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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Washington chapter.

In 1928, Cole Porter first put pen to paper and wrote the iconic lines, “Birds do it, bees do it/Even educated fleas do it/Let’s do it, let’s fall in love.” Filled with innuendoes, it was quoted as the first song to publicly express having sex as something fun without the secretive shame that the topic was usually shrouded in. Conversations surrounding sex have taken many shapes and forms over the years, though they have always been present one way or another.

Sex is a massive topic. It’s in movies, shows, music, and art (there is some really freaky and erotic stuff out there). It sometimes feels like it is all anyone ever talks about. So, why is there such a disparity of experiences with different genders? If sex is so common and all around us, why are we still okay that it’s not equally pleasurable for all parties? (Side Note: This article is going to focus on heterosexual sex because it turns out that women in lesbian/queer relationships tend to orgasm more than women in heterosexual relationships–what a surprising and shocking fact that no one could have ever seen coming).

The orgasm gap describes the gap between women receiving sexual satisfaction compared to men. Compiled lists of data have come to a staggering difference: over 90% of men reach orgasm, while women are left behind, with reports of only 30% of women finishing. Not many differences are this blatant, so we have to think, why have we become so comfortable with these statistics?

The first dude I slept with was mainly because he had the same name as my favorite rom-com lead, and that felt like reason enough at the time. So clearly, I have a lot to learn when it comes to making good decisions about sex. But here is what I do know: the orgasm gap matters. That disparity represents a lot, primarily how we treat women and the importance we give to their experiences.

One of the issues that the orgasm gap brings up is how women are seen when it comes to casual intimacy like one night stands. A statistic that keeps sticking out again and again is women orgasm more in relationships than in casual hookups. Unsurprisingly, the number of male orgasms does not differ. 

Studies believe it is because in a relationship the male partner cares more about the woman’s experience than in hookups. Women aren’t taught that it is okay to ask for what they want, and that their pleasure should be the end goal for both parties as well, irregardless of whether the relationship is an exclusive one of a few months, or a mid day afternoon booty call.

In BBC Radio 4’s “Woman’s Hour” segment, they covered a study of “Four ways women can bridge ‘the orgasm gap'”. One of the study’s co-authors, Dr. Devon Hensel, an assistant professor in sociology at the University of Indiana School of Medicine, said, “There’s such a lack of accessible language for women to talk about what they want and articulate that to their partners…Sex research as a field has been around for well over 100 years, and it was really incomprehensible to us as researchers that there were no names for these things. And when something is unnamed, it almost becomes unspeakable.” Because we aren’t having these conversations, we rob women of the language needed to talk about their wants and needs.

The other day, I talked to my friend who said she never fakes it. “If they don’t make me finish, I do not pretend to.” She doesn’t lie to get their ego off when they can’t get her off in the first place. She is my Oracle of Delphi. Like many women, I am great at putting aside my pleasure for others so I don’t risk being seen as a “challenge.” But what a stupid and disappointing thing to worry about. You should make people work for it. The man orgasming should not always be the end all be all goal. 

Stop hooking up with losers who don’t care whether you get off or not! Be with people who care about your pleasure. Your experience matters. Screw anyone who doesn’t think so (metaphorically, not literally–that would ruin the whole point this article is trying to make here).

As much as I love drunk bonding with women over men’s inability to make us orgasm, I want to build our relationships on something more substantial like the effect Ross Lynch in Troye Sivan’s music video has on our bodies. I want better for us.

I think a part of me feels like it’s too much to ask for. That sounds silly and ridiculous, but when you grow up in a world where women are taught to be palatable and never want too much, it’s hard not to feel selfish/guilty/demanding. But the thing is, wanting good sex is none of the above. 

I want it so bad for myself and the women around me—not just having a dude make you finish, but more so, feeling like we deserve that.

People are having sex all around us (again, metaphorically, unless that’s your vibe). This means conversations about sex are happening, and we need to start talking about the orgasm gap because at the core of all the statistics and research, it comes down to one thing: women’s pleasure is overlooked and is lost in the grand scheme of things. And I hate to say this, but if you’re sleeping with someone who doesn’t​​ care about your pleasure, they probably don’t deserve to sleep with you in the first place.

“Birds do it, bees do it, even educated fleas do it. Let’s have an educated and informed conversation about closing the orgasm gap and helping women finish”… or something like that.

Kareena Desai Naik

Washington '26

Kareena is a film major, with a focus in screenwriting, at the University of Washington. Her favorite artist is Amy Winehouse and she is scared of ducks. Weird kid!