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Where does this wave of pleasure come from? And what happens to the body during an orgasm? Here's what's really going on with those magic O's we just can’t get enough of…

His and hers: Orgasms © Stockbyte - Orgasms
His and hers: Orgasms © Stockbyte
Orgasms uncovered

'Orgasm' comes from the Greek word orga, meaning to explode with pleasure. It’s the climax of sexual pleasure, arriving suddenly after stimulation, and lasting just a few seconds.

It’s the most intense form of pleasure that human beings can experience. The sensual rush is followed by a period of relaxation, satisfaction and calm.

Physical signs

So what does that mean in a physical sense?

His orgasm: When men 'come' or orgasm, they ejaculate and their pelvic muscles contract.

Her orgasm: When women orgasm the clitoris retracts, the vagina, pelvic floor muscles and uterus also contract in short bursts.

A few women also secrete a whitish liquid during orgasm. This is known as 'squirting,' or female ejaculation.

As a couple, both partners' heart rate will increases and blood vessels will dilate.
The physical pleasure leads to the release of endorphins that create feelings of relaxation and contentment. Ahh bliss.

How to reach orgasm?

Stimulation of the genital areas (through foreplay, oral sex, masturbation and penetration) often leads to orgasm in both men and women. But it’s well known that women are a lot less familiar with orgasms.

The reasons for this include social pressure from times gone by, strict upbringings, taboo attitudes and, for some women, lack of knowledge of their own bodies.

How to achieve orgasm more easily

The best way to reach the dizzy heights of orgasm is to know your body completely.

Women have many pleasure sensors which, when correctly stimulated, will send you straight to seventh heaven - but you need to know where to find them!

The answer is to masturbate on your own and explore the many orgasmic possibilities.

Get to know your erogenous zones:

The clitoris is a little 'button' situated between the folds of the labia at the front of your genitals. It’s easy to access and is very sensitive to touch.

The G spot is situated close to the bladder, behind the pubic bone and the urethra, about 4cm away from the entrance to your vagina.

Regularly stimulating it by applying repeated pressure, using your finger or a sex toy, will make you more aware of it and the sensations it can produce.

Becoming familiar with your body in this way will teach you what you like and you can direct your partner so he can give you maximum thrills.

Female orgasm: the figures

A distinction needs to be made between clitoral and vaginal orgasms, the latter being a lot more difficult to reach.

95% of women reach clitoral orgasm through masturbation but only 45% reach it from their partner’s touch.

And only 30% of women experience vaginal orgasm during penetration.

Quite a depressing figure considering that some sexologists claim vaginal orgasms are a lot deeper and more intense than clitoral orgasms.

Come again?

But there is an upside - while men experience a refractory period after orgasm (a recovery phase during which no amount of stimulation can bring about an erection), women can experience multiple orgasms! Result.

Orgasms - what's your favourite?
Any's better than none!
Love & Sex Editor
08/06/2011 00:15:00
Reader ranking: 4.2/5
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