The reason why some women have problems reaching orgasm might be down to their genes, say UK scientists.
By studying 4,000 twins, Keele and London researchers found female orgasm is not all psycho-social as some claim.
This variability might even be beneficial and have evolved to help women find the best male to mate with, they told a Royal Society journal.
Knowing which genes are important could potentially pave the way to drugs to help women orgasm.
The findings also suggest that women who orgasm easily may be satisfied with mates who are less skilled in bed.
Professor Tim Spector and colleagues carried out DNA tests on more than 4,000 women aged 19-83, half of whom were identical and half of whom were non-identical twins.
Identical twins share the same DNA, while non-identical twins do not.
Some of the statistics to come out of the study are quite alarming. While men fail to climax only about 2% of the time, women fail to climax up to 34% of the time. I also don’t believe that a woman’s ability to enjoy an orgasm depends solely on her genetic makeup. There are a lot of other factors involved and this is just one of them.
Dr Margaret Rees, consultant gynaecologist at the John
Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and expert in female sexual dysfunction,
said: "This is interesting but quite simplistic.
"There are many factors involved with female sexual
dysfunction – hypoactive desire, low arousal, problems with orgasm and
"Any one of these can cause the others. They are all inter-related."
Therefore, she said it was unlikely that a single drug treatment would work.
However, she said self-help and psychosexual counselling could be helpful.
The study appears in the June issue of Biology Letters.