Better Sex and More Orgasms, According to Science

“The results suggest a variety of behaviors couples can try to increase orgasm frequency.”

We’ve long known that there is a distinct difference between the likelihoods of women and men orgasming during sex. It’s a phenomenon so established it has a name– the orgasm gap.

It can sometimes feel like simply being a woman makes it harder for you to orgasm during sex. Now, new research suggests your gender may not matter as much as the gender of the person you’re having sex with, and what they do. In a study published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers analysed the responses from over 52,000 participants in an online survey about sexual orientation and satisfaction.

So who has the most and least orgasms?

Straight women have it the worst, with only 65% of them saying they always or usually orgasm during sex. Compare this to the whopping 95% of straight men who say they do, and the orgasm gap starts to look like the orgasm Grand Canyon. Interestingly, this figure is 86% for lesbian women, but drops down to 66% for bisexual women. For gay and bisexual men, it’s 89% and 88% respectively.

Reports of own orgasm frequency in past month: the white bars represent the proportion of people who always orgasm during sex. (source)

So your best bet if you want to orgasm during sex? Don’t have sex with a man.

No, we’re kidding. Sort of. The survey also asked participants about their sexual practices to determine which moves were more likely to lead to orgasm, so here are some actual science-backed tips that might help.

Make the right moves

Lesbian women had much higher rates of orgasm than their straight counterparts. And compared to straight men, homosexual women were more likely to report that their partners orgasm during sex.

So why are women so much more likely to orgasm when they have sex with other women rather than with men? Are women just better than men at making other women orgasm? The researchers say this could be due to other women having a better understanding than men that female orgasms are not just about penetrative vaginal sex.

Although a third of men surveyed believe that penetrative vaginal sex is the best way to lead a woman to orgasm, 80% of heterosexual and 91% of homosexual women disagree. The winning combination for more orgasms for them? A “combination of genital stimulation, deep kissing, and oral sex in addition to vaginal sex”.

Tell that to your boyfriend, okay?


Orgasm frequency according to combinations of behaviours engaged in during last sexual encounter: note that vaginal sex is not a requirement in ensuring orgasm! (source)

(As for length? 15 minutes to an hour seems to be the sweet spot, according to the study.)


Mood matters

Playing music, changing positions, or saying “I love you” during sex also increases a woman’s chances of achieving orgasm. Women who had done these things during their last sexual encounter were 20% more likely to say they usually or always achieve orgasm during sex, as opposed to women who didn’t.

Perhaps not surprisingly, mood-setting affects a woman’s probability of orgasm much more than a man’s.


Use your mouth

To communicate, we mean! According to the study, women who were more comfortable with talking to their partner about sex were more likely to have frequent orgasms. This means telling your partner what you want in bed, praising them in bed, and flirting with them throughout the day.

“Women really are tremendously variable in how readily they orgasm and what makes one woman orgasm can be quite different than what makes another woman orgasm,” the researchers told The Guardian. “Explicit and direct communication with one’s partner is key.”

Noted on the explicit.


Be good out of bed too

Another thing women who orgasmed more often had in common: they were more satisfied in their relationships. This is veering on chicken-and-egg territory – does better sex lead to a better relationship or vice versa? – but research seems to suggest the latter.

Simple but loving acts like giving and getting massages, going on regular date nights, wearing lingerie, and even showering or bathing together are all helpful in leading to a satisfying time in bed. There’s nothing new about this advice, but now we know they really work. After all, data doesn’t lie.



As handy as these tips may be, we believe that orgasms are not the be-all-end-all marker of a good romp. They’re great, but there’s a lot more to love about sex than just orgasms. Getting all caught up and feeling too pressured to climax can lead to anxiety, resulting in the complete opposite effect.

So try these tips, but don’t forget to relax, enjoy the moment, and have a good time. If it comes, it comes!