Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux in “Blue is the Warmest Colour”.
Show Hide image

Five theories as to why lesbians are more likely to orgasm than straight women

A recent study by the Kinsey Institute has found that lesbians are much more likely to orgasm during sex than either straight or bisexual women.

Merry early Christmas, lesbians. According to a recent study, we’re more likely to orgasm during sex than our straight female friends. Researchers at the Kinsey Institute (yes, the scale guys) surveyed over 6,000 men and women about their sex lives and, boo-yah, the lesbians were revealed to be quite good at coming. Not as good as men, apparently, but still not at all bad. The survey found that the probability of a lesbian having an orgasm during sex with a familiar partner is 75 per cent, compared to 62 per cent for straight women and 58 per cent for bisexual women. While it’s mysterious that bi women came bottom, I’d suggest that a survey of a few thousand people isn’t exactly exhaustive. But still, here are my five theories as to why The Gays beat other women at orgasms. And please note, my only authority here is that I’m a lesbian who sometimes has sex.

 

Cunnilingus

An obvious one. When two women bump junk, the chance of oral sex being involved is high. According to a survey by vlogger Arielle Scarcella, straight women are less likely to be into it, or (possibly more accurately) their boyfriends aren’t all that forthcoming. Scarcella didn’t so much find that straight women prefer penetrative to oral sex, as that they’re socially conditioned not to expect or even ask for the latter. There are two problems here. Firstly, oral sex is fantastic. Seriously, straight women, if you’re not getting it, you should go on sex strike or something. Secondly, women have just got to be better at it. Would you rather be shown around an aquarium by a marine biologist or a postman? Please pick the marine biologist. Also, let her go down on you behind the shark tank.

 

Cynicism

Have you ever found yourself picking up sex tips from terrible porn? If you’re a lesbian, I bet you anything you haven’t. To real-life gay women, the majority of lesbian porn is laughable. No less silly, of course, than straight porn. When I was at uni, my housemates and I used to play something called (catchily) “The Inappropriate Porn Music Game”. This involved playing YouPorn videos on mute, while choosing our own soundtrack. The more incongruous, the better. I’d worked out that porn wasn’t always about sex, way before watching a man hump a microwave to “Video Killed The Radio Star”.

I find that lesbians (and women in general, for that matter) tend to be a lot more cynical towards the sex industry. This includes the ability to spot a stupid sex tip a mile off. Men, I’ve been led to believe, are more naïve.

 

Using our words

Lesbians love talking sex nearly as much as straight men enjoy talking Carling and novelty boxers. The only good sex advice I’ve ever had has been from other gay girls. Get pretty much any lesbian a bit drunk, and you’ll find that she has more opinions on fingering than you thought humanly possible. This converts to excellent (and seriously explicit) communication, bedroom-wise.

 

Equality

I’ve had more than one straight friend tell me about an ex-boyfriend who wasn’t interested in making her come. And, if a society that treats women as secondary is anything to go by, I imagine that this is a common problem. It’s hardly surprising for sexist power structures to slug their way into bedrooms. After all, how else would we produce fictional sex bastards like Christian Grey? Remove that socially ingrained interplay, as you can do with a lesbian couple, and you’re left with two people who dearly want to make each other’s genitals happy.

 

Sticking it to The Man

When you’re constantly told that lesbian sex isn’t “real”, or that it’s some kind of novelty, it’s hard not to want to do a bit of debunking. So when two women have sex, they’re partly proving a point, even if the whole of society isn’t peering in through the window and jotting down notes. And it turns out that wanting to prove a point is mightily conducive to doing something well.

Eleanor Margolis is a freelance journalist, whose "Lez Miserable" column appears weekly on the New Statesman website.

Getty
Show Hide image

Forget “digital detoxes”. Spring clean your online life instead

Step one: remove the app on your phone which takes up the most time. 

In 2006, news broke that broke me. The British Heart Foundation unveiled a poster of a blonde girl guzzling a gallon of cooking oil. “What goes into crisps goes into you,” it read, as the charity declared that eating one packet of crisps a day equated to drinking five litres of oil a year.

I gave up crisps that Lent (an admirable act that was somewhat mitigated by devouring a six-pack of McCoy’s on Easter Sunday). Still, despite my continuing pack-a-day habit, the BHF’s statistic has never left me: 365 packets of salt and vinegar crisps are equal to five bottles of Filippo Berio. But other bad habits are harder to comprehend. Last week, I “liked” 36 things on Facebook, wrote ten tweets, and posted five Instagram pictures (two of which were selfies). What effect, if any, has this had on my mental and physical health? How much metaphorical cooking oil am I pouring into my body?

“You really don’t need to worry about the volume of your own social media interactions, based on the average digital user,” the founder of the digital detox specialists Time To Log Off, Tanya Goodin, told me. Goodin says that we “tap, click and swipe” our devices over 2,617 times a day and that the average person will post 25,000 selfies in their life.

Though these statistics seem shocking, what do they mean? What does swiping thousands of times a day do to our minds – or, for that matter, our thumbs? The experts are divided. In 2015, national newspapers spread stories suggesting that using an iPad would damage a toddler’s brain but the research didn’t mention the term “brain damage” once. In fact, as the Guardian pointed out in its debunking, studies produce mixed results: some say iPads help improve child literacy, others say they are distracting.

The studies about adults’ screentime are similarly hard to decipher. Heavy Facebook usage has been linked to depression but there isn’t any apparent cause and effect. Do depressed people use Facebook more, or does Facebook make us depressed? “Internet addiction disorder” (IAD) was a term originally coined as a hoax, but many now see it as a real and treatable problem. Yet it does not feature in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, and experts still struggle to set diagnostic criteria for it. How much internet is too much?

These academic ambiguities haven’t stopped the idea of the “digital detox” taking off. Detoxers refrain from using any electronics for a period of time in the hope that this will improve their mental health and real-world relationships. At the time of writing, if you search for “digital detox” on Instagram, you’ll find 25,945 people talking about their personal attempts. There are pictures of bike rides, sunsets and children playing, each posted – apparently without irony – to extol the virtues of getting off social media and turning off your phone.

Digital detoxing is also big business. Goodin runs workshops, retreats and camps where no electronics are allowed and the daily schedule consists of yoga, walking, swimming and drinking smoothies. The next one, in Italy, costs from £870 per head for a week. A multitude of such camps exist, as well as books, websites and guides on how to detox by yourself. To connect, man, you have to disconnect, you know?

All of this has made me a digital detoxing cynic. I don’t believe I need to switch off my phone to “live” better, because I believe my phone itself contains life. On Reddit, I can speak to strangers living hundreds of thousands of miles away about their lives. On Twitter, I can keep up to date – in real time – with news and events. If I want to learn yoga or make a smoothie, where will I go to find my local gym or the correct strawberry-to-spinach ratio? Technology can even inspire us to “get out more”. Last summer, the gaming app Pokémon Go spurred people to walk 2,000 more steps a day, and I’m willing to bet that brunch sales figures have skyrocketed since the invention of Instagram.

Digital detoxing relies on the vague idea that tech is somehow toxic. Even without scientific studies to back this up, most of us know from our own, anecdotal evidence how spending too much time on our phones can make us feel. We get down if our latest status doesn’t have enough likes, or our eyes hurt after the sixth “EXTREME PIMPLE POPPING” YouTube video in a row. So, at core, digital detoxing isn’t “wrong”: it is merely misguided. Instead of trying to cut out all technology for a week, we should be curbing our existing habits; rather than a digital detox, we should have a digital spring clean.

Delete – or hide – anyone on your Facebook friends list that you wouldn’t talk to in real life. Remove your work email from your phone (or ask your boss for a separate work phone if you absolutely need access). Delete the app that takes up most of your time – be it Facebook, Twitter or YouTube – so that you are forced to get to it manually, through your browser, and therefore become instantly more aware of how many times a day you open it up. Tanya Goodin also advises me to use my phone less at night. Essentially: go mild turkey. If this is too much and you believe you are addicted to your smartphone or laptop, then, of course, you should seek help (speak to your doctor or call the Samaritans on 116 123).

But most of us just need to get smarter about our internet use. Even if scientists proved that technology was damaging our brains, a week-long detox wouldn’t be the cure. Rather, we should focus on our bad personal habits and try to curb them. Do you get into too many arguments online? Do you ignore your partner because you’re staring at a screen? Do you post opinions you regret because you don’t think them through first? These behaviours are problematic – the internet itself isn’t. To control our lives, we shouldn’t switch off: we should get more switched on.

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.

This article first appeared in the 06 April 2017 issue of the New Statesman, Spring Double Issue

0800 7318496