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    Here’s Why So Many Women Can’t Orgasm During Sex

    This one goes out to all the vaginas that aren’t all that enthused by penetration alone.

    When it comes to having a vagina and having orgasms, sometimes the struggle is very real.

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    Especially if you want to orgasm during penetration. It just doesn’t happen all that often…or, ever.

    The good news is that you're not alone, and you're not broken, either! Research shows that women are less likely to orgasm during sex than men are.

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    A recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women only orgasm 62.9% of the time with a familiar partner, while men orgasm 85.1% of the time. And women are even less likely to finish during casual sex, with only about 40% saying that they climaxed during their last hookup (compared to 80% of men), according to a study in the American Sociological Review.

    There are numerous other studies and stats out there about the female orgasm struggle, and the numbers vary depending on the sample and the decade in which the research occurred. Bottom line, though: If you have a vagina, sex without orgasm may be a frustratingly common reality.

    BUT HERE'S THE THING. Not all women have trouble orgasming during sex. Like lesbians, for instance.

    The problem might be that you're just putting too much emphasis on penetration, actually.

    For a lot of people, P-in-V sex especially just isn’t that conducive to orgasms. Sorry, penises and dildos.

    Your genitals may need some more variety than that.


    In a study of 3,900 men and women (nearly all heterosexual), both genders were more likely to have an orgasm the last time they had sex if they racked up a greater number of sexual acts (like oral sex, anal sex, manual stimulation, penile-vaginal intercourse, etc.). BUT, most of the men and women in this study reported only having P-in-V intercourse the last time they had sex. People… you’re doing it wrong.

    Think about it: Do you rely on penetration to get off when you’re by yourself?

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    Probably not. One small study found that most people hone in on the clitoris instead. But weirdly, the study participants thought that other people did self-penetrate when flying solo. So stop thinking you’re the lone weirdo who doesn’t get off by inserting a dildo, and just go with whatever works for you.

    Also, most vaginas are like, “LOL no, I don’t work that way.”

    If you really want to have an orgasm during penetration, make sure your clitoris is involved and your head is in the game.


    “Above all you have to know how your own body works,” says Schwartz. If your clitoris is the key to your orgasm, make sure your partner knows that. In most positions, it’s possible for one of you to reach down and stimulate your clitoris either manually or with a vibrator. Do it — it’s not an inconvenience, it’s how you orgasm.

    Another trick: Make sure you’re thisclose to coming before you, uh, put it in. This way, any little movement or stimulation will take you over the edge, says Schwartz. You can get there with foreplay, masturbation, whatever, but stopping yourself right before you orgasm and then switching to penetration can be an easy way to get off during P-in-V sex.

    Or it’s possible that your head is getting in the way. Maybe you can self-penetrate to orgasm but when you’re with a partner, it’s a no-go. In this case, make sure you’re feeling fully relaxed, safe, secure, and turned on before you start. Lots of foreplay, communication, and trust are necessary.

    Final step: Stop caring about having an orgasm during penetration, because who has time for that noise?

    “I would like to have the emphasis taken off having an orgasm during penetration,” says Streicher. There’s no reason to think that your happy ending is any less special just because it happens without a penis inside you.

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