The Female Orgasm

Female Orgasm: Do you want to "give a woman an orgasm"? Are you a women who is curious about her own orgasms? Read on...

By Dr. Sari Locker

February 2009

Female Orgasm. What is an orgasm? How long does an orgasm last? How does orgasm happen for women? How can you tell if a woman has had an orgasm? This article answers some questions about female orgasms.

Maybe you think that women’s orgasms "just happen." Or perhaps, for you, orgasm is an elusive event to be revered. Well, the female orgasm may be something that is easily within your reach.

All women have the ability to reach orgasm. However, some women still haven't learned how to get the clitoral stimulation they need to experience one. About 7 percent of women have never climaxed, even while masturbating. About 1/3 of women do not orgasm during intercourse. In fact, inability to orgasm through intercourse is the second most common sex complaint of women. (Number one is lack of sexual desire).

Physically speaking, the much touted and sought-after orgasm is nothing more than a discharge of sexual tension. Involuntary muscular contractions rapidly release accumulated neuromuscular tension and pump blood from the vasocongested genital tissue back to where it came from -- the rest of the body. These contractions occur in the outer third of the vagina and the uterus in women, and in the muscles throughout the pelvic region in men and women. Involuntary contractions of the rectal sphincter may also occur.

An orgasm lasts approximately 3 to 15 seconds, and the orgasmic contractions of both men and women occur at intervals of less than a second each. Other parts of your body, like your hands, feet, and face, may go through involuntary muscle contractions as well. Emotionally speaking, orgasm may serve to release other kinds of tension, or it may serve to create new ones. You may feel elated or just happy, surprised, or even let down. You may feel all sorts of emotions - none of them are "right" or "wrong." You may respond differently every time you have sex, or always the same. You may laugh. Or you may cry. It's all a natural part of your sexual response.

No two women experience orgasm in exactly the same way. Some say it's like a big sneeze. Other women say it feels like climbing to the top of a mountain and then sliding down. Some feel the sensations concentrated in their genitals, while for others, it's a whole-body experience.

Regardless, as a woman "comes," her body arches, her muscles tense, her vaginal and uterine walls contract rhythmically along with some of her pelvic muscles and her anus. Unlike a man, once the vaginal and uterine contractions subside, the woman can return instantly to her plateau phase -- and that makes her capable of having another orgasm as soon as she wants to.

Why can it be difficult for some women to reach orgasm? Perhaps they are feeling psycholgoical pressure to reach orgasm. Maybe they are distratcted or worrying about something unrelated to sex. Or, most commonly, they may be concentrating on their partner's pleasure and ignoring their own. Or the problem could be that they are not getting the type of physical stimulation to push them to the point of no return.

In general, women have orgasms from clitoral stimulation. For some women, their orgasm may occur from clitoral stimulation as well as stimulation inside their vagina (including the so-called G-Spot which is the area on the upper inner wall of the vagina). Providing more clitoral stimulation is usally the key.

During intercourse, women may not be getting the stimulation they need to have an orgasm. Although the thrusting movements of intercourse alone cause many men to ejaculate easily, women often need additional stimulation, such as direct contact rubbing the clitoris.

In order for her to orgasm during intercourse, she would need to rub her clitoris on his body, find a sexual position that works for her to have an orgasm, or use a hand. I explain much more specifics in my answer to this question in the “Advice” section of this site. Here’s the link: How can women have orgasms during regular intercourse?

How do you know if a woman has had an orgasm? Because a woman doesn't ejaculate like a man does when she has an orgasm, her partner might have a tough time knowing if she did, in fact, have an orgasm. No matter how much the woman thrashes around in bed, there is only one way that a man can tell if a woman had an orgasm. That is if he feels the intense contractions deep inside her vagina. Guys, take note!

For many people, however, orgasm becomes the entire "goal" of sex. Unfortunately for those people, the many sensations, emotions, pleasures, and all that other fun stuff take an undeserving back seat. Let's not forget that there's a whole world of pleasure in the body, with lots of "ohhhhs" and "aaaaahs" to be experienced -- either on the way toward or returning from the big "O."

For more information about how a woman can have an orgasm if she never has had one, please read my answer to this question on this web site in the “Advice” area: I have never had an orgasm. I am a 29 year old single woman. Do you have any tips for how to have an orgasm?

Use of this article without permission from the author is a violation of federal copyright laws.

Portions of this article "The Female Orgasm" are excerpted from Dr. Sari Locker's book The Complete Idiot's Guide to Amazing Sex, and this article may not be reproduced.

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  • Copyright (c) Sari Locker, Ph.D. 2009