Thea de Gallier | contributor | Friday, 31 July 2015

It’s National Orgasm Day, So We Asked A Bunch Of People What Makes Them Come

It’s National Orgasm Day, So We Asked A Bunch Of People What Makes Them Come

The Debrief: From vigorous fingering to oral, there’s no one way to do it

Cumming. Jizzing. Finishing off. Or, if you’re French, le petit mort (a little death). Whether you’re the Samantha Jones of your friendship group, treating your pals to a blow-by-blow account of who’s been tickling your tuppence, or you’re more of a ‘what goes on in the sack, stays in the sack’ type, today – National Orgasm Day – is the day to think about coming. 

The first, and most important point, is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for coaxing your chuff to climax. The key is to know your body, and be comfortable telling sexual partners how to get you off. That’s easier said than done, though; according to research conducted by Ann Summers, 45% of 2000 women surveyed said they’d never experienced an orgasm through penetrative sex despite being in long-term relationships, and of those women, 75% said they’d feel ‘nervous’ or ‘mean’ telling their partner they weren’t quite doing it for them.

But are modern girls really in relationships devoid of lady-jizzing because they don’t want to talk about it? To find out, I convinced some people to overshare with me.

Holly*, 26, is one of the lucky women who orgasms every time she has sex. 'There’s the occasional time it won’t happen, but it doesn’t feel like too big a letdown,' she says. 'Fingering usually [makes me orgasm], and if he goes down on me before we have sex, I will definitely come. In terms of penetrative sex, from behind usually works for me, but I feel bad asking my boyfriend to do that every time.'

Carla*, 22, is on the other end of the scale. 'Foreplay, yes, I normally orgasm from that. Sex – a big fat no,' she says. 'I've never orgasmed through sex... It's annoying, but I just don't know how women do it!'

She isn’t unusual in this respect. Dr Christian Jessen says that the single biggest misconception about orgasms is that women can have them from sex alone.

'Good, old-fashioned penis in vagina isn’t the best way for women to orgasm,' he says. 'For a lot of women, direct clitoral stimulation is better. That’s why you have things like the famous Ann Summers rampant rabbit – a lot of science goes into making sex toys and allowing women to have better orgasms.'

For Holly, knowing what works for her has got easier as she’s got older.  

'When you’re younger, you’re less sure of what gets you off,' she says. 'But now, if something isn’t working for me, I’ll say something and we’ll change positions or whatever.'

Echoing her sentiments is Erin*, 40, who says that being open and adventurous with fuck buddies in the past has made her more comfortable with her long-term partner.

'I find it hard to orgasm from just the sensations of my body – I have to make sure that my mind is excited, too,' she explains. 'With fuck buddies, I found it very easy to talk about what I like because we were there primarily for sexual satisfaction. My boyfriend isn’t very kinky, but we had an epiphany about a year ago when I asked him to watch me touch myself until I came. Since then, I’ve really been able to let go.'

Despite their age differences and varied preferences in bed, all of the women I spoke to said they were comfortable speaking up and telling a partner how to make them come. Modern women may be owning their orgasms, but how do men react to being told they’re not quite pushing your buttons?

Daev is one dude who’s more than happy to be told he’s doing it wrong. 'Yeah, I totally want to be told,' he says. 'I want [my girlfriend] to enjoy sex, not endure it!'

Zac*, 30, echoes his sentiments, and has a pretty zen approach to the whole thing. 'As with most things in life, the key to success and enjoying things is to talk about them calmly and openly,' he agrees. 'It might seem awkward at first, but it’s better than having a conversation three years into the relationship and finding out you’ve been doing it wrong all that time.'

Going for a hat-trick of open-to-suggestions men is Billy*, 28, who says that if a girl is directing him while he’s fingering or going down on her, he takes it as a sign she 'wants me to make her feel good, and that’s a good thing.'

As for the matter of how to actually make a girl come, answers varied. Billy favours the ‘combination of oral and fingers’ approach, Daev was pragmatic in his thinking that ‘there isn’t a single strategy’, while Zac was very precise, claiming that  ‘fingering deep and vigorously makes most girls squirt.’ 

It just goes to show that the orgasm really is a completely personal event – Lindsay*, 26, said that her biggest turn-off is having ‘three fingers rammed vigorously inside me’ (sorry, Zac). Daev really hit the boner on the helmet with his assertion that there’s no single way to make it happen.

Dr Christian is a big advocate of being honest with your partners. 'Point out the bits you like and suggest trying it out. Or, instead of giving negative feedback, gently suggest trying something different. Keeping the conversation positive and giving your partner some gentle direction is the best way to do it.'

His advice isn’t just for women whose boyfriends aren’t hitting the spot, either. He says all couples, whether heterosexual, lesbian or gay, can benefit from being open with each other when it comes to coming. 

It’s heartening to hear that modern girls and guys are embracing their orgasms and speaking up about them, but National Orgasm Day isn’t just for the vocal. As Dr Christian says, there are ways to better your orgasms even if you don’t want to discuss them in gory detail; after all, the better you know your own body, the better the party in your pants.  

*Names have been changed.

Like this? Then you might also be interested in:

In Which We Unpick The Female Orgasm

What Does Your Orgasm Face Say About You?

The Politics Of The Orgasm

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Tags: Sex, NSFW, Sex O\'Clock