Bridging the orgasm gap: Why women are taking their pleasure into their own hands

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Sex talk has become less about the “smut” than about the necessity of self-pleasure and knowing yourself as a woman. There’s been a radical shift in thinking, from whispered taboos to outspoken how-tos. Illustration photo by Getty Images
Sex talk has become less about the “smut” than about the necessity of self-pleasure and knowing yourself as a woman. There’s been a radical shift in thinking, from whispered taboos to outspoken how-tos. Illustration photo by Getty Images
  • For as long as any living generation of women can remember – and longer still – women’s sexual pleasure has been marginalised.
  • The clitoris, also known as ‘The Grand Central Station’ of erotic sensation for most people with vaginas, has always been misunderstood and misrepresented.
  • And, as we know from recent history, women in general are sick of being misunderstood and misrepresented, so they are ensuring that they get the sexual pleasure they deserve.


As a 2017 study from the Archives of Sexual behaviour recognised, 95% of straight men always orgasm during sex, versus 65% of heterosexual women. Like other measures of inequality, we no likey.

The orgasm gap has more than likely contributed to the changing discourse around sexual health and self pleasure, with influencers and celebrities (like Lily Allen and Emma Watson) endorsing women-focused sex toys and websites devoted to teaching women how to orgasm. Women are, quite literally, taking matters into their own hands.

READ MORE | From watching sad movies to not doing laundry, these and more activities that lower your libido

Sex talk has become less about the “smut” than about the necessity of self-pleasure and knowing yourself as a woman. There’s been a radical shift in thinking, from whispered taboos to outspoken how-tos.

So, while most retailers sustained a significant blow to their bottom line over the past two years, sex toy retailers have been buzzing since 2020 (pun intended, #sorrynotsorry). It’s safe to say that we might have the pandemic to thank for the renewed spring in our step.

READ MORE | When it comes to intercourse with men, why are women still not speaking up for their orgasms?

According to a report by Statista, the global sex toy market is projected to grow by nine per cent between 2019 and 2026, from an online retail market share of about 28.64-billion USD to about 52.7-billion USD (that’s a whole lotta billions).

So why the sudden interest in self pleasure and sex toys? It could be that forced lockdowns and pandemic boredom rekindled the fire between our loins (and for one another). For the same reason, it could be that the dating pool ran dry (has anybody checked to see if Tinder is alright? Tinder, you good, sis?). 

It could also be that radical self care has finally joined the party. 

READ MORE | Former health and safety sales manager finds happiness in new career as a sexologist and orgasm coach

We like it SLOW now

Facing an unprecedented health crisis caused a mass slowing down of sorts, turning the culture of busyness and productivity on its head. In addition to baking banana bread and mastering Dalgona coffee, we as a collective society seem to have gone back to the root of what makes us human.

We’re eating again, savouring, breathing, moving, and being. We are more intentional with our time, with one another, and with ourselves. 

Because death, separation and a damn-near Zombie apocalypse became such a stark reality for us all, we started to separate the wheat from the chaff in terms of what we are prioritising in life.

READ MORE | Orgasm school is in session: Here's how to get an A+ in that often elusive 'O'

It all harks back to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, right? And lest we forget that sex is listed as one of humankind’s base physiological needs, according to our pal Maslow.

This is all just a roundabout way of saying that, in the midst of this awful pandemic, self care has become more about taking care of our most basic primal needs, and this includes sexual health.

It’s for this reason that we’ve been doing a little digging (and experimenting) on the sex toy front. And, because sharing is caring and self-care is necessary, we’ve listed South Africa’s top five favourite sex toys, courtesy of online retailer Matilda’s.

So whether you’re a newbie to the sex toy arena or are well-versed in your brand of kink, don't be shy about experimenting because intimacy toys are what’s making South Africans’ bedrooms boom.

This article was originally published by in The Great Equalize. Click here to read the original article

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