There’s always been talk about the female orgasm. It’s often been categorized as “elusive,” a term that means that women, as a whole, orgasm less than men. Different psychologists, sociologists and general human beings have questioned and theorized about why that is, but there still isn’t a conclusive answer. A recent study from Chapman University, Indiana University, and the Kinsey Institute, however, gathered some intriguing data.
Via Broadly, the study is one of the few that investigates the orgasm frequency of men and women with sexual orientations. Researchers analyzed a large sample size of more than 52,000 people: 26,032 men and 24,102 women who identified as straight, 452 gay men, 340 lesbian women, and 550 men and 1,112 women who identified as bisexual. The study examined “how over 30 different traits or behaviors were associated with frequency of orgasms when sexually intimate.”
The data shows some surprising and not-so-surprising results. The sample group with the most frequent orgasms was heterosexual men, with 95% saying they almost always orgasm when sexually intimate. Following are gay men (89%), bisexual men (88%), lesbian women (86%), bisexual women (66%), and in last place comes (pun intended) heterosexual women (65%).
The study confirms that there’s an orgasm gap between men and women. But it also shows us that women aren’t really responsible for their “elusive” orgasm. Lesbian women orgasm pretty damn frequently. So why don’t straight women?
A huge factor might actually be oral sex.
The study found that a good indicator for how often a woman will orgasm is how often she receives oral sex: “Women who orgasmed more frequently reported receiving more oral sex, having sex for longer durations, and being more satisfied with their relationships.” The study reveals that “of particular importance for women was incorporating oral sex along with other activities during a sexual encounter.” But, the study also discovered that oral sex isn’t really that common: fewer than half of the couples in the survey usually or always include oral sex when being sexually intimate.
According to the study, not only is oral sex important for orgasm frequency, but vaginal intercourse isn’t necessary: “Eighty percent of heterosexual women who had genital stimulation, deep kissing, and who received oral sex said they usually/always orgasm.”
The study’s co-author, Elizabeth Lloyd, pointed out the big takeaway: The fact that lesbian women orgasm so much more frequently than straight women shows that the “orgasm gap” isn’t due to biology, but to straight men not putting enough effort into getting their partners off — particularly in regards to oral sex.
“We found that these activities, which are very often what lesbians do in bed, are transferable to what heterosexual couples could do in bed if they really wanted the woman to have an orgasm,” Lloyd told Broadly.
So, hey, dudes who sleep with women — you know what to do.
Originally published August 16, 2017
More From BUST