Project Unsatisfied Gaps

Unsatisfied Gaps

Design & Product Management, 2023



In our society the concept of sex is very penetration-focused. However, the focus on penetration during sex poses a problem for the female gender. Women respond to penetrative sex differently than men (Lloyd, 2005). Approximately 4/5 of women do not achieve orgasms through penetration alone (Herbenick et al., 2018). A study (N=52,588) from California's Chapman University states that 95% of heterosexual men achieve orgasm during sex compared to only 65% of heterosexual women (Frederick et al., 2018). This difference is described by sexual psychologist Laurie Mintz as the so-called Orgasm Gap (Mintz, 2017). Orgasm gap or pleasure gap refers to the gap between men and women in terms of frequency of sexual satisfaction during heterosexual intercourse.

Why it matters?


Based on the collected findings, sexual socialization is one of the reasons for the Pleasure Gap. Due to this, there is a lack of quality sexual education specifically for adults. Young women in particular suffer the consequences (Arzt et al., 2018; Frederick et al., 2018; Hill, 2020; Karmasin, 2014; Kostenwein, 2018; Stangl, 2015; WHO, 2011; Williams & Sommerville, 2019). Consequently, women deal less with their own sexual preferences. This can lead to the neural connection between the brain and the female genital being insufficiently developed. The brain does not subsequently link touching the vulva or vagina with arousal. Thus, women may feel little during vaginal sex and perceive penetration as not arousing. This disconnectivity can be to the point that some women have never had an orgasm. However, the connection between the female genitals and the brain can be strengthened through regular training (Schiftan, 2018).



Knowledge brings change. Regular masturbation and a conscious examination of one's sexual preferences can support the interconnectedness between the female genitalia and the brain and promote sensitivity to orgasms. Using representative research and literature from sex therapists, a Pleasure Guide to sexual education with masturbation exercises is developed. To find out whether and to what extent the developed Pleasure Guide influences sexual sensitivity through regular masturbation exercises, the guide will be tested by female subjects in the form of a diary study.

Journal Study

Conculsion Research

The diary study shows that the goal of expanding erogenous zones with the help of the Pleasure Guide can be achieved through awareness-raising-exercises, regular masturbation, time and motivation. The user experience proves to be extremely positive. However, since there were difficulties in simultaneously reading and performing the exercises, the Pleasure Guide is being expanded with a Pleasure Card Set. The cards should help to visualize the exercises during sexual interaction in a comprehensible way. Furthermore, the majority (57%) of the test persons stated that a mixture of hands and a Pleasure Tool adapted to the exercises would facilitate their sexual interaction with themselves. Based on this, a Pleasure Tool concept is developed that is adapted to the exercises. The execution of the Pleasure Guide should make the sexual experience with oneself easier and more accessible. However, it is important that the focus is not on the tool, but on strengthening the connectivity within the body.

xo plus - Pleasure Set

The goal is to narrow the orgasm gap between women and men with the help of design and to break down socio-cultural barriers to sexual behavior. In particular, an emotional and haptic connectivity between the design solution and the user is to be created. With the help of the three-part Pleasure Set, a holistic solution approach is to be offered.

Design Language


Pleasure Guide

Pleasure Cards