Men who have sex with women feel happier and more masculine if they are able to make their female partners orgasm during sex, a psychological study finds.
Women’s orgasms are increasingly seen as a marker of a healthy sex life for women. They have a strong effect on men who have sex with women, too.
A study published in the Journal of Sex Research explored different scenarios relating to a woman’s orgasm and the resultant effect on a man’s masculinity, to find just how important women’s orgasms were to men.
A total of 810 men taking part in the study were asked to imagine one of the following scenarios:
Major success: The female partner always had an orgasm during sex with him but had rarely orgasmed with previous partners
Minor success: The female partner always had an orgasm during sex with him and had often orgasmed with previous partners
Minor failure: The female partner had not had an orgasm during sex with him but had rarely orgasmed with previous partners
Major failure: The female partner had not had an orgasm during sex with him but had often orgasmed with previous partners
There was a strong link between how masculine the men said they would feel after the imagined encounter, and with their sense of achievement and sexual self-esteem.
The greater the success, the greater their positive associations with it.
Equally, for the perceived ‘failures,’ the lower their sense of masculinity, achievement and self-esteem.
The study authors suggest that for highly egalitarian men, women’s orgasms were simply linked to a different view of masculinity, that of success as a liberal, egalitarian-minded man.
“This may explain why men felt more masculine after imagining that a woman orgasmed during sex,” the authors, led by Sara Chadwick of the University of Michigan, write in the paper.
“Some men have stated that a woman’s orgasm is one of their most sexually satisfying experiences, describing feelings of confidence and accomplishment in connection to female partner orgasm occurrence,” Chadwick says.
The importance of women’s orgasms to men has been shown in other studies to have a negative effect on women.
Many studies show that women feel pressure to fake orgasms in order to prevent their male partner from feeling that they are an inadequate lover.
However, the flip side is that men’s self-interest in giving women orgasms may well be leading to many women having more orgasms, the authors note; adding that for many men, the desire to give a woman an orgasm is linked to a genuine interest and investment in the woman’s pleasure.
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