The female orgasm may be difficult to whittle down to an exact science, but a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior has some interesting new insights. As Glamour summarizes, researchers found that women who have had a same-sex experience, focus on foreplay, communicate openly with their partner, and switch things up in the bedroom have more frequent orgasms.
What's more, women who reported being happier and more satisfied in their relationships also orgasmed with more regularity than those who were dissatisfied in their relationships. The study authors analyzed the orgasm frequencies of 52,588 people, 26,032 of whom identified as heterosexual men, 452 as gay men, 550 as bisexual men, 340 as lesbian women, 1112 as bisexual women, and 24,102 as heterosexual women.
In the end, 95% of the heterosexual men said they usually and/or always orgasmed when sexually intimate, compared to 89% of gay men, 88% of bisexual men, 86% of lesbian women, 66% of bisexual women, and 65% of heterosexual women. In other words, the heterosexual women were 30% less likely to orgasm than heterosexual men—a phenomenon known as the "orgasm gap."
But why the chasm between heterosexual and homosexual women? The study authors theorize that "women who have sex with women place a lower importance on penetrative sex, which most women don't orgasm from, and value equality more," explains Glamour. "Basically, their orgasms aren't deemed optional, and neither are their partners'."
To make orgasms a more regular part of any female sexual experience, the authors recommend openly communicating sexual desires, trying new positions, and acting out sexual fantasies. More specifically, they found that women who orgasmed more frequently received more oral sex, had sex for longer periods of time, asked for what they wanted in bed, praised their partners for something they did in bed, exchanged sexy calls, emails, or texts with their partner, wore lingerie, experimented with anal stimulation, incorporated sexy talk, expressed their love for their partner during sex, deep-kissed their partner, and enjoyed manual genital stimulation, and/or oral sex in addition to vaginal intercourse.