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What is an Orgasm? 5 Facts to Raise Your Sexual Awareness

Updated: 3 days ago

A woman holding a vibrator designed to stimulate clitoral orgasm

What is an orgasm? Medical literature defines it as the climax of arousal, but there is no single definition. Orgasm is the release of that sexual tension that builds up during sexual activity, culminating in an explosion of pleasurable chemicals. It is a complex physical, chemical and mental response that is still being researched to this day.

Each person experiences orgasms differently to the point that it has been said that no two orgasms are alike. Here are some facts to broaden your knowledge on this subject.

1. There Are Several Types of Orgasms

Although the most popular is the orgasm that is produced by direct or indirect stimulation of the clitoris, there are five other types. Vaginal and anal, which are produced by penetration of the vagina and anus, respectively; erogenous, which occurs when you stimulate other areas of the body such as the nipples or earlobe; convulsive, which produces spasms in the pelvic floor and is achieved when you stop sexual activity when you are about to reach climax; and mixed orgasm, which is usually a combination of stimulating the clitoris with another type of pleasurable activity, such as penetration.

2. Can Last Up to Two Minutes

Orgasm can vary greatly in intensity and duration according to multiple factors. Studies have estimated that the female orgasm lasts between 20 seconds and two minutes, but much shorter orgasms have also been recorded, and the average has been established between 20 and 35 seconds.

3. Female Ejaculation and Squirt are Different

Squirt is a massive orgasmic expulsion that comes from the bladder, whereas female ejaculation is the secretion of a very small amount of fluid from glands located next to the urethra. Some women are able to experience this and some are not, it is perfectly natural.

4. Women Report Fewer Orgasms than Men

While 90% of men claim to have had orgasms during intercourse, only 50% to 70% of women report having one, according to research. This is due to many different factors, in which upbringing, culture, sexual education and self-concept may play determining roles. Another interesting fact is that 10-15% of women have never had an orgasm in their lives.

This gap is not only between cisgender men and women. Among women with different sexual orientations there is also a gap. A article published in the International Academy of Sex Research, heterosexual men are the most likely to have an orgasm whenever they had sex (95%), followed by gay men (89%), bisexual men (88%), lesbian women (86%), bisexual women (66%) and heterosexual women (65%).

5. How to Know that You Have Had an Orgasm

Many people cannot tell if they have actually had an orgasm. There are a number of signs that can indicate this, including a very intense and pleasurable sensation in the genitals and throughout the body, accompanied by contraction of the muscles of the vagina and anus, approximately once per second, between 5 and 8 times. You also feel acceleration of your heart rate.

It is important for you to know that when it comes to orgasm, there is no such thing as "normal". For some people it may be easy to achieve, for others, it is not. Some need very specific stimulation, others can have orgasms with the power of their mind alone. In any case, exploring your body and getting to know yourself allows you to learn new ways to give yourself pleasure.

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