Sometimes, making it to the big O feels less like a romantic, bodice-ripping throw down and more like a methodical hunt for an elusive, rare unicorn.
The orgasm gap between men and women is well documented, which is why we’re all about what science has to say about upping your likelihood of finding that magical moment.
Obviously, your bedroom moves matter. But research says a lot of seemingly random factors can actually play a major role in your odds of orgasming—we’re talking everything thing from your anatomy to your sexting skills.
To keep your sex life steamy, pay attention to these random science-backed factors that will increase your chances of catching that elusive O.
1. Your flirty sexts
Your texts might have a tangible impact on your orgasm. In a major study on orgasms published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior earlier this year, researchers looked at over 52,000 men and women across sexual orientations.
They found that women who orgasmed more frequently were more likely to swap flirty calls and emails with their partner about something naughty they wanted to do later.
The study also found that asking for what you want in bed was associated with more frequent Os. So, go ahead, get explicit.
2. Your communication skills
Dirty talk aside, how well you communicate in your relationship also plays a big role in your likelihood of reaching the finish line, according to the research.
“Explicit and direct communication with one’s partner is key,” David Frederick, lead author on the Archives of Sexual Behavior study, said in an interview with The Guardian. Three little words in particular are linked to your likelihood of orgasming, according to the findings. Saying “I love you” during the action was associated with more frequent Os.
3. Your sexual self-esteem
It might seem like your orgasm is all your partner’s responsibility (and let’s be honest, having the moves definitely contributes), but researchers have also found that your sense of self-esteem and satisfaction with your body is a huge contributing factor.
In a 2016 study published in the journal Socioaffective Neuroscience and Psychology, researchers found that your sexual self-esteem is more important for your orgasm than a factor that might seem more obvious, like how often you masturbate or how many partners you’ve had.
It may sound cheesy, but practice saying nice things about your body to up your likelihood of a mind-blowing orgasm. Instead of criticising your naked body, find lingerie, cute undies or even an old t-shirt that will make you feel so sexy you’ll want to leave the lights on.
4. Your focus
Rom coms may have us believe that mind-blowing orgasms just happen—one smoldering look and gentle caress and then bam! IRL, it takes a little more concentration.
This can be a learning process, according to the 2016 study. Women with a high capacity for orgasm have “learned how to concentrate completely on love-making,” according to the authors.
Before the fun starts, take a few mindful moments to decompress from your day. That annoying critique from your boss? Shelf it. Focusing on being present with your partner will make you more likely to O.
5. Your relationship status
Your partner does matter when it comes to your chances of orgasming, according to the research, though just not in the way you’d think.
While an S.O. with a solid technique is part of the O equation, researchers also stressed the importance of relationship satisfaction. Both the 2016 and the 2017 studies found that how satisfied you are with your relationship—whether you’ve found your soulmate or just the absolute perfect hookup buddy—is tied to your odds of orgasming.
6. Your anatomy
A lot of factors that contribute to your orgasm are within your control—some aren’t.
According to a 2011 study published in the journal Hormones and Behaviour, the distance between your clitoris and urinary opening (where the pee comes out)—dubbed the CUMD—can influence your likelihood of orgasm.
At least during vaginal penetration. If the CUMD is below two centimeters, you’re more likely to hit the jackpot during intercourse than if your CUMD is closer to three centimetres.
Luckily, even if your vaginal blueprint isn’t in your favor, a little manual stimulation during intercourse will make you forget all about your measurements, according to the researchers.
READ MORE: Exactly How To Have A G-Spot Orgasm
7. Your age
Your likelihood of orgasming ages like a fine wine—science says women’s sex lives tend to improve with age. (Score!) When researchers looked at trends across age groups for the 2016 study they found that middle-aged women reported a higher incidence of orgasms than twenty-somethings.
That’s likely because so many other factors that are important for your orgasm—confidence and communication, for example—also tend to improve with age. That’s a pretty magical thing to look forward to.
This article was originally published on www.womenshealthmag.com.