If you chat among your girlfriends it’s highly likely that those who haven’t experienced an orgasm won’t tell you they haven’t. And it’s even less likely that they’ll ask you for a how-to guide. So we’re taking on the BFF mantle and helping you discover whether you’ve had an orgasm, and if you haven’t, how you can.
In researching orgasms I discovered some intriguing facts, including that female orgasm response is genetic and many of us will never experience an orgasm through internally stimulated sexual intercourse for that simple reason. I also discovered that since the revolutionary 1940s and ’50s Kinsey’s Sexual Behavior in the Human Female there is a dearth of current, in-depth easily accessible research about the female orgasm. Go figure.
And rather alarmingly, according to the Durex Sexual Wellbeing survey (2007/08), 63% of us Kiwis put our hands up to having sex weekly but our satisfaction rate sits at 43%. Yikes! And unless you live in India, Mexico, Nigeria or the US, this satisfaction discrepancy ranges from bad to worse.
Girls, it’s time we turned that frown upside down!
What is an orgasm?
First off the bat, what is an orgasm, and if you haven’t experienced one, how do you? According to D.VICE founders Ema Lyon and Wendy Lee in their D.VICE Advicebook, they describe the female orgasm as “extreme sensual pleasure, intensely pleasurable rhythmic contractions and a sensation of release”. These sensations differ from a “mere flutter” to a “powerful and intense sensation that is mind-blowing”. They say the experience can last anywhere from a few seconds to beyond 15 minutes, and yes, they report that there is a g-spot and yes, multiple orgasms arepossible.
A more clinical definition of the female orgasm is this one in MNT, which describes our initial sexual arousal as the dilation of genital blood vessels, and orgasm as the occurrence of rhythmic contractions at around 0.8 seconds apart running from 13-51 seconds.
The long and short of these two explanations is that if you’ve had an orgasm, you will know it, and if you haven’t, don’t worry there is plenty of time!
Types of orgasm
There are various types of female orgasm, each achieved through different means. Many of these can occur alone or with someone else. Tension or peak orgasms are where women tense their muscles and sometimes hold their breath at some stage before or during the orgasm; pressure orgasms which require doing something like squeezing the thighs during sexual activity; relaxation orgasms most often achieved through tantric sex or very attentive lovemaking; ejaculation orgasms, self explanatory, but this type of release requires strong pelvic floor muscles; nocturnal orgasms, also known as wet dreams, these are not just the domain of teenage boys and can happen regularly to some people; fantasy orgasms are ones that start in the imagination and sometimes no physical stimulation is involved; coregasm which can occur during core workout physical exercise that targets specific parts of the body, or even running (these orgasms pose a huge challenge to the idea that orgasms are only created through sexual arousal); and of course, multiple orgasms.
How do we achieve orgasm?
Stats vary considerably regarding how women reach sexual climax and whether vaginal orgasm is possible without clitoral stimulation. In the 1976 Hite Report author Shere Hite gathered data from 3000 women aged 14-78 about their orgasm experiences and the stats generally reflect current thinking and global research. In it 30% reported being able to climax during vaginal intercourse regularly, 12% hardly ever reached orgasm through this activity, 19% said they only achieving orgasm with direct clitoral stimulation, and 29% said they were not at all able to orgasm during vaginal intercourse, ever.
Hite said in 2008:
Since women can easily orgasm via their own clitoral-area stimulation during masturbation, the same stimulation (usually by the hand or mouth of the partner) should become an equally important high point to intercourse and penetration in a new version of sex.
But sex can evolve beyond orgasms. Sex can be transformed to become an individual vocabulary of erotic gestures, combining bodies to reach high states of arousal and desire, beyond a quest for orgasms by either woman or man. Sex can become something new, something we have not yet seen, something that we all now create by taking private, very courageous, steps.
Meet your clitoris
If you haven’t not yet been introduced to your clitoral buddy, may I suggest that you take the time to make an introduction. It’s the tiny little button that sits at the top of your inner labia. Within it there are 8,000 nerve endings – that’s double the male penis with its mere 4,000 – and this little gem connects to a further 15,000 nerve endings in our pelvic region.
In case you didn’t know, the clitoris is like an iceberg with only the hood visible on the outside, and the remaining 75% of the clitoris hidden under the skin. In fact, the clitoris comprises almost the same working parts as a man’s penis. So we’re not so different after all! And the good news, from puberty onwards, the clitoris continues to grow our whole lifetime, making for some pretty hot granny years if we want it!
Unlike many functions of the body, the clitoris is only there to show you a good time (we’ll be bringing you the health benefits of orgasms in an upcoming article). This is achieved by stimulating the clitoris – done through a variety of touch with hands, mouths, other body parts and toys, such as vibrators. Like every part of our mysterious and often complex selves, each one of us is different and you will have to find out what your clitoris likes.
What do I do to achieve orgasm?
My advice is if you haven’t already is to just start. Masturbation is a perfectly healthy and natural – and highly pleasurable – activity and you might surprise yourself when you find out how easy it is and how great it makes you feel! If you don’t want to take a hands on approach, pop online and see what’s available in vibrators. The lipstick-type vibrators are very powerful and a discreet way to get started and learn how your body reacts to vibration clitoral stimulation. The We-Vibe Tango and Salsa are powerful, well-made and may turn out to be the only vibration investment you need – able to be used alone or with your loving other.
And ladies, if there is a fraction too much friction, please use lube. I cannot warn you enough about this! Your special place will not appreciate you going it alone (remembering too that you’re going in cold and your soon-to-be-BFF might not be as ready as you are!). And just like the care and attention you give to the food you put in your body and the lotions and potions you put on your body, this most delicate and precious of areas needs love. FlowMotion is 100% BioGro NZ Certified Organic, natural and chemical-free, and you can discover it for yourself free here! One tube will last many an orgasm and if you’re still feeling coy, you can buy this lovely lube online.
I hope this has been a lovely trip down orgasm lane. And ladies, go forth and enjoy what your amazing body has to offer!