Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 47, Issue 1, pp 273–288 | Cite as

Differences in Orgasm Frequency Among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men and Women in a U.S. National Sample

  • David A. FrederickEmail author
  • H. Kate St. John
  • Justin R. Garcia
  • Elisabeth A. Lloyd
Original Paper


There is a notable gap between heterosexual men and women in frequency of orgasm during sex. Little is known, however, about sexual orientation differences in orgasm frequency. We examined how over 30 different traits or behaviors were associated with frequency of orgasm when sexually intimate during the past month. We analyzed a large US sample of adults (N = 52,588) who identified as heterosexual men (n = 26,032), gay men (n = 452), bisexual men (n = 550), lesbian women (n = 340), bisexual women (n = 1112), and heterosexual women (n = 24,102). Heterosexual men were most likely to say they usually-always orgasmed when sexually intimate (95%), followed by gay men (89%), bisexual men (88%), lesbian women (86%), bisexual women (66%), and heterosexual women (65%). Compared to women who orgasmed less frequently, women who orgasmed more frequently were more likely to: receive more oral sex, have longer duration of last sex, be more satisfied with their relationship, ask for what they want in bed, praise their partner for something they did in bed, call/email to tease about doing something sexual, wear sexy lingerie, try new sexual positions, anal stimulation, act out fantasies, incorporate sexy talk, and express love during sex. Women were more likely to orgasm if their last sexual encounter included deep kissing, manual genital stimulation, and/or oral sex in addition to vaginal intercourse. We consider sociocultural and evolutionary explanations for these orgasm gaps. The results suggest a variety of behaviors couples can try to increase orgasm frequency.


Orgasm Orgasm frequency Communication Relationship length Sex differences Sexual orientation 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

David Frederick declares that he has no conflict of interest. H. Kate St. John declares that she has no conflict of interest. Justin Garcia declares that he has no conflict of interest. Elisabeth Lloyd declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. Frederick
    • 1
    Email author
  • H. Kate St. John
    • 1
    • 2
  • Justin R. Garcia
    • 3
    • 4
  • Elisabeth A. Lloyd
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Crean College of Health and Behavioral SciencesChapman UniversityOrangeUSA
  2. 2.Division of Behavioral and Organizational SciencesClaremont Graduate UniversityClaremontUSA
  3. 3.Department of Gender StudiesIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  4. 4.The Kinsey InstituteIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA
  5. 5.Department of History and Philosophy of Science and MedicineIndiana UniversityBloomingtonUSA

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