Orgasms are thought of as the final destination of every sexual encounter. Ironically, the pressure we put on ourselves to have orgasms can, and often does, get in the way of us having them. If we spent less time worrying about orgasms and more time learning about them (that’s hands on and hands off learning) chances are we’d all be closer to having the kind of sexual pleasure, including orgasms, that most of us crave.
What Is an Orgasm?
Is orgasm the physical rush and release? Is orgasm a psychological feeling of abandonment? Is it the spiritual transcendence the French refer to as “the little death”? Before you start to worry too much about having the right orgasms, enough orgasms, and better orgasms, take a few minutes to consider how you define orgasm for yourself, and how researchers define orgasm for all of us.
Are Orgasms Different for Men and Women?
Like it or not, we all compare ourselves to other people. When it comes to gender, most of us are raised believing that there are only two options (male/female) and that these don't just describe variations on a theme, but fundamentally different creatures. So does that mean our orgasms are different too?
How Can I Tell if I’ve Had an Orgasm?
Orgasms don’t come easily for many of us. Raised with a lack of sex education, and sometimes with negative messages about our bodies and our sexuality, a lot of us live with sexual uncertainty, including questions about whether we’re even having orgasms.
There’s no single test to tell if you’ve had an orgasm, but there are important questions to ask yourself along the way that can lead to healthy sex with and without orgasms.
Are Orgasms Good for Your Health?
Orgasms don’t just feel great, there is preliminary research that suggests that frequent orgasms can come with all sorts of health benefits, from reducing the risk of prostate cancer and heart disease to helping us deal with stress and sleeplessness.
Different Types of Orgasms
When it comes to orgasms, one size definitely does not fit all. And while you should avoid trying to compare your experience to someone else’s, it can be helpful in creating your own sexual definitions to hear how others, particularly those who spend their lives thinking about sex, have chosen to distinguish different types of orgasms.
Improving Your Orgasm Experience
It’s a happy fact that the more orgasms you have the more orgasms you’re likely to have in the future. So whether you’re looking for immediate gratification or long-term payoff, learning more about your orgasmic potential will likely bring satisfaction on several levels.
Fake orgasms are the topic of countless whispering conversations and questions: How often do people fake orgasms? Are women the only ones who fake it? How can I tell if someone is faking it? And what if I’m faking it and want to come clean?
Given the lack of sexual knowledge we're raised with, the amount of anxiety our culture has around sex, and how little science knows about sexual response, it’s not surprising that orgasms don’t always come naturally. Both men and women can experience orgasmic disorders, which may be temporary or lifelong, general or situation specific.
Books about Orgasm
Want to learn more about orgasms? A selection of the best orgasm how to books, plus scientific and theoretical books on orgasm for the beginner and the seasoned pro.