It feels like something we knew already, doesn’t it? Like, it shouldn’t take a study for it to be confirmed. We all know. But anyway, as if we needed to be told, a new study indicates that lesbians have more orgasms than straight women. (But not as much as straight men. Obviously.)
It says that for women, the rate of orgasm varied by sexual orientation. 61.6% of straight women reported orgasming during sex on average, while 74.4% of lesbians reported the same thing. Go lesbians. But predictably, straight men reported the most, with around 85% reporting an orgasm per sexual encounter.
So, leaving aside the straight men, because we shouldn’t even have to discuss why they have the most, why do lesbians have more than straight women?
A related study at about the same time examined the duration and frequency of sexual encounters in same-sex and straight couples. The results demonstrated lower levels of sexual frequency for lesbian couples – they just weren’t having the same amount of sex as straight couples, according to this report.
However, it did reveal a key difference in sexual duration. Lesbians reported the length of their sexual encounters to last somewhere between 30 and 45 minutes on average, while straight couples reported their sexual activity lasted somewhere between 15 and 30 minutes on average. Lesbians have sex for longer – and that seems to be key as to why their sex is more satisfying than straight sex. (Other studies corroborate this, with a slightly earlier one stating the average sexual encounter between lesbians lasts an average of 57 minutes.)
So, why does the duration matter?
The longer sex experiences reported by lesbians versus straight couples might provide women with the extended foreplay that’s often missing from straight, penetrative sex. It allows lesbian couples ample time to become fully sexually aroused, increasing the likelihood of eventual orgasm.
More importantly, though, it supports the idea that the orgasm itself is de-emphasised between same-sex female couples. The shared experience and mutual pleasure is the goal, and not necessarily the climax, which is generally the focus and endpoint of straight sex.
It’s more complicated than just duration, though, and there are countless personal and contextual factors at play. For example, gay and lesbian couples have sex differently from straight couples, and oral sex is far more common in same-sex encounters of both genders than in straight, heterosexual couples. Therefore, we could rightly expect the rate of orgasm to be different, since straight couples tend to emphasise penetration and orgasm at a premium.
The most important lesson that comes from this insight is that it’s straight men, currently at the top of the orgasm tree, who have the work to do. The results from these studies show that short, frequent, penetrative sex is not going to result in the sexual satisfaction of all involved. It’s clear that men and women of all sexualities want sex. But women don’t just want sex, they want good sex, and that takes some work.