Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp 87-98

First online:

Written descriptions of orgasm: A study of sex differences

  • Ellen Belle VanceAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Washington
  • , Nathaniel N. WagnerAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Washington

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It has generally been assumed that a male's experience of orgasm is different from a female's experience of orgasm. In this study, a questionnaire consisting of 48 descriptions of orgasm (24 male and 24 female) was submitted to 70 judges. These professionals (obstetrician-gynecologists, psychologists, and medical students) were to sex-identify the descriptions to discover whether sex differences could be detected. The judges could not correctly identify the sex of the person describing an orgasm. Furthermore, none of the three professional groups represented in the sample of judges did better than any of the other groups. Male judges did no better than female judges and vice versa.These findings suggest that the experience of orgasm for males and females is essentially the same.

Key words

orgasm male female