Straight Women O0ooo Less Than Everyone Else

couple-in-bedWhy do straight women orgasm less often than everyone else?

And what can they and their partners do about it?


When it comes to sexual enjoyment there’s a big gap between straight women and everyone else say researchers from Chapman University, Indiana University and the Kinsey Institute.

A survey of more than 52,000 adults of various sexual orientations found that straight men climaxed 95% of the time. But straight women only climaxed 65% of the time.

How often do you climax?

  • Straight men: 95% of the tim
  • Straight women: 65% of the time

What’s up?

The answer seems to be multi-pronged.

Men oriented toward pleasing themselves?

One problem may be that men are more oriented toward pleasing themselves than pleasing their partners. Just look at the numbers:

Lesbians orgasm 86% of the time they have sex. But that number drops significantly when a man enters the picture. Bisexual women orgasm only 68% of the time — and 65% for straight women.

How often do you climax?

  • Straight women: 65% of the time
  • Bi women: 68% of the time
  • Gay women: 86% of the time

Maybe this is because our culture is oriented toward male pleasure. Men are taught to objectify women and women are encouraged to objectify themselves — to be a means to a man’s pleasure. Take a look at most porn and it’s all about pleasing the guy. Take a look at most sexualized imagery. It’s mostly about pleasing the guy, too.

But lesbians live outside of that sphere.

Interestingly, whoever has sex with men orgasms less. Compared to the 95% orgasm rate for straight men, gay men climax 89% of the time and bisexual men are at virtually the same level — 88%.

How often do you climax?

  • Straight men: 95% of the time
  • Gay men: 89% of the time
  • Bi men: 88% of the time

Do gay and bisexual men orgasm less because they are more likely to have a partner who is focused primarily on his own needs?

Yet gay and bi men are still much more likely to climax than straight women are. Maybe because men are strongly focused on their own needs so there’s a counterbalance?

I’m actually not blaming men or women for this situation. I’m blaming our culture, which we all internalize.

The notion that men are more entitled to sex is a prevalent societal notion that unconsciously seeps into most of our minds. Usually, we aren’t aware of our socialization until it’s brought to our attention. (In fact, some of my students have said they never realized they did this until I pointed out.)

Why are lesbians so satisfied?

Why, exactly, are lesbians so satisfied?

Chapman University Assistant Professor of psychology, and lead author of the study, David A. Frederick told the Chicago Tribune,

All groups of men orgasm more frequently than all groups of women.

So men of every sort orgasm more then their female counterparts.

There important societal reasons for that:

  • Women are more likely to be objectified, which leaves them more focused on their partner’s pleasure than their own.
  • Women are more likely to be objectified, so they are more likely to get distracted from erotic sensations by worries over how they look.
  • Women’s sexuality is more repressed and punished, which dampens sex drive.
  • Women are more likely to be raped, which leaves sexuality more associated with negativity.

As a result, it takes more to get women interested and to keep them from being distracted from sex. And quite frankly, there is a lot about lesbianism that can help in that regard.

  • Lesbians are less likely to objectify

Women are taught that objectified images are for men (since they almost always are), so in bed a lesbian is less likely to objectify herself — worry about how she looks or prioritize her partner’s pleasure over her own. So lesbians can focus more on their own personal pleasure.

  • Women are socialized to be empathetic

Still, women are taught to be nurturing and empathetic, so perhaps it’s not surprising that two women together would make great effort to please each other. But without the objectification that would leave their own needs wanting.

  • Lesbians know female anatomy

Plus, lesbians know how female anatomy works from personal experience, which can make it easier to understand what their partner would enjoy.

  • Lesbians may feel safer

Women often say that they need to feel safe in order to open up and let themselves go and feel into the erotic experience. And lesbians tend toward committed relationships that can feel safe.

Women in lesbian relationships are also less likely to feel like they are mere pawns in a game in which their partners score while they lose.

A lesson for straight men and women

Clearly, there is a lesson in all this for straight men and women.

Men and women both need to appreciate a woman’s beauty and sexuality outside our culture’s narrow notions of what’s attractive, and without objectifying. They both need to celebrate her sexual pleasure, and communicate about what feels good.

And don’t forget that women’s bodies work differently from men’s. Most women don’t seem to orgasm vaginally. Only 35% of the women who stuck to vaginal sex managed to orgasm. For women, outercourse usually beats intercourse.

And take your time. Women who made love for 30 minutes or more were much more likely to climax.

Related Posts

About BroadBlogs

I have a Ph.D. from UCLA in sociology (emphasis: gender, social psych). I currently teach sociology and women's studies at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, CA. I have also lectured at San Jose State. And I have blogged for Feminispire, Ms. Magazine, The Good Men Project and Daily Kos. Also been picked up by The Alternet.

Posted on February 27, 2017, in sex and sexuality and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. But that’s pleasing in one way, but if women were were doing supposedly more in bed than men then women would be as active generally speaking and effort like that, which brings my point. This is not just anecdotal, but from what I’ve heard and seen and I wonder if it’s culture or nature. I don’t like the word, because I don’t see “work” with sex, but generally with men and women agreeing and answering in polls, during sex, it is often men who do more “work” than women. If women bring so much to the table and men don’t, then why are women not generally as active as men in sex? As far as how often being on top, how long while on top, positions on top, effort and how hard being on top. Time spent, positions and energy on top is usually from the guy.

    That seems pretty boring and lopsided doesn’t it? And interesting thing is often a woman can do lie on her back and spend most time during sex like that say in a sex scene or whatever and people don’t say anything. I’ve seen it where comments come if a dude let’s a woman work it and people comment how “he’s lazy” ha. Dudes always have to be pistons according to society with sex and have to often be the “thrusters” but women can just lie back ha, but when a man wants to have most of the time during a sex session on his back, more often he’s more likely to be “lazy” compared to a woman not called that. interesting to me.

    • I wonder if it’s partly because women’s sexuality is more punished and repressed and so it’s harder for them to become aroused and enjoy sexuality. I asked my students how much time they spent focused on their partner and at least some of the men said they spent all their time focused on her because he knows he’ll get off but he doesn’t know that she will. Plus, maybe you are more likely to put a lot of effort into it if you are really into it – and as I said, because of sexual punishment and repression women are less likely to be into it.

      • What’s bothersome and maybe it’s patriarchy’s double edge sword where the inequality turns it on men with more expected of men. But it seems like not only are men expected to perform well in bed, but also be active in bed and more so than women. Like I said, I’ve seen comments whether from a sex scene or such where it might not be said often, but more often than not if a man is on his back for a decent amount of time and the woman i “riding ” to any extended time or vigorously. The man is being “lazy”, yet which many times more often than not most or many position are a man on top, or more positions or more time with the man on top and a man often spending a long time.

        Yet people hardly see the woman as “lazy”. Sure if the woman isn’t responding or moving much she can be seen as a “starfish” but as long as she’s moaning , expressing her self and touching his body, she’s not lazy. It doesn’t matter if he’s expressing himself, if the woman spends the majority of time on top, the man is lazy. Is it about enjoying sex or being really into it, or women just prefer to enjoy it and have the man do more of the “work”? Because a woman coudl be really into the sex, but simply like doing less work and really enjoy it with him in control and her not wanting to exert that much energy, which that’s typical and kind of expect on guys as far as effort and activity. So I find it funny with the women pleasing men thing which may be true in some ways, but as far as work and effort, it’s guys who usually put in more work and activity during sex and what’s expected of them.

      • You make a good point culturally. Although I have heard women worry that they will seem lazy,too.

  2. This article was very interesting. I like the inclusiveness of the statistics. It really does put into perspective, in numbers how women don’t get as much pleasure because of men objectifying them. It is sad that society has such a tight grip on so much, that even sexually, women are unsatisfied. Women should not have to feel pressure when it comes to sex and pleasing someone else. Men should also be more aware of the other person in the relationship. It is very selfish that many men (not all but many) are only thinking of themselves when it comes to sex. So many aspects of society are only focused on pleasing and making the self, rather than giving to others, and taking others into consideration. This is clearly reflected in the numbers and maybe if everyone was more considerate of others desires and pleasures, the numbers may eventually start to change for the better.

  3. This article reminded me of one I heard about in Cosmopolitan that became viral a couple years ago. The article was about Nicki Minaj, and one of the things he talked about was being “high maintenance” in bed. “I demand that I climax. I think women should demand that. I have a friend who’s never had an orgasm in her life. In her life! That hurts my heart . . . She says she’s a pleaser. I’m a pleaser, but it’s fifty-fifty.” I agree with what you said in regards to a pressure being put on women that a mans pleasure is more important than her own. One of the other things that bothered me about this Cosmo article was that the writer had called Nicki Minaj high maintenance for always demanding a climax. If it were a man, he would not be labelled as high maintenance and always achieving an orgasm would be considered a normal and natural thing.

  4. That’s probably why 30 minutes or longer is better. She could actually spend that time with her male partner in the same way she would with a female partner. And then he can do his thing 🙂”

    Do you know if the women who have reported or that you know about women in those cultures like oceana where they are very orgasmic. Do you know, not if only if they want sex as much as men, but if they are ‘ready to go” faster? Because that’s a lot of time to set up for orgrams or a lot of foreplay time. And I thin it’s because american women, maybe because of repression aren’t as easily aroused. So that time needed to get a woman wet and ready for sex. I would think not as much time would be need for these orgasmic women you speak of. Because if they are as sexual, then I would think their bodies would be aroused easier or physically so much less time needed with foreplay and such to be ready for sex and not needed for orgasm. Would that mean they can orgasm easier from penetration too?

    • I’m not entirely sure about the amount of time it takes in societies like Oceana. I’ve just seen scholars comment on how in these cultures women are as interested in sex, and as orgasmic as men are.

  5. It really sucks for most of our women to not get to orgasm as much as men. It seems as if it’s not only because we are ‘straight’. Men seem to care much more about themselves when they are in the moment of climaxing, that they simply cannot control their desires of wanting to orgasmn rather than helping their partner orgasmn.

    Men often times have a hard time communicating with the woman on what would make the woman feel good. This is something that needs to be addressed somewhere in social media more often rather than to be just discussed about.

  6. I think that trust plays a big part in the satisfaction of a partner – trust that the act is not done to degrade and based on respect for the others feelings. I also agree with the author – men are pretty shit at anatomy 🙂

  7. Putting aside the sociological reasons which are extremely relevant, I guess woman with woman is more likely to have great sex because of HOW they do it, if you understand what I mean…. Penetration is not the most important thing when it comes to reach orgasm, right?… Most guys seem to forget it

    • Right, right… Very helpful.

      • Well since guy’s have dicks and sensation there. It’s easy to think that if not a male yourself. But a guy will spend time to get his woman aroused if he cares about her and foreplay. The thing is, is foreplay like sex or non penetration what gets women to orgasm or spending along time just doing that gets a woman off. If that’s what does it more often, then lesbians will have that advantage because well, lesbians sex sessions, the whole sex session will be like that. Even if a man spends good time, he’s not going to spend the whole sex session with foreplay right? If he has a dick, which I’m sure most guys do, and it’s hard and he’s aroused, horny.

        He will be aching to, well have it inside the woman he’s pleasing, and i’m sure she will be wanting it in bad too. But well, if you;re a woman you don’t have a dick obviously, and not understand what it feels like having one and just have sex in a non penetration way and it’s satisfying because both can please each other such way and don;t have anything that they aren’t doing based on equipment. The only exception would be if lesbians like wanted to use a strap on each other, but then again I don’t think that’s too common or often and the woman using it, wouldn’t be feeling pleasure I don’t think.

      • That’s probably why 30 minutes or longer is better. She could actually spend that time with her male partner in the same way she would with a female partner. And then he can do his thing 🙂

  8. There’s obviously no historical data to compare this to, but that would be really interesting. While we still have a long way to go as a society, broadly speaking we are less repressive about female sexuality than our moralistic Christian forefathers. So one would suspect even lower orgasm rates in earlier times which would prove the point. (And also show a little light at the end of the tunnel if the numbers were really going up.)

    • We actually kind of do have some historical data. 🙂

      In non-patriarchal, sex-positive societies women are easily and easily multiply orgasmic. In those places there’s not much difference between women and men. (Like Oceana pre-White contact.)

  9. Interesting stats. Biologically also, women are likely to take more time than men to attain orgasm.

  10. Come on. 65% is fantastic, a great compliment for male progress; 100-150yrs it was probably only 10%. Also, we were never allowed to look at the little furballs, we’re only now becoming acquainted. No? Things on the up. Yeeaaaaaah.

  11. “Women in lesbian relationships are also less likely to feel like they are mere pawns in a game in which their partners score while they lose.”
    It’s so sad that women feel objectified while having sex, when they are their most vulnerable. Although I had always noticed how men were not shamed for their promiscuous tendencies when women were, I would have definitely been one of those students that didn’t notice that they were more entitled to sexual satisfaction. I thought I was beyond bizarre because it took me years of having sex before I ever climaxed. Sex is still unspoken of in my traditional Mexican household, so the only real exposure I had to sex over sexualized images the media fed my eyes and pornography. So when I first became sexually active I had always thought that it was all about male ejaculation, like the finale fireworks or something. The statistic that most women do not orgasm vaginally surprises me because I thought they were supposed to, and I think that speaks for a majority of young adolescents since sexuality is one of the most exploited taboos.

    • Information like this can help all women to be more accepting of themselves. Turns out that most women have to learn how to orgasm, But most of us don’t seem to know that. So both women and men need to learn about our bodies, and not objectifying women, and we need to be more aware of and accepting of women’s right to pleasure.

  12. Or perhaps it’s Nature’s safe trigger to protect women from unwanted pregnancies. That could else explain why women can’t be sexually turned on by the male body.
    If women were sexually turned on by the male body and were eager to have sex with strangers (in tribal societies there are no strangers) then that would lead to many unwanted pregnancies.

    I read in the book “The female brain” that when women have sex with attractive men they have more and stronger orgasms. Possibly so that the child get his genes.

    Imagine the reverse. If men weren’t interested in pursuing women. How would the humankind have survived? We would have been extinct thousands of years ago

    • Well, in pre-patriarchal, sex-positive societies women seem to orgasm at the same rate as men do. And the female body isn’t eroticized either. So this phenomena and seems to be more social than natural.

      That book has some problems. Books that are written by people who only know about biology but not society tend to assume that everything is grounded in biology. You have to do cross-cultural comparisons to see what is biological and what is not.

      • “Well, in pre-patriarchal, sex-positive societies women seem to orgasm at the same rate as men do. ”

        I don’t believe this for one minute, but as usual, I’ll make my vain request for a citation and wait.

      • Do your own research on cultures like Oceana.

        But you can also read books like “Sex at Dawn” or “Why Women Have Sex.”

        And I will be writing much more about this later — with citations.

      • “But you can also read books like “Sex at Dawn” or “Why Women Have Sex.””

        These books discuss cultural issues but don’t have any information about how often pre-patriarchal women orgasm. How could they? These ancient women don’t exist any more, so how are you going to survey them? Nobody surveyed them hundreds of years ago, because that was simply not done back then. So in other words, you are making this up.

        BTW, I don’t believe there is any such thing as pre-patriarchal societies. Every time you’ve tried to cite one, I’ve shown that they were entirely patriarchal, led by a male, and so forth. Also, the whole term “pre-patriarchal” is a nonsense, because it implies that there was some age when societies were not patriarchal, and then they became patriarchal. But this is not the case either. Ancient primitive cultures are patriarchal.

        The most ancient culture, and the most separated from the rest of the world is Australian aboriginal culture, which was cut off from the rest of the world for 50000 years. An early explorer of Australia, Edward John Eyre wrote: “The females, and especially the young ones are kept principally among the old men, who barter away their daughters, sisters or nieces, in exchange for wives for themselves or their sons. Wives are considered the absolute property of the husband, and can be given away, or exchanged, or lent, according to his caprice … Female children are betrothed usually from early infancy…. little real affection consequently exists between husbands and wives, a young man values a wife principally for her services as a slave.” (Eyre, E.J. op.cit., vol II, p.318.)

        So why not instead of overlaying a false feminist view of history onto reality by persisting with this term “pre-patriarchal”. why don’t you instead say “non-patriarchal”, so that you can retain some semblance of non bias when discussing these issues?

      • You obviously haven’t read these books. They say when I said, not what you said.

        There are still some pre-patriarchal societies on the planet. We also have records of Europeans when first encountering Pacific islanders and Indians on Americas East Coast.

        Here are a couple of articles I’ve written

  13. Yet there’s an obvious biological reason for these statistics. That is that the sex act between a man and a woman usually ends when the man orgasms, because the man physically and psychologically can’t really carry on beyond that point. I can’t believe you felt the need to overlay an entire cultural / feminist conspiracy theory onto this.

    • You are committing the fundamental attribution error. That happens when people can’t see invisible processes and attribute cause to what they can see.

      Biology seems obvious. So that must be it.

      Yet lesbians orgasm at a much higher rate than when men are added to the equation?

      Well, men and women are both unconsciously socialized to feel that men’s pleasure is more important.

      And women are much less likely to orgasm in patriarchal societies, generally.

      I’ll be writing more about this but take a look:
      Pro-Sex vs Anti-Sex Societies

      • Btw, if it were true that it was simply impossible for women to have good sex with men, that would not be very good news for men since most men want their partners to enjoy themselves in bed.

      • It seems that way, but sounds like a contradiction too. Men, we’re easier to please or get off than women. So it doesn’t mean women are so focused on men’s pleasure that men are getting off more and easier. It’s because how much less is needed for a man to get off. It doesn’t take much actually. Doesn’t mean it’s good or great sex, but he still was able to climax. But if anything to me it seems like it’s men who are focused on as far being the one’s giving pleasure to women and about women’s pleasure.

        The reason I say this is because the talk I always hear is about “how long a man can last to get a woman off” “dick size”, “how good his stroke is and men wanting to fuck well and get women off”. There are songs and you name it about how well a man is a in bed and the importance on that. If it’s about men’s pleasure and women pleasing men, you’d think you’d hear or see things about how good women are in bed. There is some, but not like for men. Because a woman doesn’t have to be good in bed right? The man’s going to get off usually so it’s not about his pleasure, she can go very low as far as sex performance standard and that’s fine. A man has to be great. I mean the fact there is performance anxiety for men. Women have, it seems anxiety about how they look. Whereas men, just like in life, everything is about “performance”.

      • But it may be that men are easier to please because their sexuality has been less punished and repressed. Because of widespread repression among women it takes more to get them going. (That said, it seems to be simpler to figure out what to do for guys– Simple friction.)

        Based on anonymous survey data I know that many of my male students are primarily focused on their partners’ pleasure because they know that they, personally, will climax.

        I understand that many men have performance anxiety, but most guys seem to have Little problem, Probably because it is simpler for them and they are less punished.

Thoughts? (Comments will appear after moderation)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: