Cis-Het Men Don’t Know How to Fuck

Addressing the Orgasm Gap and What to Do About It

Graphic by Nadine Abdellatif

Can we take a moment of silence for all the unfound clitoral orgasms of 2022?

Whether you believe in the orgasm gap or not, there is no denying that many of us who have sex with cis-het men are often left…orgasmless, both statistically and anecdotally. It seems that every time my friends meet up and talk about our sexual escapades, we are left unsatisfied nine times out of ten. Life really is like Sex and the City, except with less white and straight people. 

Of course, I’m not fully holding these men responsible for their inability to please. We can thank the patriarchy for that one! Being good at sex is not an innate quality, but a skill that you develop with time and, you know, effort. There are a lot of factors perpetuating these inequalities in the bedroom—or whichever room you choose to have sex in. 

As a sex educator, I can definitely attest to the fact that the topic of pleasure is a neglected component in typical school curriculums, while fearmongering is definitely pushed. Oftentimes, sexually transmitted infections are the central point of discussion and any topic promoting the potential joys of sex are completely made taboo.  

Media and culture definitely don’t help. Straight porn mostly depicts men’s pleasure. You’ll barely see cunnilingus scenes for more than 20 seconds. Instead, you’ll be gifted with a solid eight minute blowjob scene. I know because I have done extensive research—for sociological purposes, of course. 

Here’s a little secret: there is no secret universal position, speed or rhythm that will guarantee your partner having an orgasm. Even if some cis men with podcasts somehow believe they are the truth-holders in how to please people with vulvas rather than, you know, people with vulvas. So can we please stop pretending that all bodies are the same, and just better communicate with each other? 

Penetration shouldn’t be the only kind of sex that we aim for. It can be pleasurable and exciting, but sex should not only be considered valid when it’s penetrative. I know that because once I started living my best queer life, sex got so much better. There wasn’t an expectation to get roughly pounded, and other forms of sex were equally prioritized. 

How can cis men do better? Dismantling the patriarchy will obviously take a little more time,  so here are some smaller-scale solutions in the meantime. 

For one, start by communicating and actually asking what your partner wants instead of assuming. I promise this won’t kill the mood. Seriously, what is it with men getting so jealous as soon as their partner pulls out their Satisfyer Pro? Don’t be afraid to make sex toys your allies rather than your enemies, especially if your partner enjoys them. 

Finally, de-centre your own needs and acknowledge that sex should involve mutual care and pleasure. We live in a culture that teaches us to privilege cis men’s pleasure—we can all work to unlearn it for ourselves and the people we get intimate with.

Don’t let your bedroom become a microcosm of our misogynistic society. Remember, sex is for mutual pleasure, not labour—unless you want to financially compensate us for what we’re worth.

This article originally appeared in Volume 43, Issue 9, published January 10, 2023.