Study: 2 in 5 Straight Men Don't Know How Often Their Partners Orgasm


Would you know if your partner had an orgasm? According to a recent study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, a lot of us—but especially heterosexual men—can’t seem to tell. 

This study is the subject of my latest column over at TONIC and it was based on a nationally representative survey of more than 1600 newlywed couples, all of whom were heterosexual. Researchers compared how often people said they reached orgasm to how often their partners thought they reached orgasm. 

What they found was that just 14% of women misperceived how often their husbands were having orgasms (6% were underperceivers, while 8% were overperceivers). By contrast, 42% of men misperceived their wives’ orgasmic frequency (17% underestimated, while 25% overestimated). 

This orgasm misperception gap likely has multiple explanations. One, of course, is the fact that the male orgasm usually coincides with ejaculation, which necessarily makes it easier to notice. While some women do indeed experience ejaculation of fluid upon orgasm, ejaculation doesn’t co-occur with orgasm often enough in women for it to be a highly reliable indicator. As a result, heterosexual men may be looking to other factors (e.g., sounds, facial expressions) as signs of orgasm and making assumptions based on them.

The fact that women are more likely than men to fake orgasms may also be contributing to the orgasm misperception gap.

To learn more about the factors at play here and why closing the orgasm misperception gap is important, check out the full article over at TONIC.

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To learn more about this research, see: Leonhardt, N. D., Willoughby, B. J., Busby, D. M., Yorgason, J. B., & Holmes, E. K. (2018). The Significance of the Female Orgasm: A Nationally Representative, Dyadic Study of Newlyweds' Orgasm Experience. The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Image Source: 123RF/Natdanai Pankong

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