Opinion Research

Opinion: It’s time we stop faking it and get serious about female sexual wellness


For far too long, a woman faking an orgasm has been regarded as little more than a punch line.

Often joked about but rarely given a second thought, female sexual wellness is regularly pushed aside. Beneath the banter, however, is a much more serious issue that affects women’s well-being both in and out of the bedroom.

The data backs this up, showing that the pleasure gap between men and women is vast and affects all ages and all relationship dynamics. Recent research from Cliovana’s Pleasure Index shows that men are four times more likely to orgasm than women, with 50% of women regularly faking an orgasm during intercourse.

While there are many reasons why such a large pleasure gap exists, after 30 years of working as a Gynecologist and Obstetrician I have found that there are two major barriers to a woman’s sexual satisfaction.

Firstly, blood flow and sensation to the clitoris can decline with age, impacting the complex network of nerves and tissue that provides pleasure. The great news is that a new treatment is showing promising results for women experiencing this problem.

Cliovana is a non-invasive treatment that uses suction, soundwave, and vibration therapy to treat the clitoral complex – the network of tissue and nerves that make up the female erogenous zone. This causes neovascularisation around the clitoral area and enhances nerve stimulation, thereby increasing sensation.

This leads us to the second issue, one that is holding us back perhaps more than anything else: the stigma surrounding female sexual well-being. In my professional experience, if a doctor doesn’t directly ask their patients about female sexual wellness, the patient won’t bring up their concerns or even consider it an important factor in their well-being. Without these open conversations, some women may not even realise that they could be getting more from their sexual experiences.

This is particularly concerning not only because sexual well-being can play an important role in our day-to-day quality of life, but because this new breed of treatments can only help if doctors and patients alike are prepared to talk about the issue.

The results are promising. Having been used as a treatment option in the USA for several years, I recently began trialling Cliovana on women aged over 20. In this pilot study, 80% of patients said they were happy with the results, while 65% said they were very happy and keen to get their friends to try it, too.

At this stage, it‘s predicted that 70% of women who undergo Cliovana treatment can expect to see positive benefits to their sex life. While people of all ages can benefit from treatment, it can be particularly life-changing for post-menopausal women who have reduced blood flow to the clitoris due to hormonal changes.

While treatments like Cliovana can provide substantial physical benefits to female pleasure, the first step is braving the conversation that many of us find uncomfortable or confronting. If we stop faking it and start to seriously talk about the issue of female sexual wellness, we can bridge the pleasure gap once and for all.

About the Author:

Dr Lionel Steinberg is an established and respected obstetrician and gynaecologist based in Melbourne Australia, with a clear focus on providing women-centred care. Lionel graduated from medical school at the University of Cape Town in 1983. Since arriving in Melbourne and making Australia his home, he has been a familiar presence in the city’s best and busiest birth suites. Currently, Lionel consults and delivers care from his practice at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, where he offers the full range of obstetric and gynaecological services.

Learn more about his work here: https://www.drlionelsteinberg.com.au/

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