High five if you gave your partner an orgasm? A new study has revealed that men who think sexually pleasuring their partner is important may, in fact, be doing it to boost their own ego.
The study entitled “Do Women’s Orgasms Function as a Masculinity Achievement?” analysed 810 heterosexual men and their sexual habits.
Participants were asked to read anecdotes where they imagined an attractive woman either did or didn’t orgasm during a sexual encounter with them with the variable being that partner had either often or rarely experienced past orgasms with previous partners.
The research study found that men’s investment in women’s orgasms is directly connected to their own perceptions of themselves as a good lover. The study found that because of cultural ideas around masculinity men often feel the need to prove themselves by doing “manly” things and obviously displaying sexual prowess is when a man often feels the most masculine. The study found the men described feelings of confidence and accomplishment in connection to their female partner’s orgasms and men who were insecure rated their masculinity on how good they were in bed.
The media, and our own blog, is filled with articles on how to give women orgasms, how to make them more mind-blowing, how to make them last longer, how to have them more frequently or double the fun with multiple orgasms. Increasingly men’s sexual script is defined by the ability to provide women with sexual pleasure and ultimately orgasms. The pressure is on for men to perform like never before.
In an interview with psychology news website PsyPost, the study’s authors, Sara B. Chadwick and Sari van Anders from the University of Michigan said, “Men who have sex with women clearly have a stake in women’s orgasms. But, some of the ways that heterosexuality are playing out seem to be that, for some men, their interest in women’s orgasms is not really about women’s pleasure. Instead, for these men, women’s orgasm is actually about the men feeling good about their masculinity. This could explain why some men feel pressured to “give” women orgasms. And, it could explain why some women fake orgasms, ie. to protect men’s feelings.”
Studies have found that many women fake orgasms to please their male partners, highlighting that women sometimes prioritise their male partner’s ego over communicating their own sexual desires. And research has also shown that women are often hesitant to suggest improvements or changes in a male partner’s technique because they feel it would devastate his self-esteem
In other studies, men have reported that they experience disappointment when their female partner does not orgasm, but state that they would be reluctant to induce a woman’s orgasm with a vibrator because of worries of their own personal inadequacy. Overall, it appears that men may be more concerned about their role in women’s pleasure than they are about women’s pleasure itself.
In conclusion the study’s authors said, “Does that mean we shouldn’t care about women’s orgasms? Of course not! But they shouldn’t be seen as another notch on the bedpost, so to speak. Women’s orgasms should be experienced - when they are wanted - as a wonderful part of sexuality, not as something men give to women as an example of their prowess. Cultural ideas about masculinity push many men to feel like they need to live up to certain ideals, and this ends up being bad for sexual pleasure.”