Sex Advice

Dear Dr. Locker: Is there a difference between a clitoral orgasm and a vaginal orgasm?

Answer from Dr. Locker

Probably not. In fact, I prefer to not even use those terms, and rather just think of an orgasm as an orgasm. All women are capable of having an orgasm from clitoral stimulation. Most women have orgasms only, or primarily, from clitoral stimulation. Some, perhaps few, women feel that an orgasm may originate from vaginal stimulation more than from clitoral stimulation. Yet, the term “vaginal orgasm” is problematic. I’ll explain… In 1905, Sigmund Freud promoted his theory (not based on any biological facts) that there are two different types of orgasm: vaginal orgasms which he believed were a “mature” type of sexual response achieved through intercourse, and clitoral orgasms from “immature” behaviors such as masturbation. But clinical sex research by Masters and Johnson in 1966 found that orgasms are related to stimulation of the nerves in the clitoris. This does not mean that all women only have orgasms from clitoral stimulation. As I mentioned, there are some women who reach orgasms best with clitoral stimulation, some with a mix of clitoral and vaginal stimulation, some with clitoral, vaginal, nipple, anal, or any other body part stimulation -- and a few with vaginal stimulation only. However, even they would not be having an orgasm that is purely “vaginal” because it has now been found that vaginal nerves connect to the clitoris. The clitoris is much larger than most people imagine, because its nerves extend further into the body than just the visible part of it, so sometimes vaginal stimulation is really stimulating nerves that are directed to the clitoris. Finally, I must add that orgasms are very individual. Every women orgasms from different stimulation, and it may change each time, too. Do what feels good for you/her – and don’t worry about what Freud said, or even what I say, for that matter.


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