A new study found that women are twice as likely to ‘go down’ on their partners as men are, and they also seem to receive less pleasure from the act.

We’re told it’s better to give than to receive, but is that really the case?

Oral sex plays a strange role in modern society. It’s shunned by many, and prior to the sexual revolution of the 1960s, it was considered a complete taboo. But now, oral sex has become commonplace in sexual encounters of all ages, being almost as common as intercourse itself. People do it for a very straightforward reason — it feels good. But, as a new study has shown, it feels better for some than others.

Jessica Wood, lead author of the study at the University of Guelph, and her colleagues sampled 1,500 Canadian undergraduate students between the ages 18 and 24, asking them about their sexual encounters. Out of them, 900 were strictly heterosexual and sexually active. Researchers found that oral sex was no more or less likely to happen in hookups versus committed relationships. However, 26% of all women had given but not received oral sex, whereas the same could be said about only 10% of men.

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The participants were then asked to rate how pleasurable they found the act. Not surprisingly, both men and women enjoyed it more when they were on the receiving end rather than the giving end. However, there was a big difference when it came to how pleasurable giving oral was. About 52% of all men reported greatly enjoying it, 41% enjoyed it somewhat, and 7% found it completely unenjoyable. For women, just 28% found it very pleasurable, 55% found it somewhat pleasurable, and 17% found it not pleasurable at all.

The results indicate that there’s yet another gender gap — only this time, it’s one that no one really talks about. At least not in public.

So women are performing more oral than men, but they’re enjoying it less, which again, seems to be a significant gender gap. Of course, this study has limitations, especially in terms of cultural relevance (all participants were Canadian) and age (all were young undergrads), but within these limitations, the findings still stand. I guess the one thing we should try to do is bridge that gap — you know, just for the sake of gender equality.

Journal Reference: Wood JR, McKay A, Komarnicky T et al. “Was it good for you too?: An analysis of gender differences in oral sex practices and pleasure ratings among heterosexual Canadian university students”. The Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality.