What We Learned About Orgasms In 2016, From Why They Feel So Good To Why Single Women Have More

They’re one of life’s great pleasures and yet, we really don’t really know that much about the female orgasm. But luckily researchers continue to enlighten us with brand new information every year. So, what did we learn about orgasms in 2016?

Quite a bit, actually. For instance, earlier this year researchers were able to discover why men tend to orgasm more than women. Another study found why having the right mindset is still a very important key to reaching an orgasm. What happens to your brain during an orgasm is pretty fascinating. A couple of different surveys looked into fake orgasms and why women do it. While the surveys essentially came to the same conclusion, one dived a little deeper into the subject and found a darker and more problematic reason behind it. But on a positive note, researchers also found that a lot of women say they've experienced multiple orgasms and that single women have great sex lives.

Overall, numerous studies throughout the year put the focus on women and the female orgasm, which of course is excellent because it's been left out of the conversation for far too long. There’s still a lot more to learn, but here are some things you should know about 2016's findings.

1That Orgasms Are All About Anatomy And Positioning

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Why are men more likely to orgasm more than women? Researchers from the Mayo Clinic and the Indiana University School of Medicine found one very basic explanation: anatomy. To no one’s surprise, they found that female orgasms are much “more complicated” and “inconsistent” than male orgasms.

Most women tend to need clitoral stimulation in order to get off. But the researchers said that during sex the clitoris “tends to migrate up toward the vaginal wall.” Yes, it moves. So the key here is positioning. Women need to find positions where the front of the vagina wall gets more stimulation. Some of the best positions for female orgasm are missionary, cowgirl, and the coital alignment technique.

2That Your Brain Plays A Key Role

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The previous study found that anatomy and positioning is a very important key for women to have orgasms. But another study found that being in the right mindset is equally important. In a study conducted by Adam Safron, a neuroscientist and Ph.D. candidate at Northwestern University, it was found that your brain is the reason why orgasms make you feel really good. Safron went through years of previous studies and research to find the relationship between sexual activity and brain functions. In doing so, he was able to create a model showing how sex influences brain rhythms. Essentially, if you stimulate something long enough with the right amount of intensity, the synchronicity can speed through your brain causing you to lose focus and be overcome by sensations. Thus, an orgasm happens.

This study highlights the importance of being in the right mindset during sex. If you relax and just let yourself feel, your brain will help get you there.

3That Most Women Fake Orgasms Because Sex Takes Too Long — And They Just Want It To End

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A couple of studies this year looked into something many of us have probably done in our sexual past, yet aren’t proud of it: faking it. Specifically, why do women fake orgasms? A survey of 1,000 people from Illicit Encounters found that 68 percent of women admit to faking orgasms while less than a third of men could say the same. The number one reason why people fake it is because the sex takes too long and they don’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings. More than half the women surveyed said there’s nothing wrong with faking an orgasm, and women are eight times more likely to fake it with her long term partner than with someone new.

Another study presented at the British Psychological Society's Psychology of Women annual conference in Windsor found that women fake orgasms to end bad sex. But it’s way more problematic than having sex with a partner who’s just bad in bed. Some women in the study talked about faking orgasms in the context of unwanted and unpleasurable sexual experiences.

4That A Lot Of Women Have Had Multiple Orgasms

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From faking it to having multiples. Match’s annual Singles In America survey from this year found that that 55 percent of women say they’ve had multiple orgasms.

Thanks to research done by OMGYES.com, it was found that the key to having multiple orgasms is to switch things up. According to the survey, most women who said they’ve never had multiple orgasms felt too sensitive after coming, so they didn’t want to go for another. Because of that, researchers suggest once you’ve stimulated one area long enough to orgasm, find another area in order to have another one.

5That Single Women Orgasm More Than Women In Relationships

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In a study published in Psychological Medicine, researchers found that single women have more orgasms than women in relationships. Using the Female Sexual Function Index as the tool for measurement, researchers studied 2,173 Finnish women over the course of seven years. They found that women who stayed in the same monogamous relationship over the study’s time period experienced the biggest decrease in sex drive. Single women, on the other hand, experienced an increase in their “orgasmic ability.” As experts told Bustle, single women have more orgasms because they tend to masturbate more, are more comfortable in their own skin, know what they like in bed and are comfortable communicating with their partners. As this study shows, it’s always a great time to be a single woman.

This year brought us some great information. But as numerous experts and researchers will likely tell you, there’s always further research that needs to be done. So what will 2017 bring? More secrets to having an orgasm? Maybe what happens to your brain when you have multiple orgasms? Whatever it is, I’m excited to find out.