This Week in Sex: Who’s Having the Best Sex and the Most Sex?

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Roundups Sexuality

This Week in Sex: Who’s Having the Best Sex and the Most Sex?

Martha Kempner

This week, a new study finds men and lesbians have an easier time reaching orgasm than heterosexual women, research suggests it might behoove partners to do housework to get their significant others in the mood for sex, and a vibrator can be worn as a necklace.

This Week in Sex is a weekly summary of news and research related to sexual behavior, sexuality education, contraception, STIs, and more.

Men and Lesbians Most Likely to Climax

A new study from the Kinsey Institute not only confirms the belief that men (regardless of their sexual orientation) have an easier time reaching orgasm than women, but finds that among women, lesbians are significantly more likely to climax than their heterosexual peers. Researchers surveyed 2,850 men and women between the ages of 21 and 65 who were single and had engaged in sexual activity during the past 12 months. Participants were asked whether they self-identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual, and then asked to estimate the percentage of time they achieved orgasm when engaging in sexual activity with a familiar partner.

The mean orgasm occurrence rate among men was 85.1 percent, compared to just 62.9 percent among women, which is a statistically significant difference. When looking at men by their reported sexual orientation there were no significant differences—the mean occurrence rate among heterosexual men was 85.5 percent compared to 84.7 percent for gay men and 77.6 percent for bisexual men. Among women, however, the differences were much larger—the mean occurrence rate for heterosexual women was 61.6 percent, compared to 74.7 for lesbian women, and 58 percent for bisexual women. The differences between heterosexual women and lesbians were statistically significant.

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The researchers warn that the findings may not be definitive because the survey was based on self-reported recollections. Still, the study’s lead author, Justin Garcia, told HealthDay, “We need to take seriously the wide variety of factors that may influence sexual outcomes, including orgasm, in individuals and couples.”

The survey also could not explain why there were such differences in orgasm rates. For men, the issue may come down to a biological advantage. As for women, it is likely about their choice of sexual activity. Elisabeth Lloyd, co-author on the study, suggested that penetrative intercourse is likely a more crucial part of sex for heterosexual couples than for lesbians. For many women this is not the most expedient way to have an orgasm, because there isn’t any direct clitoral stimulation. Both authors recommended increasing communication between partners about what felt good and what was most likely to bring them to climax.

Couples Who Share Housework Have More Sex

If you’re looking to get your partner in the mood, it might behoove you to put down the bouquet of flowers and pick up the broom and clean: A new study finds that couples who share the housework have more sex. Researchers from Cornell and Georgia State University analyzed data from the 2006 Marital and Relationships Survey, which included almost 600 couples. The majority of the couples (90 percent) were married, with the rest living together; they all had moderate to low income ($50,000 or less a year for the household); and all had at least one child who lived with them. The study was presented at the meeting of the American Sociological Association held in August in San Francisco.

The researchers found that couples who shared domestic labor had more frequent sex and reported greater satisfaction with both the frequency and quality of sex than those in which the women did the bulk of the housework, though the difference was not large enough to be statistically significant. Still, the researchers noted that “couples who shared domestic labor had sex at least as often, and were at least as satisfied with the frequency and quality of their sex, as couples where the woman did the bulk of the housework.” This finding is important because it contradicts findings from a study that made headlines in 2013, suggesting that couples who adopted traditional gender roles had the most and best sex. Sharon Sassler, one of the researchers on the current study, said in a brief written for the Council on Contemporary Families, “The depressing message heard round the world was that couples remain stalled in their attachment to old ‘gender scripts,’ and that attempts to revise these scripts decrease sexual desire and satisfaction, even among couples who claim to hold egalitarian values.”

Sassler and her colleagues were suspicious of those findings because while they were published recently, they were based on data from the 1980s. Married couples in the 1980s would have met and established their roles in the 1970s or even earlier, and much has changed since then. Dan Carlson, one of the co-authors of the current study, told Today, “If we just look around our culture right now, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that men are turned on by strong, independent women and that women are turned on by men who show a great deal of love and affection and attention to their children and who help out around the house.”

In fact, the study found that the couples who were most satisfied with their sex lives were those in which the man did the majority of the housework. As we said earlier, put down the flowers and pick up that broom. Better yet, throw in a load of laundry; that’s sure to get her in the mood.

Proudly Wear (and Never Lose) Your Vibrator

Most vibrators are meant to be kept discreetly in your night table drawer, but not the Vesper. This new model, designed by sex toy company Crave, looks a little like a long nail and is designed to be worn as a necklace. Available in silver and two kinds of gold, the Vesper charges via a USB port and can double as a thumb drive if you need it. It’s real purpose though—to remove the stigma that still sometimes accompanies vibrator use—is an integral part of the company’s mission:

We believe that sex is healthy, wholesome and playful, that delight and flirtation provide vital sparks to everyday life. We believe that people crave a variety of sexual experiences and that there should be no judgment, stigma, or shame about that desire.

Sad End for Russian Sex Geckos

A few weeks ago, this column reported on zero-G sex geckos. Five geckos, four females and one male, were sent into space aboard Russia’s orbiting Foton-M4 satellite. In hopes of having a better understanding of mating in zero-gravity conditions, scientists had planned to record the lizards’ sexual activities and then perform additional research on them when the satellite returned to earth. Though the satellite is back on land, it appears that at some point during the mission—possibly just two days before it landed—the capsule’s life support systems stopped working and all five geckos died.

The good news is that their fellow cosmonauts—a bunch of fruit flies that were also sent up as subjects of the experiment on reproduction—not only returned to Earth alive but managed to reproduce during the journey.