On Tuesday night’s episode of The Bachelor, contestant Raven revealed some major truths before her overnight date with bachelor Nick: She’s only slept with one man, and she’s never had an orgasm. While Nick took the news maturely, he was also pretty shocked. But for many women watching the show, Raven’s confession may not have been so surprising. That’s because 15% of women have difficulty reaching orgasm, and 10% have never had an orgasm during sex, according to a survey from Planned Parenthood. Plus, according to a new study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior that surveyed 52,588 adults, just 65% of heterosexual women said they’re always able to achieve orgasm. On the other hand, 95% of straight men said they always reach the big O. That’s a discrepancy some call the orgasm gap.
As common as it may be, women who struggle to climax tend to keep quiet about it. “There’s a lot of shame around it, and not a lot of info about how common it is,” says Emily Morse, sex and relationship expert and host of the podcast Sex with Emily. Many women never seek help to figure out the root cause of the problem, whether it’s emotional or physical, and they wind up racked with anxiety and feelings of inadequacy.
The good news is that the body can learn how to orgasm. Here, sexual health experts outline the steps to take to prep your body for climax.
Take control in the bedroom
One important and empowering thing to realize is that your orgasms are your responsibility, says Morse. Some women believe it’s up to their partner to make them have an orgasm, and it will somehow magically happen when they jump into bed together. “That’s not going to happen,” says Morse. “You have to become an expert of your own body first, by learning how to touch yourself, where to touch yourself, what feels good, and how to bring yourself to your own orgasm.”
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