What do women want? You’re going to have to ask them. That’s the conclusion of the largest study to analyze the diversity of female sexual pleasure, published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy. The researchers aim to break down the ways in which women find pleasure, giving couples insight into how to boost their love life.
Debby Herbenick at Indiana University and her colleagues discovered that women’s preferences in the bedroom vary dramatically, but there are a few things that most tend to enjoy. A word of warning: this is going to get graphic.
The study asked 1,055 heterosexual women in the U.S. to answer a questionnaire that covered everything from sexual attitudes down to their preferred pattern of genital stimulation. The participants ranged from 18 to 94 years old.
Their answers were revealing: More than 36% of women reported needing clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm, while less than a fifth reported that intercourse alone was sufficient. An additional 36% said that clitoral stimulation wasn’t necessary, but made for a better orgasm.
The majority of women said that some orgasms feel better than others, whereas 10.8% reckoned they all feel the same.
When asked about their ideal techniques, two-thirds preferred direct clitoral stimulation. Of those that preferred indirect stimulation, the majority preferred touching “through the skin above the hood,” while a smaller number preferred touching “through both lips pushed together (like a sandwich).” Fewer than 10% of women enjoyed stimulation to their mons pubis the squishy area of tissue above the pubic bone. Around 5% preferred it when their partner avoided the clitoris altogether.
When the women were asked about what pattern of stimulation they enjoyed, most indicated that a repeated rhythmic motion was ideal. The least preferred pattern involved a partner putting extreme emphasis on one part of the motion, for instance, more pressure on the left side of the genitals.
That said, the results suggest that it’s hard to go wrong in this department 13 out of the 15 different patterns of stimulation given as options were endorsed by the majority of respondents.
Something else most women agreed on: light to medium pressure on the genitals is best. Only 1 in 10 said they preferred firm pressure during stimulation.
The results show unsurprisingly that there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to getting hot under the covers. The women in the study showed a wide variety of preferences as a group, yet on an individual level tended to endorse a narrow range of techniques that they specifically enjoyed. Which all just underscores the value of talking about sex with your partner.
There are a few things that will get you by in the meantime. More than half the women in the study said that spending time to build arousal, having a partner who knows what they like and emotional intimacy contributed to better orgasms. And one last thing: stamina is less important than you might think. Less than one in five women indicated that “sex that lasts a long time” made orgasms feel better.
I’ll be investigating other aspects of your love life in future posts. I’ll be finding out whether the G-spot actually exists, uncovering the science of female ejaculation, discovering why orgasms are good for the brain and how soon we’ll be getting our hands on a male contraceptive pill.
Content courtesy of Forbes