Orgasm gap impacts how much women want one, study finds

Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

A Rutgers-led study finds that when men and women have more frequent orgasms in their relationship, they want and expect more orgasms. The opposite happens when a person climaxes less often.

The study, published in the journal Sex Roles, examines the gap, a well-established phenomenon in which men climax substantially more often than during heterosexual sex.

Since women tend to have fewer orgasms than men overall, the findings explain why women put less emphasis on the importance of orgasm for their sexual satisfaction compared to men. The results suggest this cycle of inequality likely repeats rather than improves within a when women who orgasm less often reduce the importance they place on this kind of sexual pleasure.

The researchers surveyed 104 sexually active couples about how much they orgasm, the ideal amount they'd like to and how often they expect people should, and found a gap in these relationships, with men climaxing more often than their female partners.

"Our expectations are shaped by our experiences, so when women orgasm less, they will desire and expect to orgasm less," said Grace Wetzel, a Rutgers doctoral student who advocates for orgasm equity to her 10,000 followers on . "If women do lower their expectations in this way, the more orgasm inequality may perpetuate in relationships."

Wetzel says a person's expectations and desire for an outcome influences their future behavior, shaping how motivated they are to pursue that outcome—in this case—ultimate sexual pleasure.

"The orgasm gap has implications for women's pleasure, empowerment, and general well-being," said Wetzel, who speaks often on the realities of the sexual-pleasure disparity. "Importantly, this is a gender equality issue. Women are learning to expect and be satisfied with less in their sexual interactions with men."

The researchers stressed the importance of increasing women's expectations for and entitlement to orgasm during sex with men in the hope of breaking this cycle for women who wish to have more orgasms in their sexual relationships.

The study was co-authored by Rachel A. Cultice, a Rutgers doctoral student in the Department of Psychology, and Diana Sanchez, a professor of psychology and director of Rutgers' Close Relationships, Identity and Stigma (CRIS) lab.

More information: G. M. Wetzel et al, Orgasm Frequency Predicts Desire and Expectation for Orgasm: Assessing the Orgasm Gap within Mixed-Sex Couples, Sex Roles (2022). DOI: 10.1007/s11199-022-01280-7

Journal information: Sex Roles
Provided by Rutgers University
Citation: Orgasm gap impacts how much women want one, study finds (2022, April 6) retrieved 22 February 2024 from
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

First sexual experience influences women's future sexual desire: study


Feedback to editors