Garcia said the range and variation among women in the current study raises numerous questions regarding the medicalization of orgasm, with women more often than men being diagnosed with orgasmic "disorders."
Why the range in experiences?
The researchers speculate on the patterns observed, suggesting it could be the result of such known factors as length of a sexual encounter (earlier research points to lesbian women spending more time per sexual session); differences in gendered and sexual attitudes across sexual orientation; and even possible biological factors, such as prenatal exposure to the hormones testosterone and estrogen.
The study authors note that the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, also led by IU researchers, found a correlation between the rate of orgasms for men and women and the variety of sexual behaviors they reported.
Garcia said that partner communication -- both spoken and unspoken -- can play a big role in shaping sexual experiences and outcomes, including satisfaction.
"Some individuals will say what they want in a sexual encounter, or may be willing to say as much if their partner asked," Garcia said. "For others, communication may be nonverbal, with body language being key. This may also involve getting to know each other, both in and out of the bedroom, to understand what allows a particular sexual partner to experience a positive sexual outcome."
Importantly, however, Garcia also notes that orgasm should not be equated with sexual satisfaction, as the two can be quite independent, and that in some instances orgasm is not the goal of a sexual encounter.
The researchers said follow-up studies will look at other
|Contact: Jennifer Bass|