Lesbians have more orgasms than straight and bisexual women. A study by Garcia, Lloyd, Wallen & Fisher (2014) surveyed a nationally representative sample of 6,151 women and men. The study demonstrated that for women, the rate of orgasm varied by sexual orientation.The mean occurrence rate for heterosexual women was 61.6%, 58% for bisexual women, and 74.4% for lesbian women.
In this study, men regardless of sexual orientation, reported consistently more orgasms than women.
But why do lesbians have more orgasms than straight women?
Another study examined the duration and frequency of sexual encounters in same-sex and heterosexual couples. Blair & Pukall (2014) surveyed 822 participants between the ages of 18-79. The results of the study reported lower levels of sexual frequency for lesbian couples, but revealed a key difference in sexual duration. Lesbian couples reported an average length of sexual encounter to be somewhere between 30-45 minutes, while the couples in other types of relationships tended to average around 15-30 minutes per sexual encounter. An earlier study, conducted by Cohen & Byers (2013) reported that women in same sex sexual encounters reported an average of 57 minutes.
What does duration have to do with it?
The extended duration of lesbians’ sexual encounter (as compared to heterosexuals) may provide women the necessary amount of foreplay that's missing in many heterosexual sexual encounters, and it gives women time to get fully aroused, increasing the likelihood of achieving an orgasm. But as Nichols (2013) points out, it’s more complicated than just duration. In Blair & Pukall’s (2014) research, lesbians and gay men report using oral sex more frequently than heterosexuals who tend to rely on penetrative sex to reach orgasm, despite the fact that most women can’t orgasm from penetration alone.
Additionally, Nichol’s (2013) reports that heterosexual women don’t expect to have an orgasm, while women in lesbian relationships assume an orgasm is a given (Para. 6).
So maybe the critical difference is expectations? Since lesbian sexual relationships expect both partners to have an orgasm, they put the time and effort in during foreplay and oral sex to make sure it happens.
There's an important lesson here for straight couples. Maybe it's a good idea to rethink the script that short, frequent, penetrative intercourse equals satisfaction. Men may want sex, but women don't want just sex, they want good sex, and bad sex can be a deal breaker.
Blair, K.L. & Pukall, C.F. (2014). Can less be more? Comparing duration vs. frequency of sexual encounters in same-sex and mixed-sex relationships. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality 23:123–136; doi:10.3138/cjhs.2393 123
Cohen, J.N. & Byers, E.S. (2014). Beyond lesbian bed death: enhancing our understanding of the sexuality of sexual-minority women in relationships. Journal of Sex Research, 51: 893-903. doi: 10.1080/00224499.2013.795924
Garcia, J. R., Lloyd, E. A., Wallen, K. and Fisher, H. E. (2014), Variation in Orgasm Occurrence by Sexual Orientation in a Sample of U.S. Singles. Journal of Sexual Medicine, 11: 2645–2652. doi: 10.1111/jsm.12669