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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Closing the Orgasm Gap Between Women and Men - Part 1

According to Dr. Laurie Mintz, psychologist and sex therapist who wrote Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters And How to Get Itthere's a huge orgasm gap between heterosexual men and women.  The focus of this article will be on identifying the problem and the contributing factors (see my articles: What is Good Sex? Part 1Part 2Part 3 and Part 4).

Closing the Orgasm Gap Between Women and Men

According to Dr. Mintz, a recent survey of thousands of men and women reveals that 91% of men versus only 64% of women said they had an orgasm during their most recent sexual encounter.  

Dr. Mintz also cites another recent survey where only 57% of women said they had orgasms most or every time they had sex with a male partner, but their partners had orgasms 95% of the time.

Why is There an Orgasm Gap Between Men and Women?
So what's going on?  Dr. Mintz cites a number of reasons for the orgasm gap, including:
  • An Overvaluation of Intercourse: The most common way for heterosexual men to have an orgasm in partnered sex is through intercourse, also known as penis-in-vagina (PIV) sex.  This has lead to an undervaluation of women's most common way, which is through clitoral stimulation.  
    • This cultural valuation is usually seen in mainstream movies, social media and porn.  Women are regularly seen as having orgasms with intercourse alone--with little to no clitoral stimulation.
    • As a result, this perpetuates the misinformation about women's orgasms and PIV sex.
  • A Sexual Double Standard:  Our cultural double standard is that women are judged more harshly for having casual sex than men.  This often leads to women feeling conflicted, guilty and ashamed, which makes it harder for them to enjoy sex.
  • A Focus on Women Being Desirable to Men Instead of Focusing on Their Own Sexual Desires: The message that women should focus on being desirable to men (instead of focusing on their own desires) is everywhere--from social media, popular magazines, movies, porn, and so on.  
    • This message, which is so common, causes women to focus on how they look instead of how they feel.
    • The message is that women's main role is to pleasure men instead of believing that sex involves both giving and receiving pleasure.
    • A related problem is that many women don't like their bodies because thin women are often portrayed as being sexy.  
  • An Overall Problem With Sex Education in the US: Most sex education in the United States focuses almost exclusively on the dangers of sex, including pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) instead of the pleasures involved with sex.  
    • This emphasis on the dangers of sex to the exclusion of fun and pleasurable sex makes it less likely that sex will be perceived as pleasurable.
  • A Lack of Communication About Sex: As part of sex education, most people--both women and men--get little to no training on how to communicate about sex.  
    • Since most men have orgasms and many women don't, it's especially important for women's orgasms that there is good communication about sex and orgasms in particular.  
    • As compared to men, women have different needs when it comes to having orgasms.  
    • Also, individual women have different needs (see my article: How to Talk to Your Partner About Sex).

My Next Article:
The focus of my next article will be how to close the orgasm gap:

Getting Help in Therapy
If you've been struggling on your own to resolve your problems, you could benefit from working with a licensed mental health professional.

A skilled psychotherapist can help you to overcome the obstacles that are keeping you from maximizing your potential and leading a more fulfilling life.

About Me
I am a licensed NYC psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR, AEDP, EFT, Somatic Experiencing and Sex Therapist.

I work with individual adults and couples.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (917) 742-2624 or email me.

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