Laurie Mintz, Ph.D.: The Orgasm Gap – Causes and Personal and Societal Solutions | Doing Well #28

In this episode, host Lu Ngo is joined by Laurie Mintz Ph.D. who is an Emeritus Professor of Human Sexuality at the University of Florida, a renowned author, and a private clinical practitioner

Sex is a critical part of relationships, but there are so many societal and cultural implications surrounding it that conversations about it are often neglected and even, at times, actively suppressed. This episode will delve into a specific aspect of sexual satisfaction – the orgasm gap – and delve into the science, practices, and strategies surrounding it.

Meet Dr. Laurie Mintz

Dr. Laurie Mintz is a professor, author, and licensed sex therapist. Noticing a distinct need for sexual education through her work as a clinical psychologist, Dr. Laurie became interested in the topic of sexual wellness.

Her works, Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters and How to Get It and A Tired Woman’s Guide to Passionate Sex, became pioneers of the women’s sexual health body of knowledge. She now continues to contribute to this field through her practice and talks.

About the episode

The episode started with Dr. Laurie’s definition of well-being as a connection between mind and body. It’s very subjective but has aspects of contentment, self-awareness, and positivity.

Building from that, the conversation then discussed the orgasm gap. Dr. Laurie discussed that this is a consistent finding among multiple studies: cis-gendered men achieve climax more than cis-gendered women. She discloses that this is a cultural issue, not a biological one, as study after study reveals that the orgasm gap doesn’t seem to exist in self-pleasure and same-sex relationships (women to women).

Dr. Laurie reveals that this gap affects both men’s and women’s well-being, as research shows sexual satisfaction being predictive of relationship and overall life satisfaction. Cultural norms surrounding giving and achieving pleasure can even tie into bigger issues, such as masculinity and femininity.

Dr. Laurie reveals the biggest misconception about the orgasm gap: that most women should achieve orgasm through penetrative sexual intercourse alone, there is a robust connection between mental and physical arousal in women, and that sexual toys are harmful to a couple’s sexual relationships.

The conversation then turned into societal solutions to address the orgasm gap. She proposes opening the conversation about sexual pleasure for both sexes, implementing sex-positive sexual education, and teaching pornography literacy.

Dr. Laurie also gave more strategies about practices to lower and resolve the orgasm gap between couples and even to do your part in changing the conversation about sexual pleasure around you.

In conclusion

Cultural norms have such heavy implications for sexual pleasure, and unfortunately, most of them are negative and outdated. It’s up to the individual to bring to light new research and start better conversations about this topic – and this episode presents strong starting points to do just that.

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