from the Ladies'-night dept.
Despite recent advances in understanding orgasm variation, little is known about ways in which sexual orientation is associated with men’s and women’s orgasm occurrence. Now Discover Magazine reports that scientists at Indiana University have surveyed over 6,000 people on the internet to generate some hard data on how often people experienced orgasm with a familiar partner and it turns out that homosexual and heterosexual men have similar orgasm frequencies (~85%), while women on average have lower (~63%) rates of orgasm. However, if you separate heterosexual and homosexual women, there’s a big difference: heterosexual women reported having orgasms 61.6% of the time, while lesbians have orgasms 74.7% of the time.
The study, titled "Variation in Orgasm Occurrence by Sexual Orientation in a Sample of U.S. Singles" and published online this week in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, uses a large-scale nationally representative sample to examine how self-identified sexual orientation can affect how often lovers have orgasms (paywalled original paper). "These findings may contribute to promotion of more informed sexual health, by reminding us to pay attention to individual variation in research and clinical practice -- variation in sexual experiences, variation in sexual identities and variation in sexual outcomes," says lead author Justin R. Garcia,
The researchers speculate on the patterns observed, suggesting it could be the result of such known factors as length of a sexual encounter (earlier research points to lesbian women spending more time per sexual session); differences in gendered and sexual attitudes across sexual orientation; and even possible biological factors, such as prenatal exposure to the hormones testosterone and estrogen. "Some individuals will say what they want in a sexual encounter, or may be willing to say as much if their partner asked," says Garcia. "For others, communication may be nonverbal, with body language being key. This may also involve getting to know each other, both in and out of the bedroom, to understand what allows a particular sexual partner to experience a positive sexual outcome."