The science of female orgasms: Pleasing female partners in casual and long-term relationships

Jes L. Matsick, Terri D. Conley, Amy C. Moors

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


The occurrence of the female orgasm, or lack thereof, has fueled productive research regarding gender differences in sexuality. Both scientific research and popular beliefs support the idea that men orgasm more frequently than women do and, given the biological nature of the orgasm phase of sexual responses, it is easy to assume that the gender difference in orgasm frequency is “natural” and unresponsive to contextual factors (e.g., relationship styles). While it may be true that men orgasm more frequently than women in partnered sex, using sociocultural approaches to understanding orgasm, we argue that it is inaccurate to suggest that men’s orgasms are easier and women’s are more difficult to invoke. In other words, yes-men orgasm more frequently than women-but this is not because women are biologically hardwired not to orgasm or receive sexual pleasure. Yet remains the question: Why do women orgasm less frequently than men do? What factors might narrow this gap in orgasm frequency between men and women? In this chapter, we critically examine gender differences in orgasm and, in doing so, provide science-based suggestions for individuals and relationship partners to close the orgasm gap between heterosexual men and women. We will begin our examination of women’s orgasm with providing an overview anatomy and orgasm. For the remainder of the chapter, we consider orgasm frequency in the context of both short-term (casual sex and hookup scenarios) and long-term relationships. Throughout, we offer suggestions for women and their sexual partners to increase women’s orgasm frequency across both short-term and long-term relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Psychology of Love and Hate in Intimate Relationships
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9783319392776
ISBN (Print)9783319392752
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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