Several elements have led us to believe that the female orgasm is less important than a male one, but porn plays a significant role. It has always catered to a mostly (straight) male audience, and so it perpetuates the belief that female sexual satisfaction comes second to everyone with a penis. And while the modern-day porn industry has seen progress, thanks to more female directors, the industry at large still contributes to female pleasure taking a back seat. Add in the multiple ways that society holds women back (Hi, gender pay gap! Hi, glass ceiling!), and you can see why women struggle to prioritize their sexual pleasure.
But the tide appears to be turning, and for the better. In her book, The Pleasure Gap: American Women and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution, journalist Katherine Rowland presents further evidence linking the orgasm gap to culture’s troubled relationship with female pleasure and provides some non-medical solutions.
From Instagram posts to artwork, women’s sexual satisfaction and the right to orgasm (clue, it’s rarely through penetrative sex alone) is a more open conversation today. If you find yourself in a relationship where sex is more of a chore, start by opening up to your partner - especially if they have a penis. Talking about sex within your relationship helps break down societal taboos that shame women for their sexual tastes while pressuring men into false ideas about masculinity. Try new things from sex toys to lube to keep the pleasure factor equal for everyone involved!