You are currently viewing Episode 244: Orgasm Gap and How Big is Big Enough?

Episode 244: Orgasm Gap and How Big is Big Enough?

Is the orgasm gap fair? Laurie and George don’t think so. But it’s so natural to feel criticized when your partner tries to tell you what they need; how can we get excited about feedback to change this problem? How often do normal couples have bad sex? George suggests often enough that it’s coming for you! (you gotta expect it!) But if you strike out… get back in the game. Do men who worry about their penis size even know what’s normal? How big is big enough? What’s so special about sex in Finland – what are they getting right for women? We got the stats!


Announcer 00:00
The following content is not suitable for children.

Laurie Watson 00:02
We’re gonna talk about some sex stats, orgasms. erections, all kinds of fun things. You ready?

George Faller 00:09
I’m ready stats, always helpful.

Laurie Watson 00:15
Welcome to foreplay radio couples in sex therapy. I’m Laurie Watson, your sex therapist.

George Faller 00:20
And I’m George Faller, your couples therapist

Laurie Watson 00:22
and we are passionate about talking about sex and helping you develop a way to talk to each other.

George Faller 00:28
Our mission is to help our audience develop a healthier relationship to sex that integrates the mind the heart and the body.

Laurie Watson 00:37
Just as we began please remember to check out Ooh, believe it believe calm is where you can get this great lubricant and help support for play radio

voice like stats, you know baseball stat.

George Faller 00:51
That’s right. It’s it’s we can measure success and make changes you know, it’s something real intangible instead of all this fluffy emotional stuff.

Laurie Watson 00:59
Well You know, there’s a lot of talk right now in the news about the orgasm gap. Have you heard that?

George Faller 01:05
I have not. So

Laurie Watson 01:06
basically they’re saying men get more than women have more orgasms than women. It’s not fair.

George Faller 01:13
That does not sound fair. To me.

Laurie Watson 01:15
That is not fair. Although my husband likes to say, what we can do fast, you can do much better. Okay. So many women, I think it’s like 90% of men, when they have sex have an orgasm, and only about 50 to 60% of women report that they do. And especially with sexual intercourse, I mean, we’ve kind of hit this pretty hard on the podcast, that what every couple sees, is that sexual intercourse is the pinnacle of the experience and she should have an orgasm and he should have an orgasm maybe at the same time and really for most women They can’t do that. And it you know, so many men get worried about it and it’s really more about her anatomy than it is about his anatomy. It’s like if her clitoris is closer to her vagina, then she’s more likely to be one of those women, one of those rare women that stood in front of the line when God passed it out that she can have an orgasm through sexual intercourse. Right? What do you think the grown up? Like? When did you learn that? Did you ever learn that? When two men learn this,

George Faller 02:29
men do not learn this? Hmm. I think it should be taught in that high school sexuality class. You know how the clicker is? Just like the penis that’s the sex object that a woman and you know that men are not told that like the you put on a Hollywood movie. I saw a stat that 90% of couples are not having what you see an a Hollywood movie. Oh, yeah. Which is a mutual intercourse. orgasm. Right? I hate it. If that’s our bar that’s what we think it’s supposed to look like. We’re set up for struggle.

Laurie Watson 03:08
I Top Gun came out when I was a sexual. This is a long time ago. I don’t know, if anybody had to read the remake you’re talking about


Laurie Watson 03:19
Remember them? You know, it just like happened. It was in the afternoon. It was such a sexy scene. And I just remember them getting up and going, well, like, who cleans up the wet spot. And he’s like, I’ll go take a shower. I’m like, you mean you didn’t take a shower? Just was so not you know, suddenly I was seeing things in a different way. Because they both climaxed you could see it on our face, right? But my husband and I also watched When Harry Met Sally again, Brian. Yeah, love that one.

George Faller 03:57
Well, it’s again this gap is is important. And some of why we’re doing this is to get good information out there. So what are the stats you got for me?

Laurie Watson 04:06
Okay, so, basically, if a woman if she has simultaneous clitoral stimulation, then about 21 to 31% of women say that they can have orgasm during intercourse. But if you ask women like what’s your most reliable route to orgasm? This is research by Laurie Mintz, who wrote becoming literate, which is great. She’s been on our podcast before your Tongji but she says only 4% of women would say intercourse. If you ask them what’s your most reliable route to orgasm? Only 4% say that,

George Faller 04:43
say that intercourses

Laurie Watson 04:45
Yeah, okay. So if you don’t even add in if you don’t ask them directly, you know, intercourse plus stimulation or this that neither if you don’t suggest anything, you just ask them point blank they only 4% would say in the course. So that’s a really, really low number. And I mean, women think they’re failing. They often come in and tell me and I’ve said this 100 times, but they’re saying again, I don’t have orgasms the right way. I can’t do it the right way. I can’t do it with my partner. I mean, a lot of people come in and say, you know, I want to learn to have orgasm with sexual intercourse. I’m like, Okay, do the best we can here. You know, I don’t know that it should be a goal. I think the goal should be pleasure. And that’s the other thing is the orgasm gap. If she’s not having orgasms, you know, some women want a particular encounter, just to be close. They want to have sexual intercourse even. They want to touch they want to be naked together. They don’t necessarily want an orgasm. That’s fine. That’s their call. But over the long haul, without orgasms, she’s just not going to want to do it. Right.

George Faller 05:57
So if the guy is focusing On thrusting. Yep. Which isn’t really, it’s going to be more of the grinding and hitting the clearest that’s gonna create more of that kind of pleasure and contact during intercourse. So how does how does a woman and a guy focus more on that? In the intercourse? Would that be helpful?

Laurie Watson 06:21
Yes. I mean, they’ve got to kind of slow down. I mean, it’s, I think what he

George Faller 06:28
wrote I don’t you’re supposed to speed up. Well, that meant to get all these mixed signals. What else? Well, we got a second half of that.

Laurie Watson 06:38
It is can poor men. It’s so confusing. I think the problem as a woman is she doesn’t feel a lot of agency about a lot of the women I talked to and some of you out there. I love you, girls. I know you do. I know you can talk about it. But a lot of women will not tell their partner Hey, this is what I need. You Could we slow it down a little bit? Could we angle it like this? This angle works better for me. You know, I like it when you’re getting. I mean, she’s really got to open up and that is so hard to do.

George Faller 07:13
I love that line. I’m writing that down. This angle works better than if you hear that that feedback. So important, right? That doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong. How do we embrace that as men to say, This is good stuff, we’re getting kind of some really accurate feedback around how to increase our partners. Pleasure. Right? You can’t possibly know it because you can’t feel it. Right. So you know, getting that feedback. I’m just saying Bring it on. And I want the men out there that kind of just kind of be open to that. This is so important. We should

Laurie Watson 07:45
we should put this on YouTube. Just the film of us, George. I wish we could see you right now cuz George heard that. He’s like, got his arms open. He’s like, Yeah,

George Faller 07:54
tell me tell me. Tell me. That’s angle. makes it more fun. Anyway, this Like, it’s so hard to, to resist that, that impulse that said, Oh, I’m doing it wrong and being criticized and not want the feedback. But that’s such a brave thing to say, You know that I don’t have a clear wrist. I don’t know what it’s like different angles that if you give me that feedback, and I’m open to that, like, that’s how we get better and more insane and really get more responsive to each other. It’s how I feel better, too. So I’m trying to train my brain to say bring that on. This is this is feedback. So important.

Laurie Watson 08:30
Yeah. I i and i love that what you’re saying i i think that this conversation in our culture has become an angry conversation. And I think people listening to foreplay radio there. They just want what you’ve said they want to do it better. I think our male partners want their female partners to have orgasms desperately. You know, because they want it to be good for them. But I do think in the culture, this is a demand kind of conversation and and unfortunately It isn’t a loving conversation that’s really helpful.

George Faller 09:03
And the setup is tragic. Because if you’re a woman who doesn’t want to give feedback, and you’re a guy who doesn’t want to get feedback, because that means you’re doing it wrong, then where does that leave you?

Laurie Watson 09:14
It leaves you without orgasms and with a partner who is having lower desire. Yeah, it leaves you and as a woman, it leaves you high and dry.

George Faller 09:25
Whereas the high pot I got to drive.

Laurie Watson 09:29
Right. I, you know, I think we’re trained as women to just value our partners orgasm. You know, we did good if they came, right, then it’s good. And then it’s over. I just think that’s why women look back at their early days, often of dating when there was just gobs and gobs of foreplay and touching and stuff and like those were the good old days. Because, you know, sex in married life or in partnered life over time gets relevant To the evening to low energy times to 20 minutes versus staying in bed all day, but she’ll say to you, no, I don’t have time to stay in bed all day. that’s problematic. There was a study in Finland, and Finland has made improvements just culturally, somehow or another, they’ve learned to prize female initiation. And they’ve seen that it’s increased over 50 years that women initiate sex more often than they used to 50 years ago. Whereas in the States, like with the free love movement of the 1970s, and 60s and 70s, we haven’t actually improved that much in terms of women changing, initiating in general. So they did this and that’s one of the important factors in female orgasm. I mean, I think it’s because she feels sexual desire and she’s willing to act on that. So she’s a little more mentally prepared. rhymed. I mean, I would say, you know, for most women, their their mind and their body just don’t connect as well as for men, you got to have sexual desire going and oftentimes sexual desire doesn’t really kick in until you’ve already been in it in the moment for a little bit. Second thing is, you know, she’s got to have high sexual self esteem to be able to tell her partner this, you know, she’s got to say this, I’m important. This is important. I just think there’s so much pressure on women to to not own their own pleasure. Really, really a lot of pressure there.

George Faller 11:44
This is about empowering. It’s It’s so counterintuitive to have a conversation to initiate a conversation is a sign of empowerment, because it feels like it’s going to lead to short term criticism. I’ve been distancing tension. Mm hmm.

Laurie Watson 12:04
So how do we get women to feel comfortable being empowered?

George Faller 12:09
Guess we got to go to Finland. Oh,

Laurie Watson 12:11
yeah. My first boyfriend was Finnish. All we did was kiss. I don’t know anything about that from Finland. Okay, let’s come back and talk some more about men and some stats for men too. We are grateful to Uber lube for still sponsoring us. This is a fantastic loop. If you haven’t tried it yet. Please check it out at Uber lube calm with the coupon for play, which gives you 10% off I keep forgetting to tell people that they can support us and they can try this great lubrication which is really it’s made out of a high grade silicone and, you know, I do all kinds of ratings on lubrications just in my work and silicone doesn’t get absorbed into the body. So it it provides smooth, touch, smooth and requires a great glide. It’s scent free, it is taste free. So you can switch from foreplay to oral sex to intercourse with no problem,

George Faller 13:13
or if you’re using Uber lube to enhance or relax your body. And it’s just that much easier to open up your mind and expand your heart

Laurie Watson 13:20
and having something fun that makes sex even better. I would love for you to try Uber lube, support the foreplay podcast and save 10% off your order when you use the coupon code for play at Uber lube calm done to Facebook Lives for our patrons, George and we try to do that once a quarter we try to send newsletters and give exclusive material. But it’s really we are grateful for people who believe in our mission to help couples keep it hot and help inform people and help them talk about sex. Help them get better at their sexual relationship.

George Faller 13:58
Right in porn. bearing with us is it’s really an honor to know people are joining us on this mission, that this is a an effort to produce and for the listeners to put aside time and we hope that’s valuable. But when when we join forces, it’s just a lot easier to get that message out there. So we so appreciate the support both financial and just to make those ratings and to spread the word, because our world really needs it.

Laurie Watson 14:27
It does. And we get so many letters from people, not just patrons that are grateful for what we’re doing and say it’s changing their lives. And so if you want to help us change the world, we would appreciate that support. And certainly, this is something that our hearts are in and we’ve given a lot to and you can join with us. So we’re back and we we don’t want to leave men out and some stats so that they can do some things too. But just as we’ve been talking right George, we we can see How much more there is to help women become more sexually empowered to talk about their experience. One of the things the last thing that I want to say about women is that this idea that educating women that their clutter is is what needs to be stimulated. It’s helped women with their own masturbation, but it actually hasn’t changed partnered sex. And we don’t exactly know why that is. Maybe it’s because we’re not getting the word out more trying to get the word out today. So tell me some things about man. I want to know about

George Faller 15:31
before we get to the man, just one last comment on that, that it yes if if a woman’s not sharing the importance of the clitoral stimulation, and a man doesn’t really know about the importance of that, that it would make sense why those numbers and intercourse aren’t changing, but they are for masturbation. So again, it’s a communication problem. It is that’s what we’re trying to force to these conversations such

Laurie Watson 15:53
an intimate conversation.

George Faller 15:55
Yep. All right. Let’s talk about some stats I found helpful is Man, I want to kind of just get that out there. Okay? The first thing 10% of sexual encounters are either dissatisfied or dysfunctional. Oh my gosh. 10%. So

Laurie Watson 16:12
10% are dysfunctional,

George Faller 16:14
dysfunctional. That is just it coming for you. That’s not a sign that you’re dead or broken. It’s just this is natural in a human sexual encounter. Like how do we start recognize that that’s why the feedback is so important. Like how do we learn from these inevitable struggles and find a way of talking about it and learning from it and coming closer together instead of just dreading it like it’s the plague.

Laurie Watson 16:42
I know it. How is it okay to have bad sex is what you’re saying every once in a while, one out of 10 times,

George Faller 16:48
one out of 10 is coming for you. So you better figure out a way of doing that better. It’s gonna actually that will one at a time is going to grow. right because you start thinking we have this expectation out ahead. It’s supposed to be perfect all the time. 10 times. And if it’s not, oh, something’s wrong and here comes to pressure. And this really starts to develop that negative momentum. So how do we like educate our boys that this is okay? Not a big deal is it? Something’s off the timing, whatever else, how do you joke about it, and kind of just kind of get back to the nine out of 10. Instead of letting out one become much more important, it should be

Laurie Watson 17:23
right, that one gets in your head, and you cannot get it out of your head. You’re going to think every time I’m not going to climax or every time I’m going to lose my erection or every time she’s not gonna call him x or every time we’re just gonna try doing it and there’s gonna be no spark no magic, and we’re gonna quit. I mean, sometimes there’s just sometimes there’s just bad sex.

That’s right.

Laurie Watson 17:49
So So what do you say to yourself when there’s bad sex?

George Faller 17:54
That this is part of this sexual experience at some time. They were not in sync were a rush to her. You know, whatever the reasons, not a big deal. Put it in perspective. That’s why information is really important. We wanted stocks, that’s an important stat. It’s like what you strike out in baseball, you struck out it says it’s not your whole career, you’re struck out, get back out there again and get a hit.

Laurie Watson 18:21
Okay, so we want to reassure man, that nine times that’s gonna be good. And just let it go.

George Faller 18:27
Have a short memory. Oh, I like that. I really like that short memory. At least that’s another baseball lines. Gotta, you’re a pitcher. You gotta have a short memory. You can’t think about that homerun, you gave up you gotta get the next out. So

Laurie Watson 18:44
there could be so many baseball metaphors. podcast with me, George.

George Faller 18:51
Next will be the football ones. So another stat again. I think it’s the importance of being able to talk about when things don’t work that men tend to Do that, right? They just brag about these exploits and these great encounters. And it sets this expectation that it’s always supposed to look that way. Wouldn’t it be healthy if men actually talked about when it didn’t work so well, right that you actually heard other people talking about that? Which which men normally don’t have. They don’t have role models or mentors to talk about the more vulnerable struggling side of sex. They just kind of got this superhero image that just gets kind of passed down. So another have you

Laurie Watson 19:31
done? I have a question for you. Yeah. Have you ever heard another man talk about bad sex? No. In your whole life?

George Faller 19:38
Well, as a therapist, I have obviously,

Laurie Watson 19:41
as a not as a person No, no, no man ever said. Besides,

George Faller 19:47
maybe they were drunk and fell asleep. That’s about as bad as they got. But not nothing real like we see as therapists like the real inner, emotional struggled world of, you know, a guy who is premature ejaculation Or Academy tape error correction or you know, all these common problems that are are pretty universal and yet never talked about.

Laurie Watson 20:07
Wow. Wow. I think you know, obviously I’m a sex therapist wherever I go So, but even before and my girlfriends are listening they know this, you know, we always talked about sex So, but yeah, I mean I’ve heard a lot more as a woman about bad good everything, every kind of sex. Do you hear men this The other thing Do you hear men brag about sex you said men do? Yes. Men brag about Yes. Like Where are they? And do you listen to it and think is that exaggerated or? I mean, do you take it with a grain of salt or does it kind of inspire this envy of like, Man, I wish I were having that. I mean, do you believe it or

George Faller 20:52
it depends on what age or developmental lifestyle you got me hats. Certainly there are parts of my life where it is You know, it’s, it’s, it’s a way of fitting in and kind of, you know, the bragging is a way of just guys kind of having fun with each other but it you don’t realize in a moment, the long term kind of message that that’s sending for yourself and the imprint that it’s making. If you think about youths and young adults, men, if you listen to their sexual stories, they don’t realize the impact those stories will have later on. Hmm,

right. So another example I need an example of what you’re saying here.

George Faller 21:32
Well, just if you’re bragging about how amazing a sex was, and you know, I picked this girl up, but I did this and she was beautiful. And then you know that that starts to create that mindset of that. That image of sex that you see on on TV, right, that sex is about the conquest, it’s about the physical, it’s about the orgasm, it’s about the performance. It’s about the porno, right there’s nothing in that talking about Things go and wrong, your emotional connection. You know, they’re your body being present so many things that we’re trying to expand men’s sexual health, you just this tunnel vision starts with these really exaggerated stories and men get stuck on that. And you know, what might work at 20 is not going to work at 60. And yet men’s mindset still pretty much stays the same. Sure. Right. So another stat that I thought was helpful is four out of five men when they’re trying to have a child and they have, you know, on demand sex. Four out of five have sexual problems.

Laurie Watson 22:39
That’s an important stat.

George Faller 22:40
Right? So look at what happens when they’re initiating it. And they’re having, you know, they don’t have issues all of a sudden, now here comes their wife, say, Hey, I’m obviouly. Let’s go, like on demand. Now. Now all of a sudden, we got a little role reversal going on here. They’re not being wined and dined and romance and for Plato All of a sudden, they don’t work for four out of five. So to me is a guy that gives me some empathy for what it must be like for my partner or you know, for that with sexual withdrawal, or that so often is put in the position of on demand sex.

Laurie Watson 23:14
So true. Infertility is just a killer for sex. We went through a period of that. I was taking drugs and all this kind of stuff. And my husband, he was a trainer in this movement that he does kind of these four day trainings. And he was up in San Francisco, I was in Southern California, and the doctor calls and I have this ultrasound and she’s like, well, you’re populating and like, my husband’s out of town. This is really expensive, right? You know, so I have a toddler, I put him you know, I get a ticket fly up there. And he’s like, well, I got a break at such and such a time. You know, can you make it here by then? So there’s all this stress. There’s all this pressure. I got to make it by his break. And then I’m like, you know how much time you got? We had to find somebody in his group that would watch our son for us. And you know, he’s got like five minutes I’m like this is this is really romantic. So excited to have sex this way. Yeah, it’s tough.

George Faller 24:14
Well, it’s a nice isn’t it gives us a nice doorway into someone else’s experience. Mm hmm. You know, another stat 80% of men believe their penis is too small. Ah, how could I be accurate that 80% of men think that fetuses

Laurie Watson 24:30
because 99% of men watch porn and they have a test genitalia. That’s why right? I mean on is not real. I mean, maybe there’s some men like that, but that’s, I

George Faller 24:44
guess we all want to have a healthy sexuality and have a male sexual healthy sexuality means loving your penis. Yeah, right but if you already adjudging in thinking it’s too small, and again at besides a way out of whack number the average penis sizes between five and a half and six and a half inches. That’s the average penis size. So most men if they know that should feel pretty comfortable, maybe you have that, you know 10 20% that feel is too small we got to change that number 80% which just means they’re going to be frustrated with their own penis with their own body, which is again going to put more pressure on them which is going to lead them down this road of kind of this boss stressful encounter around sexuality.

Laurie Watson 25:30
You know, I think about women who talk about I weigh too much my breasts are too small, this that and the other but like to have your genitalia, which is the most sexual part of you be viewed as potentially inadequate, right? It’s too small, too small for what is kind of what I want to ask but you know, really, the vagina has friction feeling only about the first two inches. You know, most of the vagina feels about Stretch versus friction, hardly any of it is really about friction. So, I mean, five, six inches plenty. And most women don’t climax that way. Well, that we just said, right? Like, if it feels good to him, it’s probably good for him. Well think about it.

George Faller 26:19
Why not? are in their head are saying the way I please my partner is through intercourse and I have to have a large penis. How they’re starting already way off base

is so painful that’s so painful to hear. How do they get over it? I think

George Faller 26:37
it’s it’s hearing this information and to kind of appreciate what they got. Right that if they know how to become a better lover because they’re open to feedback, and they’re understanding the importance of their partner’s glitters. And that will kind of how do you do better angles? Right that that’s a much better use of their time. They’re worried about the penis size.

Laurie Watson 26:57
How do you do teeny tiny blood jobs? Good oral sex.

George Faller 27:03
teeny tiny blowjobs I haven’t heard that one before. Yes,

I’m getting for your wedding at all right? Okay.

George Faller 27:14
Okay, Laurie. I like ending on teeny tiny blowjobs so keep it hot.

Laurie Watson 27:21
And PS please tune in to our Patreon page so that you can catch the next exclusive episode and our next Facebook Live.

George Faller 27:30
We appreciate you joining us to spread this really important message.

Announcer 27:34
calling your questions to the foreplay question voicemail dial 833 my four play that’s a three three, the number four play and we’ll use the questions for our mailbag episodes. All content is for entertainment purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for therapy by a licensed clinician or as medical advice from a doctor.