Everything You Want to Know about Orgasms
What do orgasms feel like? How can you have multiple orgasms? Plus: What's the most effective way to achieve simultaneous orgasms? Read on for all that and more!
What Does An Orgasm Feel Like?
I asked a cross-section of women to describe how they feel when they orgasm. "No problem," they all responded enthusiastically, promising to email me within the hour鈥xcept it wasn't quite as easy as they thought. "It's really hard trying to put it into words," one woman said. And she's right. For such a powerful, immense sensation, words suddenly seem inadequate. But after much cajoling (and promises of free drinks next time I saw them), here's what they came up with鈥?
"I have to concentrate on a fantasy to orgasm. And often they're things I'd never want to happen in reality. My favorite fantasy at the moment involves my boyfriend sneaking off to the pub and picking up some girls with a friend of his. His friend then has intercourse with one, while he has oral sex with the other girl on the bed beside him. I time my orgasm to coincide with where I'm at in the fantasy. I put myself in the girl's place and imagine what she'd be feeling during oral sex."
"Sometimes when I'm really turned on, I can't orgasm. So I need to really concentrate. If I really, really want him, I'll often choose penetration over oral sex, even though oral sex is usually the only way I can climax. I guess it's because of the stronger, more physical feeling."
"My favorite orgasms are through oral sex. When he starts, I feel incredibly sensitive everywhere. Then the sensation sharpens and isolates around the clitoris. Everything feels hot, then when I climax, I feel my vagina pulsating and there's a few seconds of exquisite sensation. Sometimes, I'll have three or four intense spasms, then nothing. Other times they're followed by smaller waves, spaced less close together."
"When I use a vibrator, orgasm is like a strong rush of pleasure where everything is centered around the clitoris. Then I feel tension build, and pleasure build with it, until it feels like my clitoris is going to explode. I can feel myself going into spasms and my brain feels like it's being flooded. After it's over, I feel really alert and quite business-like. The whole thing takes less time than it does to make a cup of tea."
"I can orgasm through penetration, but only if I'm incredibly turned on. Usually he's from behind and thrusting quite hard. It seems to help if he holds me around my waist so his penis is deep inside me and the thrusting movements are small. I feel an aching feeling that builds and then peaks. Then it's like waves of pleasure radiating. Often the waves will last quite a long time. Because it feels dramatically different than a clitoral orgasm, at first I wasn't sure whether I was actually having an orgasm or not through penetration. But all the girls I've spoken to say this is what they feel when they orgasm vaginally, too: It's a more general feeling than centrally focused."
How to Have Multiple Orgasms
You greedy, greedy girl. Why would you want more than one orgasm? Wait, I know鈥ecause you can! Mother Nature may have cursed us with pregnancy, periods and high heels, but she did bestow one gift: the ability to have more than one orgasm in one session. Because women don't fall to the post-orgasm resolution phase as quickly as men do, it's easier for us to climb back up and have more orgasms in succession. Here's how to up the chances of it happening for you:
What's your "orgasm fingerprint?"
While most orgasms follow a similar pattern, they vary enough between individuals for some experts to claim that we each have our very own "orgasm fingerprint." One theory about female orgasm says there are two distinct nerves responsible for the two different "basic" orgasms, clitoral and front wall. The pudendal nerve goes to the clitoris and the pelvic nerve goes to the vagina and uterus. Because the pudendal has more nerve endings, this could be why women have more clitoral than vaginal orgasms. The two nerves actually overlap in the spinal chord, which may explain why women are able to have "blended" orgasms (clitoral and front wall simultaneously).
Several factors seem to influence whether women have both multiple and vaginal orgasms: the strength of their PC muscles, the sensitivity of their G spots (and other internal spots), motivation to keep trying different stimulation and orgasm triggers. As a general rule, the more ways you're able to orgasm (via masturbation, oral sex, penetration, etc), the more likely you are to have multiple orgasms.
Do you do Kegel exercises?
Toned Kegel muscles work better by pumping lots of blood to the pelvis, which is great for arousal. They also lead to stronger contractions, which give longer, more intense orgasms. Happily, this factor is within your control; you just have to do the exercises. They take mere minutes rather than hours and you can do them anywhere. Simply squeeze the muscle you use to hold back urine, hold it for two seconds, then release. Do this 20 times, three times per day.
Switch between types of stimulation:
You have a better chance of having more than one orgasm if it's via different means. For example, go from oral to intercourse, to him using his fingers, to him stimulating your G spot.
Practice delaying your orgasm:
This is called "peaking" and involves taking yourself almost to the point of orgasm, waiting until your arousal falls, then climbing back up again. This sexual technique trains you to stay in a high state of excitement. It not only increases the release of endorphins; it also teaches your body to stay in a practically permanent orgasmic pleasure zone, so you're able to orgasm over and over.
Travel familiar roads:
The more your brain travels a certain path neurologically, the more effortless it becomes. The more signposts of impending orgasm your brain can recognize, the easily it will trigger the orgasmic response. Most of us have a "pre-sleep" ritual: We'll brush our teeth, wash our faces, go to the bathroom鈥攁nd all these actions work as signals to the brain that it should get ready to sleep. Pay attention to what your orgasm triggers are. For example, if he's giving you oral and normally inserts his fingers just before you climax, that's one signal your brain knows to read as a pre-orgasm sign.
How to Orgasm Together
I want to get one thing straight here: Simultaneous orgasm isn't common; it's actually very rare. The reason for that is because women and men generally don't orgasm through the same (penetrative) means. She'll often have her orgasm through oral sex, while he'll then have his orgasm during intercourse. Timing is also a factor, so simultaneous orgasm is usually about getting him to orgasm more slowly and getting her to orgasm more quickly. I've focused on how to orgasm together through penetration here, but don't ignore other ways (like masturbating together or having head-to-toe oral sex).
Get him to orgasm first and make the "together" orgasm the second one. Most men find they have much better control second time around.
The better he knows his orgasm pattern, the more able he is to control when he climaxes. The easiest way to do this is to get him into the habit of "scoring" his status. (10 is an orgasm and 0 is not aroused all.) If he calls out a six, he can afford to keep thrusting hard for a bit longer. If he says he's an eight, you need to slow down, stop or change stimulation. Lots of men find it easier to practice assessing their arousal levels during masturbation so they can focus exclusively on the task. He's doing well if arousal hovers around seven or eight for an average session. That means he's getting a lot of enjoyment but he's able to keep his pleasure relatively in control.
Get him to use a vibrator on you. One of you holding a wand vibrator (slim, cylindrical, non-intrusive) over the clitoral area during penetrative sex is, in my opinion, the most effective way to ensure a shared orgasm experience. Why don't more people do it? Some don't like introducing something 'mechanical', and lots of men don't understand the whole vibrator thing and feel a tad threatened.
Try the "bridge technique." If you don't fancy using a vibrator, this is the technique most sex therapists recommend. The basic idea is to give you clitoral stimulation up to the point of, but not actually to, orgasm. Then you let his thrusting trigger the orgasmic reflex. This effectively provides a "bridge" between clitoral stimulation and intercourse. In other words, he stimulates the clitoris right up to penetration, then thrusting takes over as the primary stimulation.
Choose your position carefully. Woman on top or him from behind are the most likely positions to stimulate the front vaginal wall and up your chances of orgasm. Some men say her-on-top makes it easier for them to control ejaculation; others say that glorious view has the opposite effect (men are visual creatures after all). So pick a position that's most likely to tip you over the edge and pray it's one that has the opposite effect on him.
Try everything all at once! Pick a position that hits the front wall of the vagina. Then one of you works on your clitoris with a wand vibrator as he penetrates and bites your neck, talks dirty or does whatever your personal orgasm trigger might be.
Pull on his testicles. If you think he's too close to climaxing and you're not ready yet, pull down on his testicles gently to decrease his chances of orgasm. Or push his penis downward, holding onto the base. (This works a treat on some men; others find it uncomfortable.)