If you took sex ed in high school, it probably went a little something like this: A man and a woman have sex, the man ejaculates, you have a baby.
Based on that description, the male orgasm is just a part of sex — quite literally a fact of life. The female orgasm? Not so much.
According to a 2017 study, 95 percent of straight men in America said they regularly orgasm during sex. Only 65 percent of straight women said the same. For women sleeping with women, it’s 86 percent. And half of US women say they’ve faked it.
Scientists are still not sure which muscles are involved in a female orgasm, and they can’t agree if the G-spot even exists. Many of us learn social cues about sex from Hollywood or porn, which is ... not very practical. And all of this is too taboo to even talk about.
It’s 2018. Why is the female orgasm still so complicated?
Vox tackled this question on this week’s episode of our Netflix show, Explained. We have new episodes every Wednesday on topics ranging from gene editing to dieting to weed and more. If you like our videos, then you’ll love this show; it’s our most ambitious video project to date.
To watch, search “Explained” on Netflix or go to Netflix.com/explained. Click the “My List” button to make sure you don’t miss an episode.
Learn more from people we interviewed for this episode:
Remy Kassimir seeks sexual wisdom on her podcast How Cum (An interview with comedian Remy Kassimir)
Rutgers lab studies female orgasm through brain imaging (Featuring behavioral neuroscientist Barry Komisaruk)
What Do Women Want? (A 2009 New York Times magazine piece featuring Lisa Diamond)
A Guide to the G Spot, from the Woman Who Named It (An interview with Beverly Whipple, who coined the term “G-spot”)
In hookups, inequality still reigns (Featuring research by sociologist Paula England)
The Feminist Porn Book: The Politics of Producing Pleasure (A book co-authored by Mireille Miller-Young)