Georgina Lawton | Contributing Writer | Wednesday, 28 January 2015

In Which We Unpick The Female Orgasm

The Debrief: xxx

Unlike the unicorn and that KFC chicken rumour, the female orgasm isn't an urban myth. But it is sometimes elusive. According to porn, and sex scenes in most mainstream films, we're led to believe that women should be quivering at their (hairless) knees after 15 seconds of sex with no foreplay. But although most of us have worked out what gets us all hot under the collar (if collars in the bedroom are your thing) it can be much harder for some women to er, climb to the peak of their mountain (see ‘Rocket’ by Beyonce for the best orgasm euphemisms) than others. And we’ve all heard the stat that around 1/3 women can’t experience an orgasm during sex.  But guess what? That’s also totally normal. We’ve spoken to a host of doctors and sexperts to get to the bottom (or top) of the female orgasm once and for all.

Read more: How To Have Sex

I’ve never had an orgasm and I don’t even know what it is?!

We’re not going to sit here and tell you that the world runs on orgasms and that you’re missing out on some higher mystical pleasure if you’ve never had one but… they are good.  An orgasm is a feeling of intense sexual pleasure which lasts for around 6-20 seconds and happens when you’re sufficiently turned on. It feels a bit different for everyone and orgasms are of varying strengths, but most women define them as a release of tension, accompanied by the contraction of the genital muscles. During a climax the brain also releases oxytocin and dopamine – the feel-good chemicals which keep you sailing on cloud nine and your vagina gets lubricated or wet. Some women also ejaculate (known as squirting or gushing) but whether they do or not isn’t a marker of how turned on they are, and some women never squirt.  There’s also a hell of a lot of debate over how many different types of orgasm women can experience; some people distinguish between clitoral and penetrative, others swear there’s a G-spot, and some believe there are over 10 types of female orgasm. Wow. In layman’s terms however, (LAY-MAN? Geddit?) Tracey Cox, the sexual health and relationship expert told us that: ‘When we’re aroused all the blood pumps to our erogenous zones and it builds and builds in pressure. All an orgasm is, is the release of the blood back into the body. It feels euphoric.’ Indeed it does Tracey…but for those gals who don’t know what the hell is happening down there the build-up can feel a little overwhelming and scary. ‘If you’ve never had an orgasm and don’t know that feeling is normal, it can feel like you’re about to explode or have a wee or both. So women stop once it starts feeling weird and that’s why they don’t orgasm’ Tracey explains. This build-up which can be almost painful, which is probably why the French call the female orgasm ‘le petit mort’ meaning the little death.

Everyone’s having orgasms except me…am I broken?

It certainly might seem like everyone is writhing around in sexual ecstasy, but this totally isn’t the case – plenty of women need a helping hand/mouth/bullet or a lot of foreplay, as doing it doesn’t actually DO IT for them. Rebecca Dakin, The Great British Sexpert told us that we should all stop being so darn obsessed with climaxing and focus on the pleasure of having sex. In other words, to quote a cringe-worthy motivational poster ‘it’s about the journey not the destination’ – so true. ‘Women who can't orgasm through penetrative sex are completely normal, but people become too obsessed by the orgasm, and focus on it so much that it creates a mental block’ says Rebecca. ‘Once you take pressure off the end result, you open your mind. It’s about a feeling combined with visuals and a journey rather than this end goal. If you find it hard to come, scrap the aim of the orgasm so you start to enjoy sex and remove the pressure.’  We all know someone who feels abnormal for not getting off during sex, convinced that there is something wrong with them because they can’t come on demand – but you have to remember it’s not like flicking a switch, or clicking a mouse. It can take time and effort, and a some crazy sex positions to find out what works for you.  We can’t emphasise enough how there is NO normal when it comes to sex and that there are a variety of factors which influence a woman’s ability to get fully turned on. Dr Gigi Taguri from Lloyds Online Doctor told us that we also shouldn’t compare ourselves to men, who are wired a bit differently (as if we didn’t know this) when it comes to getting off. ‘Men can climax a lot more easily than women who are often more turned on when their sexual desires are linked to feelings of love and romance. Young women are worried that if they can’t reach orgasm there is something wrong with them but the reality is most women have to learn to achieve this, and that their ability to climax develops after a lot of sexual experience’.

Ok, how can I enjoy the journey AND reach the destination?

So if you’re having good sex but you just can’t get there, we’d say that the main way to ensure that you get to experience the pant-party is to just relaaaaax. Easier said than done, you might think, but the more you focus on not getting to your peak, the harder it’s going to be. Starting solo might also be a good way to find out what you like, so locate your clitoris and give it a rub, or invest in a sex-toy which focuses on that area. You’re also going to have to have to try and zone out/concentrate on sexy thoughts whilst you do this because for most gals, mechanical rubbing of your clit will probably result in a whole lot of nothing (AGAIN: totally normal). Tracey Cox says that taking baby steps is the way forward: ‘Experiment with a good strong vibrator (mains powered are best because they produce cross vibration which is more effective) with aim of simply enjoying it. Find out what feels good and relax into the sexual tension but don’t try to have an orgasm. If you feel panicky, just keep going with stimulation for five more seconds each time before stop. Orgasm is likely to happen when you least expect it.’  This is true – but don’t worry, Tracey doesn’t mean that once you’ve trained yourself into coming, you will randomly be dehibilitated by sexual spasms whilst trying to go about your weekly shop in Waitrose, more that once you’ve cracked it, you’ve cracked it for life. 

Liked this? You might also be interested in: 

Male Ego Vs The Female Orgasm: What Men Are Really Thinking When You Come 

Meet The Girls Getting Paid £120 To Film Their Orgasm Face And Put It Online 

What Does Your Orgasm Face Say About You? 

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Tags: Sex, NSFW, Sex O\'Clock, Sex Ed