The Orgasm Gap – Some new stats about female -vs- male

Only 24% of women achieve orgasm through penetrative sex, compared to nearly half of men

  • Just 24% of women said they reach orgasm from penetration, compared to nearly half (45%) of men

  • The average American woman has her first orgasm during sex between the ages of 18 and 25, whereas the average man is under 18

  • 37% of lesbians and 44% of gay people were under 18 when they had their first orgasm with a partner, vs just 30% of heterosexual people

orgasm gap

Many factors can influence whether or not we orgasm during sex, including gender. Research has shown 95% of men usually or always reach climax during sex, compared to just 65% of women.

Sexual wellness brand surveyed over 2,000 US adults to investigate this orgasm gap, uncovering the average age at which Americans have their first orgasm, as well as the most common ways they reach climax. You can view the full research here: 

45% of men orgasm from penetrative sex vs just 24% of women

Nearly half (45%) of male participants in Lovehoney’s survey said that penetrative sex is the best way for them to orgasm, compared to only 24% of women and 10% of non-binary people.

Women’s winning method for orgasm was found to be clitoral stimulation, with nearly 40% of women saying this is how they most frequently have an orgasm. Previous research has shown only 18% of women are able to orgasm through penetration alone, so it’s not surprising that the majority voted for clitoral stimulation as the best way for them to reach their peak. 

Masturbation was the third most popular method overall (21%), and the first among non-binary people specifically (33%). Non-binary people were also more likely to select sex toys as the best method for them, with 17% saying toys are how they most often achieve orgasm.

Men are twice as likely as women to be under 18 when they have their first orgasm from sex

The majority of women (41%) and non-binary people (26%) said they were aged 18-25 when they first had an orgasm from sex. Men, on the other hand, most commonly said they were under the age of 18 when they reached this particular milestone (42%).

Comparatively, just 23% of women and 20% of non-binary people said they were under 18, suggesting that men are younger on average when they first reach climax during sex. 

37% of lesbians and 44% of gay people were under 18 when they had their first orgasm with a partner

While only 30% of heterosexual people said they were under 18 when they had their first orgasm with a partner, this was actually the most common age given by lesbians (37%) and gay people (44%). 

In fact, people identifying as lesbian and gay were the only ones to most commonly say they were under 18, with all other sexualities (including heterosexual, bisexual, pansexual and asexual) most frequently said they were 18-25 years old.

Quality sex education and open communication are vital for closing the orgasm gap

The orgasm gap – the issue of women reaching orgasm less often than men during sex – remains a problem for many, but what can we do to fight it?

According to certified Sex Educator Javay Frye-Nekrasova (MEd), “The first step in combating the orgasm gap is making sure everyone has a comprehensive education about the human body (in all its different forms), and how best to stimulate different parts.”

“Another tool in combating the pleasure gap is normalizing talking about sex with partners, friends, and with family,” Javay adds, stressing the importance of open communication. “If you can comfortably talk about sex then you can better talk about what you like with partners, express to them what you would want to be done differently, and how experiences can be improved.”

Find the full research and more expert tips on sex education and wellness here:

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