Why is There an Orgasm Gap in Hook-Ups vs. Relationships?

Orgasm (NYC Barstool Sports)

Orgasm (NYC Barstool Sports)

In honor of International Women’s Day yesterday, let’s examine a very real issue that a lot of women face: the orgasm gap in hookups vs. relationships.

There have been a few studies on this. A 2013 study by the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University found that “women were twice as likely to reach orgasm from intercourse or oral sex in serious relationships as in hookups.” The study surveyed 600 male and female college students. A study out of New York University found that only 40% of women achieved orgasm during their most recent hookup that included sex, where 80% of men reported climaxing. This study polled 24K students at 21 colleges.

But when a woman is in a committed relationship, their orgasm rate shoots up to 75%.

Why is this?

There are several reasons for this: more frequent and consistent practice with a steady partner, communication with a partner and/or feeling empowered and confident within one’s sexuality.

Dr. Debby Herbenick of The Kinsey Institute points out that men tend to report orgasms more than women, so the number of women having orgasms might well be higher. Also, the term “hook(ing) up” includes sexual acts that might not result in having an orgasm, such as kissing.

But women can have sex and get pregnant without climaxing. So why are we so worried about having one (or multiples)?

Dr. Elisabeth A. Lloyd, author of “The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution,” puts it best:

“The female orgasm is for fun.”

And she’s so totally right. So get out there and go get yours!

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