The Orgasm Gap: How to Keep from Being Shortchanged


Many women believe that casual sex empowers them. They don’t want to be passive. They don’t like waiting for a man to make the first move. They want to take charge. But casual sex isn’t empowering for everyone. In fact, it doesn’t work for many women. In a culture that pressures you to be sexy and sexual, it might be hard to be honest with yourself if it doesn’t work for you. You might do what your culture says is “normal” despite your dissatisfaction. If you’re not a fan of casual sex, there’s at least one very good reason why you don’t love it: the orgasm gap.

Women don’t experience as much sexual pleasure as men do. In the context of a relationship, women experience orgasm 80% of the time. The “orgasm gap” is even greater with casual sex Stanford professor of sociology Paula England found. College women have orgasms only 30% of the time with first-time hookups and 50% of the time if they’ve hooked up more than once.

One factor contributing to this gap may be who gives oral sex. Women are more likely to perform oral sex. Women offer it 80% of the time with first-time hookups, while men do 50% of the time. Often men are more likely to be invested in their partner’s sexual satisfaction when there is a deeper connection with her. With casual sex, he may not be interested or motivated to put in much effort.

Some say the way to prevent this kind of sexual frustration is for you to understand your body better so that you can ensure that you will have an orgasm. But what about the possibility that being with a man who doesn’t care about your pleasure simply isn’t a turn on? Maybe you just aren’t that turned on because he simply isn’t that into you. You might feel hurt or disappointed, which are very good reasons for your lack of orgasm too. It may not be a good idea for you to understand your body better just to have an orgasm with a man who doesn’t care about you.

Most women want to be desired, but they also want him to care. That’s why it can hurt if he never calls again or just wants booty calls. If he’s not that into you, you may feel that he desires you sexually and you may feel that he really doesn’t care.  That doesn’t feel good. We’re told we should just brush those feelings aside because we’re modern women and we should be able to have sex “like a man.” When we doubt the way we feel and think we need to be “modern” or “normal” instead, we aren’t being true to ourselves. All women are different. What works for your best friend may not work for you, and that’s OK. Being your own Brand of Sexy is the best way to keep from being shortchanged by the orgasm gap. That means figuring out what you want, what works for you as an individual, and what strategies will help you achieve your relationship goals, whatever they may be.

Are you being your own Brand of Sexy? Take my quiz to find out.

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