It’s still O-vember – having lots?
Women have a harder, longer road to the Big O than men.
The female orgasm has forever been both a complex and elusive phenomenon. Two recent studies in the US on orgasm rates for men and women in casual hook-ups revisit its mysterious ways. They confer that women aren’t climaxing in casual flings nearly as often as they do in serious relationships. In one study, for instance, of 24,000 students across 21 colleges, 40 per cent of women were found to have had an orgasm during their last hook-up involving sex, against 80 per cent of men.
Be it the fact that men’s privates are easier to arouse than a woman’s, or a woman having to make do with a sexually inept partner, there’s no denying that women — despite being blessed with the ability to have multiple orgasms — have a harder, longer road to the big O than a man. We get three experts to explain why there’s an orgasm gap between men and women.
Dr Debby Herbenick, PhD, Research Scientist at Indiana University & author of Sex Made Easy
Vaginal intercourse is the most common sexual behaviour that men and women engage in together, and it’s easier for men to have orgasms from intercourse than it is for women to do so. Some women find it easier to orgasm, or they orgasm more quickly, when they receive oral sex or when they or their partner stimulates them with fingers or a vibrator.
Some women feel pressured by their partner to have an orgasm. “Faking” an orgasm can feel easier than explaining to a partner in the heat of the moment that it just isn’t going to happen. Some women who fake orgasms, say they do so because they don’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings or that they want sex to end. As for how an orgasm is worked up and triggered, both women and men have multiple pathways to orgasm, much of which is still poorly understood.
Communication can help both parties learn how to please their partners. It’s not that either sex is “inept” but it helps to talk more openly about desire, likes, dislikes, and how we want to be pleasured. Orgasms are important to both women and men, but not necessarily every time they have sex. Intimacy and feeling connected are some of the most important parts of sex for both men and women.
Dr Mahinder Watsa, Sex Expert
Often, a woman doesn’t reach an orgasm because the man may be suffering from premature ejaculation or he may be in a tearing hurry to get things done. I feel lack of foreplay plays a big factor in not arousing the woman enough to get her to go all the way. That and a man’s indifference towards her need to have an orgasm as well. When it comes to how we are wired, man essentially works on a one-track mind which is focussed on ejaculation. Women however crave for a more wholesome experience, and often, also, a more emotionally involved one. Unlike men, women can have multiple orgasms but there are shortcomings on both sides that lead to the woman not climaxing. In any case, orgasms have only recently been hyped by the media as the be-all and end-all of a sexual encounter. It doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, the truly happy couples are those that enjoy their sex lives without bothering about orgasms.
Dr Rupin Shah, Consultant Andrologist, Lilavati & Bhatia Hospital
For women, it’s often harder to reach an orgasm because of various psycho-social issues apart from their partners’ sexual ineptness. Anatomically, male and female bodies co-relate to each other and ideally both should be able to have orgasms as easily. With men, sex is more active and obvious. If he is aroused, he gets an erection and if he has an orgasm, he ejaculates. Women though don’t have a definite marker for orgasm. That’s why women can easily fake it just to go with the flow.
Women need more stimulation and for a longer duration, so it all comes down to technique. While women are capable of having as many orgasms, it’s more vulnerable to external factors. Also, our society is male-biased to an extent where a woman’s sexuality is considered less important. Somewhere, women too may feel unimportant about having an orgasm, or guilty about bringing up the issue of not having one. Sex and orgasm is still largely suppressed for women, but this is changing now. Though orgasms don’t have to be such a big deal, it’s hard for couples today to escape the big hype that’s spun around the big O.