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How to Close the Orgasm Gap

Thu, Jul 28, 2011

News, Research

image from nDevilTV

It’s not exactly rocket science to say that men orgasm more often than women when they have sex with each other. Now, if you had to guess, what do you think happens to this orgasm gap as a relationship progresses from casual hookup to repeated hookup to serious commitment? Yep, the orgasm gap closes. According to new research by Elizabeth Armstrong, a sociology professor at the University of Michigan, women orgasm about 80% as often as men do in close relationships — but only 32% as often in first hookups. This research is based on feedback from 12,000 college students across the country. In other words, yes, the undergraduate female orgasm is a rare and special beast.¬†This is likely due in part to the fact that¬†fellatio tends to be consistent across all relationship types, while cunnilingus comes into play mostly in long-term relationships.

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2 Responses to “How to Close the Orgasm Gap”

  1. Michael Says:

    I thought from the heading on this post the orgasm gap would be in the other direction. I get annoyed a lot that my wife gets two orgasms orally and two+ during the main event everytime while I only get one everytime.

  2. clandestine Says:

    The fellatio/cunnilingus gap may be part of it, but I’d suggest that a broader explanation may be that our definition of sex is very intercourse-focused, and we conventionally define sex as over when the man comes (since it’s pretty difficult to continue intercourse afterwards). There’s little incentive to get your partner off in a one-night stand, and since it’s more difficult to make most women come But there’s considerable incentive to help a partner you’re emotionally invested in to achieve orgasm.

    It also reminds me of all those studies testing whether men or women are more receptive to sudden offers of casual sex. The finding that men tend to be more amenable is often used to defend the premise that men have higher libidos. Sometimes people make the very good point that accepting an offer of casual sex is a more dangerous proposition for women than it is for men, or that women are just tired of being sexually harassed. But the other obvious explanatory factor – that there’s a good chance the woman being approached won’t get off, while there’s a good chance the man being approached will – often gets ignored.

    It does kind of make me happy that it gives me a comeback the next time someone pulls out the old “women want relationships and men want sex” thing – well, if that’s true, maybe it’s not that we’re emotionally needy, maybe we’re just seeking out relationships because the sex is better! ;-)


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