Women's Health and Equality Queensland


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Violence Against Women



Sexual Pleasure

Sex can (and should) feel good. Whether you are engaging in sexual activity with your partner/s or by yourself, there are benefits to your sexual pleasure. These benefits can include reducing stress, depression, and anxiety, boosting your immune system, lowering your blood pressure, improving your self-esteem, sex confidence, libido, and sleep. Sex can also help you create and improve your connection with your sexual partner/s.

There are some important things to consider when it comes to sex, regardless of how experienced you are. Practicing safe and consensual sex should always be a priority. Mainstream pornography is not a reliable representation or educative tool on how to have sex for all viewers. Often, the perspective of porn is based on stereotypes and creates unrealistic, harmful, and derogatory imagery and expectations for women and people of diverse gender and sexual identities. It is important to never engage in sexual activity that you are not comfortable with or didn’t consent to. 

Sex and sexual pleasure should be fun, intimate, and respectful. New positions, toys, and techniques can be great ways to spice up your sex life and keep things fun with your partner/s.  

While reaching the climax point during sexual activity (orgasms) is often the ‘goal’, it is not always easy, particularly for women. Everyone is different when it comes to what feels good for them. Some can orgasm during penetrative sex alone, however most can’t (only about 28% of women can experience an orgasm from penetrative sex alone). Some may prefer masturbating, or the use of vibrators or toys, anal sex, or a combination. Stimulus of the clitoris is usually essential for women to reach a climax.  

Communication is key if you are having sex with your partner/s. Exploring and experimenting with your body (either by yourself, or with someone else) is a great way to be more in tune with your body, and to learn what makes you feel good. Whether you have an orgasm or not, your body gives you a natural high and there is a release of endorphins that can block pain and make you feel better (particularly for period pain). 

The Orgasm Gap

The orgasm gap is a term for the phenomenon that cis women have fewer orgasms than cis men. Studies show that heterosexual men have far more orgasms during partnered sex than women. A 2005 study found that 39% of women usually or always experience an orgasm during partnered sex, compared to 91% of men (for lesbian women, about 86% experience an orgasm). There are a number of reasons that the orgasm gap exists, however the most common reason is that there are misconceptions about what leads to an orgasm. What we see from porn is cis women experiencing an orgasm from penetrative sex (usually also portrayed as rough and visually painful). In reality, proper arousal is essential for women to experience sexual pleasure and reach an orgasm. Foreplay and non-penetrative stimulation (particularly with the clitoris) can help women get aroused – and this takes time.


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