The Pleasure Gap

Die Vergnügungslücke

The Pleasure Gap Despite the evidence that women have the same capacity for sexual pleasure as men, there remains a “pleasure gap,” which is the phenomenon whereby heterosexual women experience less sexual pleasure than their male partners. The authors offer a few examples of why this might be the case: 1) heterosexual women are having sex that does not prioritize their pleasure and 2) sex comes with disproportionate social consequences for women.

The clitoris is the main pleasure organ for cisgender women. However, women are often expected to experience sexual pleasure (and orgasm) from penile-vaginal sex that does not adequately stimulate their clitoris. In contrast, lesbian women have been found to experience orgasm far more often than heterosexual women, which seemed to be related to the fact that lesbians were much more likely to stimulate their partner's clitoris [4].

Unfortunately, there are still very real gendered expectations in terms of the way women “should” behave sexually. Both men and women are susceptible to moral disapproval based on their sexual behavior. In one study, women who accepted casual sex were judged more negative than men [5]. Women are aware of these social consequences and take them into consideration before engaging in sexual activity.

In Ellen's words, “when these contextual and sociocultural factors are removed and opportunities for sexual pleasure are increased, the sexual pleasure gender gap is likely to be removed as well.” [1]

Read everything in " Do Women Experience Less Sexual Pleasure Than Men? " Author Merissa Prine

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