The female orgasm is...elusive, with some research showing most women only orgasm around 63 percent of the time with a familiar partner. A new study has found that men feel manlier when a women does have an orgasm during sex, as they view this as a “masculine achievement.” The problem? These men don't seem to understand that an orgasm is for a woman's pleasure, not a way to stroke their egos, the study authors suggest.
The study, published online now in The Journal of Sex Research, determined that some heterosexual men view a female orgasm as a sign of their own masculinity, and also found that men who were less secure with their manhood and more stressed about gender roles were more likely to hold this view, PsyPost reported. The study also found that many men and women view a female orgasm as the sole responsibility of the male partner. This way of thinking may lead men to reject feedback from women on preferences or technique because they may see such advice as an insult to both their masculinity, and their performance.
“For these men, [who see female orgasms as a sign of masculinity] women’s orgasm is actually about the men feeling good about their masculinity,” study authors Sara B. Chadwick and Sari van Anders told PsyPost. “This could explain why some men feel pressured to 'give' women orgasms. And, it could explain why some women fake orgasms, i.e., to protect men’s feelings.”
For their research, the duo had 810 men (with an average age of 25) fill out a survey to measure their attitudes towards toward stereotypical gender roles, their "investment in a partner's sexual pleasure" and how comfortable they felt in their masculinity, Mic reported.
The team hope their findings may help couples see female orgasms for what they are; not a sign of female liberation or a signal of masculinity, but rather as an important shared part of the sexual experience.
“Women’s orgasms should be experienced – when they are wanted – as a wonderful part of sexuality, not as something men give to women as an example of their prowess,” the authors explained to PsyPost. “Cultural ideas about masculinity push many men to feel like they need to live up to certain ideals, and this ends up being bad for sexual pleasure.”
This is not the first study to suggest that some men view the female orgasm as a validation of their own skills in bed. For example, a 2014 study from Western University came to a similar conclusion, finding that the majority of men viewed it as their responsibility to make a woman orgasm, and felt depressed when they weren’t able to do this.
"I think it's only natural to look at yourself and probably blame yourself to an extent. Even though there's countless factors that could have contributed [to the lack of female orgasm during intercourse], it could be completely not your fault, but the guy has most of the responsibility to make the female orgasm," explained one study participant, Women’s Health reported.
The truth is, a female orgasm isn’t solely the result of male penetration, and has a lot to do with clitoris stimulation, Buzzfeed reported. In addition, a woman’s state of mind also plays a big role, and if women don’t feel safe, secure, and relaxed, it may be difficult for them to reach the Big O, no matter how hard their partner is working.
Source: Chadwick SB, van Anders SM. Do Women’s Orgasms Function as a Masculinity Achievement for Men? The Journal of Sex Research . 2017