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Study: Women have diverse sexual pleasure preferences

For some time now, there has been a common misunderstanding that there are certain sexual moves or positions that are a guaranteed hit with all women. But a new study has challenged this notion and set out to explain the complexities and diverse range of female sexual satisfaction.

Researchers set out to create a wider scale to measure female pleasure and orgasm by using a population-based study involving over 1,000 US adult women, ages 18 to 94. They reported their findings in a report published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy.

“Most previous studies utilized clinical, college and convenience samples. We worked to change that with this research and provide data surveying a U.S. nationally representative probability sample of adult women,” said Debby Herbenick, a professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington and lead author of the study.

The results found that among the women surveyed, a little over 18 percent reported that intercourse alone was enough for orgasm, almost 37 percent reported that they required clitoral stimulation, and 41 percent of the respondents emphasized a preference for just one specific style of touch.

One important finding was that there was no one preferred method among the women surveyed, with responses indicating a varied array of preferences in regards to touch, location, and pressure.

“The study results challenge the mistaken, but common, notion that there are universal ‘sex moves that work’ for everyone. On the other hand, the data also make clear that there are certain styles of touch that are more commonly preferred by women, emphasizing the value of studying sexual pleasure – and not just sexual problems,” said Brian Dodge, an associate professor in the IU School of Public Health-Bloomington and a collaborator of the study.

The study is the first of its kind to use US nationally representative data showing the varied preferences of women when it comes to sexual satisfaction and stimulation.

The study is just part of the IU School of Public Health’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion’s mission to understand and promote sexual health worldwide.

By Kay Vandette, Staff Writer

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