Sex education author Chantelle Otten dives into the world of the female right to pleasure why the orgasm gap exists.
Let’s talk about equality in the bedroom. Unfortunately, women struggle in a number of ways to find equality whether it’s their salary or in the bedroom. Did you know that women consistently have fewer orgasms than their male partners in heterosexual relationships?
This is often referred to as the orgasm gap.
But why is there an orgasm gap? And why do women struggle to find pleasure in sexual interactions?
I’ll give you a rundown. Let’s dive in.
What is the orgasm gap?
The main reasons behind the orgasm gap are the cultural ignorance of the clitoris and the stigmatization of female pleasure. Basically, the clitoris was not fully understood until very recently and female pleasure has always taken a back seat.
There has been a cultivation of internalized shame from society discouraging women from exploring sexuality or masturbation. This shame has made it extremely difficult for many women to express their needs and wants in the bedroom or think that sexuality is for them!
Where does the orgasm gap come from?
This problem comes from a culture that prioritizes erotic activity that is goal orientated – penetration and orgasm often belong to the mental image of successful sexual experience. As a culture, we tend to aim for sexual activities that lead to a male getting off rather than a female climaxing and a vision of sex that is mainly ‘penis-in-vagina’ intercourse. Which, of course, is not what sex is about! Sex is about pleasure and satisfaction for all consenting parties involved. It’s about collaboration and understanding your partner’s needs.
Clitoral stimulation: The discovery the clitoris
The traditional view of sex has meant that historically, women were not having their clitoris stimulated during foreplay or sex. Female pleasure and the clitoris have been dismissed historically, ignored, and often left out of the erotic conversation altogether.
In fact it was only in 1998 that the clitoris’s full structure was discovered by Australian Urologist Helen O’Connell! This was the first research to reveal the actual size and scope of the clitoris, and her findings challenged nearly every belief about clitoral anatomy to date.
The female orgasm revolution
Besides Helen O’Connell, Womanizer’s founder and sex toy innovator Michael Lenke was one of the first people to be at the forefront of fighting the sexual inequality. He was initially inspired to create a sex toy after learning that almost half of women rarely or never have an orgasm. About 75 percent of women cannot reach orgasm from penetration alone, plus 10 to 15 percent never climax at all
He knew this inequality needed to change and started playing around with air pressure using an aquarium pump and a plastic hose. The key to a woman’s pleasure was in pressure, suction, and blood circulation in the clitoris, which has 8,000 nerve endings (double the amount of nerve endings found in the glans of the penis).
Sex toys to the rescue: Womanizer is born
Since this initial DIY prototype, Womanizer has gone on to change the image of sex tech from phallic x-rated tools to luxurious products that champion female empowerment.
Originally from Germany, Lenke asked his wife what to name the device (she was the first test user), and she suggested Womanizer in an attempt to highlight that this product was entirely for women. This didn’t translate seamlessly into the English language, but the product has revolutionized women’s pleasure. From clitoral stimulation in the early models to incorporation of G-spot stimulation in the Womanizer Duo, I am personally very thankful for Lenke’s hard work.
Explore and experiment with your own orgasms
It’s good to remember that sexual pleasure is highly personalized and needs exploration. Masturbation, fantasy, and experimentation with sex toys will help you understand what feels excellent for your body and bring you pleasure. Plus, you can bring these skills and toys into the bedroom with your partner.
Communication is the key to having better orgasms
Communication is a highly important part of the orgasm process. Talking about orgasmic needs can be difficult for a lot of women because they have been discouraged from advocating for themselves in many walks of life – especially in the bedroom. However, times have changed, and healthy communication around equality is at the forefront of today’s society.
Practicing healthy communication is fundamental to helping women experience more sexual pleasure and to have informed consensual sexual experiences. Healthy sexual relationships mean asking for what we want and declining what we don’t want. And partners have an obligation to listen, respect boundaries, and treat us with the consideration we deserve.
Every woman has the right to an amazing orgasm
In essence, it shouldn’t just be a woman’s responsibility to fight for pleasure. It is everyone’s responsibility to build healthy, mutually pleasurable relationships and open up the conversation about gender equality, sex, pleasure, and consent. We then have an opportunity to grow with respect and to orgasm!