straight men aren’t doing their part to make their female partners cum or other social factors may be inhibiting the sexual climaxes of bi and straight women.
Before we analyze why, let’s quickly mention two caveats: First, orgasms aren’t the only indicator of good sex — you can orgasm after absolutely lousy sex, so cumming isn’t everything. Second, any study about human sexuality runs into a key methodological dilemma — some people will have sex with members of the same sex and hide it or not identify as “gay,” making generalizations about straight, bi or gay people difficult to draw.
That being said, the orgasm study contains several clues as to what might be going on with bi and straight women’s orgasms. For instance, the kind of sex makes a great difference. Lead author David A. Frederick said that women were 85% more likely to orgasm if they received oral sex (compared to 35% of women who orgasmed during insertive vaginal sex.)
Frederick also found that 45% of women who felt free to ask for what they wanted sexually in bed orgasmed more often, as did women who engaged in vaginal intercourse lasting 30 minutes or longer (as opposed to vaginal intercourse lasting just zero to 15 minutes) — that tip can help any fellas out there who also have sex with trans men. (You’re welcome.)
The study’s lead author thinks that other factors also inhibit female orgasms:
Women have higher body dissatisfaction than men, and it interferes with their sex life more. This can impact sexual satisfaction and ability to orgasm if people are focusing more on these concerns than on the sexual experience.
There is more stigma against women initiating sex and expressing what they want sexually…. One thing we know is that in many couples, there is a desire discrepancy: One partner wants sex more often than the other. In heterosexual couples, that person is usually the man.
The higher rate of orgasms in same-sex sexual encounters makes sense considering that same-sex partners deal with similar sets of body parts and arousal methods. Studies also show that many bi women end up with men making their lower rate of orgasms a possible result of repressive heterosexual sex culture or different body parts.
Featured image by DonyKuo via iStock