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Bisexual women expect to have an orgasm with women more than with men

Bisexual women anticipate they are more likely to orgasm when they have sex with another woman than when they have sex with a man, a study has found.

Orgasms are typically a strong indicator of sexual satisfaction, as well as often reflecting satisfaction within a relationship. A study of more than 52,000 adults in the US by David Frederick at Chapman University in California and his colleagues found that 95 per cent of heterosexual men said they usually always orgasm during sex, compared with 65 per cent of heterosexual women.

This disparity is often referred to as the “orgasm gap”, which research suggests almost entirely disappears during masturbation or with acts like clitoral stimulation. In Chapman and his team’s study, 86 per cent of lesbian women and 66 per cent of bisexual women said they usually always orgasm during sex.

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To learn more about the orgasm gap, Grace Wetzel at Rutgers University in New Jersey and her colleagues asked 481 bisexual women, none of whom were transgender, to imagine themselves in a hypothetical sexual scenario. Around half were instructed to picture themselves with a man and the others with a woman.

The participants were asked to rate their orgasm expectations on a scale of 1 to 7, with 1 indicating that they saw it as being very unlikely and 7 as very likely. When they imagined having sex with a man, they scored an average of 4.88, compared with 5.86 with a woman. Although this may seem like a relatively small difference, a statistical analysis suggests the results weren’t chance findings.

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In another part of the study, the researchers asked an additional 476 women to complete an online survey about their sexual experiences with their most recent or current partner. None of the women were transgender. Just under 60 per cent of them were heterosexual, while the rest were lesbians.

The lesbian women reported having an orgasm 78 per cent of the time, compared with 65 per cent of the heterosexual women. They also had higher orgasm expectations ahead of their sexual encounters, more actively tried to climax during sex and reported receiving more clitoral stimulation.

“We know from research that clitoral stimulation is key to women’s orgasm,” says Wetzel. “So, the reason women have more orgasms with other women is because clitoral stimulation is being included more often.”

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The study found that women who have sex with women expect more clitoral stimulation. “The dominant heterosexual script doesn’t leave a lot of opportunity for women’s orgasm because of a focus on penetration over clitoral stimulation,” says Wetzel.

But “sexual scripts can be flexible”, she says. “Heterosexual couples can work to reduce the orgasm gap in their relationship by prioritising the sex acts that women need in order to orgasm.”

Journal reference:

Social Psychological and Personality Science DOI: 10.1177/19485506241235235

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