New Research Suggests That Simple Anatomy May Be the Cause of Your Orgasm Woes

Rachel Krause
STYLECASTER/Getty Images

STYLECASTER/Getty Images

It’s 2016, and the female orgasm is still a goddamn mystery. Men have it so easy—which is fortuitous, because the future of humanity literally hinges on ejaculation, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating for any woman who’s ever ended up wide awake and dissatisfied post-coitus while a mollified man sleeps beside her. (That is, I believe, every woman.)

Difficulty reaching orgasm has been attributed to any number of things over the years: lack of arousal, not enough time spent on foreplay, an inattentive partner (fair), and my personal favorite, inadequate penis size.

But research suggests that these variables could be totally unrelated to an “inability” to orgasm. According to new evidence, your anatomy alone could be to blame—in fact, the study’s authors claim that each woman’s ability to orgasm during sex depends almost entirely on anatomical development that takes place while you’re still in the womb. You may have been set up for failure from the start!

While you’re swimming around in there gestating, at some point the clitoris begins to move up and away from the vaginal opening. For women whose clitoris drifted too far up, it can be very difficult or even impossible to have an orgasm during sex, because “traditional lovemaking” doesn’t provide enough friction to stimulate the clitoris, says Dr. Maureen Whelihan, an expert with the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, who wasn’t involved in the study but reviewed the findings. “It’s not her fault, she was born that way,” Whelihan stressed, which is probably not what Lady Gaga had in mind.

Elisabeth Lloyd, a faculty scholar with the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University-Bloomington, says that penis size, the skill of the sexual partner, or the intensity of desire “might have some effect, but it really is the anatomical distance that seems to be predictive.”

Whether this makes you feel better (your boyfriend’s penis is a totally fine size after all!) or worse (you’re doomed) depends mainly on your individual prerogative, but Whelihan says between 70- to 90-percent of women are physically unable to achieve orgasm with penetration alone. It’s really, really common—so instead of faking it because you think you’re supposed to, try these ten other orgasm techniques instead. You’ll get there eventually, promise.

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