The great British ‘orgasm gap’: Women in the UK climax four TIMES less often than men, figures show

  • Just 5% of women always orgasm during sex, compared to 20% of men
  • MailOnline asks a Durex sex expert how we can bridge this orgasm gender gap
  • She recommends stimulating the nipples with chopsticks, and kegel exercises

They’re often considered the peak of pleasure, but when it comes to orgasms, it seems that women are missing out. 

Durex surveyed 2,000 Brits on their sexual experiences, and found that men orgasm four times as much as women on average.

Just five per cent of women said they always orgasm during a sexual encounter, compared to 20 per cent of men. 

A fifth of sexually active ladies said they felt frustrated or disappointed as a result, but 11 per cent say they have gotten used to it.

Thankfully help is at hand, as sex expert Alix Fox has revealed her top tips to boost women’s chances of orgasm – including using chopsticks. 

The study found that 19 per cent of women say that using a sex toy was the most likely way for them to have an orgasm. But Ms Fox said that some men feel ‘threatened’ by this (stock image)

‘I find this profoundly heart breaking, when it’s possible for intimacy to be so much more rewarding all round,’ Ms Fox told MailOnline. 


 Largest ‘O’ gap

1. Norwich

2. Newcastle

3. Liverpool

4. Sheffield

5.  Belfast

 Smallest ‘O’ gap

 1. Glasgow

2. Birmingham

3. Cardiff

4. Nottingham

5. London


The survey revealed that the city with the largest orgasm gap is Norwich.

There, 33 per cent of male residents claim they ‘always’ climax during an encounter, compared to just one per cent of female residents.

Newcastle and Liverpool came second and third respectively, as there’s a 29 and 28 per cent difference between the proportion of men and women who ‘always’ orgasm.

But the opposite can be seen in Scotland, as in Glasgow more women say they reach the magic ‘O’ every time than men.

However, it seems that Glaswegians of both sexes have some learning to do, as only two per cent of men say they always climax, and five per cent of women.

Scotland has the smallest orgasm gap regionally too, with only five per cent more men saying they always reach orgasm during sex than women.

The North East has the largest gap, with sexually active men five times more likely to orgasm in every encounter than women.

The data suggests that the gap gets larger as we get older, with 16 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds saying that they always orgasm, compared to seven per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds.

But sexually active UK adults over 75 are twice as likely to say they always orgasm than those age 25 to 34.

Thankfully help is at hand, as sex expert Alix Fox has revealed her top tips to boost women’s chances of orgasm – including using chopsticks


18 to 24-year-olds: 16 per cent

25 to 34-year-olds: 7 per cent

35 to 44-year-olds: 9 per cent

45 to 54-year-olds: 14 per cent

55 to 64-year-olds: 15 per cent

65 to 74-year-olds: 12 per cent

75-year-olds+: 14 per cent

Ms Fox says that there are a host of reasons that could contribute to the fact that men in the UK tend to receive more pleasure from sex than women.

She told MailOnline: ‘Women tend to have been taught that their sexual role is to prioritise giving pleasure to men, rather than receiving and sharing it in return. 

‘This is echoed in the fact that almost half of sexually active women in the UK told Durex that at some point they had faked an orgasm – with the main reason for doing so, in 50 per cent of such cases, being to avoid making their partner feel bad or hurting their feelings. 

‘Women have gotten used to protecting men’s egos at the expense of expressing their own needs, desires and truths.’

The study also found that 19 per cent of women say that using a sex toy was the most likely way for them to have an orgasm.

But Ms Fox said that some men feel ‘threatened’ by this.

‘They worry that their own bodies are somehow going to be upstaged by a gadget,’ she told MailOnline.

‘In fact, toys are valuable teammates, not rivals.’

This doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour, as the sex educator suggests using a pair of chopsticks to spice things up in the bedroom.

Ms Fox told MailOnline: ‘Lots of women enjoy nipple and breast play, and find that this type of stimulation can help them build to orgasm.

‘Indeed, a proportion of women even report “nipplegasms”: orgasms reached solely by stimulating the chest, and feeling as though they originate in this region.’

A study from Rutgers University showed that nipple stimulation activated the same regions of the brain as stimulation of the vagina and clitoris.

‘Nipple play also triggers the release of oxytocin – a hormone involved in prompting feelings of bonding and closeness, reducing depression as well as triggering cervical dilation and uterine contractions during childbirth,’ Ms Fox told MailOnline.

‘Again, this suggests that it’s plausible that pleasuring the breasts and nipples might possibly induce twitches and contractions down below that could lead to a genital orgasm.’

What is the orgasm gap? 

The orgasm gap is a well-established phenomenon in which men climax substantially more often than women during heterosexual sex. 

Previous research has already established the existence of an orgasm gap between men and women.

In 2016, research revealed that only 65 per cent of heterosexual women ‘usually or always’ orgasm during sex, compared to 95 per cent of men. 

Some researchers argue that it is just another form of gender inequality.  

Ms Fox also says that porn videos may contribute to the orgasm gap, as it often shows women reaching climax ‘at the slightest touch’ or ‘through penetration alone’.

‘It may well be giving guys an unrealistic vision of what woman need to feel good,’ she told MailOnline.

The Durex study found that twice as many sexually active men say foreplay is not important in helping them achieve orgasm than women.

But the British stiff upper lip isn’t doing any good either, as just one in five women, and almost a quarter of men, said they felt uncomfortable talking to their partner about what they like in the bedroom.

Ms Fox says another scientifically-proven way of a woman increasing her chances of orgasm during sex is by loosening the pelvic floor muscles.

She told MailOnline: ‘By promoting blood flow to the pelvic region and heightening arousal; by helping you to recognise and better control the sensation of contracting muscles in the vaginal area; and by potentially encouraging more powerful contractions during climax, developing a healthy pelvic floor can help result in more orgasms, and more intense ones to boot.’

To increase a woman’s chances of pleasure, and decrease the chances of mess, Ms Fox recommends pelvic floor exercises, like kegels (stock image)

She says that a tense pelvic floor is common with women who worry about their weight, as they hold in their tummies for long periods of time.

‘They may not even be consciously doing it, yet over time their muscles become constantly clenched,’ she told MailOnline.

‘Anxiety and stress can cause this excess clenching too, as can sports where the body has to withstand repeated pounding motions, like long-distance running.’

Having a pelvic floor that is too tight can cause problems too, because tense muscles cannot manage the additional contractions involved in orgasm.

Ms Fox told MailOnline: ‘This can mean that the orgasm doesn’t happen at all; it hurts or feels like an overwhelming ‘push’.

‘The whole pelvic area in effect collapses from extreme exhaustion and muscle fatigue – leading to a possible loss of control of urine, and even faeces.’

To increase a woman’s chances of pleasure, and decrease the chances of mess, Ms Fox recommends pelvic floor exercises, like kegels. 

She added: ‘Orgasms and pleasure can bring all sorts of health benefits: elevated mood; reduced stress and anxiety; deeper, peaceful sleep; a greater sense of connection and bondedness with one’s partner. 

‘More pleasure means more of all this good stuff, and the consequential good things that come from it.’

Cannabis helps women have MULTIPLE orgasms per sexual encounter – including masturbation 

Cannabis use could be the key to multiple orgasms among women – as less than 50 percent report climaxing during a sexual encounter. 

A new survey of hundreds of people showed that women who smoke before sex or masturbate have improved orgasm capacity per encounter.

The study, conducted by North Carolina researchers, suggested this is likely due to the drug making women relaxed and increasing their desire, which means the recreational drug could treat sexual dysfunctions.

More than 70 percent of the study participants – both men and women – reported heightened sexual satisfaction after cannabis use.

Read more here 

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