The orgasm gap is real for women, studies show. But it can be fixed.

We’ve all heard about the gender pay gap, but there’s another form of gender inequality that affects our lives and relationships: the orgasm gap.

Even though women are more sexually empowered than ever before, men are nearly two times more likely to orgasm during sex than women. This pleasure gulf is not just relegated to one-night stands. While 87% of husbands said they consistently experienced orgasm during sexual activity, only 49% of wives could say the same.

The stats above are unique to heterosexual coupling. While orgasms don’t vary by sexual orientation for men, lesbians are significantly more likely to orgasm than heterosexual women.

The good news is that the orgasm gap can be closed. Here's how:

When it comes to sex, timing can be everything

Timing is a key component to an enjoyable sexual experience. Men are like a microwave oven and women are like a slow burning stove. It generally takes men less time to reach orgasm than it does for women. In order to close this time gap, it’s crucial to spend some time on foreplay before engaging in intercourse.

Understanding your anatomy is key

A bit of clarity can greatly improve a person's sexual experience. It's not a new suggestion, but for women who want to experience the pleasure they deserve, take out the mirror. Learn about your own body so you can teach your partner!

Communication makes sex more enjoyable

One study found 43% of husbands misperceived how often their wives were experiencing orgasm. When you learn what turns you on and are able to explicitly express your desires to your partner, that’s when the orgasmic gap can truly close.

And a little optimism can also help

A recent study found that if women believe they aren't going to have an orgasm, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy and they stop trying.

The goal is to take the pressure off and not become too complacent.

We must not be so focused on our performance that we don't relax in our bodies enough to get aroused. But at the same time, welcoming orgasm, including knowing what you deserve, is key to achieving pleasure.

Dr. Laura Berman is a world-renowned sex, love and relationship therapist. She earned two masters degrees and a Ph.D. from New York University, and is New York Times best-selling author of nine books and an award-winning syndicated radio host. She currently hosts the popular love and sex advice podcast “The Language of Love.” You can find her on Facebook, Instagram and her website.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Sex and the orgasm gap: Make sure sexism isn't impacting your pleasure