More Than 50% of US Women Are Unsatisfied with Orgasms

The majority of women are unsatisfied with the quality and frequency of their orgasms, a new study has found.

More than half of women between the ages of 18 and 55 are somewhat frustrated with their sex lives, according to new research, particularly when it comes to orgasms, stigma, libido, and communication with their partner.

The study was conducted by Flo Health, a period and cycle tracking app with 65 million monthly users. It found that among women in the United States, 58% say they’re not fully satisfied with the quality of their orgasms, and 62% say they’re not fully satisfied with the frequency.

When asked what aspect of their sex life they would like to improve the most, the most common response — 34% — was to be more comfortable with their body.

“These statistics point to a pleasure gap — a systemic devaluing of women’s pleasure compared to that of men that inevitably decreases our access to orgasm, positive body image, and belief that our desires matter,” Casey Tanner, MA, a Flo medical expert and certified sex therapist, tells Healthnews.

The study found that one in four women find sex shameful, and nearly one in five women attribute their dissatisfaction with their sex life to feelings of shame. One in four women say they are not satisfied with their sex life because of difficulties to orgasm.

When taken at face value, Tanner says these statistics might lead to the assumption that women are simply more complicated, harder to please, or less sexual. But this is far from the reality.

“The wider context makes clear that women are not broken,” she says, “but rather have a deep, expansive capacity for pleasure if only their needs and desires would receive the same attention as those of men.”

The study results also suggest a desire for more education, with 46% saying they’d want to learn more about what turns them on, and 46% saying they'd like for their partner to learn more about what turns them on.

Flo launches 'Unlock Your Orgasm' program

To address this dissatisfaction and lack of education, Flo is launching a pleasure education program called “Unlock Your Orgasm.”

The program’s aim is to help users grow their self-confidence, define their own sexual needs, and learn to communicate their preferences to a partner. Flo says it will essentially help users build their personal roadmap for reaching climax.

The program consists of a five-step journey, featuring videos, shame-free self-discovery exercises, and take-home activities intended to spark sexual exploration.

“‘Unlock Your Orgasm’ isn’t the standard sex ed course that leaves you feeling awkward or gives you a couple of condoms and sends you on your way,” says Tanner, who helped design the program. “This program represents a paradigm shift in sexual education. By offering personalized support and resources, we take a look at the tools that have been used previously to measure a ‘good sex life’ and replace them with personalized ways of attuning to your sexuality.”

The ‘Unlock Your Orgasm’ program is now available to 18+ Flo Premium users on iOS, and will soon be available to Android users.

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