What is an orgasm?
An orgasm is the climax of sexual arousal. It is a subjective experience of intense pleasure and release at sexual climax, that is accompanied by physiological processes (Levay, Levay & Baldwin, 2015). It has also been described as, being a brief period of altered consciousness or a loss of control and some people groan or even shout, involuntarily. This process is similar for both men and women (Vance & Wagner, 1976).
So, what happens when a woman is aroused and approaching orgasm?
There are things you can see and feel; there are also some things you may not know as a man or even as a woman and I will be sharing some of these physiological responses with you.
Did you know that a woman’s blood pressure and heart rate reach double their resting levels?
Yes, this means that it is very close to being on a treadmill at the "fat-burning" stage. That alone is incredible! Don’t you think? No wonder they say sex as a physical activity can burn calories! Just as an FYI, you can also burn some calories while kissing too.
There is a marked reduction to pain…
Something you may have also not noticed is that there is a marked reduction in the sensitivity to pain – approaching orgasm in the arousal state can allow a woman to have a higher threshold for pain. Now although this happens, the sensitivity to touch is not decreased and she can still feel pretty much everything.
A hormone known as Oxytocin is released into the bloodstream during orgasm – this is the same hormone that is released when you eat chocolate; although the quantity varies and whether orgasm is better than eating chocolate is something you alone would have to decide!
Did you know that?
Both women and men are capable of having multiple orgasms? Yes, that’s right, although it has also been reported that women would need to take a short break after having an orgasm to have another. Men can also achieve multiple orgasms without ejaculating. Pelvic floor strengthening (Kegel) exercises can help with this.
Do all women have orgasms?
Although the female orgasm has been reported as being an amazing and different experience, 70% of women do not experience orgasms from penetrative sex alone. Stimulating the clitoris and/or the g-spot is what allows a majority of women to experience orgasm. Therefore, if you are not able to have an orgasm through penetrative sex alone, please do not worry, as this does not mean there is something wrong with you or that you have a sexual dysfunction. Statistically, about 5%-10% of women never experience orgasms and this does not mean that they do not enjoy sex.
If in doubt…
please remember that both biology and psychology affect subjective feelings of intensity and pleasure of an orgasm. And if in doubt, please seek the help of a Certified Sex Therapist. Do not self-diagnose or diagnose your partner – apart from being detrimental to that person’s wellbeing, an expert is best consulted.
Now, I know that sometimes you would like to know whether your partner is enjoying or has enjoyed the sexual experience. Rather than asking you may try and play detective, to find out if they are faking it. It is much easier to ask your partner whether they did enjoy the experience, share what was absolutely fantastic and what you could do better next time. Being able to open up and talk about sex or our sexuality is not only important in strengthening our bonds with each other but can also bring us closer to having the ‘’optimal sexual experience’’ so, please share more, be safe and enjoy!
Do you and your sexual partner talk about the sex after the fact?