Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Science reveals what really makes women orgasm

friends.jpg

The subject of female sexual pleasure has long been ignored by science, especially when it comes (no pun intended) to the scandalous matter of the clitoris.

Despite being the only organ that exists purely for pleasure – and therefore a pretty amazing and fascinating part of the female body – the clitoris has been historically ignored by medical textbooks and science, from its deletion from Grey’s Anatomy in 1948 to a general refusal to study it due “concerns about social hygiene and morality”.

But now scientists are finally cottoning on to the idea that an organ owned by roughly half the general population might just be worthy of investigation, with a new study focusing purely on female pleasure being published last month.

Asking more than 1,000 woman the question “What feels good to you?”, the study is a comprehensive look at how women experience and, more importantly, find sexual pleasure.

Scientists asked over 1,000 women “what feels good to you?”

Scientists asked over 1,000 women “What feels good to you?”

Published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, the American study was made up of an online questionnaire that quizzed women about where they liked to be touched, and how, alongside questions about orgasms and sex.

Answered by 1,055 women aged 18 to 94, the results are a pretty decent indicator of what women want – although it is worth noting that the majority of respondents were heterosexual and had relationships with men.


Read more: Vibrators 2.0: next-gen sex beyond the bunny


The majority of women were clear on the importance of clitoral stimulation during sex, with 18.4% saying they could orgasm from penetration alone but 36.6% saying they also needed to be touched during sex to have an orgasm. A further 36% said their orgasms were better during sex if they were also touched.

And when it comes to touch, the study was pretty thorough in its investigation of what women want. The results found that all kinds of pressures, styles and motions could make women orgasm, but there were also some general trends.

The majority of women enjoyed light to medium pressure applied either directly to the clitoris or its immediate surroundings, with circular, side to side and up and down motions proving popular.

However, obviously not all women are built the same, and around a tenth of the respondents enjoyed firmer pressure – while other kinds of touch, such as tapping or flicking, were also highlighted as being pleasurable.

Over a third of women needed to be touched during sex to reach orgasm

Over a third of women needed to be touched during sex to reach orgasm

There were also some patterns of touch that got the green light of approval from the women surveyed, with touching in a rhythmic motion (enjoyed by 81.7% of respondents), a circular motion (78.3%) and switching between different patterns (76%) proving most popular.

There were also a couple of other take-home messages from the results: namely, that women reported better orgasms when there was a good build-up, their partner knew what they liked and they had increased emotional intimacy with their partner.

Also: less than a fifth of women said that long-lasting sex was the key to better orgasms.

So, there you have it – it’s not rocket science to know that listening to what your partner wants and giving them a good build up is key to an orgasm, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.

Image: HBO / iStock

Related

notebook.jpg

This is the absolute best time of the day to have sex

sx.jpg

These are the main reasons relationships end, according to a new study

orgasm.jpg

Sex toy reviewer is a job and it pays £28,000 (with unlimited holiday)

More

The best possible gifts for when flowers aren’t going to cut it

17 unusual and thoughtful gifts for when the s**t hits the fan

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This Battle of the Sexes legend wants you to STOP asking about McEnroe

“I would like to see John McEnroe win a Grand Slam tournament while pregnant”

by Susan Devaney
22 Sep 2017

“The real reason we should all be upset about Uber”

Grow up: your bank balance really isn’t what’s at stake here

by Kayleigh Dray
22 Sep 2017

There's a huge sherbet fountain coming to London - and it's free

Bompas & Parr are planning a weird, wonderful and nostalgia-filled event

by Helen Brown
22 Sep 2017

Rick and Morty creator responds to sexist trolling of female writers

The show hired four women. Cue cries of “Worst. Episodes. Evah.”

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

Everything you need to know about Uber being banned in London

The taxi firm has had its license revoked by TfL

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

The new Baileys flavour you’ll want to drink well beyond Halloween

Perfect autumn cocktails ahead

by Amy Swales
22 Sep 2017

This unexpected town has been voted the best place to work in the UK

We didn’t see this one coming

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017

Harry Potter fans, this epic Hogwarts goblet is actually magical

It's perfect for Butterbeer (or prosecco)

by Megan Murray
22 Sep 2017

The hidden meanings behind the nation’s most popular baby names

Prepare for lots of girls’ names ending in ‘a’

by Moya Crockett
22 Sep 2017