The answer to that depends very much on who is answering the question.
The assumption is that men have a better time of it and it’s harder for women to orgasm.
But is that really the case? Here’s what science has to say about male vs female sexuality.
THE MALE SEX DRIVE IS STRONGER
Men think about sex more often. Most men under 60 think about sex at least once a day; only about one quarter of women say the same.
Men report more spontaneous arousal and more varied fantasies than women do and a US study (Florida State University) found men want more sex than women do at all stages of the relationship.
It’s thought there’s a biological reason for the male sex drive being more powerful: men are hardwired to pass on their genetic material.
Women may be programmed to look for an emotional connection as well as sexual because they need a mate who’ll stick around to help take care of any babies.
But this doesn’t mean men are hardwired to cheat – or justified to do so.
We’re humans not animals, so capable of processing information, making a moral judgment and delaying gratification.
Perhaps to make up for lower drive, women can have multiple orgasms so, arguably, have a better time once having sex.
Once we’ve had one orgasm, we’re ready to go again.
Bar a little sensitivity of the clitoris, there’s nothing to stop us becoming aroused and climaxing again (other than lack of motivation).
Men need time to recuperate (the refractory period).
It is possible for men to have multiples: orgasm and ejaculation are two separate, different processes.
Men feel an orgasm in the brain (the intensely pleasurable part) while ejaculation is the physical part of the orgasm (the body pumping out semen).
He can ejaculate without having an orgasm or have an orgasm without ejaculating.
But the training for the second, more preferable, scenario is intense and it’s a rare person who has the time and patience to devote to the tantric sex practice that helps men achieve this.
Most men will orgasm within four minutes of penetration.
Most women take between 10 to twenty minutes to reach orgasm (usually through direct stimulation of the clitoris rather than intercourse).
Around 75 per cent of men always have an orgasm during sex with their partner but only 26 per cent of women do.
Add oral sex into the mix and the scales even up dramatically.
Eighty-one per cent of women report having an orgasm in their most recent sex encounter if it included oral sex.
Women who have sex with women have significantly more orgasms than women who have sex with men, probably because it includes more oral sex.
If we’re talking masturbation, again, the statistics improve.
Most women can masturbate to orgasm within four minutes: the same time it takes him to orgasm during intercourse.
BOTH SEXES FAKE ORGASMS
Men fake orgasm even if it is less often than women do. Why? His reasons aren’t that different than ours.
If he’s tired, had a few too many, worried about work or just not interested in sex right now, he’ll pretend he’s had an orgasm to explain why he’s lost his erection to avoid hurting her feelings.
How does he explain the lack of ‘evidence’?
If you’ve been having foreplay, there’s usually lots of moisture anyway and if you use a condom, it’s easy to whip it off, tie it and chuck it before anyone’s clocked it’s empty.
Men say women take it very personally when a man doesn’t orgasm, much more than he does if she doesn’t.
Because we think men’s orgasms are automatic and inevitable, he’s supposed to have one every single time or something’s really wrong!
Women fake it because orgasm and penetration rarely go together for us and we don’t want to hurt his feelings.
Women also fake to get bad sex over with.
That was the thoroughly depressing result of a study published in the Sexuality and Relationship Therapy journal last year.
One major study by a US sociologist Edward Laumann (University of Chicago) found women are more influenced by social and cultural factors than men when it comes to sex.
We’re influenced by our peer group, religion (women who go to church are more sexually conservative whereas there was no correlation between churchgoing men and their attitudes to sex) and education (the more educated the woman, the wider variety of sexual practices she’s tried.)
Emotional factors also play a major part in desire.
This doesn’t mean men aren’t interested in love or romance just that sex is often their way of expressing intimacy.
Women tend to need connection first, sex second. Men see sex as the connection.
There’s a plausible physiological theory to explain why the genders divide in this way.
More men masturbate during childhood and adolescence than women do so his initial sexual experience is through the purely physical pleasure of sex. Relationships come later.
A lot of women have their first sexual experience with another person. So sex happens after a relationship for her.
The pattern is formed early in life. Women’s sexuality is also less rigid.
Several significant studies have shown that women are more open to same-sex relationships and have more capacity to fancy or fall in love with their own sex than men do.
Women’s sexual tastes change, men’s tend not to.
We change our preferences of what we like to do in bed throughout our lives whereas men tend to like the same things and not budge from that.
It’s men who are less adventurous in that regard, not women.
THE MALE SEX DRIVE HAS A BIOLOGICAL ADVANTAGE
Biologically, testosterone plays a huge role in sexual desire and men have as much as 20 times more in their systems than women do.
Can we believe the results of most of the studies that report this huge sex drive?
Most studies rely on self-reported results.
Research shows men over-report (bump up the statistics to fit the typical alpha male stereotype) and women under-report (wanting to be seen as ‘feminine’).
So reports of him having stronger desire and wanting and having more sex might be wishful thinking.
Another crucial factor: most sex research is done on college students, aged between 18 and 25.
Considering women’s sexuality blossoms later in life and men’s peak earlier, the studies focus on the time period when there’s likely to be the biggest difference between male and female sexuality.
It’s more obvious when men are aroused.
They can look down and see an erect penis whereas the female sexual response isn’t obvious.
Our bits are tucked away and consequently we don’t have a strong visual signal to react to.
Male sex studies focus on the physical.
Some prominent researchers say our views on male sexuality are skewed because studies focus on men’s sexual performance, erection difficulties or premature ejaculation rather than men’s desire.
Anyone who has ever been in a relationship with a man knows men aren’t the sex robots society suggests and are affected by mood, their relationship and stresses.
The same things that influence the female libido influence his as well.
The top three reasons to have sex are the same for both sexes
We have it for love, for commitment and for physical gratification.
Both sexes are more aroused by a new partner and both women and couples are regular users of porn, so both are visual and turned on by erotica.
Ultimately, we are all individuals and not necessarily defined by our gender.
Every person brings their own individual history to any sex session – regardless of what gender they happen to be.
Lots of women will run an eye down this list and identify more with the male qualities than female and vice versa.
Check out Tracey’s product range at traceycox.com where you’ll also find lots more practical information about sex and relationships.
By TRACEY COX FOR MAILONLINE