What Are Some Common Myths Around Orgasm?

Orgasm is an enjoyable outcome of sexual encounters. However, there are several myths around orgasm that should be debunked. Here are some of the most common myths around orgasm as well as the facts:

Myth: People with vulvas should be able to orgasm with penetration alone.

In reality, most people with vulvas do not orgasm with penetration alone. A 2015 study in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy asked 1,055 women between the ages of 18 to 94 about their experiences with genital touching, sexual pleasure, and orgasm. Just 18.4% of the participants reported that they could reach an orgasm through intercourse alone. In contrast, 36.6% of the respondents stated that they required clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm. Finally, 36% of those polled indicated that clitoral stimulation may not be necessary for them to orgasm, but it enhances the orgasmic sensation.

Myth: Sexual partners should experience orgasm at the same time.

Despite what popular culture may lead us to believe, sexual partners often reach orgasm at different times. There is no reason to be concerned if you and your sexual partner do not reach orgasm at the same time. In fact, this situation may allow for partners to take turns fully focusing on each other’s sexual pleasure, which may be more pleasurable for all involved.

Myth: Good sex always ends in an orgasm.

Sex can be fulfilling and pleasurable, even when it doesn’t end in climax. Aspects of sex such as enjoyable foreplay, good communication, giving and receiving pleasure, and improving a connection with a partner all contribute to a satisfying sexual experience. Additionally, a fair number of people experience anorgasmia, or the inability to orgasm. This does not mean that they cannot enjoy sex. Ironically, putting too much pressure on reaching an orgasm can create anxiety around a sexual experience and actually decrease one’s chances of orgasming. Therefore, while orgasms can certainly be a part of great sex, it is a good idea to remember that sex can still be great without an orgasm.

For more information on orgasm myths, please watch THIS VIDEO produced by the ISSM Communication Committee.


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