The Orgasm Gap – a Moving Target

I read a lot – always have, I hope I always will. My parents were both big readers and nobody ever ‘censored’ my reading material, so as quite a young teenager I was devouring books containing sexy incidents. I’ve shared here how what I read and the lyrics in songs got me curious about my body and the sexual experiences I could derive from alone time. By the time I was 17, despite plenty of heavy petting with myself, I’d had none with boys (I’m heterosexual, there’s never been an urge to try things with girls).

I was beginning to think of my ‘virginity’ as a bothersome thing, something I’d feel embarrassed to have to confess ownership of when I decided to take intimacy with a partner further. It was an unexpected shock that my first 3 encounters of foreplay left me feeling underwhelmed and frustrated.

Forewarned by my mother that losing my virginity might be more uncomfortable than exciting did not protect me from the crushing disappointment when my early boyfriends would only get me slightly horny and did not try to make me cum. A guy could go off like a rocket, really easily while I might get a buzz but be left with unsatisfied urges that gave me cramps like period pains and made me feel just as grumpy. I knew I could fly to heights of great pleasure, but the boys did not seem to have the wherewithall to take me there.

My friend Nero Black and I often chat about our sexual histories, finding much in common, hence he’s my ‘go to’ expert for sharing the male standpoint on the orgasm gap. He gives us a glimpse into his experiences:

 

In my early twenties my dick was always rock hard —the proverbial ‘rod of iron’— and women my age were keen to see it, touch it, grab it, and stuff it into their tight little pussies and make it squirt. If you could make them cum too then that was a bonus – but that was never the focus of our sexual encounters.

 

Back then (the 80s) women seemed more intent on getting the men off, almost as if that was the measure of their sexual power: I can make you cum —with my hand, my mouth, or my cunt— and leave you begging for more.

You should know I also worked diligently at giving back to my partners the same sexual pleasure they had given me. ‘Reciprocity’ was a real thing, baby. Using my hand, my mouth, or my cock— I’d leave you begging for more. Or wanted to.

 

Of course it was easier when they were in the 18-22 age bracket. It was all new and exciting to them and (yes, I’ll say it) it didn’t take much to get them wet and ready to fuck. By the time they were in their mid to late twenties however it was a whole new ball game – they’d had plenty of lovers and plenty of cock and (more importantly) plenty of bad sex. Enough to dampen their spirits, enough to make them look at you and think “yeah, I like you, but can you make me climax?”

 

As a man, being young dumb and full of cum wasn’t enough anymore. That’s when I first noticed the disparity. We were now both older, arguably ‘wiser’, and starting to replace hook ups with relationships. I’m told it’s different now but in the 90s the orgasm gap was accepted. You both worked on it —sometimes trying recreational drugs, toys, and kink— but invariably you’d ‘nest’ and just accept the 60/40 ratio.

Which gets even wider as you get older…

 

Back to Posy:  At 19 I met my first serious boyfriend, though he was more experienced, we learned together. I flatter myself that I was more open minded than his previous girlfriends. A few of my stories are fictionalized versions of time spent with him.

Centrefold
Toy Story
Paradise by the Dashboard Light

I was only frustrated with our sex life towards the end, when familiarity bred contempt. We had lost the spark, we’d outgrown each other.

Launching myself back on the dating scene at 26 was tough, I wasn’t accustomed to the ‘game’ of flirting – used to being open and asking for what I wanted instead of being coy and stringing things out. I slept with a few jerks, was coaxed to endure blind dates by friends; It was a bumpy ride but I eventually found Mr Right.

But the orgasm gap was an issue at that stage. Guys put their moves on me, but few (if any) were trying to give me a sexual experience I would never forget, their goal was to ‘get their end away’. I remember one playing with my tits all evening, making me feel disgusted with myself, because I was not aroused in the slightest during the process. Due to my suspicion that he was just working his way through ‘the bases’ until I allowed him to have penetrative sex (which I didn’t) I never went out with him again.

The 4 Relationship Bases

First Base – Kissing
Second Base – Heavy Petting/Manual Stimulation
Third Base – Oral Stimulation
Home Run – Penetrative Sex

During my ‘dating’ phase I relied heavily on my vibrator, to relax me and provide orgasms that the awkward fumblings left me craving. Even once I was dating my OH I still used it until we learned to have mutually satisfying sex. Being the more experienced one, I feared scaring him off by getting too bossy in the bedroom or floating the idea of using toys as well as body parts to assist with our sexual satisfaction. In the fullness of time, he enjoyed my use of lingerie and vibrators to spice up our sex life, and I felt able to ask for the longer foreplay which my body needed.

At our wedding preparation classes, the vicar put forward this description of male v female arousal, which I’ve always thought was sound logic although I cringed when he said it.

Men are like a gas hob – turn it on and you have heat instantly
Women are like an electric ring – after flicking the switch, you need to wait for it to warm up.

Fast forward to my perimenopause, my sex drive was almost outstripping that of my OH. This was a bonus for us both, as it coincided with me owning more sex toys and us having more instances with the house to ourselves! Another happy coincidence was a newfound awareness that I could have more than one orgasm (in my 20s and 30s I was a 1 and done person).

I’d read an article about the orgasm gap in which the author encouraged females to just ‘go for it’ during sex and pursue our orgasms as single-mindedly as plenty of men seem to. I’d had times I’d been ‘nearly there’, but because my man wasn’t yet, I’d held off my climax only to succeed in evading it entirely. So I gave myself permission to cum first, which led to the discovery that I could often cum again, synchronised with my lover thundering towards the finish line himself. Win win!

I have to acknowledge that we might be experiencing another orgasm gap right now, my man and I, but it’s being masked by lockdown. One of our grown-up children lives at home, so we have not had sex for ages, although we encourage each other to grab solo play moments whenever they present themselves. My sex drive has reduced a lot in the last year (pressures of bereavement, lockdown, menopause), even affecting my erotic writing. My partner’s libido is changing too. We haven’t recently tackled intimacy/sex due to circumstances but partly (I suspect) out of a fear of discovering the extent of changes to our situation.

As always, communication is our key and I have high hopes in this case, as with other challenges we’ve faced, it will help pull us through.

 

Big thanks to Nero for his pithy contribution, we have written this post to link up with#WickedWednesday, #TheMenopauseDiaries & #4 Thoughts or Fiction meme where the very valid topic of Orgasm Gap is under discussion. Image courtesy of Pixlr.

 

4Thoughts

 

The Menopause Diaries

17 thoughts on “The Orgasm Gap – a Moving Target”

  1. Your ‘one and done’ comment was interesting. I think many women were satisfied to get ‘one’ (given how many they hadn’t got) and didn’t want to ‘push their luck’ by allowing themselves to expect/demand more.

    1. Absolutely Nero, I agree with you. And perhaps convinced they were too sensitive to withstand more. A creative and intuitive partner, however, can find ways round this.

  2. Interesting that perimenopause meant a higher sex drive for you… For me, the opposite was/is true.

    I suspect that relationship structures/strictures (or lack thereof) have a lot to do with the orgasm gap; I’ve pretty much never been focused on bringing my partner to orgasm first and definitely not foremost — *laugh* — and I’m pretty sure that’s why I haven’t really been on the short end of the stick where orgasms are concerned. To that end, I can say that “be a man about it” (put your own pleasure first!) is about the best advice I could give any gal who was losing out on pleasure. 😉

    This was an informative read. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. Thanks Mrs Fever, you’ve probably identified the secret of success – taking the wheel! I’m sorry you didn’t do so well out of the perimenopause deal as I did! 😉

  3. Great post Posy and Nero – I think it is interesting how u mention your hubby has changed a little recently – I am sure though with u at his side all will be well. I think maybe it would help others if u chose to write about that too as times passes by
    May xx

  4. Unfortunately, orgasm gap does exist and is often a problem. Not always and not everyone is able to cope with this problem, because not all partners are “creative and intuitive”.
    I liked the way you casually described your own sexual experience in light of this phenomenon.

  5. I liked reading Nero’s responses, and am with you on the orgasm gap thing. It has always been like that for me, that the orgasm gap was part of my life, until I met Master T. He always made/makes sure I am fully satisfied before he wants any ‘attention’.
    ~ Marie xox

    1. Absolutely Nero nails it! I’m glad you’ve found someone who considers your desires and needs Marie but, like me, it seems you had to search a long time for a considerate partner

  6. I’m not sure where it started, where I got the idea but it goes back as far as I can remember ever thinking about sex. Whether it was something I’d read or heard I don’t know. But I grew up thinking it was my job to make sure my partner was satisfied. Before I even thought of sex there was always the idea of “Ladies first” and perhaps things just carried over into my lust life. By I distinctly remember having the impression before I’d ever had an actual encounter that men who came first and didn’t consider their partners pleasures where being selfish.

    When I first started to have sexual relationships I quickly found that I loved giving oral sex. I loved the feeling of giving pleasure and feeling her excitement. My first long term girl friend would go on to become my first wife. When we first got together she was more experienced than me and not in any way shy about asking for what she wanted. She did not at the time have any sex toys as she’d recently had to spend some time living back at home and so had discarded them, but we soon added toys to playtimes.
    She wanted an open’ish relationship and encouraged me to have sex with other women, and then she’d get really horny when I came back. There was a limit to how many times I could come. I wasn’t one and done back then, but I was never going to be able to keep up. With tongue, fingers and cock and then with the inclusion of toys she could cum many more times than me. When I was with other women I never felt the need to pursue orgasms as an urgent end as I never felt I was likely to miss out. On any number of occasions I’d end up with another woman and we’d spend a long time making love but I wouldn’t cum (fear of pregnancy, wanting to be able to keep going, wanting to be able to go again when I got home) it just never seemed that important. I loved the build up and never feared I wouldn’t cum when I wanted to.

    When I met my new wife it started in that vein, she could cum and cum and I loved giving her as much pleasure as she could absorb and I loved the feeling of her excitement. My cumming usually led to a lull in proceedings whereas hers didn’t so much.
    Sadly as we lived together longer, she seems to have lost the thrill she once felt. Busy lives, kids, all the things life throws in front of you. Given the contraception she was using it wasn’t possible to know when her menopause started so when and if that too played a part. I can’t think now when she could last cum more than once. She has now a very reactive sexual response. Once she gets going she enjoys it and still cums easily, but then that’s it.
    There is a more traditional orgasm gap now in our life, much to my sadness. But it’s because mostly I sleep in another room and take care of my own needs as she doesn’t desire to make love more than once a week.

    1. What a lovely comment Ant Eater – I think many males are like you, but those who are not give the gender a bad name. I think your open relationship sounds a lot of fun, and because it suited you both, the fun was doubled. I’m sorry to hear that menopause & life in general have put a dent in your sexy play, but honestly, once a week sounds pretty frequent to me! Go you guys – and thanks for responding.

      1. Sorry Posy, I had tried to reply to your kind words when you posted them but the blog kept failing to accept my input.
        I’d not meant to sound like I was moaning, I appreciate how lucky I am.
        The open relationship worked for a few years, but eventually my then wife pointed out another lady who fancied me and I’ve now been married to that other lady for over 25 years. So in the end the openness lead to the undoing of that relationship, but then it would probably have foundered sooner without, who knows.

        1. Hey Anteater – I’ve had LOTS of problems with my site recently, I’m sorry you got caught up in that.
          I didn’t think of your reply as moaning, just sharing facts and feelings, which is lovely in my comments.
          You’ve identified what I think is a common problem with open relationships, alongside jealousy. Both things will make little ‘cracks’ get bigger – sometimes to the point of weakening or breaking things up. But for you to have established another long lasting relationship sounds a silver lining to me x

          1. Ah, computers, can’t live with them, can’t live without them.
            No worries, I just waited and tried again later.

            I think we were lucky that jealousy wasn’t an issue in our relationship. I was with her when she first opened things up. I held her hand while she had sex with a friend we both know she really fancied. I didn’t feel any jealousy but also I didn’t find it erotic either. I was just really happy for her because she was doing something I knew she really wanted to do and was clearly enjoying it too.
            For us the danger was with developing feelings for others outside our relationship. We’d agreed rules, girl friends (plural) are OK. A Girl Friend, is not OK. But this soon broke, there was always one other person who was central to our lives together and perhaps was as much a glue to hold things together as a third person is often the thing that breaks relationships, whether open or not.
            When openness was within a wider circle of friends all of whom knew the situation then it never seemed to cause any strain. There was never a shortage of enthusiastic partners who knew this was just playtime, we each get what we wanted out of the situation and leave it at that.
            The problem came when someone outside out circle became involved and she wanted more than just a reliable & discrete partner to play with. At that point both my new wife and I developed feeling beyond just being playmates.
            The rules, largely unspoken, but well understood of the new relationship are entirely different. My new wife is jealous and gets very nervous if I have female friends and we get close – even if I have to work closely with female colleagues. I guess given my history she has good cause to.

            I guess all open relationships are different, as all people are. This was my experience. The good and the bad. But the Buzzcocks song Ever Fallen in Love (With Someone You Shouldn’t’ve) was a haunting backdrop to my life for a number of years. I believe young adults often describe their relationship status as “It’s complicated” and that perhaps puts it most succinctly.

          2. Anteater wow, thank you for sharing. That makes such sense, and there is good and bad in how it all played out. People getting hurt is a real downside but it can be immensely hard to defend against feelings developing.It’s not surprising that young adults also often refer to ‘catching feelings’.

            Please keep dropping by, I’m greatly enjoying your input.

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