That gap held steady in a 2018 study on orgasm frequency among 52,588 heterosexual, gay, and bisexual men- and women-identifying adults in the United States. It found that of all the groups studied, heterosexual men reported "usually or always" orgasming 95 percent of the time during sex, followed by gay (89 percent) and bisexual men (88 percent); bisexual women people reported orgasming only 66 percent of the time, and heterosexual women reported reaching orgasm just 65 percent of the time.
- Angie Rowntree, sex educator and founder of Sssh.com
- Annabelle Knight, sex and relationship therapist
- Anne Hodder-Shipp, ACS, CSE, sex educator and founder of Everyone Deserves Sex Ed
- Holly Richmond, PhD, certified sex therapist
- Jess O'Reilly, PhD, sexologist and relationship expert
- Jill McDevitt, PhD, California-based sexologist
- Joy Berkheimer, PhD, LMFT, Florida-based sexologist and licensed marriage and family therapist
- Kate Balestrieri, PsyD, certified sex therapist and founder of Modern Intimacy
- Marla Renee Stewart, sexologist and sexual wellness expert for Lovers
- Rachel Allyn, PhD, holistic psychologist and pleasure expert
- Rebecca Alvarez Story, sexologist and founder of Bloomi
- Zhana Vrangalova, PhD, New York City-based sex researcher, writer, and educator
Part of that orgasm gap is likely due to the sheer length of time it can take a vulva-owner to orgasm: A separate 2020 study of more than 600 heterosexual vulva-owners found it took an average of about 14 minutes for them to orgasm3. The good news? That number is variable—and you can figure out how to orgasm fast, if you'd like to make haste.
But first, it's worth clarifying that the average above is still just that: an average. Some vulva-owners may only require a handful of penetrative thrusts to board the train to O-land, and others might need quite a bit of time, coupled with stimulation at different erogenous zones. It's not unlike the time it takes different people to run a marathon. “Even if you tell me the average time is four hours, it might still take me two days,” says sexologist Jess O'Reilly, PhD, host of the Sex With Dr. Jess podcast.
“To experience sexual pleasure, the mind needs to be present and be able to focus on the physical sensations taking place.” —Holly Richmond, PhD, certified sex therapist
And let's not forget that trusty old fable about the tortoise and the hare, because even with orgasms, faster doesn't always mean better. In fact, taking your eyes off the clock entirely could put your mind at more ease. And since the brain is a sexual organ, that mindset shift could be the difference between a full-body-quaking orgasm and none at all.
“To experience sexual pleasure, the mind needs to be present and be able to focus on the physical sensations taking place,” says certified sex therapist Holly Richmond, PhD. That’s why factors like high stress levels, feelings of anger or disappointment with your partner, a preoccupation with reaching your orgasm, or being otherwise distracted can make climaxing difficult from the jump—whether you have no time or all the time in the world.
That said, we all have places to go and people to see. And if you can't seem to figure out how to orgasm faster, it's easy to grow impatient with your body. To that end, read on for expert tips for having a fast (and fruitful) orgasm on a deadline.
16 tips for how to orgasm fast, according to sexperts
1. Get well-acquainted with your body ahead of time
No matter whether you're planning to engage in partnered sex or have a solo moment, loving thyself requires knowing thyself. In other words, make like a body cartographer and map out your bits, says holistic psychologist and pleasure expert Rachel Allyn, PhD. Some suggestions: Rub your clitoris clockwise and then counterclockwise, diagonally and then side-to-side. Pinch and pull your nipples, and play with your breasts. Try finding your G-spot with a finger. Touch your own butt.
All of these self-pleasure practices can help you better understand your unique anatomy. "Anatomical differences can explain why some women have an easier or harder time experiencing different types of orgasms," says Dr. Allyn. Even the distance between the clitoris and the urinary opening can determine where you'll feel the magic and where you just won't feel, well, much of anything at all. "The shorter the distance between the two, the more likely a [vulva-owner] is able to have vaginal types of orgasms—like G-spot and cervical—in addition to clitoral," she adds.
So, getting to know your own parts is a necessary prerequisite to making them feel good—and fast. You might even make this pleasure-focused exploration a part of your day-to-day routine and work your way toward experiencing daily orgasms, which benefit both body and mind.
2. Find a vibrator you love, and put it to good use
To help you along the path toward self-exploration, you might enlist a tool that, unlike another person, is not operating with a time or energy limit. “Vibrators are simply able to move at constant speed and intensity in a way that a hand or finger is not,” says sexologist Jill McDevitt, PhD, who recommends a toy like the The Miracle Massager as a great first vibrator.
In particular, Dr. McDevitt also suggests using a toy to experiment with edging, aka prolonging an orgasm. Edging entails “building yourself up to orgasm, but backing off before the actual orgasm,” she says. Not only can this lead to longer, stronger orgasms when you do let them happen, but it also "teaches you to focus on the hot sensation of the buildup, and allows you to be okay with the 'goal' being prolonged."
3. Communicate with a partner
Now that you know good and well what you like, don’t force any sexual partner to guess. If you have a romantic partner, start the conversation about what you like when you're outside the bedroom, well before you've started engaging in the act, and begin to sprinkle in additional details. “Most partners find enormous pleasure in the pleasure of their partner, and they willingly and readily accept this guidance,” says Dr. Richmond.
Plus, open communication may lead your partner to share what they like in bed, too. (Goodbye, guessing games; hello, mutual satisfaction.) You can also keep the conversation going once the sex acts start by experimenting with how to talk dirty.
4. Do something intimate before sex
Sure, this may sound like additional work on both of your parts, but it's really just making the conscious choice to shift your mind from TV-land or work mode or whatever else might be happening during your day to something a little more classically sexy.
"Having an intimate moment before sex can help you feel turned on more easily," says sexologist Rebecca Alvarez Story, founder of the intimacy marketplace Bloomi: "For example, having a glass of wine together, taking a bath together, or reading erotica to each other can help you feel more aroused from the start, making you more likely to orgasm faster, too."
5. Get focused on the clitoris
If you've gotten explorative with solo play, you may have found that you don't need much in-and-out to feel some type of way. That's because, for most vulva-owners, the easiest type of orgasm to reach is the external clitoral one, says human sexuality professor Zhana Vrangalova, PhD. "The external clitoris is the part of the body that contains the greatest density of nerve endings that, when stimulated, can lead to pleasure," she says.
To really zoom in on the clitoris, try incorporating a targeting sex toy into your sex play, like the Zumio S and its rotational wonders or the to-the-point Maude Vibe, or even a suction toy like the Unbound Puff, which is specifically optimized for clitoral stimulation.
"You could always give yourself or ask your partner to give you a quick clitoral orgasm at the start of sex or during foreplay," says Story. "This will create a surge of oxytocin (the bonding hormone) that will make you feel 'sex high' throughout the rest of the session. Multiple orgasms are a lot easier for people with vulvas than they are for people with penises, so don't assume you just need one big one with penetrative sex," she says.
6. Teach a partner how to do the Kivin Method for climax
Amping up the oral part of any sexual experience can also help you learn how to orgasm faster. And one surefire way to do that is to incorporate the Kivin Method. Though it's deceptively simple—it's all about flipping things on their side—it packs a big punch for the unique way it can stimulate the clitoris.
"Instead of being licked up and down, which would miss out on stimulating the crura and bulbs (the arms and legs of the clitoris), licking occurs lengthways with the Kivin Method, meaning that stimulation is spread over a larger surface area," sex and relationship therapist Annabelle Knight previously told Well+Good. This simple switch can be so powerful that some folks with vulvas have reported climaxing from the Kivin Method in three minutes flat.
7. Stimulate multiple erogenous zones at once
"Many women enjoy heightened pleasure when their partner can do two things at once—kiss sensually and touch her clitoris, or stimulate her breasts orally and use a hand inside of her," says Story. Essentially, for some people, more really is more.
If a partner can successfully multitask, you're not only more likely to orgasm faster, but you may also be able to mix up your sex life with the exquisite blended orgasm. Just like it sounds, a blended orgasm simply means you're having not one but two or more orgasms simultaneously at different erogenous zones.
“When you’re in a really big hurry, sometimes you need to hit more than just one ‘button’ to bring on your orgasm quickly, and this is where it can be incredible if you engage your clitoris with a vibrator while also enjoying penetrative play with a partner or toy, anally or vaginally,” says Angie Rowntree, founder and director of ethical porn site Sssh.com.
8. Invest in a good arousal oil
"A good arousal oil can help to increase circulation, promote vaginal wetness, and overall help you orgasm faster and stronger," says Story. It's basically a lovely little aphrodisiac in a bottle. One option we love? Bloomi Arousal Oil, a clean botanical mixture that can help you climb up to your climax way quicker when you use it before or during outerplay.
9. Practice mindfulness in the moment
Tuning into all the things you might feel while you're having sex has the effect of shifting your brain's attention to physical sensations, and in turn, cranking up their intensity. As noted above, that's because the brain is deeply involved in the experience of sex and pleasure, with stimulation actually activating particular brain regions. (In fact, many a spontaneous or accidental orgasm can occur due to certain types of mental arousal.)
According to Dr. McDevitt, there’s no wrong way to practice mindfulness in order to reap bedroom benefits: meditation apps, mindful workouts, tantric masturbation, and this five-minute meditation for better sex are all great options, as is slowing down to take a few deep breaths in the heat of the moment.
When you're present, it can also lead you to experiment more with your body and the ways it responds to different types of stimulation, like types of stroking and pace, as well as different erogenous zones being stimulated at once and different positions, says Dr. Allyn. And the more experimental you get, the more likely you're going to land on a combination that sparks an orgasm quickly.
10. Try a grounding exercise
In the same vein as practicing mindfulness, if you're ever in the midst of a sexual act and suddenly lose momentum toward orgasm, a simple reset can help. Dr. Richmond says to stop (and ask any partner to do so, too), then sit or lie with your eyes open in a comfortable position. Take five full inhales and exhales, then name five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. (Note: These don’t have to be sex-related things, but they certainly can be.)
“This will help bring you back to the moment and interrupt any thoughts you’re having about how long it’s taken you to orgasm in the past, or anxious feelings you’re having about how long it might take you now,” says Dr. Richmond.
11. Meet with a sex therapist or coach
“There are people who are well-trained to help with orgasm,” says Dr. McDevitt. So, if you're continuing to feel self-conscious about any aspect of your ability to orgasm, or it’s affecting your relationship with yourself or your partner, why not invest in a qualified sex coach or sex therapist? Also, contrary to popular opinion, you don't have to have a partner to get help from a sex therapist, either; single people can seek their guidance, too.
12. Clear your mind during sex so you can focus on pleasure
One of the keys on the road to a faster orgasm is a sound mind, meaning one that's focused on the pleasurable task at hand during sex—aka orgasming. According to sexologist Joy Berkheimer, PhD, LMFT, you'll be on your way to orgasm if you "clear out feelings and frustrations that have nothing to do with sex" before getting busy.
Whether the sex you're having is solo or partnered, being present during sex, for example by banishing nervous thoughts, will help you focus on having a good time. Be sure to also keep your partner clued into how you're feeling so lingering feelings don't become resentments that can impede your intimate moments.
13. Get your ears involved with audio erotica
At its core, sex is a sensory experience, and playing up your sense of sound by way of audio erotica can be a key piece in amping up—and speeding up—your pleasure. “Watch or listen to something that makes you feel super sexy and expressive, like that one song you always listen to while getting ready for a date or pumped up for a job interview, or a porn or erotica clip that makes you feel things in your body without having to think about it,” says sex educator Anne Hodder-Shipp.
14. Do some erotic breathwork
You may know about the benefits of breathwork for stress reduction and mindfulness, but the technique can also be helpful in the bedroom when you’re trying to achieve orgasm. According to sexologist Marla Renee Stewart, sexpert for sexual-wellness retailer Lovers, “forcing your body to slow down your breath helps to relax those orgasmic muscles and can help not only with orgasming fast, but also having deep, strong, and euphoric orgasms.”
15. Give yourself a time limit
Perhaps paradoxically, a time crunch can be thrilling for some, says Rowntree. She actually recommends “scheduling a quickie” to get sparks flying faster, whether you're setting aside a short window for solo play or looping in a partner.
The time crunch can be hot for the same reason that sneaky sex is—it feels forbidden and like you need to move quickly (or else). “You could even go for a romp in the back of a car, or sneak somewhere ever-so-slightly 'forbidden' if you find that the risk of 'getting caught' arouses you,” says Rowntree.
16. Try syntribation
Another way to orgasm more quickly? Rubbing and squeezing your thighs together to create friction and tension, AKA syntribation. The heat you generate between your legs can create a pleasurable feeling that you can also intensify by contracting your pelvic floor muscles.
“The thigh grinding and squeezing can stimulate the internal and external parts of the clitoris,” certified sex therapist Kate Balestrieri, PsyD, founder of therapy group Modern Intimacy, previously told Well+Good. You don’t need to do much to try this out, either: Simply cross your legs and start rubbing.
- Andrejek, Nicole et al. “Climax as Work: Heteronormativity, Gender Labor, and the Gender Gap in Orgasms.” Gender & society : official publication of Sociologists for Women in Society vol. 36,2 (2022): 189-213. doi:10.1177/08912432211073062
- Frederick, David A et al. “Differences in Orgasm Frequency Among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men and Women in a U.S. National Sample.” Archives of sexual behavior vol. 47,1 (2018): 273-288. doi:10.1007/s10508-017-0939-z
- Bhat, Gajanan S., and Anuradha Shastry. “Time to Orgasm in Women in a Monogamous Stable Heterosexual Relationship.” The Journal of Sexual Medicine, vol. 17, no. 4, 2020, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsxm.2020.01.005.
- Wallen, Kim, and Elisabeth A Lloyd. “Female sexual arousal: genital anatomy and orgasm in intercourse.” Hormones and behavior vol. 59,5 (2011): 780-92. doi:10.1016/j.yhbeh.2010.12.004
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