Fitness + Well-being

How achievable is simultaneous orgasm, really?

Stocksy

Stocksy  (Stocksy)

According to a 4,400-person survey by the sex toy company Lovehoney, 89 percent of couples have orgasmed at the same time, 37 percent do half the time or more, and the average couple orgasms simultaneously once every three times they're intimate.

Those numbers sound absurdly high to you? They did to us, too—and sex therapist Vanessa Marin, who teaches an online course about orgasms called Finishing School, thinks they're way lower based on her experience. A Lovehoney rep tells us the data were collected through the company's social media accounts and emails to customers, so it's possible the high proportion of sex toy users in the sample biased the results, especially since 95 percent of the women said they found it easier to orgasm with toys.

To get more clarity, we asked Marin how attainable simultaneous orgasms really are, how you can achieve them, and whether you even should.

Maybe we should start by asking ourselves why we want them so much in the first place. "Most people want to orgasm simultaneously because that's the way we always see it it TV and the movies, but it's just not a realistic goal to shoot for," says Marin. And while around half of those surveyed said shared orgasm was "the peak sexual experience" and about three in five sought it out, less than half considered orgasming at all the main goal of sex.

Though some people enjoy the synchrony of climaxing at the same time, Marin sees advantages to separate orgasms, too. "You can get distracted during your orgasm itself by your partner's orgasm," she points out. "It can be so much more fun to play with your natural rhythms, and allow each of you to fully soak up your orgasmic experience." Plus, there's no pleasure-killer quite like feeling rushed—or pressured to slow down, for that matter.

For all these reasons, Marin recommends only aiming for simultaneous orgasms half the time at most. And while most depictions may involve intercourse, she thinks mutual masturbation is the way to go, since you both have total control (and since most women don't typically orgasm from intercourse anyway—only 28 percent of those surveyed said they almost always did).

Generally, whoever's taking longer should set the pace. "It's typically easier to slow your orgasm down than to speed it up," says Marin. Once one person's getting close, they can pause to let the other catch up and then pick back up when they're close too.

So, orgasming simultaneously could be another fun thing to experiment with. Just don't feel like you're missing out on some magical sexual connection if you don't.