Durex addresses the pleasure gap for International Women’s Day

Sexual wellbeing brand Durex disrupted a London screening of a football game by switching off the screen at ‘climatic’ moments for Orgasm Equity campaign

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


With International Women’s Day underway and the Gender Pay Gap bot already working overtime to spotlight gender pay gaps, Durex has taken the day as an opportunity to spotlight another; the orgasm gap. According to research, women are four times less likely to always orgasm during a sexual encounter with another person than men (20% versus just 5%).

To spotlight the issue sexual wellbeing brand Durex disrupted a London screening of a football game, frustrating attendees by switching off the screen at ‘climatic’ moments in a bid to highlight the ‘orgasm gap’.

The brand teamed up with sex expert Alix Fox to carry out the stunt, interrupting key moments throughout the game from free kicks to impending goals. The brand then revealed  to the disgruntled fans the ‘orgasm gap’ was the reason for the interruptions. 

Closing the pleasure gap

The campaign follows research from the brand that points toward a need for ‘orgasm equity’. A drive which is fittingly in line with this year’s official International Women’s Day theme; equity.

Beyond being four times less likely to orgasm during a sexual encounter with another person, research also showed that the gap grows even further when it comes to penetrative sex. Four  in ten (40%)  of sexually active women versus  1 in 10 men (12%) say they never or very rarely achieve orgasm through this activity alone.

Women surveyed claimed to feel disappointed (22%) and frustrated (20%) when they don’t reach orgasm during a sexual encounter with a partner. While just over one in 10 say they feel nothing as they’ve grown used to it.

To help close this pleasure gap, Durex and Alix Fox are working together on the campaign to provide tips and advice to help the nation achieve some more ‘orgasm equity’ in the bedroom.

“Durex’s research underlines the fact that women are frequently experiencing less pleasure and less satisfaction than men during partnered sexual encounters – so it’s time to concentrate on giving them the extra stimulation, time, and focus on their needs and desires that can help make the action in the bedroom more fairly balanced,” explained Fox.

She added: “The football stunt helps vividly illustrate how women can sometimes be on the losing side when it comes to feeling fulfilled during sex, and how gutting it can be when play is stopped before they’ve had chance to savour their moment of climax. Let’s kick off conversations about how to help make things better.”

Tackling taboos

The brand’s football stunt brought to life the disappointment and frustration that many women can be left feeling in the bedroom. 

“Durex wants to help people unleash the freedom to be their true sexual selves and we hope by shining a light on the issue will start a conversation and help close the gap. It was fascinating to see the reactions of men and women at our football stunt.” explained Marcella Christophersen, Senior Brand Manager for Durex.

As part of the film Fox asked members of the audience how they felt about the orgasm gap with many of the women unsuprised by the research and many men unaware of the issue. Audience members suggested more conversation, the use of toys and taking time over sex as some ways to combat the issue.

Breaking down taboos and encouraging more open conversation is particularly important as the research found almost half (43%) of sexually active women in the UK have at some point faked an orgasm, compared to just under a third (32%) of men. Of the women that have faked an orgasm, the main reason given, cited by 50% of them, was to avoid making their partner feel bad or hurt their feelings. A stat which underlines the need for more open and honest communication.

Taking more time is also key for both sexes in achieving orgasm. Nearly a quarter (24%) of sexually active women and a fifth (19%) of sexually active men claim it is ‘essential’, and around a third of men (30%) and women (29%) say it is very important.

When it comes to varying needs in the bedroom between men and women, experimentation with sex toys is a point of difference. Nearly a fifth of women cite this as one of the ways they’re most likely to orgasm.

Being comfortable to be open and honest on sexual preferences is difficult for both men and women. One in five sexually active women and almost a quarter (23%) of sexually active men say they are uncomfortable talking to their partner about what they like and need to achieve an orgasm. 

Where sex and female pleasure has long been used as a tool to sell everything except pleasure to women, tackling difficult conversations head on and getting comfortable with the uncomfortable is the only way to push toward equity in the bedroom and beyond.

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