The Most Important Sexual Statistic You Need to Know

I think you all know this by now, but it bears repeating: intercourse is not the key to most women’s sexual satisfaction.

According to an important article in Psychology Today, intercourse can be great fun. And it makes lovers feel deeply connected. But contrary to what many men and women believe, intercourse is not the essence of lovemaking, as only 25% of women are consistently orgasmic during vaginal intercourse.

Other highlights:

* It’s perfectly normal for women not to have orgasms during intercourse.

* Penis size doesn’t matter to most women’s sexual satisfaction.

* Lasting a long time during intercourse may not matter as much as men think it does.

* It’s fine to have sex without intercourse.

Read the article here and please, share your thoughts below.

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Comments:

  1. 1
    Tami

    * It may be normal that a woman doesn’t reach an orgasm during intercourse but that’s because it takes more than just going in to make a woman reach that point of no return.  It’s up to the woman to know her body, up to both to communicate what she needs to get there, and then up to the man to do what it takes.

    * Size matters, but it’s individual.  Not all women need or want the same size.  Some need it to be smaller than the average, average or above average.  Same goes for thickness.

    That’s my two cents.  

  2. 2
    helene

    Evan, I’d appreciate some male insight on this topic…It seems to me that this information that the majority of women don’t orgasm from intercourse alone has been around for YEARS, yet a large number of men continue to behave in bed as though intercourse is all that’s needed, after a bit of perfunctory fumbling. Are men genuinely unaware of this information, or do they simply just not care??! Or do they somehow imagine that they are the exception to the rule, and that all women will magically orgasm during intercourse with THEM…

    1. 2.1
      diggitydogg

      It’s not necessarily that guys perform as though that’s all it takes. There are lots of reasons people do things the way they do…

      For instance, if you consider the events of the night, sometimes if I’ve had an active night with a lady I will not go down. It’s moist down there, ventilation isn’t great, I’m not trying to put that in my mouth after the lady has been sweating for 5 hours. Otherwise, fresh out of the shower I’ll do it every time. That’s my only real sticking point.

  3. 3
    Pablo

    Very seldom does a woman reach orgasm during intercourse inmy experience. You wouldn’t think it wouldn’t be that way but it is. You have to maually stimulate her with your fingers or tongue (orwhatever else you 2 happen to want). But for men it’s all about intercourse. If we don’t have that in our sex, or lovemaking, it’s not successful. Or there is something missing anyway. Very unsatisfactory.

  4. 4
    Susan

    Most men haven’t evolved from the prehistoric notion that thrusting and ejaculation makes them king of the universe. While that thinking is all that is needed for procreation, it’s not conducive to a couple’s good sex life.

    Most men are super macho when it comes to sex and easily intimidated by mention of anything a woman might desire that is more pleasureable than intercourse. (I call that high school sex – quick do the deed and it’s over). The best experiences I have had were in relationships where the guy was up for anything. And I went first if you know what I mean.  

    I always say, it’s not experience that makes a man good in bed, it’s his willingness to learn.  

    1. 4.1
      diggitydogg

      That’s pretty lame. In fairness, a lot of women just lay there and bring nothing to the table. Gender doesn’t matter, some people are good and others aren’t.

    2. 4.2
      JennLee

      Susan, I have heard similar sentiments from men as those expressed by Diggitydogg.  I, like many women, am not keen on the guy coming in my mouth.  I did not realize at first, that this affected how good I was at giving oral sex.  Subconsciously, I was shifting gears, easing off, when the guy would show signs of really enjoying what I was doing.  I realized after it was pointed out to me that I did this, that I was doing this because his signs of pleasure made me fear he was close to the end.  Even when I learned this and tried to modify my behavior, I was still holding back a bit.  I was too worried about trying to time things, so that I could transition to just my hand just before the end, but definitely before the end started.  For most men, this makes receiving oral sex, less than satisfactory.  I had one lover mimic this while giving me oral.  It really highlighted in my mind how unsatisfactory it is.
       
      So now, I don’t blame men for preferring intercourse.  I understand completely, because every guy who was honest about this with me admitted that it was the majority of women the slept with, who have this problem.
       
      However, since intercourse is very satisfying to them, and I never deny it to a man I am dating, it is not OK for him to neglect my needs.
       
      However, I can tell you that if you learn to open your mind about sex, and fantasize about it, and look forward to it, and sneak in some very brief manual stimulation throughout the day, you will be starting the race with an engine that is already warmed, or as some might say, and oven that is already partially preheated.  That is a very good thing when living a busy schedule.
       
      I used to think that a good sex life required long drawn out sex each time, to allow for tons of foreplay.  But if I am already on fire mentally, looking forward to having sex, the need for foreplay is drastically reduced.  I would never say no to foreplay, and would be very disappointed if we don’t take advantage of the hours that an be devoted to it on a Sunday morning, but when it is 10 at night, and I have to be up at 6, 30 minutes of foreplay every time isn’t going to make me happy.  A quickie and sleep will satisfy me much more, and the quickie is much more satisfying when I have gotten myself mentally worked up, often with the aid of my boyfriend.
       
      Try it sometime.  If your man is pushing for sex, and you haven’t give it to him for a few days, pick a day and hint that you want to spend some quality time together that night.  Then, all day at work, on the ride home, and at home previous to doing it, keep thinking about it.  Look forward to the fun.  Do Not fantasize about it being a 4 hour foreplay marathon. Fantasize about it being a hot, sizzling, passionate encounter.  Focus on it being a brief build up, and then passionate intercourse.
       
      Think about it like this.  If you have been anticipating having sex for the first time with a new lover, sometimes when it happens, it was very hot but also brief, and yet still enjoyable even if it wasn’t the best sex ever.  I think it is the fact that when this happens to us, we were already mentally primed for it to happen.
       
      I see this as very empowering.  We are taking control of our own mind, not waiting for somebody else to get us mentally in the mood for sex.
       
      The side benefit is that overall, your sex life will get better, because as we know, the most important sex organ is the brain.  So with a more rewarding, and frequent sex life, the man is going to be happier, and if he is happier, he will be more inclined to please you, not less.

  5. 5
    helene

    Pablo – you said “You wouldn’t think it would be that way but it is”. I realise you have taken this on board, but why is this such a difficult concept for men?? Put bluntly, expecting a woman to orgasm without stimulating the clitoris is like expecting a man to orgasm without stimulating his dick!

    1. 5.1
      JennLee

      I think he is referring to the fact that the purpose of sex is to procreate.  The pleasure of sex is a carrot to get you to actually do it.  For men, the most pleasurable part of sex seems to be that which actually causes procreation.  For women, this is not true, and leaves him questioning how this could be.

  6. 6
    sarahrahrah!

    Wow!  I felt that this article was full of generalizations. 
     
    I am a middle-aged woman who (still) really likes orgasms the old fashioned way.  I have almost always been able to have them from sexual intercourse alone and actually find manual stimulation to often be irritating and unnecessary.  It is very rare that I *don’t* orgasm during sex and I feel frustrated if it doesn’t happen, though not as much as when I was younger.
     
    I just love good old fashioned intercourse, which I suppose should be a big asset with men.  However, I am very picky about sexual partners so it takes a lot to get to that stage for me.  Because I’m quiet and intelligent, I think most men write me off early on as not too exciting or sexual, which is not the case once I’m in a committed relationship.  I sometimes wish that they could know about this side of me earlier on, but I suppose that my system is better in that only the guys who are really interested bother to stick around.  
     
     

  7. 7
    With held

    I hope this does NOT get connected back to ME but, there’s a key process that until I figured it out, I could only have an orgasm during intercourse while yes, simulating my own clitoris with my fingers, which I did do.  To have an orgasm while not self stimulating, I HAVE TO ACTIVELY, CONTINUALLY, TIGHTEN THE WALLS OF MY VAGINA DURING INTERCOURSE.  It ain’t easy, especially at first, and as soon as you forget, you’re sunk, but it SO works for me.  And I learned this at the age of 47 with the most amazing 50 year old on the planet. Part of the problem is, how does one teach this?  I certainly won’t be sitting my daughters down and passing along all my secret information.  Oh, and 100 kegels a day!  Sex is either a priority or you get fat and watch too  much TV.  Lol, kidding.  

  8. 8
    Nadia

    To quote the article: “Intercourse simply does not provide enough direct clitoral stimulation to allow most women to become aroused enough to have orgasms.” If women aren’t becoming aroused enough to have orgasms, then sex is about the man and not about both of them. Frankly, I think this has become too acceptable. It lets men off the hook to too easily and it perpetuates the idea that sex is for the man, not the woman. And women seem all too willing to go along with it. It’s no wonder many women lose interest in sex along the way. If a man had the patience and interest in getting a woman properly aroused, I wonder how the statistics would change? 

  9. 9
    sharon

    I’m sensitive enough that usual a warm wet hard belly against clit does the trick. Doggie style is like insult to injuring: missing the clit along with a few punches to the cervix. The was a diagram of a fully erect clitoris going around the web not too long ago. Of course I can’t find it. But I breaks of to four branches internally. Two wrap around the entrance to vagina and the other two wrap around to the spine. Will look for the link.

  10. 10
    Ruby

    While it may be true that most women don’t orgasm from intercourse alone, I think many of us would say that we still prefer a larger penis to a smaller one. I’ve had this conversation with several female friends, and we’ve all agreed that it’s a bit frustrating when a man’s penis is so small that you can’t really feel it. Although one smaller man I dated did understand the importance of motion, if you know what I mean, and that at least helped!

    OTOH, most men I’ve encountered have realized how important oral sex is to women, thankfully! 

  11. 11
    Carol

    I learned a valuable lesson in Allison Armstrong’s Men and Sex class.
    You have to tell him what you want. The men I have been with WANT to please us, but since we are all different we need to let them know how.
    I do think men are a little caught up in that if we don’t have an orgasm they have failed, so I look on it as OK let me tell you/show you what gets me there and they are happy to oblige.  A shining example is an old boyfriend from several years ago that I had the worst sex ever turned into a boyfriend that I had the best sex ever. The difference? Communicating what I wanted!
    One thing was left out though in this article–the brain has to participate too!

  12. 12
    Gem

    Maybe it’s all the faking it that women do that make men think most women can/do orgasm from intercourse alone.
     
    It’s up to us women to communicate what we like/need/want. Frankly, I’ve never met a man who didn’t find it a turn on to be directed (in a sexy way).
    Nor have I ever met a man who didn’t love to give oral sex. (maybe I’ve been lucky, IDK) But they need directions with that too. The oral sex in porn would NEVER work for me. The way they assault the clitoris makes me cringe. And the woman is coming in 5 seconds like it’s the best thing she’s ever felt. UGH!
    So, if we don’t tell them what we like, they’re just going to do it like they see in porn.

  13. 13
    Saint Stephen

    @Gem

    The thing is, unlike in the past, most women no longer date  men for comfort – but for sexual satisfaction also. I guess that explains why men that are experienced in bed always have a massive amount of women that are available and willing to date them. 
    In centuries ago, many were women sexually frustrated primarily because they had to marry for comfort, which gave the men no incentive to be better partners and pleasers in bed, but just something to get in and get it done with.
    Whether the woman orgasm/climaxed or not wasn’t his problem.

    A lot of men are willing to/and performing oral sex doesn’t mean that they get turned on by it. Is because most of them know that they will be shown the door if they don’t. And since most women are financially able to support themselves they will easily discard any man lame in bed like a pack of cards and quickly move on the next sexually experienced man. Currently, I see a lot of men who’ve resorted to self-help books and cds to learn because In most cases women hate telling guys what they want…they think/presume that guys should just know this stuff and feel disappointed when/if they don’t, but of course every woman isn’t the same and different strokes for different women – even the female comments on this particular blog post confirms it.

    The good part for women is that every man ejaculates pretty much the same way – so women don’t have a problem. 

    1. 13.1
      Desi

      “A lot of men are willing to/and performing oral sex doesn’t mean that they get turned on by it. Is because most of them know that they will be shown the door if they don’t.”

      Do you really think a woman is all that turned on by performing oral on a man? It really doesn’t do much for us physically. The true turn-on for us is seeing how much pleasure it gives you. We do it because we know you love it, and we want you to enjoy the sex as much as we do. Or possibly because you are someone we truly love and care about, and we would do most anything to make you happy. That is the true enjoyment of it for us. If you are saying most men don’t enjoy doing that for the woman they are with, you are kind of saying that most men are selfish lovers. A woman can get turned on just by seeing how excited her lover is getting, are you saying most men can’t do that? Is seeing how much pleasure you are giving a woman not a turn on for you?

  14. 14
    AllenB

    An underlying assumption in this article is that sexual satisfaction is synonymous with orgasm. That may be true for some, and orgasm certainly is part of it for most, but they are not equivalent. Makes me wonder what other assumptions the author made in his analysis.
     
    Nearly all of my partners have been able to orgasm during intercourse with me. If this 25% thing is accurate (And study after study claims it is) I think it is an in the head thing more than a biological thing and the kinds of women I am attracted to might have personalty traits that correlate to letting go during sex. I also see sex as ideally an hours long event with lots of loveplay ahead of intercourse, so that might be making the difference too, if most men really do just grope a little bit then penetrate. (In reality, we rarely have the luxury of that much time.)
     
    All that said, I have never shied away from doing whatever it was my partner wanted or needed. That is the real takeaway in thinking about this. Be present for your partner.  Love her and express that during loveplay before, during and after intercourse. Do what it takes for her as long as you do not cross any of your own boundaries to do so.

  15. 15
    Gem

    Saint Stephen,
    AA lot of men are willing to/and performing oral sex doesn’t mean that they get turned on by it. Is because most of them know that they will be shown the door if they don’t.
     
    Only speaking from my limited experience. I have no doubt that there are men who do not like to give oral sex, just as there are men who don’t care to much to receive it. The point is: if a woman can’t orgasm from intercourse, she may very well be able to from oral. But she’d better tell him what feels good or that won’t be enjoyable either. Some women like harder pressure, some light. Some can’t stand direct stimulation while others do, some like circles, some like fingers inside too, some don’t. A man being very in tune with his partner helps a great deal but nothing beats just telling or showing the guy.
     
    Currently, I see a lot of men who’ve resorted to self-help books and cds to learn because In most cases women hate telling guys what they want…they think/presume that guys should just know this stuff and feel disappointed when/if they don’t,
     
    I think saying that most women hate telling guys what they want is a gross overstatement. I’m a woman. I talk to many women friends, single and married, various ages, and I can tell you we are pretty open with men. The women in my circle communicate one way or the other with our partners; verbal or non-verbal to show the man what they want. We don’t get disappointed when they don’t know what we want, we get disappointed when they are more concerned with their own pleasure and not their ours.
     

  16. 16
    Nadia

    AllenB. Kudos to you. And on behalf of women, thank you for caring.

  17. 17
    Sasha

    I do not have orgasms through intercourse at all. Jackhammer and ramrod (popularized by porn) is what most men seem to think is ‘hot’ and gets a woman an orgasm. Sorry, not for most. You might as well be poking me in the arm with a wooden spoon. Hitting my cervix makes the experience even less tolerable. And if your legs shake while all of this is going on, he thinks it’s because you’re turned on. Um, no. I’m tired of holding my legs in the air…What I want? I want you to get off of me, so I can take a nap.

  18. 18
    sarahrahrah!

    Just want to say that I don’t think that bigger is almost always better.  My limited experience has shown me that other things come into play, like girth, angle, agility and stamina. Smaller guys take heart:   big can not only be a turn off,  sometimes it’s also quite painful.  I like active sex, so for me, I wouldn’t want a  big partner. We’d have be really careful all of the time and that’s no fun.

  19. 19
    amy

    I sooooo wish I could forward this to an ex-boyfriend!  but I will refrain…

  20. 20
    Alicia

    I’m one of the 25%. On one hand I feel SUPER lucky, on the other hand I like sex “too much” (whatever that means). For me the worst part of being single is definitely the lack of regular sex. 

    I think in the past this has hurt my dating because I had sex too fast. Instead of holding out, and actually dating the guy I wanted to have the fun sex and orgasms. Of course the men took me as too easy, and none of them ever stuck around to be my partner, (and give me more sex.) Unfortunately for me this is also mixed up with whatever weird issues that I had from not having a father. Because sex for me was so good, I wasn’t even aware that I was using sex the wrong way. Now my challenge is to HOLD BACK on the sex, because I know if I have it too soon its not in my best interest. Its really hard sometimes though, because I love kissing and physical intimacy. Im just thankful to whoever invented sex toys in the meantime. 

    1. 20.1
      bruno

      I am thankful when a date wants me just for me and I am a guy saying this. I look back and have realized that most of my dates were women who knew of other women I dated, even the ones that I dated but did not go well. These women tended to already have something on their minds and I really got the wrong opinion of women based on these “dates” that were really intended as hookups on their part.  Many actually had boyfriends at the time and we’re seeing me after their dates. This gave me a real sense of distrust.

  21. 21
    Terri

    Size doesn’t matter for me…..the bigger you are the further I’ll run……lol….but That’s because 50% of the time i get swollen and it hurts to have sex even while I’m turned on. The guys who I’ve encountered thinks that the length of their performance is what matters, but it doesn’t. I’ve had a few orgasms in my time and i can’t even remember what caused it. but its the time leading up to sex that is the best (Foreplay)….. if the foreplay is good i wouldn’t even bother to think about not having an orgasm.

    1. 21.1
      bruno

      Most of my dates were just foreplay with no intercourse. This was most often their choice they made prior to or early into our date.

  22. 22
    NonExist

    I’ll just ask.
    Different women are pleased in different ways.
    I’m not a fan oral sex in general but I am comfortable with giving it to a lady because I know that for many women that is one of only ways that she will have a chance at orgasm.

    Although I do get funny looks when I decline to recieve it because it seems like I’m the anomaly because quite a few men enjoy it.

  23. 23
    Barnett

    It is said the biggest sex organ we have is the brain…

    If you can make  a woman feel comfortable around you and treat her like a Queen, that maybe one of the best types satisfaction a woman can get.  

  24. 24
    Barry

    Im going to go a step further and say that orgasm isn’t even the essence of lovemaking. It’s just one aspect of sharing that connection. There can be too much focus on “getting off” instead of getting connected.

  25. 25
    Lisa

    I agree with Tami size matters but only to the point where each person needs a different size…  I agree that organism might not be the main point but women feel more satisfied when they orgasm.  Being that I have had sexual partners that didn’t fit the bill, I can say eventually it caused issues as the “just making love” part wasn’t enough.  It’s natural to have a climax to feel satisfaction.  If two people fit together and work and communicate on sex, no reason why orgasm can’t happen every time. Women have been taught for eons that sex shouldn’t be enjoyable, they shouldn’t want it, need it and that the mans satisfaction is more important.  Though this is the 21st century, we as a culture have not done much to change this old mind set.  I know women that have never had an orgasm.  Some women don’t even know the correct names of their female organs and what parts are more orgasmic than others.  Really sad.  I think that women that say that – really are just saying what they think they should.

  26. 26
    Lara

    Barnett 23 and Barry 24: OK. Next time you’re in an intimate situation you forgo the big bang and see how satisfied and connected you feel afterwards.
    Please report back.

  27. 27
    helene

    Nice one Lara!

  28. 28
    AllenB

    @Lara



    I think that women that say that – really are just saying what they think they should.

    . . .you forgo the big bang and see how satisfied and connected you feel afterwards.
    I wrote that orgasm is only a part of satisfying lovemaking and that it can be satisfying without one, referring to my own experiences as a man, not my perceptions of womens’ .  You are missing my point, which was that if you are completely focused on genitals and cumming most people will make that event less rather than more likely, and certainly less intense when it comes.
     
     
    Lovemaking with and without orgasm is fun. If I had to choose to forgo either all kissing, hugging, touching and other loveplay or orgasms for the rest of my life, I would be unhappy,  but the choice would be an easy one to make. Ask yourself that question. How would you choose? Orgasms, or everything else? Which would you keep?
     

  29. 29
    Pineapple

    Let me add another tally to the count of women who say that size doesn’t matter as much as other variables.  The best lover I’ve ever had was on the small side, and I finished nearly every time.  I have no idea what it was that worked so well, but I am definitely in the “size doesn’t matter” camp for life!

  30. 30
    sephornet

    Gem: “We don’t get disappointed when they don’t know what we want, we get disappointed when they are more concerned with their own pleasure and not…ours.”

    Cosign.

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