closing the orgasm gap

How to close the orgasm gap

I suppose I was aware that there was an ‘orgasm gap’ but had never really heard it being referred to or discussed before seeing it highlighted May’s 4 Thoughts prompt. Basically the term refers to an issue in predominantly cis gendered hetero-sexual couples where the focus in on PIV sex and the female partner reaches orgasm less frequently than the male partner. There are a couple of sources linked in May’s post which seem to draw similar conclusions to the reasons why this is a thing.

Lack of clitoral stimulation

Although there are a small percentage of people who regularly orgasm from vaginal stimulation, I am part of the much larger group where clitoral stimulation is what will work. For me, PIV (penis in vagina) sex feels nice: I like the feeling of being full, of being used for pleasure and enjoy being taken quite roughly in this way. It makes me wet and I get a pleasurable feeling that could almost be the build up to a good orgasm. But it either doesn’t seem to reach a climax or it doesn’t have the growing intensity that would allow it to do so. I have sometimes wondered if it is a mini-climax but I think this is my mind wanting to be able to deliver my pleasure in response to HL’s, in line with societal norms.

We do have sex in this way and don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy it. Pleasure takes many different forms and within our power exchange, meeting his needs is a genuine part of that pleasure. We would tend to use PIV sex either as something on its own – my body is his and he wants to use it for his pleasure – or as the end point for play where my pleasure has already been the focus and now he wants his own – I am quivering and so desperate for him that to have him inside me is the icing on the cake. Either way, PIV works for us because of how it fits into our power exchange.

A lack of understanding around female pleasure

The Durex study finds that ‘One in five women claim that their partners are unaware of how to push the right buttons’. In addition ‘one in three men think that vaginal penetration can bring a woman to a climax; however, only 20% of women can reach orgasm through vaginal penetration’. I think that this misinformation has a lot to do with the way female pleasure is portrayed in the media. It may have started as part of the narrative of sexual pleasure that society perpetuates, but even now that we know more, it continues.

I have said before that in schools now there is education around female sexual pleasure and a focus on challenging the long held narrative that is still presented in pornography and other types of media. However, although I see this as an essential and key thing, the nature of the presentation of it makes it difficult to get the message across in a way which really changes thinking. Basically, can a couple of lessons in a classroom compete with the delivery of alternative messages in a much more sexually enticing package? I fear for most the answer will be no.

Dealing with cognitive distractions

This one is more complicated. One of the reasons cited for the orgasm gap is that women are prone to cognitive distractions which get in the way of their own pleasure. I have my own ideas of the role of cognition in my desire and arousal and have explained both the ways that is an issue, and also the ways to work with it, but there is very little explaining in general terms how this can work for others. It seems to be accepted that generally speaking women are less quick to become aroused and also that they find it more difficult to maintain this feeling but I can’t find any definitive evidence as to the reasons why.

My own conclusions have been that where for HL stimulus is focused on the physical, for me it is far more psychological. I get to the point where my body takes over from my mind, but that only happens if HL is able to direct my thoughts in the right direction. This is why vanilla sex is nice but doesn’t flick my switches in the same way. Factors such as stress, tiredness, self esteem and body image have been shown to decrease the likelihood of female orgasm, but my own experience tells me there is more to the cognitive distractions than this.

Eliminating the orgasm gap with D/s

While it won’t be for everyone, D/s has meant not just the closing the orgasm gap but eliminating it altogether. The increase in the number of couples exploring BDSM in its more mainstream variants makes me wonder if there is something wider reaching to what I have found to be the case on a personal level. However, that aside, looking at the reasons the studies show for the existence of the orgasm gap, it is the case that a power exchange dynamic will address these. I haven’t found any evidence of statistics which compare the orgasm gap for couples in a power exchange to couples having vanilla sex, but I would expect it to be much less common.

The focus in D/s of course, is in meeting the needs of the other. One partner is completely invested in understanding how the other works. The constant communication leads to a comprehensive and effective understanding of the other’s sexual pleasure and desires, as well as learning more about your own. The power exchange also means that the Dominant partner will then use this information to control the submissive partner. Often during sex (play or a scene as we would call it) this leads to playing with the sub in a way which will build their sexual pleasure. This will often involve the control of an orgasm.

Principles of a positive relationship

For many of us in D/s relationships, an orgasm is not the end point of our sexual play. It is about far more than that. It is about the pleasure of both parties, it is about pushing boundaries and exploring together, it is about want and need and desire. Done well, there are few cognitive distractions because the build up has lead your mind to be focussed and engaged on what is happening. The letting go required by the submissive means that they can respond far more on a physical than a psychological level, once that point is reached.

While the orgasm gap seems to exist in mainly cis gendered hetero-sexual couples, D/s focusses on the pleasure of the other partner regardless of gender or sexual orientation. So it is not that D/s cures the orgasm gap as such, more that the principles and practices applied mean that the elements that would cause such a gap are taken care of. Awareness of the needs of your partner (which may be clitoral simulation), the willingness to incorporate their needs into sexual (fore) play, and the understanding of how to engage them in the process means that the orgasms are free to flow.

4 Thoughts or Fiction
Posted in Feeling Good, Sexuality and tagged , , , .


  1. Dear Submissy,

    The theology of sex,

    I’m glad you’re enjoying your delicious femininity. and your D/s relationship.

    I’ve been thinking about how to link our sexual instinct to our faith instinct in a way that makes us proud of our sexuality, and able to promote it to youngsters.

    Let me explain. This involves some theorising about the theology of sex

    St. Paul may have got it wrong when he said “Better to marry than to burn. but the true Christian will be devoted to the transcendental God”. The transcendental God doesn’t have a gender so that’s not much help to us Earthlings who do have gender. It leaves us alienated and guilty unless we limit the expression of our sexuality to our marriages. Marital fidelity is great for maintaining stability while child-rearing, but if over-interpreted it causes joyless frustration of our best instincts towards people of the opposite gender. Most other religions are little better than Christianity in this respect.

    Here’s an alternative way to look at things.

    Let us conceive of , serve and worship a God who is gendered; composed of Goddess and God-er. They embrace each other like the panels of a tennis ball.

    We men then serve God-er by caring for, protecting, alluring, and arousing our womenfolk and acting as lovelords, helping them develop in thinking, sensuality and faith. We also worship Goddess, and this is expressed in our behaviour by our submission and devotion to our mistresses, the mature daughters of.Goddess, who act as Her immanent angels and vicars.

    The converse then holds for you ladies. You serve Goddess by nurturing your menfolk, alluring and arousing them and acting as mistresses helping them develop in thinking, sensuality and faith.. . You also worship God-er, and this is expressed in your behaviour by your submission and devotion to your lovelords, the mature sons of God-er, who act as His immanent angels and vicars.

    With maturity there may come a contentment to acknowledge the tantric arousal to the partner and sublimate it in worship of Goddess for men and God-er for women, rather than dissipating it at climax. For some this may be a sexuality in which they take pride, that they can promote to youngsters. Romantic arousal by third parties can then be celebrated within a marriage. People of the same gender can be brothers or sisters in the role of maintaining and developing the romantic tension of their partners. That romantic tension is one of the best antidepressants that there is.

    A community of people who think along these lines may have much to offer in fulfillment to each other and bringing peace and joy to life more widely.

    Would you and others who take part in your blog like to participate in such a group and help it develop and write more about their progress in the sexuospiritual journey?

    With love

    .. .
    . .I

  2. Great post Missy. I actually am one of the few people who did used to experience orgasm from PIV sex regularly but really kinda got bored of intercourse in general – it has always been the other sex stuff that thrilled me and as u say – the orgasm does not always need to be part of it
    May xx

    • I know what you mean about getting your thrills elsewhere and that is such a huge part. Thank you. Missy x

  3. This was so interesting Missy and the logic you have used seems very sound. I’m so glad the orgasm gap is not something that troubles you and HL – hurrah for communication (both verbal and non-verbal) and reading each other. A very well balanced post which I enjoyed reading.

    • Thank you Posy. I am glad that it made sense and I do feel lucky in terms of the attention I get. I can feel quite bad sometimes that so long is spent on my pleasure. Missy x

  4. Very informative, missy! I am grateful to be able to climax through PIV sex, but will share that when I have the combined stimulation (PIV and clitoral stimulation) my orgasms are off the chart. I also feel incredibly lucky that my husband has always focused more on my pleasure than his own. Don’t get me wrong, he gets his too…but he’s been an attentive lover in that way from the start. Our D/s actually brought more focus to his pleasure and enhancing the techniques I use to bring him this pleasure. I think that each partner focusing on the other’s sexual pleasure makes for a very healthy sex life together 🙂

    • Yay for off the chart orgasms. I agree about being lucky. It can really colour things and means I forget that there are so many people out there not focused on pleasing the other. Thank you 😊

  5. This is a great post, Missy, and I agree that D/s definitely helps to close the orgasm gap. To be honest, I have never felt unfulfilled with Master T, as he always makes sure my needs are met before he wants me to tend to his. This he does both inside and outside the D/s setting, meaning inside a D/s setting he will determine how many orgasms I will have (mostly a lot, to the point where I can hardly manage more), and outside he just loves bringing me to one orgasm after the other. We both want to enjoy our intimate times together, and he knows once he has climaxed, it will be over. And then of course, there are those times where he just uses me for his pleasure, and grant me not one orgasm, and those are just as exciting and satisfying as climaxing multiple times.
    ~ Marie xox

    • Yes it is probably the nature of the person that lends themselves to D/s because I am sure that even without it they would focus on their partner’s needs. I think it helps us to talk about things and learn about each other’s bodies too. Thank you. Missy x

  6. Great post, Missy. I love how you describe how a D/s relationship has per definition little in way of an orgasm gap. My husband says he experiences many things during play which could be seen as a mind-orgasm, while of course the ‘real’ orgasms are also taken care of aplenty 😉
    Thanks for this post!

  7. I’m my case the orgasm gap is reversed! lol. But I have always been attentive to my partners needs and always attempted to provide them with far more orgasms than I receive myself. My Queen can orgasm from penetration alone, and sometimes insists that’s all that will happen. There are times though when she is stressed where she will have difficulty with orgasming regardless of the methods used. Stay well Missy.

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