In search of sexual pleasure

April 25, 2023Paradiso Noord (Tuinzaal) Amsterdam
Pexels photo 3773659
Doors open: 19:30
Start programme: 19:45
Paradiso Noord (Tuinzaal)
IJpromenade 2

Are there gender differences in the experience of sexual pleasure? How does sexual arousal work between partners? How can we go beyond the shame and create more openness about sex?

Pleasure is the most important reason to have sex and yet, this has been long ignored. Why is this? And where did the idea that women experience less sexual pleasure than men come from? It is remarkable that men and women experience sexual pleasure differently while their sexual systems work in the same way. There is a very clear pleasure gap in which men experience more pleasure than women.

In this talk, researcher Marieke Dewitte will delve into the world of sexual desire, arousal and orgasm and will discuss the differences and similarities that appear between genders. According to Dewitte, within discussions on the pleasure gap, too much emphasis is being placed on prevention and gender differences. We need a more positive approach. During this Science & Cocktails, Marieke will talk about the implications and how we can achieve more gender equality when it comes to sexual pleasure. In addition, she will also explore sexual pleasure and arousal in romantic relationships. In the sexlab at Maastricht University, Dewitte researches how partners stimulate each other's sexual arousal. Her aim is to challenge shame, taboos and myths around sex and to take us on a journey of her findings on sexual pleasure.

This event is an initiative by the Dutch Institute for Emergent Phenomena (DIEP) with the support of NWA Route 2. Science & Cocktails Amsterdam is presented in cooperation with Paradiso Amsterdam.


  • 19:45–   20:15
    321 Astronaut– 
  • 20:30–   21:30
    Marieke Dewitte– 

Talk by

Marieke Dewitte

Marieke Dewitte is clinical psychologist-sexologist and currently works at Maastricht University. She studied at RINO Amsterdam and Gent University, where she also did her PhD on attachment in romantic relationships. Ze teaches several different courses, guest lectures and workshops on sexuality, both in the Netherlands and abroad. Her research focuses on sexual interaction between partners, relational dynamics in sexual arousal, attachment in relation to sexual responses and genital pain in women. In addition to her research, Marieke has worked as a sexologist at the University Hospital of Gent and Maastricht. Currently she is chief editor of the scientific magazine ‘Tijdschrift voor Seksuologie’ and Secretary General of the European Society of Sexual Medicine.

Marieke Dewitte

Music by

321 Astronaut

Astronaut's uncompromising songs are honest and unadulterated. The lyrics can be described as philosophical with a sobriety from the back corner (see what you can do with that). With the creatively constructed music of Astronaut you will soon bring the summer into your home! After two self-produced EPs and a 'Kleinste Theaters van Nederland Tour', Astronaut is preparing for a debut album.

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