For centuries, female pleasure has been described as elusive, mysterious and even occult, but new research suggests that women can climax nearly as consistently as men – if everyone knows what they're doing, that is.

During any given sexual encounter, a heterosexual man is likely to climax 95 percent of the time, whereas his partner has a 65 percent chance of reaching an orgasm. But, when Chapman University researchers looked at data for women having sex with women, the likelihood jumped to 85 percent.

David A. Frederick, who led the study, says the difference between straight and queer women boils down to an emphasis on quantity and equality.

“One of the things that differed between lesbian and straight sex was how long they had sex for,” the California-based professor told Highsnobiety.  “Lesbian women were more likely to be having sex for 30 minutes or longer, which is associated with a higher rate of orgasm. We also speculate that there is more turn-taking and an emphasis on equality in lesbian relationships.”

He also found that, in heterosexual couples, the man was more likely to initiate sex, which usually resulted in the encounter being more focused on the man’s needs.

Regardless of sexual orientation, one of the best indicators of whether or not a woman would climax during sex is the addition of oral sex. Still, Frederick says, it is an underutilized technique.

“This seems kind of straightforward, but what surprised us was that less than half of all couples reported engaging in oral sex when they are intimate with each other,” Frederick said. Out of the women who reported only having vaginal sex during their last encounter, two thirds did not orgasm.

For women who have sex with women, it seems like a no-brainer that they would have better statistics.

“Why even bother if both people only have a one in two chance of getting off?” said Parisian native, Camille, 25. “Lesbian sex is more about what both people want and how to get it.”

She insists that it is not so much that women have a better understanding of what women want in bed, but rather that they know that you have to do a lot of communicating and listening.

“Just because it's same sex, doesn’t mean that you know exactly what your partner likes... everyone has specific things.”

Better Sex Ed Is Part of the Solution

One of the primary reasons for a lack of sexual satisfaction for both partners is a lack of useful sexual education. Depending on where you go to school, your curriculum can look quite different.

For instance, France introduced a 3D printed clitoris to its classroom last year, to clear up some confusion for both men and women about how the female body works.

The model illustrates how the female genitalia mirrors that of its male counterpart, and shows students why penetration may not be the most effective way to stimulate that body part.

Meanwhile in the United States, the lesson plans look a little bit different.

Roughly half of the states require sex education in schools, but only 20 require that the information provided be “medically, factually or technically accurate.”

The focus is mainly on avoiding pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and usually does not cover topics such as pleasure or consent, with many schools teaching abstinence-only.

Maya, 26, a New Yorker who identifies as straight, says a general knowledge of the female anatomy would help close the orgasm gap.

“It definitely has to do with a lack of knowledge,” she told Highsnobiety. “Men crave a mutual sexual experience and are often ashamed and embarrassed when they can’t achieve that.”

“You have to spend a good amount of time teaching them what you like, which also means you have to know yourself,” she added.

The Rise of Orgasm Tutors

In lieu of practical sex education in the classrooms, other fountains of knowledge have sprung up, like the Silicon Valley startup OMG Yes, which uses online tutorials and simulations to teach people about female pleasure.

The website’s co-founder Rob Perkins told Highsnobiety that one of their main challenges is creating words for things that feel good for women.

“The study showed that women who talk specifically about what makes sex more pleasurable for them are eight times more likely to be happiest in their relationships,” Perkins said. “One problem is, there just aren't enough specific, descriptive words for what feels good. So, we're building a new vocabulary from large-scale research with thousands of women.”

The OMG Yes team is also fighting lingering stigma associated with female pleasure.

“A lot of oppressive religions and cultures find it threatening for a woman to know what she wants and go out and get it. And, while most people don’t think that now, there is a vestigial hand that makes people uncomfortable,” Perkins added.

This is part of the reason why a lot of sexual research has shied away from the topic. But OMG Yes studies have been able to offer some insights that could boost female orgasm rates. While not every trick will work for everyone, knowledge is power.

“It's not true that every woman is entirely different,” Perkins said. “There are patterns and rhythms that intensify pleasure for the majority of women. Knowing and trying them is like having more tools in your toolbox, which is a good thing.”

We couldn't agree more.

Now, read about why you should call "stealthing" what it really is: sexual assault

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