Women and Orgasm: Surprising Ways to Reach The Big 'O'
Women and Orgasm: Surprising Ways to Reach The Big 'O'
A new study suggests that there are several types of orgasm and that clitoral orgasms are, in fact, different from vaginal ones. French researchers used sonography machines to compare blood flow as women masturbated to orgasm through external clitoral and internal vaginal stimulation. They found that the physical pathways to orgasm (external versus internal) result in distinct physiological changes in the body and concluded that “functional differences” exist depending on the type of stimulation.
Though their research is both meaningful and practical, their study (which included just three subjects) only adds to the existing literature suggesting that women can reach orgasm through a great number of pathways. But just how many types of female orgasm exist? The short answer is that we still don’t know. We may never know, as sexual functioning can be as unique as our fingerprint -- it follows a general pattern, but no two bodies are identical.
I’ve met people who can orgasm from stimulation of the lower back alone as well as a few lucky folks who experience orgasms from working out. Seriously! This anecdotal evidence is a reminder that orgasm is a function of both the body and mind and we still have a lot to learn.
If you want to explore different types of orgasm, I offer some pointers below, but remember that you don’t have to achieve a particular number of orgasm types in order to have a hot sex life. Orgasms aren’t bucket list items and enjoying the process itself will be far more rewarding that scoring higher than your neighbour on some magazine’s arbitrary sex quiz. Whichever types of orgasm tickle your sexual fancy, rest assured that you’re perfectly normal….
Clitoral orgasms are considered the most common among women and the intense pleasure associated with clitoral stimulation helps to explain why we all loved climbing those ropes in gym class! The entire clitoral complex is a organ of wonder that involves a number of parts both outside and inside the body including the shaft, hood, head, bulbs and legs. This is why a combination of both external and internal stimulation often produces the most intense results.
Vaginal orgasms were once touted as “mature orgasms” (you can blame Freud for that one) and many of us are hung up on having an orgasm from vaginal stimulation alone. It should be noted, however, that vaginal orgasms are not entirely distinct from clitoral ones. In fact, the aforementioned French researchers concluded that vaginal stimulation also involves parts of the internal and external clitoris. Some women reach orgasm from shallow penetration while others prefer deep pressure against the A-Spot.
G-Spot orgasms may be controversial, but the fact is that they’re real and they are (often) spectacular. The G-Spot is not an organ or an anatomical entity (sorry — you can’t donate yours to a friend in need), but this sensitive area on the upper vaginal wall is associated with orgasmic pleasure for some women. If you want to experiment with G-Spot play, curve your fingers up toward the stomach and put pressure on the ridge-like part of the upper vaginal wall as you curl them in a “come hither” motion.
Breast orgasms may be less common than orgasms originating from stimulation of the genital region, but an estimated one percent of us have experienced sexual climax from breast play alone. Scientists attribute this response to the connection between the nipples and the genital sensory cortex, which is the same region activated by stimulation of the vagina and clitoris. If the idea of an earth shattering sexual experience derived from the breasts alone seems far-fetched remember that you combine different approaches to double or triple your pleasure. It’s not as though you need to focus on breast orgasms on Tuesdays and clitoral orgasms on Fridays!
Fantasy orgasms have been documented in laboratory studies with subjects “thinking” themselves off using nothing but thought, visualization and breath work. Though rare, this phenomenon has been studied in laboratory settings and Barry R. Komisaruk (Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology), whose groundbreaking research reveals some of the most important insights into the process of orgasm, reminds us that there is no universal formula for fantasy orgasms:
“The women whom we studied described a variety of strategies, not necessarily erotic (e.g., a loved one whispering in their ear, walking along the beach on a warm sunny day, moving energy through their body). So it seems to be the same basic method as that in which we learn to move our fingers -- difficult to teach to others; we have to teach ourselves.”
Other orgasms: From yoga and sneezing to childbirth and haircuts, you may be surprised to learn that the pathways to orgasm are not only highly varied, but in some cases decidedly unusual. Foot stimulation is enough to bring some people over the edge and others are equally aroused by pain. One woman with epilepsy reported orgasmic sensations from brushing her teeth and others experience spontaneous orgasms at inopportune times. One woman’s pleasure may, in fact, be another’s burden.
Whatever your preference when it comes to orgasms, have fun experimenting and be sure to note that not all types of orgasm are mutually exclusive, as many body parts and nerve endings overlap. We may come to associate a particular sensation with a certain type of stimulation, but the only thing we know for sure is that we still have a lot to learn. Let’s just hope that researchers (especially the French!) can find enough human guinea pigs who are willing to get down to business in the name of science.