If you’ve ever found yourself lying in bed naked tingling all over with unresolved desire whilst your satisfied partner lies next to you, eyes closed, breathing deeply with a joyous expression plastered across his face, then you know the orgasm gap is alive and thriving!

Looking to hit the right spot?

Looking to hit the right spot?

Orgasm equality is a fast-growing movement that we should all get behind.

Or under. Or on top of. Either way the outcomes the same. The big O.

Now we’re not here demanding that for every orgasm a man has, we get one in return (well not entirely anyway) and neither are we going to digress into a big old rant about how men are crap in bed and couldn’t locate a clitoris armed with a torch and a map – because that just isn’t true. However, it is true that many women are not experiencing orgasms during sex and that just ain’t right.

In order to close the gap, we need to understand how this gap came to be. So, let’s break down some of the (false) assumptions that lead us to the problem:

"Women aren't that into sex anyway"

Society tells us that men are sexual beings who think about sex every 7 seconds, whilst women just aren’t. Therefore, the general assumption is that men are always up for it and women lack sex drive. Although it may be correct that men have an avid interest in sex, the truth is that women do too – but up until now have not been supported by society enough to admit it or worse to openly discuss it.

Until we acknowledge women’s sexual expectations, men will not prioritise women’s pleasure – believing it is not as important to women as it is to them.

"It's harder for girls"

Orgasm inequity is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Men are programmed by society to believe that women’s bodies are biologically complicated. With the vagina portrayed as an impossible puzzle, only few can crack. Therefore, more often than not, they give up the fight, either for fear of failing or simply put off by the effort of trying.

This is then reflected onto women – who grow to believe that their own pleasure is inaccessible. Their vagina is mysterious and complex – too complex in fact for those without them to even begin to understand. Instilling in us the belief that achieving an orgasm will never be as simple with our partners as it is on our own. So, we end up sorting ourselves out. But the truth is the female anatomy really isn’t that complicated – no more complicated than navigating one’s way around a penis, two balls and a foreskin anyway.

"I read it in a magazine"

From our teens onwards, women are faced with messaging from the media about sex – the pages of glossy mags plastered with tips and tricks more often than not regarding HOW to pleasure men. Those pages have now become the scrolling blogs of Bustle and Refinery29, but nevertheless, the messages are the same.

Therefore, by the time most of us encountered our first real-life penis, we had a pretty clear idea of what to do with it. But let’s be honest, the same cannot be said for men who I am pretty sure did not grow up reading about the ins and outs of the vagina or the pros and cons of achieving an orgasm through clitoral stimulation vs penetrative sex.

Resulting in most of us beginning our sex lives with a rather dry and sore fingering – to put it plainly. But this gets me thinking. Maybe as women we learnt the wrong way. I for one had sex long before I worked out exactly how I enjoyed pleasuring myself, therefore even if I had decided to tell my boyfriend at the time what I liked, I wouldn’t have known.

So maybe as women we need to start talking about masturbation earlier. I often hear mother’s talking about the perils of rogue tissues in their teenage boys’ bedrooms but somehow I doubt the same conversations are being had about their daughters masturbating? But why not?

"Are you close?"

There’s nothing funnier than a man asking you if you are close, when you are clearly about a mile and half away, with heavy traffic. But the truth is, sometimes men find it hard to read the room. According to the Kinsey Institute, 85% of men believe that their partners had an orgasm during their last sexual experience. Now I don’t want to be a negative nancy but I find that very hard to believe. Mainly because the facts prove it. Men have three orgasms for every one a woman enjoys.

But let’s not lay (too much) blame on them because communication plays a huge part in this discrepancy. Not only do many women ‘fake it’ – which is incredibly counterproductive to their own pleasure – but more sympathetically many also lack the confidence to point out that they are not in fact close, at all.

"That doesn't count as sex?"

When we talk about sex more often than not, we’re talking about penis-in-vagina intercourse. But let’s be real we know that most women (not all! – jealous tone) orgasm due to clitoral stimulation, not penetrative sex.

And for most, clitoral stimulation would fall into the category of ‘foreplay’ when really for most women that ‘foreplay’ is what leads them to climax. Therefore, when we consider ‘foreplay’ as a bonus rather than an expectation we incidentally de-prioritise women’s pleasure.

We have to start seeing sex as a whole. From the first touch to the last.

Sex does not begin and end with the insertion of a penis. The sooner we realise that, the better.

With each and every one of these assumptions, it is very clear that there is an element of communication lacking. And a lot of that starts with women, not men. If you don’t ask, you won’t get.

Women need to take control of their own sexual fulfilment.

Begin to have open conversations with their partners about what they want in bed, how they want it, how they pleasure themselves – admit they pleasure themselves in the first place!

Yes, these are scary conversations to have. But do you know what’s scarier? Going without.

The same fear that keeps many women from speaking out in meetings or negotiating salaries also holds us back from asking for what we want in bed.

Is the female orgasm really that elusive? No. Most of it manage it a couple of times a week – at least.

Now I am not saying it is all down to women. However, in order for women to truly achieve orgasm equality, we need to start with a frank conversation about the inequality. We have to ask ourselves honestly, how are our partners supposed to mix it up when we haven’t told them we want more?

It is unrealistic to believe that one day your partner will miraculously know exactly how and what you like, that overnight he will become an orgasm expert, read your mind and find out the precise side of your clitoris that turns you on the most. That’s just not going to happen.

Closing the orgasm gap has got the start with communication. And breaking habits. For starters let’s stop thinking that sex ends when your partner ejaculates.

Sex isn’t all about a man’s big grand finale. So let’s stop acting as if it is.

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The Sway is the UK's first subscription service for sexual exploration, aiming to empower women in relationships to take their sex lives to the next level by providing themed pleasure packages of prompts and products to awaken and arouse, all delivered to your doorstep with the upmost discretion.

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