Women are not only making less money, doing more housework and spending more time caring for children, they are also having fewer orgasms. Whereas 91 percent of men report climaxing during intercourse, only 64 percent of women can say the same. And it’s not a matter of desire: Decades of research confirm that women want and enjoy sex as much as men. This “orgasm gap” has been explained as an outcome of societal forces that implicitly put men’s pleasure ahead of women’s. Activists at SexyLiberation.org are working to change all this. Their sex toy bazaar provides women and their partners global access to a variety of free sex toys, and a host of others at substantial discounts. The creators of SexyLiberation have one goal: to open up opportunities for sexual exploration and pleasure to everyone, particularly those who are limited financially or geographically.
Orgasms are an important part of women’s overall health. Research shows that climaxing can relieve stress, reduce pain temporarily (due to the release of oxytocin during orgasm), and increase relationship intimacy.
Sexual climax is healthy for and desired by women, so why the orgasm gap?
First, an inexperienced partner may buy into the myth that there is a sure-fire “formula” for bringing his female partner to climax, and feel discouraged when his attempts flop. These myths are taught through false depictions of pleasure found in various media, most notably porn aimed at straight men. Second, repressive societal attitudes held by the culture at large become internalized through adolescence and young adulthood.
This means both men and women show up in their relationships with a set of expectations for themselves and their partners that actually serve as barriers to openness. Consider the message underlying “Men initiate; women wait.” Such rigid rules discourage exploration and open communication about actual wants and desires. And women usually get the shorter end of this stick because these cultural messages often call for them to put others’ needs before their own.
Third, the vast majority of women climax through clitoral stimulation, yet there remains persistent misunderstanding of both female anatomy and pleasure. Additionally, some men may not have the staying power their partner requires to reach clitoral orgasm during vaginal intercourse (up to 20 minutes) or feel inadequate about their oral sex abilities, and move too quickly on to intercourse.
How do sex toys help close the orgasm gap? Interestingly, women are just as likely to climax through masturbation as are men, and take the same amount of time (just 4 minutes, if you’re wondering). In short, the orgasm gap occurs when there’s a man in the bed. According to SexyLiberation, sex toys can help close this gap because “personal experimentation with sex aids can help women discover and embrace their own sources of pleasure. And a woman who knows herself sexually will feel more confident talking honestly with her partner about her needs and desires.”