The “Orgasm Gap”

by An Ordinary Man (the novel)

CBSnews.com reports that scientists are continuing to seek answers to the question of why women are famous for having a lower orgasmic rate then men, having had it confirmed recently that the rate for heterosexual women (65%) is far below that for heterosexual men (95%), but also below gay men (89%), bi-sexual men (88%), gay women (86%), and bisexual women (66% – their involvement with the men, I assume, bringing the average way down).

Dr. Richard Wilson, addressing his evolutionary biology class in my novel, An Ordinary Man, had this to say in response to a student’s question: why don’t women come all the time?

“Some of us in biology have come to what we consider an inescapable conclusion – that the female orgasm is an evolutionary artifact and serves no true biological purpose. It is, for want of a better term, a happy accident.”

Tanya stared at him, whether with hostility or merely intense curiosity, so he began his elaboration by looking directly at her.

“To understand this, one has to understand human embryology, which is not that different than any other kind of mammalian embryology. Although the individual’s gender is determined at the moment of conception by the presence or absence of the Y chromosome, the developing embryo does not show sexual differentiation until several weeks later. The blueprints for human anatomy are not all that different between males and females in that most of our systems operate exactly the same way; our circulation, digestion, sensory, et cetera. That’s why males have nipples, even though they normally never go on to secrete milk for the young; they were in the joint blueprint and there’s no mechanism for nature to take them out so they get built.

“Most of the female parts are homologous to the males – or vice versa. Most notably, the undifferentiated embryonic genital tubercle becomes the clitoris in the female and the penis in the male, but there’s quite a listing of sexual homologues available on the internet for those of you who might be interested.” Presumably that would be all of them, with the luckiest going on to make side-by-side comparisons in the privacy of their dorm rooms. He didn’t think it advisable to stand up there and tell them that the mons was the feminine counterpart of the scrotum, or that her inner lips matched the spongy erectile tissue of his dick. Labia was one of those words that was just a little bit too tangible for polite conversation, even in an academic setting. “The upshot of all of this is that the female body receives all of the necessary components to make orgasm possible, even if it is not, strictly speaking, essential for the continuation of the line. But I do not want to leave anyone with the impression that the sexuality of the human female is somehow jury-rigged or cobbled together from left-over spare parts as it is quite likely that its functioning, whatever its origination, has been honed over the centuries in that women who enjoyed sex presumably have out-bred women who do not, thereby tending to perfect it just like any other form of selective pressure. Not exactly survival of the fittest, but of the happiest, I guess. Alright, thank you, Tanya, for the interesting detour, but we must now turn our attention back to the syllabus.”

[NB: although I haven’t read it, it seems that Elisabeth A. Lloyd’s The Case of the Female Orgasm covers similar ground.]

All is not lost, however; as the article points out, oral sex is correlated with a much higher orgasmic rate and I would submit that it shouldn’t matter too much if a nice guy or a nice woman was doing the honors.  Gentlemen?

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