Happy young couple in underwear having fun in bed.

Myth: Men don’t care if women have orgasms. Truth: Men care a great deal

Many surveys show that during partner lovemaking, men have orgasms around 95 percent of the time, but for women the figure is only 50 to 70 percent. Some women complain that men just want to get off and don’t care if they come.

But over the 45 years I’ve answered sex questions, many men have asked how to help their lovers climax. In addition, the distress many men feel about their own sex problems—penis size, premature ejaculation, difficulty coming, and erection problems—stems in part from the belief that their issues interfere with their partners’ enjoyment and orgasms. Actually, size, lasting forever, and coming on cue have much less to do with women’s sexual satisfaction than most men believe (below). But in my experience, many men care deeply about their partner’s ability to work up to orgasm.

A recent study corroborates my opinion.

She Climaxed. I’m a Stud.

Researchers at the University of Michigan randomly assigned 810 men, to read either of two erotic stories. In one, the man brought his gal to orgasm. In the other, he didn’t. Then the investigators asked participants to rate their own masculinity and sexual self-esteem. Those who read the she-came story rated themselves more masculine and studly, suggesting that they valued helping women have orgasms.

Gentlemen, if you want to maximize women’s chances of orgasm:

  • The clitoris! Most women enjoy kissing, cuddling, breast fondling, fingering, and intercourse. But their orgasm-triggering body part is the clitoris, the little nub located outside the vagina an inch or two above it beneath the top junction of the vaginal lips. Once she’s erotically aroused, gently caress her clit. Touch, kiss, and lick it for a long time every time. But be careful. The clitoris has as many nerve endings as the head of the penis, but they’re packed into a space only one-tenth the size. If you play rough with the clitoris, your lover may experience discomfort or pain that impairs her ability to work up to orgasm. As you touch or kiss her clit, ask, “Is this okay? Please coach me.”
  • Mammoth erections don’t produce women’s orgasms. Porn stories and men’s locker room talk maintain that a huge one stretches the vagina and drives women wild. Actually, vaginal stretching has little to do with most women’s orgasms. Stretching rarely stimulates the clitoris. In addition, women often shun the small proportion of men who have really enormous erections. “No way I’m taking that phone pole inside me.” Any size penis can provide great pleasure to men. But only 25 percent of women have orgasms during intercourse no matter what the man’s size or how long he lasts (below). Most intercourse doesn’t provide much clitoral stimulation. That’s why men should always provide gentle, extended clitoral caresses and cunnilingus.
  • Lasting forever doesn’t make women come. Popular songs tout making love “all night long.” Meanwhile, throughout the lifespan, premature ejaculation (PE) is men’s leading sex problem, affecting one-quarter to one-third of men in every adult age group. On GreatSexGuidance, the top-selling product is my e-booklet, The Cure for Premature Ejaculation.  It presents a do-it-yourself approach to the sex therapy program that teaches men reliable ejaculatory control. If you want to last longer, you can. But don’t expect lasting forever to bring women to orgasm. Only 25 percent of women come during intercourse no matter how long it lasts.
  • Before reaching between women’s legs, provide 20 minutes of kissing, cuddling, and whole-body massage. Many men rush into intercourse. That’s a ticket to both disappointed women and men’s sex problems. For the best sex, unless women request otherwise, postpone genital play until you’ve enjoyed extended mutual whole-body massage. Before you reach for her breasts or genitals, touch her gently everywhere else for at least 20 minutes—if you do it to music, five or six typical songs. Extending sensual warm-up time is a win-win. It’s absolutely essential to most women’s ability to have orgasms. And it helps your little buddy function the way you want.
  • Use lubricant. Wetter is usually better. Women with dry vulvas and vaginas may experience discomfort or pain during sex. But with moistened genitals, they become more erotically aroused and responsive. Lubes take only seconds to apply and most women appreciate men who make a point of using them. Saliva is the world’s most popular lube. Or try commercial lubricants available at pharmacies. Look near the condoms.
  • Consider a threesome—the two of you and a vibrator. Even with extended whole-body massage, gentle clitoral touch, and plenty of oral, some perfectly normal women (and men) still have trouble coming. Meanwhile, more than half of American women own vibrators, and almost all women can come using them. Around 10 percent of lovers use vibes in partner play. Consider joining them. Ask if your gal has a vibrator. If so, suggest incorporating it into your partner play. Vibes generate intense stimulation so many women prefer using them on themselves. But as she does, hold her, caress her, and tell her how desirable she is. Or ask her to coach you how to use her vibrator on her. If she doesn’t own a vibe, you might suggest shopping together for one.
  • No one “gives” anyone orgasms. Orgasms are like laughter. Comedians don’t “make” us laugh. They help us express the laughter that’s waiting within us. The same goes for orgasm. Lovers can help or hinder the process, but people work up to orgasm themselves. Ask her what helps and hurts her erotic journey to a happy ending.
  • Consider sex coaching or therapy. During the 1960s, one of early sex therapy’s successes was teaching “pre-orgasmic” women to come. If you embrace all the suggestions above and she still has problems, sex coaching or therapy usually help. If you’re unfamiliar with sex coaching and therapy, the professional does not have sex with you and does not watch you have sex. Sex coaching provides helpful direction. Sex therapy is a form of talk-based psychotherapy. Both involve erotic “homework.” Sex coaches usually charge less than sex therapists. For more, read my low-cost article, An Intimate Look at Sex Therapy, and/or see the film, “Hope Springs” with Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones. To find a sex coach near you, visit the World Association of Sex Coaches. To find a sex therapist, American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, the Society for Sex Therapy and Research, or the American Board of Sexology..
  • “Did you come?” Finally, if you wonder how to recognize women’s orgasms, see this post.

Women Care About Men’s Orgasms

Just as women’s orgasms are key to men’s sexual self-esteem, many women’s sexual self-esteem depends on men’s orgasms. German researchers surveyed 240 heterosexual women. More than half rated male orgasm “very important” to their sexual satisfaction. Many wanted their man to come before they did. After their men climaxed, the women found it easier to relax, focus on their own pleasure, and work up to orgasm.

Some men don’t care if their lovers have orgasms, but most care deeply.

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