Closing the Orgasm Gap with Sexologist Chantelle Otten: Normalisation of Female Pleasure

by Chantelle Otten

on Aug 12, 2022

Femme pleasure is up next on this series with sexologist Chantelle Otten on how to close the orgasm gap.


Now, it’s time to talk about femme pleasure.

It’s not something we tend to talk about often, nor do we prioritise it as much as we should. In Hollywood films, the male gaze is still prominent but there’s often only a focus on masc pleasure. We need to change the narrative and show that femme pleasure is just as important!

Sex is not a one-way street, and everyone should be enjoying themselves.

There are many reasons why we have the orgasm gap, but the main issue is the ignorance of education around the role of the clitoris in femme pleasure.

The clitoris is part of the vulva, and contains thousands of nerve endings designed purely for pleasure.

Another aspect which contributes to the orgasm gap is the fact we have been taught to believe femmes get off through penetration and thrusting. This however, is a myth. In fact, research shows that only 25% of vulva owners achieve orgasm through penetration, which leaves a huge 75% who need stimulation of the clitoris to reach climax. It is estimated around 12% of vulva owners are anorgasmic, meaning they never reach orgasm. I must point out though, take these statistics with the understanding that sexuality needs a lot more research.

Most femmes need direct clitoral stimulation such as oral sex and touching to feel pleasure and reach climax, and this is far less likely to be depicted in movie sex scenes or pornography than your typical penetration scene.

Believe it or not, penetrative orgasms actually involve the clitoris as it has two legs (called the crura) which go further into the vagina – Google it, it looks like a wishbone shape. The head of the clit is what peeps out at the top of the vulva, and inside the body where it runs down each side of the vaginal opening for around 7cm into the vagina.

When a penis, finger or vibrator rubs against these nerves, they swell up (like a penis) and will eventually respond to the stimulation. However, it is much more difficult for femmes to achieve this type of orgasm through penetration.

Vulva owners need to be encouraged to take more time to research their bodies and pleasure and figure out why they are having sexual fun, including during masturbation.

Is it for fun? Pleasure? Connection? Babies? Many femmes find it hard to believe pleasure is for them and in turn find it difficult to be commanding in the bedroom.

So, I ask you lovely readers to not put pressure on yourself, but think about fun and pleasure. Find what works for you and build on that foundation.

It would be remiss of me to not add in one other fact here.

The time it takes to orgasm through partnered sex differs vastly from penis owners to vulva owners. It takes on average 20-25 minutes for a vulva owner to climax through partnered play.

A lot of femmes don’t let their partners go down on them or play with their vulva for that amount of time, because mainstream media tell them that this is too long and doesn’t need to be focused on. They therefore, miss out on the orgasmic experience and often believe they are anorgasmic.

If you are one of the femmes who believes they are not able to orgasm, it’s best to change up your approach. Try a range of different vibrators, including the womanizer, and a wand.

You could also team up with a sexologist and see if you can work on the concern together. You never know, you may get a great result and a better understanding of your pleasure. I’ve had many femmes come in after years, even 30-40 years of never having an orgasm and we’ve been able to reach a goal of pleasure and becoming orgasmic.

Chantelle Otten

Written by Chantelle Otten. Lovehoney Australia's Resident Sexologist
Helping to ensure empowerment, sexual wellbeing and pleasure are at the center of all your sexual experiences

Originally published on Aug 12, 2022. Updated on Aug 23, 2022