The female orgasm is one of the least talked about and elusive parts of women’s sexual experiences. While having an orgasm is an extremely personal experience and will be different for each woman, the following are six facts you may not have known about female orgasms. Increasing your sexual knowledge may contribute to a better sexual experience for you and your partner.
1. Being unable to orgasm is a common issue.
If you can’t identify ever having an orgasm, this is nothing to be worried about. It has been cited that roughly 20-30% of women don’t have orgasms during intercourse. Some women have never had an orgasm while others may have had before but don’t commonly reach their climax during their sexual encounters. Some women may even have orgasms every single time they have sex. The reasons for not being able to have an orgasm will differ for each person and they are typically explained along three lines: psychological, hormonal or physiological.
Some psychological reasons you may not orgasm include low self-esteem, fear of getting pregnant, stress, a negative first sexual experience or psychological trauma either related to sex or not. While hormonal issues may include problems in the nervous or cardiovascular system or complications caused by medication (antidepressants and birth control all contribute to issues including dryness and discomfort in the vagina during sex). Physiological reasons may include pelvic pain during intercourse which can be a side effect of a bigger issue such as endometriosis.
2. Stimulating the sex organs isn’t the only way to reach orgasm
Women are lucky enough to have bodies that allow them to experience orgasms in more ways than one. Typically, orgasms are understood as clitoral orgasms and vaginal orgasms. These refer simply to orgasms achieved by clitoral and vaginal stimulation, respectively. During an orgasm, your genital muscles will contract, your heart rate will increase and your genitals will fill with blood, making it more sensitive to stimulation.
For some women, your most pleasurable experiences may come from a combination of vaginal and clitoral stimulation. However, you may also experience climax from the nipple, anal and other kinds of stimulation not involving clitoral or vaginal interactions. Research has shown that the same area of the brain is aroused when an orgasm is achieved through stimulation of other areas.
3. Orgasms are not just about pleasure
Orgasms being something you experience during a sexual act may cause you to only associate it with something that is just about that moment of feeling good. The benefits of orgasms go way past this. While your body feels stimulated and is producing good feelings, your brain is also being triggered to release hormones, such as oxytocin and dopamine. These hormones are important for you as they help the body to relax, reduce stress and contribute to feelings of closeness and happiness. These feelings can help fight depression and anxiety, boost immunity and even foster good relationships while overall contributing to your good health.
4. Many women can experience multiple orgasms
Multiple orgasms mean having several orgasms in a short amount of time. Many women can experience this but not all. For you to experience multiple orgasms you will need continuous stimulation after your first one. However, after an orgasm, the vagina and clitoris, much like the penis, may become sensitive and further touch may become painful. Therefore, it is likely that your multiple orgasms will be due to stimulation of various pleasure zones.
5. Your orgasms may get better with age
As you near your menopausal years you may suffer from issues like vaginal dryness. However, studies have suggested that as a woman you may experience your most intense orgasms once you’re around 35 years old. At this age, you may become more self-aware, confident and seek to gain maximum pleasure during sex compared to your younger years. These may all contribute to you having more frequent and intense orgasms.
6. There is no ‘right way’ to orgasm
Popular media and stereotypes will have us believing that orgasms look one way. We are led to believe from movies, music, books among other outlets that orgasms are like experiencing ‘fireworks’, described as being both dramatic and loud. These descriptions and displays are often performative and don’t accurately describe the experience of the female orgasm for everyone. The truth is, every woman will have a different experience when they orgasm. This can include spasms, changes in breathing and heart rate and even crying. Actually, your partner may not know that you’ve even had an orgasm unless you tell them.
Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to have sex or to orgasm. Do whatever feels best for you and makes you most comfortable. At the end of the day, your priority should be to have a safe, comfortable and pleasurable sexual experience.