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Female orgasm study has good news for missionary lovers

When she's not writing, Claire Gillespie can most often be found wiping snotty noses, picking up Lego, taking photos of her cat or doing headstands.

Does achieving orgasm have more to do with anatomy than attitude?

Most studies into the female orgasm suggest that the biggest obstacle to achieving the big O during sexual intercourse is a mental or emotional one. A lack of confidence, inability to trust and reluctance to "let go" are often cited as the reasons women struggle to climax.

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But a new study from a team from Mayo Clinic and the Indiana University School of Medicine, published in the journal Clinical Anatomy, says it may all come down to anatomy.

"Sexual experiences are assumed to be in your control based on your attitude," said lead author of the study, Dr. Elizabeth Emhardt. "What if variations in sexual anatomy actually set the foundation for differences in sexual experience, and we aren't in control of our sexual experiences as much as we once thought?"

The team reviewed previous studies about sexual and neuroanatomy to work out why some people experience orgasms more successfully than others. While a man's ability to orgasm is largely dependent upon his nervous system (the brain, spinal cord and penis must be sending and receiving the right signals), orgasmic success for women has more to do with physical anatomy — it’s all about "the migration of the clitoris," apparently.

Meaning the closer the clitoris gets to the vaginal wall during sex, the more likely a woman is to achieve orgasm.

Previous studies tried looking under a microscope in the vaginal wall to try to identify a uniform position of nerve bundles, but the findings were largely inconsistent.

More: Every faked orgasm is an orgasm you choose not to have

OK, so what does this mean for the average Joe and Jane and their pursuit of the female orgasm?

Basically, ditch the doggy style, and focus on sex positions that stimulate the vaginal wall. Good news, missionary fans! Your favorite sex position may be vanilla, but you’re probably getting off more often than everybody else.

The researchers referred to a European study that took MRIs of couples having sex and concluded that different sexual positions can stimulate the vaginal walls in different — and ultimately more productive — ways.

Male rear entrance — what we all know as doggy style — was not found to stimulate the vaginal wall as much as front-entrance positions, such as missionary or cowgirl.

"If a woman is trying to achieve a vaginal orgasm, it seems like it tends to be more successful if the front wall of the vagina is more stimulated," Mayo Clinic's Dr. Jason Siegel told MailOnline.

Additionally, the best angle of penis entry for vaginal wall stimulation was found to be 30 to 45 degrees.

We know, we know — you really don't need another thing to be worrying about during sex. Is my clitoris close enough to my vaginal wall? But maybe, just maybe, taking some of the pressure away from our mental obstacles and focusing purely on what we can do physically will make the female orgasm a more regular occurrence.

Saddle up, cowgirls.

More: Scientists have discovered why we close our eyes to kiss

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