Orgasm Differences Between Men and Women

Dec 3, 2014 0 Comments in General Medical Posts by
Orgasm Differences Between Men and Women

Orgasm Differences Between Men and Women

Orgasm refers to a rapid spike in the intensity and quality of genital stimulation; leading to quality sexual gratification. According to a new study reported in The Journal of Sexual Medicine (1), investigators identified that higher frequency of orgasms in both males and females is associated with better outcomes in terms of mental satisfaction, physical relief, overall quality of relationships or sex life and other measures of emotional well-being.

The study concluded:

“Multivariate analyses indicated that PVI (penile-vaginal intercourse) frequency and simultaneous orgasm consistency make independent contributions to the aspects of satisfaction for both sexes”

Brief account of Male and Female Orgasms

It is generally believed that the primary physiology of orgasm is pretty similar in both males and females, despite physiological and anatomical differences in the activity of sexual organs. The average duration and intensity of orgasm varies in both males and females.

Female Orgasm

Orgasmic apparatus in women constitutes; lower third of vagina, perineum, rectum, anal sphincter and uterus. Female orgasm is the result of synchronous combination of sexual stimulation and interest.

The characteristic features are:

  • Intense feeling of pressure that originates at the level of clitoris and spreads to pelvis
  • Involuntary rhythmic contraction of pelvic or vaginal muscles (also referred to as pelvic throbbing)
  • Feeling of heat that is followed by increase in heart rate, flushing of face and sweating

Male orgasm

Premature Ejaculation and Erectile Dysfunction ImageMale orgasmic apparatus is made up of penile tissue, anal sphincters, ejaculatory ducts and rectum. Orgasm in males is strongly associated with the ejaculation. Male orgasm is achieved when an adult male is no longer able to control his ejaculation. It is characterized by:

  • Rhythmic contraction of penile muscles
  • Waves of pleasure and pumping sensation in rectum muscles, anal sphincter, perineal region and genitals
  • Feeling of pressure and warmth in the pelvic region that is followed by rush of semen (or male juices) from the urethra

It is important to keep in mind that ejaculation and orgasm are not always achieved at the same time. It is possible to experience orgasm without ejaculating or vice versa.

Difference Between Male and Female Orgasm

  1. Multiple orgasms:

Female Dyspareunia imageFemales can experience multiple orgasms in one sexual encounter. This is mainly because the orgasmic phase is longer in females and have a pleatue like pattern as opposed to spike-like pattern in males. Soon after ejaculation (or release of semen) a brief period of relaxation or refractory phase is started during which no sexual excitation occurs (despite voluntary effort) which is why multiple orgasms are practically impossible in males.

  1. Activation of different areas of brain:

Study reported in Neuroscience & Bio-behavioral Reviews (2) suggested that activation of brain in response to visual sexual stimuli vary in males and females during an orgasm. During the course of the study, investigators utilized highly advanced neuroimaging techniques to record the stimulation or activity in different areas of brain during a typical episode of intercourse. Results suggested that:

  • Activation of certain brain areas (such as thalamus and amygdala) is more pronounced in males as compared to females during an orgasm
  • With climax (or ejaculation in males), the activity in the area of prefrontal cortex significantly decreases in males; while no abrupt decline is reported in females.
  1. Frequency of orgasms:
  • Research data and clinical statistics indicates that males are 3-times more likely to experience orgasms as compared to females (3).
  • Females are more likely to experience multiple episodes of orgasm within a short period of time.
  • Consistent orgasms are also more common in males (more than 75% males report orgasm in most of their sexual encounters). However, only less than 50% females report consistent orgasms.
  1. Intensity of sexual stimulation to reach the orgasm:

Females require intense but ‘prolonged’ sexual stimulation to reach the climax. Most males on the other hand, require intense but ‘not so prolonged’ cortical stimulation to reach orgasm. Data indicates that more than 3/4 of all the males experience orgasm within 2 minutes of masturbation.

Different Factors That May Influence Orgasms

Regardless of the gender, there are a number of factors that may influence the frequency, intensity or quality of orgasms in different individuals (or within same individuals at different point of time). For example some individuals experience explosive and highly stimulating orgasms whereas other may experience slow, gentle and relaxing orgasms.

Other factors are:

  • Feelings about the relationship or the partner
  • Perception about the act of intercourse or sexual activity
  • Expectations and mood
  • Frequency of sexual activity and time since last orgasm
  • Age of the person and physical factors like energy levels, body-mass index etc.
  • Sexual motives – it is a more positive predictor in females according to the report published in Archives of Sexual Behavior (5)

It is important to understand that different males and females have different sexual characteristics and orgasmic features. If you are experiencing issues in your sexual life, it is very important to speak to a primary care provider to learn about management options.


  1. Brody, S., & Weiss, P. (2011). Simultaneous penile–vaginal intercourse orgasm is associated with satisfaction (sexual, life, partnership, and mental health). The journal of sexual medicine, 8(3), 734-741.
  2. Stoléru, S., Fonteille, V., Cornélis, C., Joyal, C., & Moulier, V. (2012). Functional neuroimaging studies of sexual arousal and orgasm in healthy men and women: a review and meta-analysis. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 36(6), 1481-1509.
  3. Conley, T. D., Moors, A. C., Matsick, J. L., Ziegler, A., & Valentine, B. A. (2011). Women, men, and the bedroom methodological and conceptual insights that narrow, reframe, and eliminate gender differences in sexuality. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(5), 296-300.
  4. Petersen, J. L., & Hyde, J. S. (2011). Gender differences in sexual attitudes and behaviors: A review of meta-analytic results and large datasets. Journal of Sex Research, 48(2-3), 149-165.
  5. Stephenson, K. R., Ahrold, T. K., & Meston, C. M. (2011). The association between sexual motives and sexual satisfaction: Gender differences and categorical comparisons. Archives of sexual behavior, 40(3), 607-618.