Mind blowing…off the charts…over the top…OMG… I came 20 times! When it comes to sex, the driving force for men and women seems to be how to achieve the best, and the most, orgasms possible. While I would argue that connection is really the most important factor in having great sex, orgasms (alone or with a partner) are worthy of an exalted place in your sexual repertoire.
So first let’s define that feeling that sends shivers up your spine, from your head down to your toes. Masters and Johnson (the original in-depth sexuality researchers) broke it down into four distinct stages:
- Excitement: That’s what gets your blood flowing straight to your genitals. It also elevates your heart rate and increases your blood pressure.
- Plateau: This is when we start to tune out everything else and focus on the sexual tension building in the body. This is a really important stage to be aware of because it can mean the difference between having an orgasm and not being able to climax. The breathing starts to become labored (try repeatedly taking in short bursts of air through the nose before exhaling fully and repeating the process). Everything else just fades away.
- Orgasm: That’s the payoff – the rhythmic contractions that shoot warmth from the pelvis throughout your body. Many women can continue to experience additional orgasms after the initial orgasm, especially if their G-spot is being stimulated. This is also when female ejaculation or “squirting” happens, which most women can learn how to do.
- Resolution: Time to relax! Your vital signs return back to normal and the body feels spent. Your mood is elevated because dopamine and serotonin are being released and you feel a bonding sensation because of the oxytocin (fueled by estrogen) being released. Lots of people confuse that with being “in love” and while hopefully you are in love with the person you’re having sex with, we all know that isn’t always the case. So give it some time and see if you still feel that way a few weeks later before jumping to any conclusions!
What about female ejaculation, better known as squirting? It is something virtually all women can do if they choose to, releasing as little as a teaspoonful or as much as a capful of liquid. This embarrasses a lot of women, who assume that the liquid is urine coming out and contract their muscles to stop it. As a result, the ejaculate is pushed back up into the bladder. Weak pelvic muscles, not being able to fully relax, or feeling shame, guilt or stress can all interfere with ejaculation. The main thing is to relax and not try too hard to “make it happen”. Do Kegel exercises to strengthen weak pelvic muscles, find and stimulate your G-spot, don’t clench tight during an orgasm so you can just let it happen, and do remember to urinate before having sex.
Now that you know how it all works, you are probably asking, “OK Dr. Judi, how do I get there?” The most direct route to orgasm for a majority of women is clitoral stimulation. Oral or digital stimulation or use of a vibrator works for almost everyone. Remember, all bodies are a bit different; for example, one side of the clitoris may be more sensitive than another or different degrees of stimulation may be needed – it’s all a matter of personal preference.
Then, there is the G-Spot, which is the area of spongy tissue on the front wall of the vagina right behind the pubic bone. G-spot stimulation leads to the most intense orgasms and female ejaculation. But there’s one problem. Researchers still aren’t in agreement about whether or not all women have a G-spot – so far, it seems most of us do.
Seems simple, but why do 1 in 4 women have a problem reaching an orgasm? The first thing to do is to rule out any physical problems that could be the culprit, like pelvic inflammatory disease or other medical conditions. This means your first steps should be a trip to your gynecologist. If you do not have any physical problems, then the problem is most likely in the psyche. Fear, guilt, anxiety, shame, depression, loss of control, and distraction from the task at hand are the most common culprits. A good sex therapist can help you with these.
Try using a vibrator or a dildo to practice reaching an orgasm on your own. This will give you a lot of information about your own body, so pay particular attention to what works for you and what it feels like when you cum. Behavioral therapy, directed masturbation, relaxation techniques, and visualization and hypnotherapy can all help to make the whole process easier for you.
Once you know what works for your body be sure to communicate it to your partner. Show them what you like, guide them verbally, use a vibrator together so they can really see what is working for you. If you are having sex with someone you should be comfortable enough to talk to them about it, and believe me, they will be happy to help!