Since the beginning of time, the female orgasm has been ‘mysterious.’ What gets one gal off might do nothing for another. Knowledge is power, so let’s learn some fun facts about the Big O…
#1 The whole body is involved
Pretty much every body part plays a role:
Muscles. Everything gets tingly. Your toes curl, your back arches, and the muscles in your vagina contract and relax. Some women experience earth-shattering orgasms with up to 15 pulses! Not bad, not bad.
Brain. When you’re close to climax, the part of your brain that controls behaviour shuts down (see ya, inhibitions!). Your brain is filled with feel-good chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin, which can leave you feeling dazed and happy.
Eyes. Your pupils dilate when you’re aroused, and go back to their normal size after you orgasm.
Heart. Sex revs up your heart rate and metabolism, which is why you can burn serious calories while you’re getting frisky.
Skin. A good ol’ romp brings blood to the skin’s surface, giving you an all-over glow.
#2 Only a quarter of women orgasm from PIV
The clit has twice as many nerve endings as the peen, so that’s a good place to start! Think of it as the powerhouse of pleasure. 😉
#3 Orgasms aren’t scared of anything
During an orgasm, the parts of the brain that process fear stop working for a sec.
#4 There’s no ‘average’ length of time for an orgasm
Mild orgasms are made up of 3 to 5 pulses, and intense orgasms have 10 to 15. Some of us can get right back on the horse, while others need time to chill.
#5 Getting gals off was a priority
Electric vibrators were invented in the early 1900s – a whole decade before irons and vacuum cleaners.
#6 It takes most of us 20 minutes to orgasm
Men and women are very different anatomically. Women need more than a few thrusts. Enter: Foreplay! It lights up the same parts of the brain that trigger an orgasm and helps us to lube up naturally.
#7 Orgasms flood your brain with dopamine
This hormone is associated with euphoria and bliss, and has the same effects as alcohol, chocolate and coffee.
#8 They can make you catch feels
When a gal gets off, her body releases four times the normal amount of oxytocin. Known as the ‘bonding hormone,’ oxytocin increases intimacy. PS. Guys, if your gf isn’t feeling cuddly after sex, she probably faked it.
In case you were wondering, men release oxytocin too – but the higher testosterone levels in the male brain can cancel out the effects.
#9 Strong pelvic floor muscles = stronger orgasms
Imagine trying to stop a stream of wee. You’ve just activated your pelvic floor muscles – and they can intensify your orgasms. Do 10 kegels 3 times a day, and you’ll be golden. Pilates is fab for strengthening the pelvic muscles, too.
#10 They make you look younger
You glow, girl. Sex boosts your circulation and gives your skin a healthy flush. Exercise has a similar effect, but what’s more fun?
#11 Yoga can lead to better orgasms
All that bending strengthens your pelvic and abdominal muscles, which – as you know – can boost your ability to climax. Yoga also helps to ease anxiety, which means you’ll more likely be ‘in the mood.’
#12 They’re a natural pain reliever
Forget Panadol – sex releases endorphins and serotonin (the ‘happy hormone’), which can relieve stress as well as headaches and other kinds of pain.
#13 Orgasms help with period cramps
If your cramps are next-level, consider a sesh in the sack. When the muscles in your uterus contract during sex, they use the same lipid compounds that cause cramps. In plain English? Sex distracts your body, so don’t be afraid to throw down a towel and go to town.
#14 They might make you live longer
An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away? A study in the British Medical Journal found that those who orgasm twice a week can add up to 8 years to their life.
#15 They get better with age
If your sex life is a bit blah right now, don’t worry. Apparently, women reach their sexual peak at around age 36 and have better orgasms in their 30s, 40s and 50s than they do in their 20s. Something to look forward to!
#16 Your best chance of getting off is halfway through your cycle
On day 14, you’re ovulating, and your clit grows by up to 20%. That makes it much easier for you to climax. PS. You’re also at your most fertile during this time. If you don’t want babies, see our guide to birth control!
#17 And the best position is…
Doggy style. Since your partner’s peen is naturally titled down, it stimulates the clit and G-spot, which is a guaranteed good time.
Not into it? You’ll get the same feeling from a missionary with your legs wrapped around his waist or – if you’re super flexible – propped up on his shoulders.
#18 Orgasms used to be a cure for hysteria
Back in the day, ‘hysteria’ was the catch-all term for female problems like fainting and irritability (like men didn’t experience the same things *eye roll*). Doctors used to perform “medical massages” on women to trigger orgasms and relax them.
#19 It’s all in the brain
Can’t come? Blame your brain. If you’re anxious, stressed or feeling insecure about your lady parts, you’re probably going to find it hard to ‘let go.’ The person you’re sleeping with should make you feel comfortable. Otherwise, they don’t deserve you.
#20 Lesbians have more orgasms
According to a study in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, straight women come 62% of the time they have sex – while lesbians get off 75% of the time.
#21 Up to 15% of women can’t orgasm at all
If you’ve never reached climax, you’re far from alone. One of America’s biggest sex symbols, Marilyn Monroe, was ‘anorgasmic’ for most of her life. Anorgasmia can be linked to medical conditions (like diabetes), medications (like antidepressants), and psychological reasons, such as low self-esteem.
#22 It’s possible to have an orgasm and not know it
Life isn’t always like the movies! Some orgasms are much more subtle. Instead of the classic pulsing and heavy breathing, you may just feel a wave of relaxation.
#23 There’s a holiday for the Big O
July 31. Mark your diary!
Pearls of wisdom by Katia Iervasi