There’s an epidemic rampaging throughout the world of heterosexuality, one that dates all the way back to Adam and Eve and exists just as prevalently today: orgasm inequality.
According to a 2014 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, men have a significantly higher rate of orgasm than their female partners — a whole 22 percent. While men reported having an orgasm in 85.1 percent of their sexual encounters, the study found that women only experienced orgasm 62.9 percent of the time.
If interpreted incorrectly, this data is dangerous. These numbers may seem to suggest that because men orgasm at a higher rate than girls, women are inherently less sexual beings — if one assumes that a higher rate of orgasm correlates with a higher sexual desire. But this interpretation reverts us to Victorian ideals, in which women are seen as passionless creatures lacking desire for sex, designed to tame men and their hypersexual inclinations. It is now 2017 — we know damn well that men are not the only ones who enjoy taking someone back to their apartment after a drunken night on State Street.
However, this study becomes even more enlightening when these statistics are compared to homosexual relationships. Male orgasm rates have little statistical difference in relation to sexual orientation, less than a 1 percent difference. In comparison, however, women’s rate of orgasm varies drastically based upon their sexual orientation: lesbian women have an orgasm rate of 74.7 percent. This is almost a full 12 percent higher than the rate of orgasm for straight women.
This data speaks to an entirely different issue than women’s lack of sexuality, but rather to the fact that guys don’t seem to know how to pleasure the girls that wind up in their dorm rooms on Saturday nights. Everyone knows that the easiest route to male orgasm is through penetrative sex. However, it is a misunderstood fact that this is also the best way to the female orgasm.
According to Dr. Elisabeth Lloyd, author of “The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution,” during sexual intercourse about 25 percent of women never or seldom experience vaginal orgasm — but 90 percent of women are able to orgasm from clitoral stimulation. Lloyd’s research shows that women are just as capable of having an orgasm as men. In heterosexual relationships, however, they are less likely to have one because penetrative sex is the norm and the source of men’s sexual fulfillment.
Whether the reason men don’t give their female partners an orgasm is because of their lack of knowledge of the female anatomy or their unwillingness to participate in sexual acts that don’t result in their own pleasure, I cannot say. However, not all of the responsibility for orgasm inequality can be placed on women; communication goes both ways. Communicating with your partner is imperative to your own sexual happiness, and offering tips about what does and doesn’t feel good will only lead to your own satisfaction.
Whatever your case is, why should men get all the fun? You deserve to be satisfied just as much as that guy from The Rathskeller who ended up in your bed this morning.
Emily Houston is a sophomore double-majoring in English and political science.