Health

4 Myths About Female Orgasms Debunked

June 22nd 2017

By:
Tiernan Hebron

When it comes to female orgasms, the statistics are pretty disheartening. As reported by CBS News, British researchers found that 80% of women fake having an orgasm at least half of the time and 75% of women never reach an orgasm from intercourse alone, with added hands or toys being needed. Only 57% of women climax consistently with a partner. And 10-15% of women never climax under any circumstances ever.

Meanwhile, 75% of men have an orgasm every single time they have sex.

Clearly something’s a miss when it comes to knowledge of female sexual pleasure. Taboos surrounding female sexuality have led to poor research, lack of understanding, and a general spread of misinformation resulting in a serious orgasm deficit for women.

Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions regarding female orgasms.

 Myth 1: Orgasms are the only goal for sex.

From an evolutionary standpoint, it makes some sense why sex has become goal-oriented around climaxing. It also makes sense why anatomically speaking it’s easier for men to orgasm. As Kim Wallen, professor of behavioral neuroendocrinology at Emory University told ABCnews, "It's clear the male orgasm is strongly selected...If they don't reach orgasm, they don't leave offspring." In other words, having an orgasm is essentially for reproduction.

However, humans are one of the only species on the planet that do not have sex solely for reproduction. So perhaps a good first step might be prioritizing pleasure, not just the climax. Although orgasms are pleasurable, many women report that they fake orgasms to conclude sex with their partner because it is not enjoyable for them. 

Myth 2: Female orgasms are harder to achieve.

While books like sex therapist Vivienne Cass' "The Elusive Female Orgasm: A Woman’s Guide To Why She Can’t And How She Can" offer some aid to help women achieve an orgasm, such titles promote the idea that the female orgasm is a mysterious and rare concept. 

And the numbers of orgasm disparity seemingly add to this. But a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that lesbians have a 75% orgasm rate. Researchers of the study concluded, "self-identified lesbian women are more comfortable and familiar with the female body and thus, on average, are better able to induce orgasm in their female partners."

Apparently female orgasms aren’t more difficult to come by, they just require a greater understanding of female anatomy.

Myth 3: Penetration is needed for orgasm.

Sorry guys, but vaginal penetration is not necessary for women to have an orgasm. This misconception seems to stem from the works of Sigmund Freud, who postulated that female orgasms should center on the reproductive tract rather than the clitoris, and that women who couldn’t experience vaginal orgasms were "infantile."

Gloria Steinem later pointed out that Freud most likely "invented the vaginal orgasm", so that the focus of sex would be on vaginal penetration because it's more pleasurable for men. In reality, most women need clitoral stimulation to orgasm. Results from a Cosmopolitan survey found that 38% of women claimed they couldn’t orgasm with their partner because there wasn’t enough clitoral stimulation and 35% said there wasn’t the right type of clitoral stimulation.

Myth 4: There are two types of female orgasms.

It was once a common belief that women were capable of having distinct two types of orgasms: clitoral and vaginal. Although it is true that women can experience different sensations with regard to climax, orgasms themselves do not originate from from separate locations. The clitoris actually extends beyond the small area that is visible to the human eye and surrounds the vagina, urethra, and anus.

“Instead of thinking of the vagina and clitoris as separate entities, try thinking about them as a network of nerves and muscles," Columbia University's sex education site Go Ask Alice explained in response to a user question about these two supposedly distinct orgasms.

The answer continued with some overall sound advice on the matter of orgasms: "Whatever works, feels good, and makes you feel more alive and connected with your body (and partner if you have one) are what count!"