The Female Orgasm

Sexual Wellness

The Female Orgasm

Part of living a full life is having a healthy sex life -- which includes having orgasms. There are many health benefits associated with experiencing orgasm, and though the female orgasm is sometimes treated like a mystery, it’s really not much different from the male orgasm.

There are various methods of restoring your ability to easily reach climax. Some do not require medical or psychological intervention. All require an understanding of the fundamentals of sexual health. Some issues may be addressed by simple lifestyle changes. Some may require seeing a health professional specializing in women’s health.

Women have more than one kind of orgasm

The fact that women can experience orgasm in different ways may be part of the reason the female orgasm seems mysterious to some people. Women may reach orgasm through clitoral stimulation, vaginal stimulation -- including the G-spot -- or through various other sensory pathways, such as stimulation of your breasts or other erogenous zones.

Clitoral orgasm is the closest to male orgasm. It involves the clitoris becoming engorged, or erect, and the orgasm itself provides release. After a clitoral orgasm, continuing can be uncomfortable.

An orgasm achieved through stimulation of your vagina is often described as “deeper” and more intense. The G-shot can help you explore this type of orgasm.

Women may also reach orgasm through means other than stimulating your genitalia. Women may be able to have an orgasm when your breasts are stimulated, or with the use of sexual imagery.

Women may consistently have one type of orgasm, or you may have different types depending on what you’re doing, or you may have some blend. Orgasms are certainly one of the most individualized and unique experiences a woman can have.

What all orgasms have in common

There are some things that happen in the human body, male or female, during orgasm. For example, your heart rate increases, you breathe faster, and your metabolism speeds up leading to and during an orgasm.

Researchers have identified four phases in the female orgasm, regardless of type.


Described as a state of arousal or desire, this phase involves your body beginning to get ready for sex. There’s an increase of certain hormones, blood begins to engorge your sexual organs, and you may feel as if your whole body is blushing.


During this phase, sexual tension builds even more. You may not be able to think of anything other than sexual stimulation. Your heart rate and blood pressure continue to increase.


When you reach orgasm, your vagina, uterus, pelvic floor muscles, and sometimes muscles all over your body contract rhythmically.


Follow your orgasm, your body relaxes, and your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing slow down to a more normal rate.

Women can achieve orgasm from stimulation to the clitoris, vagina, or cervix — or some combination of the three. They may also be able to orgasm from stimulating other areas of the body as well.

Suggestions to achieving an orgasm:


  • Direct or indirect stimulation of the clitoris can lead to a clitoral orgasm. When you get your rub on just right, you’ll feel the sensation build in your pleasure bud and peak.
  • Fingers, palm, or a small vibrator can all help you have a clitoral orgasm.
  • Make sure the clitoris is wet and begin gently rubbing in a side-to-side or up-and-down motion.
  • As it begins to feel good, apply faster and harder pressure in a repetitive motion.
  • When you feel your pleasure intensify, apply even more pressure to the motion to take yourself over the edge.


  • Few people are able to climax with vaginal stimulation alone.
  • If you’re able to make it happen, prepare for an intense climax that can be felt deep inside your body.
  • The front vaginal wall is also home to the anterior fornix, or A-spot.
  • Classic research suggests that stimulating the A-spot can result in intense lubrication and even orgasm.
  • Fingers or a sex toy should do the trick. Since the pleasure comes from the vaginal walls, you’ll want to experiment with width. Do this by inserting an extra finger or two into the vagina, or try a sex toy with some extra girth.
  • To stimulate the A-spot, focus the pressure on the front wall of the vagina while sliding your fingers or toy in and out. Stick with the pressure and motion that feels the best, and let the pleasure mount.


  • Cervical stimulation has the potential to lead to a full-body orgasm that can send waves of tingly pleasure from your head to your toes.
  • And this is an orgasm that can keep on giving, lasting quite a while for some.
  • Your cervix is the lower end of your uterus, so reaching it means going in deep.
  • Being relaxed and aroused is key to achieving a cervical orgasm. Use your imagination, rub your clitoris, or let your partner work some foreplay magic.
  • The doggy-style position allows for deep penetration, so try being on all fours with a penetrative toy or partner.
  • Start off slow, gradually working your way deeper until you find a depth that feels good, and keep at it so the pleasure can build.


  • A combo orgasm can be achieved by pleasuring your vagina and clitoris simultaneously.
  • The result: a powerful climax that you can feel inside and out.
  • Be sure to supersize your combo by adding some other erogenous zones to the mix.
  • Use both your hands to double your pleasure, or combine fingers and sex toys. Rabbit vibrators, for example, can stimulate the clitoris and vagina at the same time and are perfect for mastering the combo orgasm.
  • Use parallel rhythms while playing with your clitoris and vagina, or switch it up with fast clitoral action and slow vaginal penetration.


The genitals are awesome, but they’re not your only option. Your body is full of erogenous zones with orgasmic potential.


  • Your nipples are full of nerve endings that can feel oh-so-good when played with.
  • According to a 2011 study, when stimulated, your nipples set your genital sensory cortex ablaze. This is the same area of the brain that lights up during vaginal or clitoral stimulation.
  • Nipple orgasms are said to sneak up on you, then explode in waves of full-body pleasure. Yes, please!
  • Use hands to caress and squeeze your breasts and other parts of your body, avoiding the nipples at first.
  • Move on to teasing your areola by tracing it with your fingertips until you’re really turned on, then show your nipples some love by rubbing and pinching them until you reach maximum pleasure.


  • You don’t need to have a prostate to have an anal orgasm. Anal play can be pleasurable for anyone if you have enough lube and take your time.
  • You can indirectly stimulate erogenous zones within the vagina using a finger or sex toy.
  • Apply ample lube with your fingers and massage it around your anus. This won’t just lube you up — it’ll also help get you ready for anal play.
  • Massage the outside and inside of the opening, then slowly and gently insert your sex toy or finger into your anus. Try a gentle in and out motion, then begin to move in a circular motion. Alternate between the two and pick up the pace as your pleasure builds.

Erogenous Zones

  • Your body really is a wonderland. The neck, ears, and lower back, for example, are rich in erotically charged nerve endings begging to be touched.
  • We can’t say exactly which parts of your body will drive you to the brink, but we can tell you that everyone has erogenous zones, and finding them is definitely worth the effort.
  • Take a feather or silky scarf and use it to find your body’s most sensitive areas.
  • Get naked and relax so you can focus on every tingle. Take note of these spots, and try experimenting with different sensations, like squeezing or pinching.
  • Practice makes perfect, so pleasure these areas and keep at it to see how far you can go.


  • The G-spot is an area along the front wall of your vagina. For some people, it can produce a very intense and very wet orgasm when stimulated.
  • Your fingers or a curved G-spot vibrator are the best way to hit the spot. Squatting will give you the best angle.
  • Squat with the back of your thighs close to or touching your heels, and insert your fingers or toy into your vagina. Curl your fingers up toward your belly button and move them in a “come here” motion.
  • If you happen to find an area that feels especially good, keep going — even if you feel like you have to pee — and enjoy the full-body release.
  • What happens in the body when you orgasm? Does this depend on the type?
  • Everyone is different, and so are their orgasms. Some are more intense than others. Some last longer than others. Some are wetter than others.

What physically happens during orgasm is:

  • Your vagina and uterus contract rapidly.
  • You experience involuntary muscle contractions in other parts, like your abdomen and feet.
  • Your heart rate and breathing quicken.
  • Your blood pressure increases.
  • You may feel a sudden relief of sexual tension, or even ejaculate.

Female vs. Male

It may be surprising, but female orgasms are not all that different from male orgasms. Both involve increased blood flow to the genitals, faster breathing and heart rate, and muscle contractions. Where they typically differ is in duration and recovery — also known as afterglow.

Female orgasm may also last longer, ranging from 13 to 51 seconds on average, while male orgasm often ranges from 10 to 30 seconds. People with a vagina can typically have more orgasms if stimulated again.

People with a penis typically have a refractory phase. Orgasms aren’t possible during this period, which can last from minutes to days.

People with a clitoris may also go through a similar phase. A 2009 study involving 174 university students found that 96 percent of female participants experienced hypersensitivity in the clitoris following orgasm.

Remember, the range of the refractory phase varies from person to person. Your own experience is unique to you.

Female Ejaculation

A 2013 research review of female ejaculation found that more than 10 to 54 percent of participants experienced ejaculation during orgasm. Ejaculation occurs when fluid is expelled from your urethral opening during orgasm or sexual arousal. The ejaculate is a thick, whitish fluid that resembles watered-down milk. It contains some of the same components as semen.

Orgasm Gap

A 2018 study on orgasms in heterosexual newlywed couples found that 87% of husbands and only 49% of wives reported consistently experiencing orgasms during sexual activity.

Researchers don’t know for certain what causes this gap. Some argue it could be biological, while others blame cultural and societal perspectives and a lack of education when it comes to pleasure.

What to do when you’ve never orgasmed

The first thing you should do is take the pressure off so you can enjoy yourself. This is one scenario where it really is more about the journey than the destination. Instead, take the time to get to know your body and concentrate on how it feels.

You may find it helpful to:

  • Get comfortable somewhere you won’t be interrupted or distracted, like in your bed or the bath.
  • Try reading an erotic story or using your imagination to get yourself in the mood.
  • Massage the fleshy area above your clitoris and the outer and inner lips of your vulva until you begin to get wet, maybe also using lube.
  • Start rubbing your clitoris over the hood and find a rhythm that feels good.
  • Rub faster and harder, increasing the speed and pressure to intensify the feeling, and keep at it until you orgasm.
  • If you don’t orgasm, you can always try again. Trying new things is the best way to figure out what turns you on and how to orgasm.

Seek Professional Help

Some people orgasm more easily than others, so not having one doesn’t necessarily mean there’s something wrong.

If you feel like you’re having trouble climaxing or have other concerns, see a doctor or other healthcare professional who specializes in sexual health.

They can answer any questions you may have and may be able to make some recommendations.

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