The Most Important Thing You Need to Know About Female Orgasm

September 12, 2017

One of the things women worry about most in their sex lives is not having orgasms during intercourse. Young women will often ask me if they’re normal or there’s something wrong.

I always ask a woman if she is able to have an orgasm in other ways, whether through oral sex, masturbation or having her clitoris touched directly by her partner. Yes, of course, they tell me – it’s just that they don’t orgasm from the movement of a penis thrusting.

Oh, that? Pfffft. Guess how many women have orgasms from vaginal penetration alone?


That’s right. A small minority. This is the finding of a new study by sex researcher Debby Herbenick of over 1,000 women:

Debby Herbenick, director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and a research fellow and sexual health educator at the Kinsey Institute, and her colleagues assessed data from 1,055 women ages 18 to 94 who answered a detailed online survey about their sex lives. “Our purpose was to understand more about women’s experiences with … the kinds of touch they find pleasurable and how clitoral and vaginal stimulation contribute to their orgasms,” she explained.
This statistic isn’t exactly new, though I usually have seen an estimate of 20%. But it bears repeating because so many women fear they are somehow abnormal or “less than” when they don’t experience orgasm during intercourse. I don’t understand why this isn’t learned in sex ed classes – there’s a large knowledge gap around the facts of female orgasm among both men and women.


Consequences of Ignorance

 Both girls and guys suffer when there’s an expectation that a woman will easily orgasm during intercourse. The most common result is the faked orgasm. After I reassure women that they’re in the normal majority, I say “Whatever you do, don’t fake an orgasm! You’re painting yourself into a corner it’s very hard to get out of!” A review of the study at CNN explains how common this is:


Yet, many women still fake orgasm during intercourse, according to therapist Laurie Mintz, author of the new book “Becoming Cliterate.”
“The main reasons they give for faking is that they want to appear ‘normal’ and want to make their male partners feel good,” she said.


“This is one of the saddest and most common problems I deal with in my clinical practice,” added Anita Hoffer, a sexuality counselor and educator. “Women who either are uninformed or insecure and therefore easily intimidated by ignorant partners bear a great deal of shame and guilt at being unable to climax from intercourse alone. Many are greatly relieved when they learn that they are among the majority of women who engage in sexual intercourse.”
The woman feels incompetent at sex when she doesn’t have an orgasm.


Guys without a lot of experience will ask, sometimes repeatedly, if a woman came. Immediately she feels she has to perform under pressure. Of course, guys feel performance pressure about erections, but those are much easier to come by. đŸ™‚  Sometimes guys take it personally and will ask a girl if she’s frigid, or ask her what’s wrong (with her).
Women also fake orgasms in an effort to prop up the ego of a guy they really like. It can be an attempt at generosity, or an impulse to create a “good sex” experience for him so that the relationship will continue.


The problem is, when you fake an orgasm you’re giving credit where none is due. You’ve told a lie that you have to keep telling, because it would be weird to switch things up and suddenly admit you need more to get there. I made this mistake with a college boyfriend, and I suffered through two years of bad sex for it.


The man is a mediocre lover because he’s not getting honest information about how to please his partner.


When a guy has mostly had sex with women who fake, he doesn’t have the opportunity to learn the basics about female anatomy, much less the needs and preferences of any particular woman. Ironically, this happens most frequently with player types, because the lack of intimacy in casual sex is characterized by a lack of concern for the pleasure of the other person. Even if that desire is present, most women don’t feel comfortable being vulnerable sexually with a casual partner.


Longer sex is not better.

Guys often joke that for them, there’s no such thing as bad sex. Even the worst sex is pretty damn good. That’s not the case for women! Guys often make the mistake of thinking that the longer they last before climaxing, the better the sex is for the woman.
Not so. Especially when they know it’s not going to lead to orgasm. “Oh look, it’s 9:00! Game of Thrones is on!”


Fewer than one in five women surveyed believed that longer sex contributed to better orgasms.

What makes for a great orgasm?

  • Spending time up front to build arousal – that means lots of foreplay. Remember when you were first dating and you spent a bunch of time making out, then gradually touching each other’s bodies, and eventually getting out of your clothes? That’s how it should be done forever.


Herbenick suggested that couples take a lesson from the early days of their relationship. “Sometimes, when people are first getting together, they spend time making out and touching each other’s genitals long before they start having oral sex or intercourse with each other,” she explained. “All too often, once oral sex and intercourse become part of their routine, the rest fades away — which is too bad, considering how powerful genital touching can be.”

  • Knowing what you like and communicating it to your partner.
  • Emotional intimacy – this is what makes communication possible. Most women don’t enjoy sex without this, so the more time you spend laying the foundation for a good relationship, the better the sex is going to be – for her.
  • Clitoral stimulation during intercourse. All orgasms are clitoral. Try different kinds of touching, positions, vibrators, etc. And there’s nothing wrong with giving her an orgasm first, before intercourse!
Having really, really good sex takes some experimenting with the right person. You have to learn one another’s bodies. But couples can save themselves a lot of time and heartache when they understand the physiological reality of the female orgasm.


The odds of making a woman come by moving a penis in and out of her vagina as the minutes tick by are low. Very low. The best strategy is for both men and women to assume that isn’t going to happen, and to find other ways to satisfy each other. It may be the best investment you can make in a new relationship.