Orgasmic Latency and Related Parameters in Women during Partnered and Masturbatory Sex

Document Type


Publication Date


Journal Title

Journal of Sexual Medicine




Orgasmic latency (OL) during partnered sex (POL) and OL during masturbatory sex (MOL) in women with and without orgasmic difficulty have received minimal attention. Aim: To ascertain POL and MOL both overall and more specifically in women with and without difficulty reaching orgasm and to explore interrelationships between masturbatory and partnered latencies and sexual satisfaction. Methods: Participants for this study were 2,304 women drawn from community-based samples in the United States and Hungary who completed an investigator-derived questionnaire regarding their sexual history and response, including items related to frequency of masturbation and partnered sex, sexual desire, sexual arousal, orgasmic response, OL, distress, partner distress, and sexual satisfaction. Main outcome measure: Self-reported OL and related orgasmic parameters during masturbation and partnered sex in women with and without difficulty reaching orgasm were assessed. Results: POL were longer than those during MOL. Women experiencing difficulty reaching orgasm showed even longer latencies during partnered sex but comparable latencies during masturbation. Covariates related to POL included age, overall relationship quality, masturbation frequency, MOL, and level of distress about not reaching orgasm. Clinical implications: POL in women are substantially longer than men's, suggesting the potential need for an increased repertoire of stimulatory behaviors to increase the woman's arousal. Strength and limitations: The study was well powered and drew from a multi-national population. However, specific types of sexual stimulation during partnered and masturbatory sex were not included in this analysis. Conclusion: MOL for women and POL differ significantly, with latencies during partnered sex being substantially longer than masturbation, although women reporting the greatest difficulty reaching orgasm have the longest latencies and are likely to find masturbation more satisfying than women who do not. Rowland DL, Sullivan SL, Hevesi K, et al. Orgasmic Latency and Related Parameters in Women During Partnered and Masturbatory Sex. J Sex Med 2018;XX:XXX-XXX.