Demystifying the Female Orgasm
You’ve probably heard that the female orgasm is elusive, maybe even virtually impossible to achieve. This air of mystery is due in part to the fact that it’s been studied far less than the male orgasm: maybe because it’s not directly involved in reproduction, or maybe because the research field is male-dominated.
Whatever the case, the tide is now turning on this important research topic. In recent years, scientific studies and research have provided a far more in-depth picture of what actually brings a woman to climax, including the anatomical mechanics involved.
Mystery no more!
How does the female orgasm work?
While men and women experience the same four stages of orgasm—excitement, plateau, climax, resolution—several aspects of the female orgasm are worth examining on their own.
For women, an orgasm most commonly occurs from clitoral stimulation rather than penetration. The simple explanation for this is that the clitoris has about 8,000 nerve endings, a significantly higher number than what’s found inside the vagina. The clitoris is therefore much more receptive to stimulus and generates more sensation.
The ability to orgasm from penetration relates to the location of a woman’s clitoris. While it’s true that most women aren’t able to orgasm from penetration alone, a small percentage of the female population can. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine reported a clear link between the ability to orgasm during penetration and the distance from the clitoris to the opening of the vagina: The shorter the distance, the more likely a penetration-based orgasm. When a woman’s clitoris is closer to her vaginal opening, more clitoral stimulation naturally occurs during penetration.
Unlike men, women can have multiple, consecutive orgasms, because they do not have a refractory period after an initial orgasm. While a woman may be exhausted mentally and/or physically after an orgasm, there is no biological hindrance stopping her from having another orgasm. The number of orgasms a woman can have during one sexual encounter depends on many factors, including sexual preference, physical and mental health, energy levels and libido.
The infamous G-spot is just the clitoris in disguise. The G-spot, technically referred to as the Grafenberg spot, is a small area about one inch inside the vaginal opening on the upper vaginal wall. Research shows that hitting the G-spot during penetration may increase the chance of orgasm, since it is sexually sensitive and swells slightly during arousal. Scientists have determined in recent years that the G-spot is actually just an extension of the clitoris. This means the clitoris is actually much larger than previously believed and is most likely about seven centimeters in length, with only about one-fifth of the organ visible externally. The remaining four-fifths are internal.
Communication is still best
While it’s important to understand female anatomy and how a woman’s orgasm works, the most essential factor to achieving a pleasurable and fulfilling sex life is communication. Every woman’s body is unique, as are her preferences in bed.
Talk to your partner about what they like, and don’t be afraid to experiment.