When it comes to orgasms, history would have you believe that men have all the fun. It’s only within the past few decades that society (and science!) have finally started paying attention to women’s sexual pleasure, including the mysterious and sometimes elusive woman’s orgasm.
Learn how women’s orgasms work—and how to make them work for you—with this comprehensive guide from FunLove.com.
What Is An Orgasm, Anyway?
For most people, understanding the mechanics of an orgasm is a lot less fun than experiencing an orgasm. Still, though, learning more about our own bodies can go a long way towards understanding and enjoying human sexuality.
A woman’s orgasm is best described as a release of sexual tension, one characterized by rhythmic contractions occurring in the vagina, pelvic floor muscles, and uterus. The result is often additional muscle contractions throughout the rest of the body, a spreading sense of warmth, and a flood of feel-good endorphins and oxytocin.
Pleasure: A Four-Stage Model of Sexual Response
Contrary to what most porn videos depict, women’s orgasms don’t occur spontaneously. Instead, they often begin with sexual arousal, dubbed “excitement” by pioneering sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson. When a woman gets turned on, blood rushes to the clitoris, vagina, and nipples. Her heart rate and blood pressure also increase with a little help from neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin.
As she engages in sexual activity, she’ll reach the second stage of the human sexual response cycle, the “plateau”. The outer third of the vagina becomes even more engorged with blood as blood pressure and respiration rates continue to rise. In this state, many women find that their focus is almost exclusively on sexual stimuli—whether that’s a partner, erotica, or pure fantasy.
After a period of time, the length of which may vary considerably from woman to woman, she may experience an orgasm, followed by “resolution”, in which the body relaxes, blood flows away from the erogenous zones, and breathing and blood pressure return to baseline levels.
Are There Different Types of Orgasms?
Some sexologists have identified as many as 12 different kinds of women’s orgasms. Next, we’ll talk about the differences between some of these types and, most importantly, how you can experience one firsthand.
Clitoral orgasms are the most common type of women’s orgasm. One study published in The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy reported that 37% of women need direct clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm. Another 36% don’t require clitoral stimulation to orgasm, but find that it enhances their sexual experience.
It makes sense that the clitoris is the go-to pleasure button for many women, between its ease of access and the fact that this tiny nub has over 8,000 nerve endings (twice the number of the head of a penis). Simply put, the clit is extremely sensitive. With just the right touch from yourself, your partner, or a myriad of women’s sex toys, the clitoral orgasm—which can last as long as 30 seconds, by the way—is most likely well within reach.
How To Experience A Clitoral Orgasm
The most important thing to remember when it comes to women’s orgasms (and all sexual pleasure, in fact) is that everybody is different. It may take some time and self-exploration to discover what truly gets you off. Try to be patient and kind with yourself (or your partner) and enjoy the process.
Like most sexual activities, achieving clitoral orgasm is much easier when wet. While the vagina is generally self-lubricating, many people find that the addition of a personal lubricant is helpful. The clitoris can be stimulated in many different ways. Here are some different techniques to try:
- Use your hands, fingers, or a sex toy to move from side to side or up and down across the clitoris and the clitoral hood, applying as much pressure as feels good. Helpful tip: you can pull back the clitoral hood for additional sensation (but tread lightly, as it can be very sensitive).
- You may also enjoy gentle or rougher tapping, slowly building in speed and intensity as you get closer to orgasm.
- Use your fingers or a clitoral vibrator, moving in slow circles around the clit and labia. Increase or decrease the speed and vibration level based on what feels good.
- Go hands-free with some grinding action. You don’t even have to take off your clothes for this one. Just straddle a pillow or your partner and grind away.
- Don’t underestimate the power of a skilled tongue. Oral sex can be a great way to achieve the Big O. You can keep it simple by making a figure eight with your tongue or shake things up by trying to spell out the alphabet letter by letter on and around their clit. No partner? No problem. Products like the Womanizer Duo or the We-Vibe Melt simulate the sensations of oral sex with pulsating waves and gentle suction.
Vaginal orgasms involve many of the same muscle contractions as the clit orgasm, but the sensation of having one can be much different. So what does a vaginal orgasm feel like? The answer is surprisingly complicated.
The G-spot orgasm in particular has achieved a legendary status—almost everyone has heard of it, but far fewer have reported it. The supposed G-spot is an erogenous zone about two to three inches inside the frontal wall of the vagina. When stimulated by a finger, penis, or sex toy, it can lead to a deeper, fuller orgasm. Others even describe the sensation as feeling like they need to pee.
The catch? The G-spot isn’t an actual organ, and not everyone may be able to find or feel it. Some scientists believe the reported sensitivity of this area stems from its proximity to the internal portion of the clitoris, which is much larger than the external nub most of us are familiar with.
It’s possible that what some women experience as vaginal orgasms are actually internal clitoral orgasms. (Needless to say, science still has a long way to go in understanding female anatomy.) At the end of the day, however, pleasure is pleasure, and some women still swear by the magical (if somewhat mythical) G-spot.
How to Experience a Vaginal Orgasm
You can explore your own ability to experience vaginal orgasms by trying out sex toys like G-spot vibrators, which are usually curved with a flat spot to help you pin down the elusive G-spot. Your partner’s penis may also be able to stimulate the G-spot in certain sex positions, such as cowgirl or doggy-style.
If you just want to see if you can “find” your G-spot, you may be able to do so with just you or a partner’s fingers. Sexperts suggest inserting one or two fingers to about the second knuckle, then mimicking a “come hither” or circular motion to stimulate the area. Some people may feel a slight, bumpy protrusion; others may not feel anything at all. If it feels good to you, keep going. You can also experiment with clitoral and G-spot stimulants for added sensation. If you don’t feel anything, no worries—there are plenty of other ways to achieve orgasm.
Pro Tip: For ultimate, grab-the-sheets, try-not-to-scream satisfaction, the combination orgasm is a must-try. This involves both external and internal stimulation and can result in what feels like a full-body orgasm. To make it happen, be sure to pay attention to both penetration and clit stimulation. Rabbit-style vibrators work best for when you’re playing solo, while cock rings can make sure your clit gets the attention it deserves during PIV intercourse. This type of stimulation may even result in female ejaculation for some women.
Erogenous Zone Orgasms
Women’s orgasms aren’t only about what’s in your nether regions. This is where experimentation really pays off, because almost any area of the body can be erogenous depending on each person and their partner. Furthermore, some people may be able to achieve orgasm from stimulation of these other erogenous zones alone.
Common erogenous zones that can produce an orgasm in women include nipples, areolas, lips or mouth, neck or ears, and the butt or thighs.
How To Experience An Erogenous Zone Orgasm
Explore, explore, explore. It may seem like a wild concept to orgasm just from your partner’s breath on your skin or a nibble to the ear, but you never know what might get you off until you think outside the box.
If you’re a derrière enthusiast, don’t miss out on all the pleasure that anal orgasms can bring. Spanking or biting may get you there, but there’s also a lot to be said for internal stimulation, which can result from touching, fingering, licking, and using anal sex toys such as plugs, beads, or vibrators. This type of orgasm is possible thanks to the pudendal nerve in the anus, which is both packed with nerves and connects directly to the internal part of the clitoris.
Women who enjoy nipple or breast stimulation may be able to achieve nipple orgasm using toys or stimulants formulated specifically for nipple play. Similarly to the clitoris, nipples have very sensitive nerve endings. When stimulated, they activate the genital sensory cortex in the brain, which is the same area aroused by vaginal or clitoral stimulation. You can incorporate lots of elements into nipple play, including massage, light BDSM like tickling or biting, temperature play, and so much more.
Take Your “O” Game To The Next Level at Fascinations
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