Climax, cumming, the Big O—whatever you want to call it, orgasms are a deliciously wonderful byproduct of a good time in bed. But despite what our patriarchal society would have us believe, they are not the end-all, be-all of sex.
Approximately 81.6% of women don't orgasm from penetrative sex, and yet "achieving" that kind of orgasm—which is just one of many, BTW—is so deeply ingrained in our idea of sex that many women fake orgasms. This is a damn shame because, in doing so, we're missing out on the range of pleasure our bodies can feel when given the chance (and the patience). Maybe penetration doesn't do it for ya, but what about clitoral stimulation? Or even nipple play?
Whether you've been monogamously committed for years or you're still playing the field, learning what your body likes and how it works is the key to having a more enjoyable, liberating sex life. Sex is a journey, not a destination. So why rush through the pleasure?
What Is An Orgasm?
Let's start with the basics. Your body goes through four stages of what's called the sexual response cycle. Those stages are:
1. Desire (or libido)
2. Excitement (or arousal)
During the first two stages of the cycle, your body builds up sexual tension—and orgasms are the sudden release of that tension. While women experience orgasms in different ways, there are some common physiological reactions, including:
* An increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing
* Muscle spasms or contractions in your vaginal area
* A release of feel-good hormones into your bloodstream
* A sensation of pleasure and relief
While the science of orgasms may be fairly straightforward, there's a lot of BS out there surrounding the subject. Mainly that only penetrative sex can lead to female orgasm and that good sex = orgasm. These harmful myths not only make women feel inadequate and ashamed, but they also limit our perception of pleasure.
It's Time To Retire The Pussy Sneeze
Don't get us wrong—we love a good vibrator. They're a great way to get off, especially for women who have trouble orgasming with a partner or during penetrative sex.
But the kind of direct-clitoral external stimulation they offer is SO intense that it can often result in what many in the industry call the "p*ssy sneeze" —the quick, fleeting high that's over before you know it.
While there's nothing wrong with the p*ssy sneeze, most women think their orgasmic pleasure stops there. But the truth is, there are much deeper layers available for you to experience and explore if you just know how.
6 Types of Orgasms
Remember: all orgasms are valid. Whether you're chasing a mind-blowing, full-body spasm or simply snuggling up for some clitoral playtime, there's no wrong way to enjoy sex. So long as you and your partner encourage open communication, consent—which can be removed at any point—and exploration, you've got all the ingredients for a good time.
Ready to find out what your body is really made of? Try experimenting with one (or all!) of the 6 types of orgasms and see where it takes you.
1. Clitoral Orgasm (Beyond The P*ssy Sneeze)
The clitoris is the only human organ designed specifically for pleasure. So it makes sense that it's the orgasmic go-to for many women. While you can always grab your vibrator for a quickie, taking the time to build up arousal can lead to an even more powerful finish. Think of your body like a volcano—the more it simmers and builds up the pressure, the more intense your eruption is going to be.
How to do it: Use your hands, a partner's hands, or a vibrator to stimulate the labia surrounding the clitoris. Play around with different kinds of touches and strokes until you discover what feels best. Hold off on touching your clitoris for as long as you can.
2. G-Spot Orgasm
Ah, the elusive G-spot. While its location is still very much up for debate, many believe that it can be found on the front wall of your vagina. Many people claim that orgasm via their G-spot is more intense than other orgasms.
How to do it: The easiest way to access it for yourself is to insert your finger into your vagina and press forward using a come-hither motion. If you feel an area that's slightly bumpy, spongey, or ridged, you've likely landed on your G-spot.
3. Vaginal Orgasm
If you orgasm via penetrative sex without stimulating your G-spot or your clitoris, that's considered a vaginal orgasm. While the clitoris is the well-deserved star of the show, your vagina actually has many other erogenous zones like the A-spot and even the cervix. Everybody has different pleasure preferences, so taking time to explore yours can lead to some very fun discoveries.
How to do it: Experiment with different sexual positions (via masturbating with a toy, a partner, or your fingers) that hit different areas, like elevating your hips by putting a pillow under your lower back.
4. Anal Orgasm
Because your rectum and anus are so close to your vagina and clitoris, stimulating those areas can indirectly help you reach orgasm. However, it's crucial to take your time building up to anal sex, as rushing into it can be very painful.
How to do it: If you've never played around with your back door, start slowly, using just fingers or a toy (and lube—always lube). Massage the area around the anus and play with different rhythms and sensations to see what you like best.
5. Nipple Orgasm
As it turns out, your nipples have a lot of nerve endings that can—when stimulated correctly—end in orgasm. It'll take some practice, and you may need other kinds of stimulation to help you get there, but if you like that part of you touched, it doesn't hurt to touch it with a little more intention.
How to do it: You can simply caress your own nipples to see what feels good or have a partner do so (along with kissing and sucking). Take your time and allow the tension to build.
6. Blended Orgasm
Any orgasm that combines two erogenous zones (like your clitoris and your nipples) is called a blended orgasm. If you have trouble reaching the big O through one area alone, it might be worth it to invite another into the bedroom.
How to do it: There are soooo many ways to reach a blended orgasm. Our best advice is to take the parts of yourself you like touched the most, touch them at the same time, and see what happens. The WaterSlyde is great for stimulating your clitoris while letting you explore the rest of your body hands-free.
Discover Your Pleasure Potential
It begs to be repeated that orgasms of all kinds—even the ones that aren't happening—are valid, and every woman deserves to know what her body is capable of. While it may take some time, exploring and prioritizing your sexual pleasure in a safe and consensual manner will only expand your pleasure potential.
So, what are you waiting for?
About The Author
Emily Blackwood is a freelance journalist committed to answering the plaguing question of what makes us truly happy. Turns out, it's a lot. Her work has been published in SELF, HuffPost, and YourTango. You can learn more here.
Medical Disclaimer: The information provided here is intended for educational and informative purposes only and is not intended to serve as medical or professional advice. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.