Good in Bed Survey Report #3

The full report is available in pdf format.


Orgasm

KEY FINDINGS

  • Although men experienced orgasm more frequently than women, the pleasure and enjoyment experienced by men and women was equally high, with the majority (over 60%) experiencing great pleasure or enjoyment from orgasm
    • Feeling connected to ones partner and having confidence in oneself were the factors reported to be the most likely to contribute to having an orgasm, whereas
    • Mental distraction was the factor reported to be most likely to get in the way of having an orgasm for both men and women
  • Both women and men are faking orgasm, but for different reasons:
    • 70.6% of women have ever faked an orgasm and the majority of them are doing so to spare their partner's feelings
    • 30.2% of men have ever faked an orgasm and the majority of them are doing so to bring an end to the sexual session
  • Despite the large percentage of those faking, people aren't talking about it with their partners faking and remains a taboo topic
    • Only 7% of men and 12% of women discussed faking it with their partner
  • Although women enjoy orgasm as much as men, women care less about having an orgasm during every sexual act than men (with this being important to 91% of men and only 20% of women)
  • Irrespective of its exalted status in the media, simultaneous orgasm rarely occurs for most respondents, with 38% of men reporting this and 35% of women)
  • Women appear to enter an "orgasm-prime" as they age, but not so men).
    • Men are significantly more likely than women to report that quality and frequency of orgasm decreased with age
    • Women are significantly more likely than men to report that quality and frequency or orgasm increased with age

BACKGROUND

Orgasm, the phase of the sexual response cycle often emphasized, has been an elusive topic of both research and conversation for decades. Previous research has reported everything from the physiological changes that occur, to the brain areas activated, to the differences in descriptives used by men and women. Research has shown us that both men and women fake orgasm, though women tend to report this more often (perhaps due to the more obvious pairing of male ejaculate with an orgasm in men). A lot of the research that has examined orgasm thus far has used relatively small sample sizes and qualitative methodology. With the current survey, we wanted to gather survey data from a larger sample size and quantitatively capture some of the information about orgasm that we do not yet know. We were interested in orgasm during different sexual behaviors, what enhances or detracts from orgasm before, during, and after orgasm, and the impact that orgasm has on the relationship.

METHODOLOGY

Data was collected through an online survey. Participants were recruited through various online forums (e.g., email listservs, online articles, social media websites) and directed to the study website. Potential participants were informed that a small incentive would be offered for involvement in the study (a code to redeem a free e-book from goodinbed.com, worth $5.95). There was an 84.4% completion rate with 5,729 beginning the survey and 4,836 participants completing the survey. Once all missing cases and participants who reported being under the age of 18 (n = 67) were removed the final sample consisted of 4,836 participants: 2613 men (54%) and 2223 women (46%). For sample characteristics broken down by gender, see Table 1.

Upon accessing the survey, participants were presented with a number of questions that assessed various demographic variables and current (or most recent) relationship dynamics followed by a number of questions on orgasm. The majority of the sample was married and living with their spouse (48.7%), although 17.2% were partnered though not living with their partner, 11.8% were single (not married or currently partnered), 11.4% were partnered and living with their partner, 4.8% were divorced, and 2.0% were separated, with 1.9% married but not living with their spouse, and 1.1% widowed at the time of data collection.

This study used a web-based data collection method. Internet surveys provide a more comfortable environment to collect data on sensitive issues such as sexuality, and therefore individuals were more likely to submit accurate sexual and relationship information online. All responses were completely anonymous and we did not collect any identifying information from participants.

DEMOGRAPHICS

  • 2613 men (54%)
  • 2223 women (46%)
  • 96.5% heterosexual, 4% gay or lesbian, 1.2% bisexual, 0.9% uncertain or questioning, 1.0% other
  • 11.8% single, not married or currently partnered
  • 17.2% partnered, not living with partner
  • 11.4% partnered, living with partner
  • 1.9% married, not living with spouse
  • 48.7% married, living with spouse
  • 2.0% separated
  • 4.8% divorced
  • 1.1% widowed
  • 8.0% have been in their relationship for 6 months or less
  • 5.9% have been in their relationship one year or less
  • 13.6% have been in their relationship between 1 and 3 years
  • 14.2% have been in their relationship between 3 and 7 years
  • 18.0% have been in their relationship between 7 and 15 years
  • 27.9% have been in their relationship for more than 15 years
  • 12.4% are not currently in a relationship
  • 59.7% have children - of those, 14% have 1 child, 25.4% have 2 children, 13.3% have 3 children, 4.9% have 4 children, 2.8% have 5 or more children
  • 40.3% don't have children

The full report is available in pdf format.