Female Orgasm Statistics: Everything You Need to Know [2022]

We cover all interesting female orgasm statistics, facts, and data in one place to better understand women’s pleasure and help improve their sex lives. Read on:

The female orgasm: An enigma to scientists (and men) around the world. Women’s orgasms have been widely studied –  from their evolutionary purpose to their causes – and are still widely misunderstood. 

In this article, we’ve gathered some of the top statistics and scientific understanding of the female orgasm into one spot. Let’s dive in:

Top Female Orgasm Statistics You Should Know:

  • 36% of women report masturbating and experiencing an orgasm before they are 14 years old.
  • Only 4% of women say they orgasm from penetration alone.
  • Women have orgasms nearly 50% faster when masturbating
  • 34.6% of women have a minute or less between their first and second orgasm.
  • 12% of women reported having as many as 10 orgasms.
  • 13-14% of women have never reached orgasm or were not sure if they had.
  • The effects of orgasms can play a role in shaping partner preferences and building personal connections.

Female Orgasm: The Evolutionary Origin

One of the most mystifying things about women’s orgasms is their evolutionary purpose: On the surface, it seems like it doesn’t serve one! Most non-human animals don’t experience pleasure for their own sake, and there’s usually an evolutionary drive behind it. 

Here’s what one study had to say on the topic: 

  • Orgasms produce an endocrine surge similar to surges seen in species with induced ovulation. Studies suggest that in the past, humans induced ovulation to release eggs, which has since become superfluous – leading to the female orgasm we know today.
    •  (Journal of Molecular and Developmental Evolution, 2016)1

What Happens During a Female Orgasm?

Many women experience orgasms in different ways and report vastly different sensations:

  • Orgasms aren’t just experienced in the genitals; many women have a “head-to-toe experience.”
    • (Michael Ingber, MD, 2018)2
  • Orgasms are generally described as “the peak of sexual pleasure” during a particular encounter. Many describe it as a “release of built-up pressure.”
    • (Vanessa Marin, 2020)3

First Orgasm: What’s It Like?

Women often have trouble having an orgasm – but most studies show that masturbation can be a good first step:

  • 36% of women report masturbating and experiencing an orgasm before they are 14 years old.
    • (The Journal of Sex Research, 2020)4
  • 40–50% of women had their first orgasm during sex after the age of 20.
    • (Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2015.)5
  • 91.6% of women suffering from anorgasmic dysfunction are able to experience orgasms consistently through masturbation after a five-week treatment.
    • (Sex & Marital Therapy, 2008)6

What Makes a Woman Orgasm?

When having sex with a partner, most women say clitoral stimulation is by far the most important factor in making them orgasm:

  • 43% say penetration with clitoral stimulation.
  • 34% say exclusively clitoral stimulation.
  • Only 4% of women say they orgasm from penetration alone.
    • (Current Sexual Health Reports, 2020)7

How Do Women Potentially Achieve Orgasm?

The ways of reaching an orgasm vary significantly among different women:

  • When asked what kind of stimulation was needed to be able to reach orgasm:
    • 48% by a partner’s hand or by mouth.
    • 37% through masturbation.
    • 29% used a vibrator.
    • 7% by anal intercourse.
      • (Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2020)8
  • 14 out of 15 women report orgasming during masturbation before sex
    • No 2 women report having the same stimulation technique
      • (The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 2019)9

How Frequently Can a Woman Reach Orgasm?

According to the data – men have orgasms far more often than women:

  • 25.2% of women who masturbated alone took 2-3 minutes to achieve orgasm. 
    • 45.7% of these women said it takes a minute or less to achieve a second orgasm.
    • (The Journal of Sex Research, 2020)4
  • In a survey focused on sexual behavior related to foreplay:
    • 70% of respondents said they reach orgasm frequently.
    • 10% said they never did so.
    • (Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2020)10
  • 46% of women said that they nearly always had an orgasm when having intercourse.
    • Only 6% of women reported always having an orgasm.
    • (Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2015.)5
  • 64% of women reported having had an orgasm when they most recently had sex, compared to 85% of men.
    • (NSSHB, 2009)11

How Do Women Reach Orgasm with Partners?

Many factors can help or impede an orgasm, but there seem to be two consistent ones: attractiveness and length of the relationship. Here’s what the data says:

  • Women have orgasms nearly 50% faster when masturbating:
    • Women in relationships took longer to have an orgasm (13.19 minutes) than women who masturbated (7.16 minutes). 
    • (The Journal of Sex Research, 2020)4
  • Women have vaginal orgasms more often with more attractive partners. (Evolutionary Psychology, 2014)12
  • Attractiveness is the number one factor that predicted female sexual satisfaction.
    • (Evolutionary Psychology, 2014)12
  • During hookups – oral sex improves the likelihood of orgasms from 37% to 48%.
    • (American Sociological Review, 2012)13
  • During hookups:
    • 11% of women reported orgasms on the first hookup
    • 16% on the 2nd or 3rd hookup
    • 34% in later hookups
    • But 67% reported orgasms when having sex in a relationship.
    • (American Sociological Review, 2012)13

In short: the longer the relationship and the hotter the partner, the more orgasms women experience! They say, surprising no one 🙂


Can Women Achieve Multiple Orgasms?

Many people say that women can have multiple orgasms during sex (or masturbation) – here’s what studies have shown:

  • Only about 15% of women consistently have multiple orgasms, despite most women having the capacity to have multiple orgasms.
  • Women generally find their second or third orgasms are less intense than their first ones. But this doesn’t mean they are any less pleasurable.
    • (The International Society for Sexual Medicine, unspecified.)14
  • 34.6% of women have a minute or less between their first and second orgasm.
    • (The Journal of Sex Research, 2020)4
  • 33.4% of women studied report having an average of 3 orgasms regardless of solo masturbation or partner sex
    • (The Journal of Sex Research, 2020)4
  • 12% of women reported having as many as 10 orgasms.
    • (The Journal of Sex Research, 2020)4

Some women sure do have it good! But what about those who are less prolific?


Do Women Have Difficulties Reaching Orgasm?

Despite the ability to have multiple orgasms, many women report challenges in having one at all. 

  • 30-50% of women report having sexual problems at some time during their life. If these problems cause distress, they may be considered sexual dysfunction.
    • (Allison Conn, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, 2021)15
  • 13-14% of women have never reached orgasm or were not sure if they had.
    • (Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2020)16
  • In another study, 7.7% of women had not yet experienced an orgasm.
    • (University of Kansas, 2008)17
  • 50.2% of women studied reported some kind of sexually related personal distress. This was most commonly associated with:
    • Being overweight
    • Living together with a partner
    • Relationships
    • Breastfeeding
    • Taking psychotropic medication.
    • (Fertility and Sterility, 2020)18

How Long Can a Female Orgasm Last?

Women also report longer orgasms than men significantly:

  • Between 13 and 50 seconds is the most commonly reported length for female orgasms.
    • (Cindy M. Meston et al., 2004)19
  • 40% of women estimated their orgasm lasts 30 to 60 seconds, sometimes even longer
    • (Ceskoslovenska Psychiatrie, 1993)20

How Can Drug Use Affect Female Orgasm?

Many women have had positive experiences when combining certain drugs and sex:

  • 68.5% said marijuana made their sexual experiences more pleasurable
    • 60.6% said they had an increase in sex drive
    • 52.8% reported an increase in satisfying orgasms
    • (Sexual Medicine, 2019)21
  • Women who used marijuana before sex were 2.13 times more likely to report satisfactory orgasms than women who had no marijuana use.
    • (Sexual Medicine, 2019)22

What Are the Benefits of Women Reaching Orgasm?

In addition to the obvious pleasurable benefits of having an orgasm, some studies have shown additional benefits when women orgasm:

  • One study indicates orgasms may help with infertility:
    • Women who reached orgasm had a mean sperm retention of 4.1, while women with no orgasm had an average of 3.3.
    • (Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2016)23
  • 37% of women reported improvements in their cluster headache attacks after having sex.
    • (Cephalalgia, 2013)24
  • When women were masturbating to orgasm, there was a:
    • 74.6% increase in pain tolerance threshold
    • 106.7% increase in pain detection threshold
    • (Pain, 1985)25
  • The effects of orgasms can play a role in shaping partner preferences and building personal connections.
    • (Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2016)26

Conclusion

Even though many think the female orgasm is a mysterious, even mythical, experience – these studies have shown that they’re not quite so challenging to understand. It takes more studies like these to expand our understanding of why some women have orgasms when others don’t and how sex can be improved for women worldwide.


Footnotes

  1. Journal of Molecular and Developmental Evolution, 2016. According to Mihaela Pavličev, developmental and theoretical biologist.
  2. Michael Ingber, MD, 2018. Physician in Urology and Female Pelvic Medicine
  3. Vanessa Marin, 2020. Licensed Psychotherapist and Writer specializing in Sex Therapy.
  4. The Journal of Sex Research, 2020. A study of 419 respondents from North America and the Middle East.
  5. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2015. A study of 6155 (only female) Finnish survey respondents
  6. Sex & Marital Therapy, 2008. A study of 83 US women on the physiological and psychological components of an orgasm
  7. Current Sexual Health Reports, 2020. A survey of 500 undergrad students from the University of Florida, USA.
  8. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2020. A survey of 303 cohort of US women
  9. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality, 2019. A study focused group study of 15 cisgender women.
  10. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2020. A study of 303 US female survey respondents
  11. NSSHB, 2009. A study at Indiana University Bloomington
  12. Evolutionary Psychology, 2014. A study of 54 female undergraduate students of the University of Albany
  13. American Sociological Review, 2012. A study of 6,591 US undergraduate women at 21 colleges and universities.
  14. The International Society for Sexual Medicine, unspecified.
  15. Allison Conn, MD, Baylor College of Medicine, 2021.
  16. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 2020. A survey of 303 cohort of US women
  17. University of Kansas, 2008. A study of 208 women ages 17 to 48 with ranging ethnicities.
  18. Fertility and Sterility, 2020. A cross-sectional survey of young Australian women aged 18-39 years old
  19. Cindy M. Meston, et al., 2004. A study compiled from different US universities of 11 women
  20. Ceskoslovenska Psychiatrie, 1993. A Czech research study of 121 women on female orgasm duration.
  21. Sexual Medicine, 2019. A survey of 373 participants on marijuana use prior to sex
  22. Sexual Medicine, 2019. A study by Dr. Becky Kaufman Lynn, director of Evora Women’s Health, of 373 female patients of varying ethnicities
  23. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2016. A US study of 6 females on sperm backflow following female orgasm.
  24. Cephalalgia, 2013. A survey of 800 unselected migraine patients and 200 unselected cluster headache patients.
  25. Pain, 1985. A study of 2 studies with 10 women each by Beverly Whipple, professor at Rutgers University and sexologist
  26. Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology, 2016. A published research study by Genaro Coria-Avila, doctorate and researcher at Universidad Veracruzana, Mexico.
Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

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