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April 14, 2021

Researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine and OMGYES have conducted the first-ever, large-scale, nationally representative study focused on women’s techniques for increasing their own pleasure from vaginal penetration. The findings, published today in the scientific journal, PLOS ONE, identify and name four distinct methods: Angling, Pairing, Rocking and Shallowing.

“For the first time, we have detailed scientific data to understand the different ways that women experience more pleasure with vaginal penetration. This information can help us build a vocabulary to describe female pleasure that currently doesn’t exist,” explains Devon Hensel.

To begin, the researchers gathered discoveries and insights from a community of 4,270 women from around the world and analyzed the results to find themes and underlying patterns. These qualitative findings then informed the quantitative, cross-sectional, nationally representative survey fielded online with 3,017 American women, ages 18-93.

“When something doesn’t even have a name, it’s made literally unspeakable,” said Dr. von Hippel. “Until now, there haven’t been words for the specific ways women improve their pleasure. By giving these prevalent techniques names and showing how they can be effective, we hope women will be empowered to explore what they like and advocate for what they want, in and outside of the bedroom.”

The findings, described in depth in the paper and highlighted below, reveal four distinct ways women have discovered can increase pleasure from vaginal penetration:

Rocking – 76.4% of women make penetration more pleasurable by ‘rocking’ the base of a penis or sex toy so it rubs against the clitoris constantly during penetration, staying all the way inside the vagina rather than thrusting in and out.

Angling – 87.5% of women experience more pleasure during penetration by ‘angling’ which involves rotating, raising, or lowering the pelvis/hips during penetration to adjust where inside the vagina the toy or penis rubs, and what it feels like.

Pairing – 69.7% of women find penetration more pleasurable when ‘pairing’ where a woman herself (solo pairing) or her partner (partner pairing) reaches down to stimulate the clitoris with a finger or sex toy at the same time as the vagina is being penetrated.

Shallowing – 83.8% of women orgasm more often or increase their pleasure through ‘shallowing,’ penetrative touch just inside the entrance of the vagina with a fingertip, sex toy, penis tip, tongue or lips.


OMGYES is a research company and website devoted to women’s sexual pleasure. Since 2015, OMGYES has partnered with researchers at Indiana University to gather the experiences of more than 20,000 women, ages 18 to 95, and has discovered and named dozens of techniques women use to increase their pleasure and agency, whether on their own or with a partner. OMGYES.com brings these findings to life through open and honest videos and animations - a new lexicon of pleasure based on women’s experiences.

About Indiana University School of Medicine

Indiana University School of Medicine is the largest medical school in the U.S. and is annually ranked among the top medical schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. The school offers high-quality medical education, access to leading medical research and rich campus life in nine Indiana cities, including rural and urban locations consistently recognized for livability.

About the Researchers

Dr. Christiana von Hippel

Research Scientist at OMGYES.com

Christiana leads and designs OMGYES’ research with women across the world. She is a Social Scientist skilled in public health qualitative and quantitative research, study design, health communication campaign development, epidemiology, big data analysis, and project management with a Doctor of Science (ScD) degree in Social Behavioral Sciences from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Dr. Devon J. Hensel

Professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine

Dr. Hensel holds joint appointments as Associate Research Professor of Pediatrics, as well as an Associate Professor of Sociology in the Department of Sociology at IUPUI. She has a broad background in behavioral science, adolescent development, gender and sexuality, innovative research methodology/data collection approaches and longitudinal, multilevel and complex data analysis. Dr. Hensel has collaboratively authored over 100 peer-reviewed publications. In addition, her portfolio has been internationally recognized across multiple fields.

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