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Tempted to touch: What research says about sex moves women want

It's time to make the clitoris your friend.

From the g-spot to the orgasm gap, researchers are finally paying attention to how sexual pleasure changes from one woman to the next. But they often overlook how different techniques impact a woman’s ability to achieve the big “O.” In an effort to understand what kind of touch women love most—and to destroy the myth that women are less interested in sex than men—researchers from OMGYes and Indiana University teamed up to conduct one of the first studies on women’s sexual behaviors that represent real people across the country. With the help of a large market research firm, the authors asked over 1,000 women between the ages of 18 to 94 a bunch of questions about sexual behavior, orgasm quality, and genital touching.

What kind of touch do women like?

Researchers wanted to know about two specific areas of pleasure: the quality of their participant’s orgasms, and when each woman realized all orgasms weren’t equal. Most women discovered that some orgasms felt better than others around 24 years old. But when you consider the average woman in the U.S. has sex for the first time at 17, many women go almost 7 years without a clear understanding of their own pleasure.

Over 1/3 of women reported that some clitoral attention was necessary for an orgasm during P to V sex. Although 20% said they’re able to have an “O” from penetration alone, 40% of all women surveyed said clitoral stimulation plus penetration helped them climax 75% of the time. So if you or Boo are interested in better orgasms, it may be time to bring touching into the mix.

How women like to be caressed varies, but most preferences fall under four categories: location, pressure, shape/style, and pattern. Whether solo sessions or play-dates, 66% of the women said they prefer direct clitoral touch or stimulation around the clitoris (above or below or side to side) with light to medium pressure. Only 5% of women reported that they didn’t prefer direct clitoral stimulation.

When it came to shape or style of touch, some preferred an up-and-down, circular, and side-to-side motion, with many noting that they preferred styles of touch that mimic vibrators (flicking, tapping, pressing). When it came to patterns of touch, there were tons of differences—like touching genitals in repeated rhythmic motion or even delaying orgasm which helped achieve a more powerful “O.”

So what does this mean?

This research is groundbreaking because it sheds light on how much a woman’s individual preferences matter when it comes to pleasure. When with a partner, women who reported the most satisfying orgasms noted combinations of genital touching and penetration. So it’s probably time to start getting a little touchy. As this research illustrates, the key to a more fulfilling sexual experience is open communication with your partner and the ability to express your desires, wants, and needs.

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