This story first appeared in VICE UK.
If you've ever been a teenage girl – or, in fact, a fully adult woman – you'll be well versed in faking orgasms. This is for a number of reasons: sometimes sex just doesn't last very long; sometimes there's not enough foreplay; and sometimes, if you're having heterosexual peen-in-veen intercourse, the guy just doesn't know how to use either his dick or his hands. Also, we're complex creatures, women: you can't just stick something in and expect it to happen. It takes determination, skill, stamina and sometimes mental acuity.
Apparently men can fake an orgasm, too. But something tells me it's not them clocking up the majority of the 100 million faked orgasms in Britain a week.
This miserable new study – commissioned, I'm sure, for totally scholarly purposes by condom brand Durex – found that one in ten women admit they fake it at least once a week. Reasons included boredom (christ), taking too long (fair) or feeling bad for a partner (never). Researchers discovered that two in three women fail to climax during every sex session, and a similar proportion regularly give up trying. It's also worse if you're single or in a married couple, with the study finding that people in each group are less likely to orgasm than those in a civil partnership.
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Alright, so this is happening because the sex isn't good enough (sorry, dunno what to do for you here, lads; buy a butt plug or something?) and, crucially, because it doesn't last long enough.
Lovehoney, a sex toy retailer, recently surveyed 4,400 of its customers and found that sex for most heterosexual couples lasts for roughly 19 minutes, consisting of – on average – ten minutes of foreplay and nine minutes of full junk-against-junk sex. There's foreplay there – that's good – but intercourse-wise it's hardly a marathon, is it? Importantly, only 52 percent of couples said they were happy with that.
In 2016, Dr Brendan Zietsch from the University of Queensland surveyed 500 heterosexual couples having sex over a four-week period, asking them to manually time how long their intercourse lasted with a stopwatch. The results were pretty varied: 44 minutes was the longest, 33 seconds the shortest. Yet, on average, couples clocked in at 5.4 minutes.
"Self-identified lesbian women, on average, are better able to induce orgasm in their female partner"
It seems to me like a case of the orgasm gap. On the whole, men have no problem climaxing, while women are slogging it out, sometimes not even trying to reach that elusive place, scared of the amount of emotional and physical labour it would necessitate.
There are countless studies that show lesbians have more orgasms than straight women. Researchers say that higher lesbian orgasm-frequency could be due to the fact that "self-identified lesbian women are more comfortable and familiar with the female body and thus, on average, are better able to induce orgasm in their female partners."
But if you're not a woman having sex with a woman, the only answer – I guess – is to talk about what needs to change.
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