The ORGASM SERIES: 5 Things That Make Her Orgasm More Likely

by | Oct 12, 2020 | Uncategorized | 70 comments

5 Things That Make Her Orgasm More Likely

Can research point us to what makes women more orgasmic–and what makes orgasm less likely?

Rebecca here on the blog today! My mother, my sister and I are going full tilt creating The Orgasm Course (now there’s a sentence I never thought I’d have to type), and as I shared on the podcast last week, I wanted to make sure that we weren’t just writing some awkward course based on personal experience.

That’s icky on so many levels. Especially since we all work together.

So I wanted to keep it in the realm of research, and I’ve been looking at journal articles, at news pieces, and even at lifestyle blogs to see what research is saying, and incorporating all of that into our videos and our workbooks for The Orgasm Course.

The Orgasm Course is Here to Help You Experience Real Passion!

Figure out what's holding you back. Open the floodgates to orgasm.

And I thought I’d share some of what we learned about what makes her orgasm today!

I’ve found a ton of articles through my research for this course, but I’m mainly going to focus on one study that included over 52,000 people total (including 24,000 heterosexual women) that looked at differences in orgasm frequency and deciphered the determinants of orgasm for men versus women.

Here are some interesting takeaways from the research:

1. Women need a LOT more than vaginal intercourse to reach orgasm.

Look at some of these contrasts: Only 35% of women who report ONLY having vaginal intercourse during their last sexual encounter were in the “usually-always orgasm” group. On the other hand, 77% of women who received oral sex, passionately kissed their partner, had genital stimulation, as well as vaginal intercourse were in the “usually-always orgasm” group! But here’s the bigger one: for that oral sex/clitoral stimulation/kissing/intercourse sexual encounter group, only 7% of women rarely to never orgasm. But when we look at solely vaginal-intercourse-sex, that number jumps to 44%.

If you want to feel pleasure, do a lot more than intercourse! 

2. Oral sex is really, really helpful to bring women to orgasm

This study found that women who orgasm more frequently received more oral sex. Now, could it be that women who orgasm more frequently are simply more comfortable with their sexuality, and so more likely to have more oral sex? Sure, that could be it. But oral sex also allows a woman to be selfish in bed and make her pleasure the priority. If a husband wants his wife to orgasm, making sex completely about her for at least part of it can be a very good, research-backed idea.

And it’s in line with our post The Theology of the Clitoris, too!

3. Romance is an aphrodisiac that leads to orgasm

Next up in the “no duh” category, feeling loved, desired, and romanced helps a LOT when it comes to awakening women’s sexual response. Deep, passionate kissing was strongly correlated with female orgasm, as was positive feelings about the relationship, flirty emails, and expressions of love during sex.

Sex can become another “to-do” for many women, especially if it’s been difficult to feel pleasure in the past. Take a minute, and actually think about how you talk about sex in your marriage–is sex still “sexy”? Or is it more of a scheduled appointment? Do you compliment your spouse in bed? Do you whisper about racy memories together when you’re lying in bed at night, or do you roll over and scroll through Twitter on your phone?

Kiss your spouse. Kiss with passion. It’s important!

4. Women: speak up in bed if you want to reach orgasm

One of the biggest differentiation points found between women who usually-always orgasmed and women who never-rarely orgasmed was if they spoke up about what they wanted in bed. Did they give instructions, say when things didn’t feel good, or communicated when things were working? If yes, they were much more likely to be in the “orgasm” group.

But still, women often have a hard time making their pleasure a priority in bed. Despite the fact that men are almost guaranteed an orgasm during sex, we women can feel really guilty or selfish if we work at our own orgasm. But women, please hear: your orgasm is important, too! And your husband WANTS you to feel pleasure–and if he doesn’t, frankly, that’s not going to be fixed by you putting up with terrible sex.

So men, encourage your wife to speak up. And part of encouraging her is recognizing that sometimes, she may tell you that what you’re doing isn’t pleasuring her. Please don’t take that personally when she does–it’s a chance for you to become an even better lover for your wife, and it’s important you give her the freedom to find her voice when it comes to sex!

5. Men don’t always understand what brings a woman pleasure–or makes her orgasm

Now, men got a lot of things totally right, but here are some funny differences I noticed looking at the numbers, especially concerning oral sex:

  • Men underestimate how important receiving oral sex is for women’s orgasm. In fact, when contrasting women’s self-report data with what men say about their partners’ experience, we find that men estimated oral sex had approximately a third of the predictive strength than it actually does. (When you ask women, you get a β value of 0.19, when you ask men, you get a β value of 0.07).
  • Men overestimate how hot women think giving oral sex is. Women’s self-report data didn’t find that giving oral sex made it more or less likely that a woman would orgasm. But men thought it made it much more likely. In fact, men reported that a woman GIVING oral sex was almost three times more predictive of her orgasm than her RECEIVING oral sex (β value of 0.20 and 0.07, respectively).

It’s an important reminder that what’s really hot for one partner may not be working for the other! Our experiences are different, and that does not mean they are wrong or broken–and it definitely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include fellatio in your sex life! But it does mean that we need to be open with communication so that you truly know what makes your partner tick instead of just assuming that what makes you feel good makes them feel good.

We discuss all of this and so much more in the men’s add-on to our new Orgasm Course coming out this month. We go into not just what the research says, but how to learn what your spouse likes. Obviously research gives us a good place to start. But that’s all it is–a starting point! We want to give you the tools you need to learn how to be intimately “known” by and to intimately “know” your spouse–and that means figuring out how to make them feel really, really good.

What if you just don’t like oral sex–either giving or receiving?

That’s totally okay! For many women, this can be quite triggering, or can be associated with something bad. If that’s you, it’s okay to say you’d rather find other ways of feeling good. There is no one-size-fits-all, and we’ll go into lots of detail about how to find out what makes you feel comfortable, and what makes you feel good!


So there you go–5 things to know about what makes orgasm more likely for women.

The good news, I think, is that those things are all quite doable. It’s not about calisthenics, or trying really weird stuff in bed. It’s mostly about a good relationship, about communication, and about reciprocity and recognizing that her sexual response needs something different than his does.

And when you focus on what you each need, rather than seeing her needs as a bother, you can both have a lot of fun!

What do you think? Do any of those things contributing to orgasm–or making orgasm more difficult–resonate with you? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Blog Contributor, Author, and Podcaster

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8. Check out Why I Didn't Rebel, or follow her on Instagram!

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Orgasm Course

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. Lisa

    Orgasms are about so much more than sex, or even sexual “things”. Men need to understand that where you are in your cycle will have an effect, your mood and how stressed, tired, or overwhelmed with life you are will have an effect.
    Sometimes you might be able to orgasm quickly, other times it will require a LOT of work on his part.
    Also, being “wet” or “dry” is not necessarily indicative of how turned on she is…. Sometimes it’s her cycle that makes her drier and it’s frustrating to be turned on but not getting the lubrication that’s needed for a truly pleasurable experience. Don’t feel bad if a synthetic lube is needed. It’s probably not you.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Very true, Lisa! And so often we can be mentally aroused without having the physical signs of it (and even vice versa at other times). It’s called arousal non-concordance, and we do need to understand this better.

  2. Jane Eyre

    “Men overestimate how hot women think giving oral sex is. Women’s self-report data didn’t find that giving oral sex made it more or less likely that a woman would orgasm. But men thought it made it much more likely. In fact, men reported that a woman GIVING oral sex was almost three times more predictive of her orgasm than her RECEIVING oral sex (β value of 0.20 and 0.07, respectively).”
    Not sure if reading that made me want to laugh or cry.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I know what you mean. And I really don’t actually understand this one. Why wouldn’t they get it?

      • Jane Eyre

        I’m really cynical, so I get the “logic” at play here.
        Women who are “comfortable with their sexuality” are more likely to climax. Women who are “comfortable with their sexuality” are more likely to give blowjobs. (I am not certain the latter is really true or just convenient fiction.)
        Ergo, mix up cause and effect, or correlation and causation, and voila! If she wants to climax, she should service him.

      • Active Mom

        That made me laugh. It is also a little sad. Do men really think that the sight or the ability to touch their equipment is so exciting and arousing that it causes us to orgasm? Do that many men really have that high of an opinion about their genitalia? It would I guess explain the orgasm gap. Woman are just supposed to orgasm by servicing men. Uhm no.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Totally agree! To be fair, I don’t think it was that this was the ONLY thing they did to orgasm; I think they just thought that this contributed to women’s ability to orgasm, whereas women felt like, “no, it really doesn’t.” The women’s response showed that it wasn’t statistically significant at all, Becca explained to me, and, if anything, it was slightly negatively related. But, again, it wasn’t statistically significant to draw any directionality conclusions.

          • Sarah O

            I literally lol’ed at that part. Had to then explain the situation to my husband sitting next to me. He was also perplexed at that finding. Like, really?
            Unfortunately I think the overestimation of women’s arousal in giving oral is likely the result of bad education via computer screen rather than faulty assumptions about sexual confidence, but that’s my guess.

          • Doug Hoyle

            “And this group of men did not say that giving women oral contributes to their own orgasm,”
            And I am not saying that either, tho in some cases it has made a difference for me. I am saying that it has hightened arrousal. Everyone here knows that for men, orgasm is largely a physical response to stimulus. I am not saying otherwise. But if it was left to just the mechanical, much of the pleasure would be missed. If you van accept that is true, why would it be so hard to believe that a man might, lacking any other knowledge o a womans needs, believe that a woman is different, or would respond differently to the things that heigjten his arrousal.
            I am not saying the thinking is right. I am saying it is understandable if they only have their own experience to go off of.
            Why is that such a surprise? Why does it deserve ridicule?

        • Doug Hoyle

          I have to confess, I find that comment somewhat derisive. Maybe you didn’t mean for it to come across that way. Either way I will just give you the benefit of the doubt on that count, and assume I am reading more into it than is actually there.
          To answer your question, tho I am sure it was more of a witty sarcasm, maybe some men really do think that way. Why shouldn’t they. I can’t say that I am more likely to orgasm when I give my wife oral sex, or I couldn’t in the past. That doesn’t mean that doing so was not a huge turn on for me, so much so that whatever I was enjoying was intensified several fold. If I am completely honest, I would tell you that when ED started becoming an issue for me, yes, my wifes vagina and vulva could absolutely make a difference. Don’t ask me to explain, because I can’t. I am sure there is a physiological reason for it. What I do know is that in fact, the sight and touch of it could well make the difference. I can say that with something of a certainty, because on regular occasions, my wife “services” me, as Jane so eloquently described it, while at the same time not allowing me to touch her. I can tell you unequivocally that the sensations are not nearly as intense, and sometimes not enough to sustain an erection.
          You asked if some men actually feel that their wives would be turned on at the sight and touch of their genitalia. Why not, if that is how they feel about their wives, and they don’t understand their wives sexuality. Why wouldn’t they think so? Moreover, they are probably insecure on some level if that isn’t the case. Thankfully, whatever other issues my marriage has endured, my wife has never expressed anything like what you just did in your comment, even when I started struggling with ED.
          Personally, I find your remark to be both condescending, and honestly displays the same lack of understanding about men on your part, as the point you are trying to make about mens lack of understanding about women.

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Doug, I think the point is that there is a 45 point orgasm gap. Men orgasm far more than women do. When it comes to who is misunderstanding whom, then, it does tend to go in one direction. And even if women do misunderstand men, it isn’t hurting men’s ability to feel pleasure. But men’s misunderstanding of women is hurting women. So I do think this is something where the emphasis should be on getting men to understand women. In that same study, incidentally, women were right on with what things tended to help men orgasm. So women DID understand men.
            Again, I think if men’s attitudes were more about “why is there an orgasm gap like that? That’s terrible! What can we do to close it?” rather than, “Women shouldn’t be criticizing men,” or “Women don’t understand men, either,” it may be more helpful in actually solving the problem.

          • Doug Hoyle

            Sheila. I don’t disagree. In marriages where something is lacking regardless of which side, every effort should be made to fix it.
            I really just disagreed with the way some of the comments were made. I guess I just dont understand the need for for the mocking tone in some of the comments, but they do convey both a lack of understanding of men, and a real disregard. The truth is that for most men, their identity might be tied up in their sexuality a bit too much. That includes their “package” to some degree.
            I think most men feel as if there is something almost magical or sacred about their wives vulva and vagina as well. I wasn’t trying to comment on anything else. I know the remark was rhetorical, and either sarcastic, or if I am being generous, maybe tongue in cheek, but I was trying to answer it. Yes, some men just might believe that a woman just might be fascinated, enthralled, or whatever word you want to use, about their penis, because that is how they feel about their wifes vagina.
            I understand there is an orgasm gap, and I applaud your efforts to correct that. I am not sure how a better understanding in both directions isn’t beneficial. In any case, mocking men for the way they might think certainly isn’t beneficial.

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Honestly, Doug, when there’s a 45 point orgasm gap, maybe some frustration is warranted. Maybe what actually needs to happen is that women get UPSET about this and start speaking up. Maybe it’s time for women to not just take it, but to say, “No, this isn’t acceptable. This is wrong.” Perhaps the tone was wrong, but focusing on tone and telling people to change their tone is a common tactic to silence someone when they’re making a point that makes another uncomfortable. Perhaps tone, even if it could be improved, is really not the main issue here.
            I think what most women would appreciate is men not chastising them for their wrong tone, but instead speaking up for women and chastising men for being content with a situation where there’s a 45 point orgasm gap. Maybe if more men spoke up and said, “it’s not acceptable to keep having sex with your wife if you’re doing nothing to bring her to orgasm,” then we wouldn’t have the problems we do.

          • Sarah O

            Like Sheila said, it’s the huge data swing coming from a *group* of men. This is not one individual guy with a misconception, it’s extremely wide spread. And this question is not “are women aroused by giving oral” it’s “does giving oral contribute to women’s orgasm”. Perhaps it’s easy to conflate the two, but I find that distinction meaningful.
            And this group of men did not say that giving women oral contributes to their own orgasm, so why would they assume the opposite is true?
            I’m trying to realistically think about where this misconception comes from.

          • Sarah O

            I am truly not trying to be derisive or confrontational…but again this is someplace where we find that women’s bodies are being used and sometimes damaged through carelessness and sometimes plain selfishness, but the priority in the discussion is men’s feelings.
            I don’t think the commenters here intend to ridicule or demean, I think the use of humor is meant to keep the conversation good natured and light-hearted. But even saying I’m wrong, why is it so crazy that women are frustrated with the findings of this study? What is the “right” way to voice that frustration?
            This is how it reads to me:
            “My husband and I have been married 20 years. We have intercourse often, but I almost never have an orgasm. It’s left me feeling resentful and broken.”
            “Have you tried giving him more oral sex?”
            “I just thought maybe seeing him get even MORE pleasure out of sex might make you more likely to orgasm.”
            “That is RIDICULOUS. I’ve been watching him get pleasure for two decades,”
            “Whoa whoa whoa! If you’re going to be RUDE then just FORGET it.”
            “Look, that suggestion was just really left field and kind of insensitive based on what I said.”
            “If you can’t be nice about it then I just can’t possibly care about the 20 years you’ve spent feeling used.”
            Can we please let women who have been sexually neglected have a little bit of room to be frustrated?

        • WorkInProgress

          Active Mom, I’m afraid the answer to your first question is, “Yes!” Not because we think our stuff is amazing, but because we see our lover naked or touch them and that takes us to the brink.
          It’s really amazing how “in a moment” my mind defaults to the confused male-sex-brain thinking and after that moment is over I realize that it wasn’t the gift to my wife I thought it would be.
          Our view gets distorted when we put on the lense of sexuality. Guys have to constantly reevaluate what their thinking in the midst of physical intimacy or they’ll completely miss what she needs. The tendency is to miss it because the goal seems of greater importance to us than the journey. That’s not the recipe for success!
          In my opinion, the biggest help a woman can bring to that is to remind him in the moment what she wants. I think even give a couple steps at a time would be helpful.
          Men learn and improve. But, the heat of the moment often messes with our awareness. I love the idea TLHV promotes about telling him what you need.

      • Anonymous Husband

        The wording to this part of the survey is odd. What questions exactly were asked of these men? If someone asked me if my wife giving oral led to a better chance of her orgasming – if it was predictive – I would say yes. If they asked if she was more likely to orgasm ‘while’ giving, or would orgasm because of giving, I would laugh and say no.
        Giving oral gets my wife very turned on, because seeing me turned on does that to her. The same is true in reverse. Afterward it is much easier to bring her to orgasm. Sometimes she’ll have small orgasms while giving, but not often. Also, since some hormone changes she doesn’t enjoy receiving as much, as she’s too sensitive. So if you asked her what was more likely to lead to orgasm, it would be giving.
        After 23 years together I’m pretty in tune with my wife. And yet, it seems I would have been part of the statistical men who ‘just don’t get it’ had I been part of this survey. 😉

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          It asked whether partners orgasmed, and what elements were part of sex if they orgasmed.

          • Doug Hoyle

            Forgive me for being dense, but how is that anything like what you stated in your post. It doesn’t say that men believed anything about anything.
            All it says is that my significant other had an orgasm. Oh, by the way, we did X, Y, and Z. Z just happened to be fellatio in this case. It certainly doesn’t say that men believe fellatio leads to womens orgasms.
            You have either totally misinterpreted that or totally misrepresented the finding.

          • Rebecca Lindenbach

            Doug, the men were asked (1) what you did during sex, (2) if you orgasmed, (3) if your partner orgasmed.
            Men reported their partners orgasming more if they (the man) received oral sex than if their partner (the woman) did.
            Likely what happened was men really enjoyed sex where they received fellatio, and projected their positive feelings on their partners’ experience. I do not believe this was malicious.
            But they literally reported more orgasms if they received than if they gave oral sex. What I believe this points to is the suggestion that men do not fully understand their partners’ experience since women reported starkly different numbers in these areas.
            IF they had done a matched-pair sample, then we would actually know if the men’s partners orgasmed or not. But we don’t. Instead, what we know is if they thought their partner orgasmed. And it seems unlikely that we would see such a large jump in likelihood of female orgasm when men report receiving fellatio versus when women report that they gave it. Who should we trust more–the men who are watching what their partners feel, or women themselves, when it comes to women’s experience?
            At some point, we need to understand that if a woman says she didn’t orgasm, that matters. Even if her husband thinks she did.

        • Anonymous Husband

          I’m not sure I’m reply to the right comment here. I’m trying to respond to Rebecca. I’m honestly not trying to be argumentative here, and I think the last thing you want to do with this blog is have these back-and-forth debates with men! My wife and I enjoy this site and have gotten a lot from it, so I’m writing this only to point out that some of the conclusions being drawn here seem askew. But maybe I’m wrong.
          For the sake of example…let’s say my wife and I are sexually active four nights a week. Of those four, she performs oral two times (foreplay), I perform it once (she doesn’t like it very much), and she orgasms three out of our four evenings together. Based on this survey, the data would suggest she orgasms more after giving fellatio, but in reality it’s just the nature of our love life. Fellatio is a regular part of our foreplay, and she initiates it. The more foreplay we have, the more relaxed and turned on she is, which makes it easier for me to bring her to orgasm. It has nothing to do with me not understanding my wife, or thinking she’s orgasming when she’s not. She just happens to give more often than receive, in terms of oral sex.
          I’m not discounting that there could be a large contingent of clueless men who actually think their wife is experiencing orgasm because of oral sex, just stating that it ‘seems’ like the data could be interpreted in several different ways. And with that, I will leave you alone! Thanks for the work you do here.

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            Anonymous Husband, I hear what you’re saying, and I’ll let Rebecca chime in, too. We’re simply saying that many, many women report having an orgasm after a sexual encounter involving RECEIVING oral sex, while they don’t report the orgasm after GIVING it. However, men say that their wives orgasm more after GIVING it.
            Now, who should we believe is a more accurate reporter of when the she orgasms? The woman herself, or her husband?
            We’re not saying this necessarily applies to your marriage. But remember–the WOMEN said that they orgasm far more after receiving it, while giving had no stastistical significance, and if anything, the direction was negative. We’re just asking that perhaps we listen to what women are saying about their own orgasms. Again, it doesn’t mean it’s true in your marriage. But let’s allow women to speak for themselves about what makes them orgasm, rather than assuming the women are wrong about their orgasms, and the men are right.

          • Anonymous Husband

            Sheila, I couldn’t agree more about women being allowed to speak for themselves. And I’m not talking about my marriage, per se, I’m talking about how the question was asked and the data analysis that resulted from that. It seems a bit off, but hey, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed! Cheers.

          • Rebecca Lindenbach

            I understand the confusion. The questions asked were solely about the most recent sexual encounter. So when they put all the information about the 50,000 encounters together (combining heterosexual men and women’s responses):
            The responses from women did not find that giving oral sex predicted female orgasm (-0.01, not statistically significant)
            The responses from women DID find that receiving oral sex was one of the strongest predictors of orgasm (0.19)
            The responses from men found that women giving oral sex is 3x stronger a predictor than her receiving it
            But regardless of how the questions were worded, we still have it that women are saying something categorically different than men because they were asked the same questions the same way and came up with drastically different responses in this area. There is no way around that when you look at the data. And at the end of the day, it’s much more likely that men, on average, were wrong about their partners’ experience than it is that women, on average, don’t know whether or not they themselves had an orgasm.

          • Anon Wife

            Another point of view is that, at least some of the men that get oral sex don’t give oral sex, therefore if she does orgasm they equate it. That’s unfortunately how it works in our marriage.

    • Ivy

      I think it is selfish and gross, really.

      • Ivy

        The reason that I say it’s gross is because it reminds me of Lori Alexander and her ilk’s belief that I woman is not truly happy unless she is completely subservient to her husband.

  3. Active Mom

    I don’t know how you guys have been able to sort through all of this data without laughing sometimes. I can only imagine some of what you have seen. Can you imagine a sex positive women’s talk at a church where the speaker told the women that if they really wanted to orgasm one of the things they needed to do was give their husband oral sex? I’m laughing in my living room thinking about all the funny reactions my fellow sisters would have had to that piece of data. Bless you guys for all that you do!

  4. Natalie

    Glad I wasn’t the only one who rofl’ed at the stat saying men think their women orgasm from giving them head. 😂🙄🤦🏻‍♀️ The power of the penis!!! 😆 Maybe that’s why some guys love to send dick pics.
    I think the oral sex part is interesting. I’ve always wanted to orgasm from receiving oral, but it’s never worked, even when it’s oral plus internal manual stimulation. It’s not that I’m sex negative or self-conscious of my body (one of the benefits of having a significantly overweight husband: I’ve been confident in my body around him from day 1). I’d be curious to see how much oral technique plays into a woman orgasming purely from receiving oral alone compared to her level of arousal and THEN receiving oral. 🤔

    • Doug Hoyle

      Without giving TMI, technique certainly matters. I sometimes I don’t even know what technique to start with, but it is apparent when I am starting out wrong, and with few exceptions, changing to something different is usually successful. I have one technique that works when nothing else does.
      Sharing more than that would almost certainly be TMI, so I will leave it at that.

      • Natalie

        Honestly, I think a lot of it comes down to the guy (same goes for a woman who’s “good” at giving head in her husband’s opinion). It’s like playing an instrument: sure, everyone can learn it with time. But some people are just more naturally gifted and catch on quickly, and some people are stuck for years strumming the same chords and making slow/no progress at getting better.
        But like with anything, practice makes perfect. And when you both start out as virgins and giving blow jobs happens a lot more frequently over the years than him going down on her, it’s logical that she’d be more adept at giving blow jobs than he’d be giving her oral.

  5. Grace

    To be completely honest, I think I didn’t experience full orgasms until lately because of the church’s view on masturbation. Hearing that it’s wrong and we shouldn’t touch ourselves, I really struggled to then allow my husband to touch me. Yes, we had sex, but for some reason I thought it was wrong for him to stimulate my clitoris during sex. I know that sounds so absurd, but I had always gotten the feeling that my pleasure was suppose to come from penetration and the other stuff was “dirty.” And don’t even get me started on receiving oral sex…and yet I never felt guilty giving it to him. It would have been so helpful if someone had taught me clitoral stimulation IS part of sex and SHOULD be happening along with penetration. My husband and I have been married for 12 years and we’ve just now started experimenting more with him pleasing me first before intercourse. He has enjoyed it and says he feels closer to me. And I’m not feeling shameful that I’m allowing him to please me. It’s been really nice.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Grace, I don’t think you’re weird or alone at all! I’ve heard this from so many women. I’m glad you’re able to experiment now!

  6. Lindsey

    I had to chuckle at the men thinking oral sex is more stimulating to a woman than it is – it’s been my experience that it’s only arousing if my husband has first aroused me. If not it’s actually a turn off.
    It did remind me of my all time favorite meme, though:
    Because blow jobs need to come with a gentle reminder of who’s really in charge. 😂
    Now that is kinda hot.

  7. Doug Hoyle

    I am probably spending way too much emotional energy on this topic, but there is another point I want to make.
    Orgasm came pretty easily for my wife from day one. Most of our earliest sexual encounters were largely oral and she could generally orgasm from that. In the other hand, in 37 years of marriage, she has never had an orgasm from intercourse. It has inly been in yhe last few years that I have come to understand that is more about the way her body is built that about the way I I was endowed. Obviously she was capable of orgasm, but what was equally ibvious to me was that I was not enough by myself to get her there. In all that time, I never believed that she was broken, but that I was somehow not enough.
    I thought it was worth reminding everyone that for every wife that can’t get there, in a large number of those cases there is a man with his own self doubts and insecurities. Yes, there are some pretty selfish guys out there, but I would suspect that most are not.
    On the other hand, I suspect most were about as ignorant as I was. I never heard of responsive desire, or knew that most women actually didn’t orgasm from intercourse alone.
    Ultimately, I suppose I was pragmatic about it. I wasn’t enough to give her an orgasm the right way, so I will do the best I can with what I have(tongue and fingers), yet thru all those years, my insecurities were telling me that wasn’t enough and I wasn’t enough.
    Just figured you all should know that ignorance isn’t bliss at all, and that for every woman out ther who thinks she is broken, there is likely a man anguishing over, and concealing his own insecurities.
    I just thought that was worth saying.

    • Lindsey

      Thank you for sharing, Doug. As a reminder to parents of both genders – proper sexual education involves making sure both genders have a good understanding of what is typical, as well as the knowledge that typical doesn’t mean universal.

      • Doug Hoyle

        The only education I ever received from them was “don’t”.

    • Louise

      I know my hubby struggles with insecurities in general, which is why I’m so scared to tell him that I’ve never orgasmed in the 7yrs we’ve been together 😬. I was a virgin and he had been around the block and more haha so he admitted that the previous girls he’d been with all experienced orgasm, so I assumed that something must be wrong with me. But I know if I told him the truth he’d feel so much guilt and that he wasn’t enough 😟.

      • Jane Eyre

        Shouldn’t he be the one feeling guilty? He’s given ex-girlfriends pleasure that he’s not giving his own wife. That’s awful.

        • Natalie

          Who’s to say all the ex-girlfriends were telling the truth? Who’s to say some or all weren’t faking cuz they wanted to make him feel good about himself?

      • Doug Hoyle

        My first reaction was to ask if you deliberately misled him. I don’t need to know that tho. It is enough that you know yourself. Either way, it isn’t too late to come clean and tell the truth. It might hurt a bit in the short term, but you will both grow because of it. It isn’t fair to either of you to continue the deception. Not even to spare his feelings. If he is a decent loving man, he willbe appreciative in the long run.

      • Anonymous

        Been there, done that, after three 5th year of marriage. It was a shocking revelation and one of the most earth shattering difficult things we’ve faced in our marriage (along with hubby’s porn use). We agreed right then and there to prioritize sex and my husband came to the realization that he’d always be good and it was his job to make sure I was taken care of. It took me years to relax enough and overcome the “man first” thinking… But year 17 of marriage and we can honestly say that was the best thing that ever happened in our marriage. Sex is great now and getting better all the time. I’ve even gone from low drive to high drive in some seasons- blows my mind still that I want sex more than my hubby does now.
        It will be painful, but so worth it. Be honest with him.

  8. Doug Hoyle

    I am going to say this and I am done. For everyine here who is essentially saying that “we are frustrated/hurt so we don’t really care if we step in some toes”. “We’re upset so we don’t have to worry about anyone elses feelings”. Well some of those men are truly selfish, but the majority are just normal guys who probably don’t have a clue. Some are your husbands, brothers, fathers and even your sons, and most would do anything tjey could for you. For the record, the orgasm gap sucks, and we should be trying to shrink it, but it isn’t all our faults. Much of it is well beyond anything we can control.
    You can believe I am making this all about guys feelings if it makes you feel better. That isn’t the case. I mentioned specific remarks and how they would likely be perceived, based largely on my reaction to them. I was clearly mistaken when I thougjt by mentioning them, they might be softened or even retracted. That is my mistake.
    To Sheila, I would counter your argument that frustration makes it somehow ok to say whatever you want, I would point out that you took the opposite position just days ago in the post about Chrissy Teigen. What was said to her and about her, was in fact mean spirited and cruel and it shouldn’t be tollerated. If anyone in the world had justification to challenge you on that, it is me. I didn’t. I agreed with you completely, not only in fact, but in spirit. If you want someone to change, attacking them is a poor way to go about it. I don’t see this as much different. Maybe that is just me tho.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Doug, I think there’s a difference between people being downright mean to Chrissy Teigen after her baby died and people being snarky when men so blatantly misunderstand women in a tremendously strange and bizarre way (thinking that GIVING oral sex will be more likely to result in her orgasm than RECEIVING it).
      Of course we should all try to be kind to one another and should not be unnecessarily mean.
      But I hope you understand that, every time I bring up an area where women have been treated abysmally, you tend to bring up how much men’s feelings are hurt.
      Some things are simply not about men’s feelings, that’s all.

      • Doug Hoyle

        I said I was done, so I guess I lied. I really don’t need you to explain that there is a difference between the earlier post and this one. Clearly, one was a more grave offense than the other. I disagree strongly, however, that a different standard should apply or be applied.
        If a man came on here and said something disparaging about a women’s body, or how they felt and thought about their body, I simply can not imagine a scenario where you would say that he was just frustrated and it was ok. Maybe I am mistaken, but I just can’t. I suspect that he would be censured if he wasn’t censored outright. At the absolute minimum, you would try to correct his thinking, and encourage him to be more understanding.
        In any case, I wasn’t talking about a very few mens thought processes about how giving oral sex might impact a womans orgasm, tho I did try to explain why that might be so. I thought was covered pretty well in the post.
        “It’s an important reminder that what’s really hot for one partner may not be working for the other! Our experiences are different, and that does not mean they are wrong or broken–and it definitely doesn’t mean you shouldn’t include fellatio in your sex life! But it does mean that we need to be open with communication so that you truly know what makes your partner tick instead of just assuming that what makes you feel good makes them feel good.”
        The remark that really caught my attention was “Do men really think that the sight or the ability to touch their equipment is so exciting and arousing that it causes us to orgasm? ” The truth is that is a pretty innocent comment, but I cringed when I read it. It just isn’t a very far stretch to interpret that as “Not that impressive”. I wholeheartedly confess that my own insecurities played a part in my interpretation. Roughly half the population is women, and the other half is made up largely of men who share my insecurity. Most don’t voice it, but it is every bit as universal as body image is to a woman.
        It doesn’t mean that I honestly expect the sight of it to cause my wife to orgasm spontaneously, but when contrasted to how aroused most men feel when they get to see and touch their wives “equipment”, yeah, that remark pretty much comes across as a kick in the scrotum. I would hope that none of the wives would speak that way in front of their husbands.
        Honestly, I really thought that it was an innocent misunderstanding about how that might be perceived, and why it might be. I didn’t really expect an apology, on my behalf or anyone elses, but I didn’t expect it to be doubled down on and justified. My mistake, I guess.
        “Some things are simply not about men’s feelings, that’s all.”
        I have tried to give the benefit of the doubt across the board, but I don’t know how you can say that in good faith. Everything is about the wifes feelings, and everything is equally about the husbands. It doesn’t mean that their feelings are more important, or even based on reality. They still matter. You say you want to shake things up and change the way men think. It won’t happen if you don’t care what they feel. Most won’t come around where they know their feelings don’t matter. I would think that would be obvious.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          Doug, we’re talking about a 45 point orgasm gap in the MAN’S direction. The problem is not that men’s feelings don’t matter. One of the biggest predictors of women’s orgasms is whether or not she will speak up during sex and tell him if it’s not feeling good. But many, many women don’t do that in order to preserve men’s feelings.
          Women ARE thinking about men’s feelings. That’s WHY they don’t speak up. That’s WHY there’s an orgasm gap.
          Please, please try to see that perhaps a 45 point orgasm gap may actually matter. THAT is what we’re talking about in this post. The way around that gap is for men to learn to listen to what women need. It’s for women to learn to speak up and talk about what they need. It’s for men to care about what women need. Yes, in some areas, women’s needs do actually take precedence over men’s feelings, and this is one of those times.

          • Doug Hoyle

            All I am going to say in response is that we agree in more than we disagree. I certainly agree that women should speak up in truth and in love. I understand how difficult that can be some times. I am terrible at it when I am afraid what I say might hurt my wife. I even initially lied to her about my first counseling session because I didn’t know how to tell the truth without hurting her. She still doesn’t know why I went. She has never asked and I still havent figured out how to tell her without hurting her.
            So, I probably understand more than you think. Maybe more than you know yourself.
            I hope to figure that out for myself one day, and in the mean time I hope I can hang onto my convictions that my needs do not take precedence over her feelings.
            Congratulations on your new book release. Maybe it will make some of those difficult conversations easier or even unnecessary.

        • Madame C

          Doug, I agree with you (and I’m a woman). Many comments on this blog can be bitter, rude, and mocking toward men. There’s definitely a bias and priority given toward women and their feelings here. Sheila’s response about how maybe we shouldn’t discuss women’s tones but just meekly accept whatever they say because they are “wronged” is not helpful, in my opinion. I’m with you. I shouldn’t expect my feelings to be prioritized just because I’m female. Both wife and husband must be considerate to each other.
          Men are dumped on all the time for everything these days, and women just see it as justice for what they’ve been through. Not helpful.

    • Jane Eyre

      Doug, you say your wife is able to reach climax.
      We. Aren’t. Talking. About. That.
      I have never had an orgasm and the “best” sex I’ve had is boring and mildly painful. Sex sucks for women.
      Do you understand that every single response you give just underscores the idea that it’s my job to put up with awful sex and not expect better?

      • Doug Hoyle

        I truly am sorry if that is what you are getting from my remarks. I have never knowingly said anything to that effect, nor would I.
        Frankly, I am somewhat at a loss to understand where I might have given that impression, but I will try to be more mindful.

  9. Doug Hoyle

    Oh yeah. I have heard that my feelings and voice didn’t matter once before, just because I was a man. The only thing that mattered was what a woman felt. I lost a child over it. You will have to forgive me if I have a difficult time with that concept.

    • Sarah O

      When I read these comments to my husband, he laughed. He thought many of the data points in the study were also ridiculous and wondered how men could think that. And then he went on with his day.
      The comment that triggered you was, as you say, mild. You are taking this extremely personally. How you got from “do men really think…their equipment is so exciting it causes us to orgasm?” to “no one cares that my wife had an abortion” is an absolute mystery, but it sure it doesn’t feel that way to you. We do care about that and it’s horrible, but honestly way off topic here.
      I’m truly glad you are seeing a counselor, and I truly hope it helps. It’s clear that wound is very raw.
      But this is a community. Sheila sets the guidelines. We can discuss and debate with one another, but we are all random strangers on the internet. If you read a quick, innocent comment from a stranger that triggers your own insecurities, that is really your problem and you need to process those feelings with your counselor or loved ones. No one owes you an apology or a retraction if they are operating within the community guidelines.
      In the meantime, what you have managed to reinforce for the many women that come here looking for help to enjoy sex – is that it is not safe to speak up. Unless they object or critique in the exact perfect way, with the exact perfect words, with the exact perfect tone, it will hurt their man’s feelings and he will just shout her down and keep shouting until she shuts up. If she can’t voice her struggle without hurting his feelings, she does not deserve relief or healing.
      Can you please give grace that no one here has set out to harm anyone, and stop?

      • Doug Hoyle

        How you got from “do men really think…their equipment is so exciting it causes us to orgasm?” to “no one cares that my wife had an abortion” is an absolute mystery,
        It’s pretty much a mystery to me as well, but it often feels like a pretty short trip.
        If I am honest, it often feels like an “us vs. them” environment here, and I guess I feel compelled to speak up for “them”. There is more than enough hurt to go around. Whatever you may think of my little detours, It sure isn’t my intent to add to that for anyone.
        I really do get the whole “feeling like you don’t have a voice” thing, because I literally didn’t. It was stripped from me in the courts. Women have support groups for just about everything. It took me 5 years to find a counselor who specialized in abortion trauma of any sort, never mind for men. When I see her, it is in a crisis pregnancy center. Her usual clients are obviously women.
        Maybe a more pathetic truth is that if I leave here or get shut out, I don’t know where else to turn to be heard. There isn’t a community for people like me. I even tried to start one once.
        I’m really sorry if I hurt anyone.

    • Madame C

      Oh my word. I am so sorry. What a tragedy. 🙁

    • Samantha

      Doug, I appreciate your commentary. I agree that there are too many women who “dump” on men as a whole, and it sickens me. You seem to be an honest, straightforward man who cares deeply about his wife. There are, sadly, many women who have spent their lives not enjoying or actually hating sex due to childhood messages, sexual abuse, lack of anatomical knowledge and Madison Avenue campaigns that sell “pleasure” which is aimed towards intercourse only, leaving millions of women dissatisfied, angry, and feeling put upon. Try not to be offended by comments you may read here or anywhere else on this issue-it’s just the frustration coming out.

  10. Ed

    When my wife and I are sexually intimate, I lovingly perform cunnilingus for her 100% of the time and she climaxes 100% of the time. Sometimes her climaxes are stronger and sometimes weaker, depending on how tired she is and how emotionally aroused she is. In any case, she climaxes 100 % of the time because her orgasm and sexual fulfillment is extremely important to me and I enjoy doing it and helping to facilitate her pleasure.
    But this doesn’t translate the other way around when it comes to oral sex. My wife has a strong gag reflex and an aversion to bodily fluids, therefore, I’ve never received fellatio from her and probably never will (I’ve made peace with that fact).
    As for these guys who are super-obsessed with how awesome and enticing their “junk” is, I don’t know who they are. I’m not one of them myself and furthermore, none of the guys I hang out with hyperfocus on their penises nor crow about how sexually stimulating fellatio is to their wives.
    Maybe some women just marry self-focused, narcissistic men just like some men marry self-focused, narcissistic women.

    • edl

      It might be helpful to remember that generally speaking men tend to be aroused via what they see (visually) more often than women are. This likely factors in to some degree in these situations and discussions about who-gets-aroused by oral sex.

  11. T

    Do we believe that women are autonomous beings, full image bearers of Christ, capable of emotional intelligence and self-actualization? If so, which as a woman I strongly assert that we are, then our sexual satisfaction is our responsibility.
    We are not able to change anyone but ourselves. If I am not orgasming and want to it is my responsibility to take the steps to get myself there, even if the journey will be long.
    As far as the idea that women suffer the lack of orgasm to protect men’s feelings: To not speak to hypothetically preserve someone’s feelings- a story you have created in your own mind based on your own preconceived ideas and hypothesis of how your spouse may react/has reacted before, is a lie you are using that harms you.
    You deceive yourself into thinking you are the superior spouse, that your husband is a base creature and you are above that because of your self-imposed sacrifice. You make your own suffering by being scared of truth, vulnerability and assuming your beloved so depraved that if you spoke honestly, they would spurn you. What opinion do you hold of your husband then? Is it true or the manifestation of your own insecurities and self-doubt? Is he really unsafe for your words, your heart, undeserving of your whole body and purposefully leaving you unsatisfied? If so, get out, get therapy, make a change! If he doesn’t care, take aggressive action! If not, adjust your course to the truth- our calling as believers-to live in truth.
    There is an orgasm gap because women don’t speak up. You can hold to whatever cause/incident/family of origin/trauma/society/pain you want, but at some point, each of us must own ourselves for ourselves and speak. I am a grown woman. I will not allow my past, what was forced or chosen, to dictate my future. If I want change, it is mine to claim, I will not wait for my husband to claim it for me. I will come in humble vulnerability and share my heart, my pain and my need. I will hear my husband’s response in good will, and we will honor each other as we promised to do. I will set boundaries for myself to enact the change I desire. I will put in my own work. I will be no one’s victim, not even my own.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I agree, T, and this is a large part of what we’re teaching in this course: You were created for pleasure. You have the right to pleasure in marriage. You won’t get that pleasure unless you speak up. But many women find this very difficult, and they need some cheering on and some reassurance that it is okay for them to speak up, because they’ve been taught their whole life that it’s not. I’m so glad that you have that kind of confidence; and you’re right–nothing changes unless we do something about it. But please have grace with those who find that kind of confidence elusive, because we don’t all have the same stories or the same personality. Some people need to be cheered on and encouraged.

    • O

      Absolutely not. There’s an orgasm gap because society has considered intercourse the main event, the only real sex, the most fun, the thing everyone should enjoy since the beginning of time. Penises have set the timeline for sex forever. He’s hard? Time to get going!! He orgasmed? Time to wrap this up. And women are simply supposed to facilitate his pleasure and perhaps get a little bit for themselves if it fits in those narrow parameters. It’s frustrating and ridiculous and as we’ve seen in comment after comment even good, considerate faithful men don’t can’t understand that their wives don’t get much from intercourse. They’ve been told (gently of course, we’re always reminded to tell them gently. Wouldn’t want to be direct and say something like, “Yeah no this works for you and does nothing for me. Look it up. Science.”), they’ve been told again, they’ve seen their wives reach down and take care of their own needs, they’ve heard their wives suggest other things to try etc etc for years. And nothing changes. Men’s needs, experiences, pain and pleasures have always been a bigger priority and it’s infuriating.

  12. Tory

    Because I am an outlier in so many ways, I just had to comment on this whole “does oral sex turn women on” etc. 😉 im a pretty orgasmic woman; but I can’t climax from intercourse alone, and I have never climaxed from receiving oral; in fact, it’s not something I enjoy, but my spouse does, so I do it for him. However, the first time I ever performed oral sex on a man (my husband on our honeymoon) I climaxed from just that alone 😉
    And to Doug, if you are still reading, I too found the tone of some of the comments snarky; like “men, they are so dumb and clueless. Why would they think we find their bodies/penises arousing???”
    Overall I thought this was a great post and I’m glad christians are talking about this.

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Hi Tory! Thanks for chiming in. You definitely are an outlier, but I’m glad you found something that works!
      I think the tone was snarky, but it also grew out of a genuine sense of frustration. I think it’s important to note how many women have been subject to unwanted views of men’s penises. Ask, and it’s almost universal: men pulling up beside you in a car and masturbating (had that done to me); men sending you “dick pics”, even strangers, on social media; exhibitionists. And then, of course, there are the very, very many women who are abused by forced oral sex. So I think the idea that men do think that their genitals are especially exciting to women is a source of great frustration and consternation because of how we’re treated in the wider society. Combine that with how many women, especially on this blog, struggle with orgasm because stimulation other than intercourse isn’t provided well, and I do think there’s going to be some frustration pouring out! I think there does need to be some acknowledgment of what women do go through, because women are constantly asked in evangelical books to understand what men go through (hence the whole “you’re his methadone; have sex with him so he won’t lust). Sometimes frustration spills over. It’s not always done in the best of ways, but I do think the frustration is very valid.

      • Tory

        @Sheila, oh I definitely agree. I personally have not experienced any “dick pics” or any abuse or had men expose themselves to me or anything like that. I understand the frustration. I also think that it’s a little cruel to the “good guys” and good men out there to imply that it’s ridiculous for a woman to be aroused by a penis or by performing oral sex — there are those of us women who really enjoy the male body! I think most husbands would like to believe that their body (and yes, their penis) is arousing to their wife. By the way, congrats on the book! I think it’s going to be fantastic, I am so glad christians are having these conversations, and I think it will fill a real gap in the christian sex books that are already out there.

  13. Emily Shore

    #6- A VIBRATOR! (Yes, Sheila I love you but this is a sticking point for me bc I’d never O otherwise)
    Seriously for those of us with little kids and busy schedules and especially for those of us who don’t have the same stamina we used to before kids when we got to exercise more and weren’t carrying 30 pounds of extra weight, Invest in a vibrator! I am a wonderful wife. I don’t expect my husband to go down on me for 15 minutes each time just like he doesn’t expect me to go down on him every time.
    Not once does vibrator make me want him or love him any less! I still got the hots for him and we love spicing our intimacy up with different settings and even some stimulators for him. He gets turned on by watching me O to my vibrator. And I still want him every time I do. But we are realistic.
    My body isn’t the same post kids. I don’t achieve orgasm with just on top stroking or deep kissing. It’s not practical. And since my husband is so turned on by me even after 15 years, there isn’t enough time to explore how we can both O via VI. He just comes way too soon. It would take him like 5-10 tries and he just doesn’t have that endurance.
    We can’t all be expected to be olympians In the bedroom. Our bodies break down. We have extra fat. We are out of breath and tired after a long day. It’s okay to get a little extra help sometimes.
    Ladies and especially mommas, chat with your hubby and get a vibrator!
    Love you Sheila!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      I do talk about them in the course, Emily, so don’t worry! 🙂 I just give some warnings, but also acknowledge that for some women, it’s been very helpful. 🙂

    • Tory

      @Emily, I think your comment was very practical and I think it’s awesome that you found what works for you! I don’t personally use or even like vibrators but I recommend them to my female friends frequently for the reasons you suggest. Do what works and don’t stress! It’s a tool!

  14. Anonymous

    I kind of wonder, if you’re going to reach men who are logical and analytics based then maybe you should show the actual data and the questions asked. You’d get a lot further by posting the actual data with the results FOLLOWED by a post summarizing your findings rather than forcing readers to take your word for it. It seems more honest and transparent. That way we can see what you’re claiming is true and not exaggerated. Shanti did similar work and always shared the question she asked, along with the results, then her thoughts.
    Just a suggestion that maybe would have helped clear the air.

  15. Shannon

    I understand the importance of telling my spouse what to do and how to do it and whether I like it or not, but I don’t want to give instructions every time we have sex. Since I never orgasm anyway, I just want him to experience as much pleasure as I can give him without distracting instructions.


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