Sticking with the theme of “Let’s talk pleasure” for Sexual Health Awareness Month, today we’re discussing orgasms! The online dictionary Merriam-Webster defines an orgasm as “the rapid pleasurable release of neuromuscular tensions at the height of sexual arousal that is usually accompanied by the ejaculation of semen in the male and by vaginal contractions in the female”. So, what does this mean exactly? Well, it can also be described as the peak of sexual pleasure, when the body releases tension, muscles and reproductive organs spasm and a wave of euphoria is felt throughout the body. Orgasms can happen through masturbation, mutual masturbation, penetrative or oral sex, while using sex toys or without any form or physical stimulation at all for example through a dream or a sexual fantasy.
For vagina-owners, when experiencing an orgasm muscles in the anus and vagina will contract about once every second, this can happen roughly five to eight times. Their heart and breathing rates will also increase significantly. Before and during an orgasm the vagina will secrete a natural lubricant, which makes it very moist. After the orgasm the clitoris is extra sensitive and uncomfortable to touch.
People with vaginas can experience multiple types of orgasms such as clitoral or vaginal orgasms. A clitoral orgasm means that stimulation of the clitoris results in an orgasm. In a 2019 study it was found that 60% of women orgasm because of clitoral stimulation. It’s also widely known that most women or vagina-owners aren’t able to orgasm through penetration alone, and need clitoral stimulation to orgasm. Vaginal orgasm involves stimulation of the vagina, but can also be linked to the indirect stimulation of the clitoris. A nipple orgasm is when someone experiences an orgasm solely based on nipple stimulation. Vagina-owners can also experience anal orgasms from anal sex as well as multiple orgasms in a short period of time. It’s also possible to have a blended orgasm which means the clitoris and vagina orgasm at the same time.
For people with penises, the muscles in the penis and anus will also contract about once every second during an orgasm. This happens about five to eight times too, and breathing and heart rates increase as well. Usually around one to two tablespoons of semen is ejaculated during the orgasm and afterwards the head of the penis might be very sensitive or feel uncomfortable to touch.
Penis-owners can also experience multiple orgasms at a time, and it’s also possible for them to not ejaculate when having an orgasm. So, just because someone ejaculates it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve had an orgasm, and an orgasm doesn’t mean you need to ejaculate as they are two separate bodily functions. Penis-owners can also have a prostate orgasm, which involves the stimulation of the prostate gland which can result in a full body orgasm. Nipple orgasms are also possible for penis-owners with the right amount of stimulation and attention.
Remember, that having an orgasm is not the point of sex and the only goal when having sex. This can put an immense amount of unnecessary pressure on you and your sexual partner(s). Sex is about fun and connection, or whatever you want it be! Orgasms are great, but if you’re just having sex to orgasm you could be missing out on a much more fulfilling sexual experience.