How to have better orgasms as 50% of women admit they are unsatisfied

Half of women are unsatisfied with their orgasm quality, a study has found. (Getty Images)
Half of women are unsatisfied with their orgasm quality, a study has found. (Getty Images)

It’s no secret that women are facing an orgasm gap – reportedly climaxing up to a third less than men. But what could be even more pressing, is that half of women say that they are unsatisfied with the quality of their orgasms.

Recent data from Flo Health found that 50% of women are not satisfied with the quality of their orgasms, while separate data from Hims found that 15% of women have never orgasmed by themselves or with a partner.

If you are feeling a bit deflated by the quality of your orgasms, especially when flying solo, Samantha Marshall, head of brand at Smile Makers, says a masturbation rut could be to blame.

“Women can get into a masturbation rut – where there is a routine to self-pleasure, and they know exactly how to reach climax, so they do the exact same thing every time,” Marshall explains.

“While this works for lots of us, for some of us, we may find that the monotony makes the climax less exciting. We might become efficient, but not focus so much on the quality of the experience of pleasure.”

Jordan Rullo, psychologist, certified sex therapist and Flo Health medical expert says that another reason could be that women have unrealistic expectations surrounding their orgasms.

“Not all orgasms are fireworks. Some are simply fire crackers or even just sparklers," Rullo explains. “Many women expect to be able to orgasm with vaginal penetration and think something is wrong with them if they can’t do so. However, less than 20% of women can reach orgasm from vaginal penetration alone. Some women may have had a change in their orgasm as a result of health issues or menopause, making their orgasm more difficult to reach, not last as long or not as intense.”

One in five women cannot orgasm from penetrative sex alone. (Getty Images)
One in five women cannot orgasm from penetrative sex alone. (Getty Images)

Beyond this, medical disorders could also play a role in orgasm satisfaction. Dr Shirin Lakhani, says that there are four types of female sexual dysfunction:

  • Female Sexual Arousal Disorder: The woman wants to have sex but is unable to get aroused.

  • Hypoactiive Sexual Desire Disorder: Low desire.

  • Female Orgasmic Disorder: Can become aroused but has difficulty with orgasm.

  • Dyspareunia: Pain on intercourse (not from decreased lubrication or vaginal spasm).

“Problems related to childbirth and menopause can also affect sexual function,” Dr Lakhani adds. “Vaginal laxity, clitoral atrophy, vaginal dryness and incontinence can all play a role in sexual dissatisfaction.”


In women, the emotional response can be just as important as the physical response when it comes to sexual arousal.

“One part of sexual arousal is physiological, but the other part which is equally as important is psychological,” Rullo says. “In other words, body arousal is only half of the equation, the mind also has to be aroused. Mind arousal involves being present in the moment, focusing on the sensations of the body, and tuning in to the sexual experience."

Hence why Rullo suggests practicing mindfulness when it comes to masturbation, as this can help women ‘tune in’ to their body’s sensations.

“Research shows that mindfulness improves sexual desire, arousal, and orgasm and helps sync your mind and body arousal,” she adds. “Women need greater mind stimulation to build arousal, so try to heighten your mind arousal with fantasy, audio erotica or visual erotica.

Sex toys are a good tool to increase orgasm quality. (Getty Images)
Sex toys are a good tool to increase orgasm quality. (Getty Images)

“Perhaps your mind is on board, but you need greater body arousal, so consider a sexual toy such as a vibrator, which can give much more powerful stimulation than hand stimulation. All of these tools can also be used with a partner as well.”

If you are unsatisfied with your orgasm quality during partnered sex, Dr Lakhani says it’s important to communicate your wants with your other half.

“Be open with your partner about what works for you and what doesn’t. Don’t be afraid to discuss the topic of sexual pleasure,” she says. “If you or your partner are experiencing sexual dysfunction, don’t be afraid to seek help. There are many ways your intimate health practitioner can help.”

Rullo agrees that communication is the best first step in having better orgasms during sex.

“Your partner won’t know what feels good to you or how you want to be touched unless you tell them,” she explains.

“Many women themselves don’t know how they like to be touched or what feels good, so setting up an exploratory session with your partner to simply gather data on what feels good can be a nice start to learning what is arousing.”

Marshall also says that women should stop faking orgasms during sex – something 58% of British women have admitted doing.

“Avoid faking orgasms and prioritise genuine pleasure,” Marshall adds. “Communicate openly about your preferences and desires, whether it involves certain touches, positions, or clitoral stimulation. Encourage open communication outside of the bedroom to break away from traditional gendered roles. Express your interests neutrally and enthusiastically, inviting exploration and enjoyment together.”