There are many things that can get in the way of a woman achieving an orgasm during heterosexual intercourse. But a newfound cause that makes women less likely to orgasm will certainly surprise you. No, it's not stress, anxiety, fear, solid TV line-ups or insecurity — it's sexism. Yes, according to a new study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, researchers from the University of Queensland in Australia came to a shocking discovery that some of the greater ideals surrounding sexist mentalities can keep women from achieving an orgasm during sex with a male partner.
As it turns out, socially, we're both victims and perpetuators of sexism. In order to conceptualize the implications, you have to understand what exactly sexism is. There are two types that fall under the lager concept of ambivalent sexism. Hostile sexism is defined as the the type of attitude that holds men over women in terms of strength and natural ability. It's a huge motivator of negative stereotypes about gender. Benevolent sexism on the other hand, holds women up on a pedestal. It seems innocuous because it aims to positively affect the lives of women, but is a silent perpetuator of sociological perceptions of women. By telling men that women should be treated like princesses is indirectly telling society that women are too delicate for work. It tells society that women are not equal to men — meaning making women more or less than men is sexist, true gender equality would be the belief that both sexes should be treated identically.
The first part of the study determined what percentage of participating women had ambivalent sexist beliefs. These ideas that define ambivalent sexism are not only hugely present in today's society, but also between the sheets. In the study at the University of Queensland in Australia, researchers found that women who believed men to be more dominant by nature tended to be less satisfied in bed. The reason being that women and men who unintentionally participate in sexism, hold the men's pleasure above the woman's. They believe that a man's priority in bed is to bring pleasure to himself, and therefore the woman's priority should be the same. The second part of the study identified what percentage of participating women believed their male partners to be dominant and selfish in bed. Both studies lead to a similar road: No Orgasm Lane. Concluding that sexist beliefs, whether conscious or subconscious can seriously get in the way of female pleasure in heterosexual intercourse.
If you're confident you're not sexist but still have trouble finding the pleasure you deserve in bed, these are three other possibilities that might be getting in your way:
1. Too Much Booze
Alcohol can cause vaginal dryness which, as you may have experienced, can be incredibly painful or uncomfortable. And while you might feel more inhibited when you've been drinking, your pleasure potential is actually repressed. It's not just your body that's drunk, it's your vagina, too.
2. Too Much Coffee
Not disimilar to alcohol, caffeine is dehydrating. Additionally, when you're over-cafinated, your mind is really struggling to stay focused on hitting that climax. Your thoughts are jumping around and keeping you off track — you're thinking about work and about your favorite black shirt that went missing and what meme you forgot to send your best friend.
3. Not Enough Sleep
The more sleep you get, the more balanced you are. If your hormone levels haven't had time to refresh and regulate, you might have a harder time getting turned on and feeling motivated. Not to mention, there's nothing less appealing than sex when you're half asleep because you were up till 4 a.m. the night before binge watching a show.
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