Today, August 8, marks the annual celebration of one of our favorite holidays. No, it’s not National Meatball Day, and it definitely isn’t Lost Sock Memorial Day (Although we feel like every day should probably be Lost Sock Memorial day… Ugh!). We’re actually talking about International Day of the Female Orgasm! We feel all warm and fuzzy just typing it.
And even if you missed the memo and forgot to block out some time to celebrate this year, don’t let a simple “clerical oversight” stop you from reaping the benefits from “The Big ‘O’” all year ‘round.
Besides feeling good in the moment, orgasms present a whole host of other perks — from improved heart health, to potential magical acne cures and beyond. And in case you didn’t know, there are plenty of ways to reach climax — both solo and with a partner. Today, we’re shedding some light on orgasms so you can enjoy this glorious experience over and over (and over and over and over) again!
What is An Orgasm? (Hint: No One’s Exactly Sure)
First off, we’d like to answer the question of what an orgasm actually is. For some, it’s a post-sex, full-body tenseness that’s followed by a wash of physical pleasure. Others experience a foundation-shaking, toe-curling quake that can last up to two minutes. For others, the orgasm remains a mystery.
What we do know is that every woman experiences something different when it comes to her orgasm, and every way is perfectly healthy and natural.
Orgasms themselves are easy to portray in media. Simply catch a back-arching, skin flushed moment of ecstasy (set to the soundtrack of oft exaggerated moaning) on film, and you have yourself the model that we’ve all come to associate with an orgasm.
However, the biological necessity of the female orgasm has long proved elusive to doctors and scientists, since women do not need to experience them to become pregnant. What is known about orgasms, though, is that they are a truly physical experience that engages the full body, sometimes in ways that are more surprising and subtle than realized.
Health Benefits of Orgasms
During the moment of orgasm, a woman’s vaginal and anal muscles will begin to contract, but the brain is also actively at work, releasing a rush of dopamine and oxytocin, leading to feelings of increased happiness and well-being and decreased feelings of stress. Basically, the warm fuzzies.
Along with the post-gasm sleepies, your body experiences a boost in its levels of immunoglobulin (IgA). IgA is an antibody that protects the body against infection, so take a trip to the sack next time you feel the sniffles coming on.
Additionally, orgasms also help regulate periods, reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, and drop cortisol levels, making your breakouts less noticeable.
(At Least) A Dozen Ways to Reach Your Peak
It’s easy to view the female orgasm through a heteronormative lens. Man on top, woman on bottom, both parties blast their way to an explosive conclusion and are left lounging in a rose-colored puddle of bliss. This, however, doesn’t represent reality, at least not for most women. Only a quarter of women report consistent orgasm during vaginal intercourse, while 68 percent of women have admitted to faking it altogether.
Luckily, there are oodles of ways to orgasm. From position switching to stimulating different body parts, even to sleeping, we’ve rounded up twelve different kinds of orgasms that you can try to achieve with a partner, or by yourself for an adventurous night in:
- Clitoral Orgasm: Perhaps the most common among them, this type is achieved by stimulating the 8,000 nerve endings found in a woman’s clitoris.
- G-Spot Orgasm: A lot of us have heard of this, and some doubt its existence. If you do undertake the quest to uncover the g-spot, it’s said to live about two inches inside the vagina, and is stimulated by fingertips or a curved toy rubbing it in a “come hither” motion.
- Anal Orgasm: We get it, anal can seem a little scary to some women. If you’re an anal evangelist, though, you know how sensitive the nerve-packed anal walls are. For those who are curious about venturing beyond their normal course of action, we recommend approaching anal sex with lots of lube and starting slow; there’s no need to rush this one.
- Blended Orgasm: Just like there’s more than one kind of orgasm, there’s also more than one body part available to get you there (see: anal). Blended orgasms are born out of the simultaneous stimulation of multiple body parts at the same time, making this especially fun if you’re comfortable letting a partner explore your body.
- Multiple Orgasms: This one may seem to speak for itself, but we recommend taking it a step further by playing around with your sequencing. Can’t achieve a rapid-fire set of orgasms? Take a break to bask in all the feel-good hormones your brain just released before jumping in for round two…or three…
- Sleepgasm: What’s a woman who loves sex and snoozing equally to do? Have a sleepgasm, that’s what. Granted, you may not remember or feel the sensation of having an orgasm in your sleep, but if your partner is around to witness, maybe you can get an erotic retelling of the moment out of them. Who knows what will happen from there?
- Cervical Orgasm: This requires a deep dive that’s assisted by plenty of lubricant and maybe a little practice. An orgasm of this nature happens from deeply penetrative sex that is optimally enjoyable if achieved by yourself with a toy, or by a partner who has good listening skills.
- U-Spot Orgasm: Remember your urethra? No worries, we don’t think about it too much, either. Turns out, though, parts of the clitoris surround the urethra, making it a highly sensitive hot spot for orgasm (Bring something to clean up with. These can get, uhm, messy).
- A-Spot Orgasm: Ahh, the A-Spot, aka the anterior fornix exogenous zone. Best known for...existing? If you’ve never heard of your A-Spot, that’s ok. It’s found even higher up past the cervical orgasm zone and requires some finagling to get to (and lots and lots of lube). If you want to try and achieve this kind of orgasm, use a toy, your finger or a partner’s finger to press and then pull down the front wall to achieve something truly special.
- Nipple Orgasm: Some of us have sensitive nipples, like, really sensitive. If you’re one of these women, you’ve probably noticed that a lick or rub can send shivers through your limbs and leave you wanting more. Next time you or your partner are paying your breasts some attention, spend some extra time circling your nipples and see where it leads.
- Coregasm: Did you know you can have an orgasm during or right after a workout? Hear us out! When you exercise, your body is flooded with extra feel-good endorphins, which are sometimes accompanied by an orgasm. Is there better fitspo than that?
- Expanded Sexual Response: Flashes of vivid color and dazzling light, seismic feelings of a surrounding earthquake, floating outside of your body. This isn’t a terrestrial event, it’s expanded sexual response. For some women, specifically those who are able to achieve long, intense rounds of multiple orgasms, these (pretty rad) symptoms of their accompanying orgasms are considered an expanded physical response.
Great Sex ≠ Orgasm
Whether you’re having orgasms through penetrative sex, by use of your favorite vibe, with your partner, by yourself or having none at all, the important thing to remember is that the journey to achieve sexual satisfaction is dynamic and highly personal.
More important than an orgasm is your adherence to safe practice and personal comfort level when it comes to your sex life. Exploring your body, be it with a partner or by yourself, is a powerful act of self-love, which is really what we want you to celebrate.
This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.