A coincidence that National Orgasm Day this year falls on a Wednesday, AKA Hump Day?! I think not.
How refreshing to see that something like this has its very own day of celebration. Next up, getting men to navigate the location of the clitoris and actually prioritise a woman’s pleasure!
As a gesture of merriment, I want to talk about the very real, and very important, orgasm gap. Do you remember the last time you had an orgasm with a partner? And when being intimate with a partner do you tend to orgasm more or less than they do? 64 percent of men have an orgasm during sex, but only 34 percent of women can say the same*. Essentially, the ‘orgasm gap’ refers to the disparity of climax in relationships. This tends to be much more prevalent in homosexual relationships, with surveys of both gay and lesbian relationships revealing very high percentages of dual-orgasms. These studies have also shown that women tend to have as few as one for every three orgasms as their male counterparts**.
With all the shit women are going through; unequal pay, arranged marriages, FGM, sexism, racism – to name just a few – you really want to take away our sexual pleasure as well? I call bullshit. I believe the orgasm gap dates back to an age old favourite oppression of women; slut shaming. Men literally have to orgasm to do their reproductive bit while women don’t, and why on earth should women be sleeping with anyone unless to conceive, right? Wrong. It is 2019. We are empowered. An orgasm for a woman should not be considered a ‘bonus feature’. Female sexuality is on the rise, not because our generation of women are more horny than the last, but because it’s becoming alright – and almost normal – for women to engage in sex for whatever reason they chose, and with a partner of their choosing. Because people are finally starting to understand that women might want something more than a baby out of shag. Something that men have been doing since the dawn of time. So, it’s high time we demanded what we deserve – orgasms. And ours should be prioritised just as much as yours.
The orgasm gap, whilst not mentioned in so many words, is taught at a young age. In current curricular sex education (which is well-overdue a face lift, anyway), the story goes that sex starts with an erection, and ends with ejaculation, with very little (if any) mention of female pleasure in between. Hence the reason why most heterosexual men see orgasms for their female mate as optional. Something they can subscribe to, if they ever feel generous enough.
You might remember Nicki Minaj’s iconic interview with Cosmo back in 2015, where she revealed she was in the habit of demanding orgasms from any man she slept with, and demanding her friends did the same? And she can’t be wrong. If we are standing up for equal rights in other aspects of our lives, why can’t we do the same for our sex lives? A considerable chunk of my own sexual partners have completely missed the point of pleasuring me, putting in next-to-no effort and assuming that I should be grateful for them dipping their wick regardless. If only I knew then what I know now. Owing to what they’ve been spoon fed since old enough to understand, men don’t feel like they have to put the time in. Penetrative sex is still the leading preference for straight couples, even though it only leads to orgasm for around 1 in 5 women.
Why should men’s pleasure be put above a woman’s? As there are two people engaging in sex, surely two climaxes is the only desirable outcome? The orgasm gap undoubtedly comes from a man’s lack of interest in finding out what gets his partner off. And I don’t blame them. It’s what they’ve been conditioned to think, through porn and the media and their elders and, again, sex education. They’re wired to apply the ‘one size fits all’ theory when it comes to pleasuring a woman, and if that doesn’t work, she must just be one of those women who can’t come. And these men are having to be taught, as adults, that not every woman is going to shake and scream from a couple of pumps of your penis. The average man needs 2-10 minutes to climax, and a woman, on average, takes almost double that time.
We need to raise awareness, as well as understanding and the motivation to change old habits. Know what you deserve, and start questioning when you don’t get it. Start conversations, do your research and go out of your way to make sure the women in your life are getting the orgasms they deserve. It’s time to close the gap.
*(According to the Durex Global Sex Survey which surveyed nearly 30K adults worldwide)
**(The study of 52,000 people by Chapman University)