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Summary

An orgasm is what most sexual encounters build up to. It is the height of sexual excitement, a pleasure derived when sexual tension is discharged. An orgasm goes beyond being physiological to being an emotional experience for most people. It is important to both males and females, and is, in fact, an extremely healthy experience. Through regular intercourse, orgasms can reduce the chances of developing prostate cancer, improve heart health and be highly relaxing. Apart from conventional sexual orgasms, there can also be relaxation orgasms, pressure orgasms, tension orgasms, multiple orgasms and fantasy orgasms.

As said, orgasms are experienced by both the sexes. Although both the genders experience elevated breathing rates and heart rates, women and men experience orgasm differently. While a female orgasm is experienced as rhythmic contractions in the genital muscles, men usually have semen ejaculated from the penis along with contractions. Women do not need a recovery period and can experience multiple orgasms, men usually cannot. Women also enjoy a longer orgasm as compared to men. The two main causes leading to an orgasm include vasocongestion or an increase in the blood supply and size of certain sexual organs, and myotonia, which is the flexing and contracting of the muscles.

Both men and women can have disorders related to orgasms. Women may sometimes be unable to experience an orgasm even with adequate stimulation or may never have experienced an orgasm at all or stop experiencing orgasms after some point. Men, on the other hand, may either be unable to attain an orgasm or experience premature ejaculation. There are many ways to reach an orgasm – through stimulation of the clitoris, hitting the G-spot in the vagina, anal muscles or a combination of these techniques. It is important to understand each kind of an orgasm and the area that needs to be stimulated along with how stimulation really occurs in order to help your partner reach an orgasm in the most pleasurable manner and have a fulfilling experience. Communication and adequate foreplay form the basis of helping each other enjoy the sexual experience best. Read on for more.

  1. What is an orgasm?
  2. Types of orgasms
  3. Benefits of orgasm
  4. Male and Female Orgasms
  5. Mechanism of orgasm
  6. Disorders related to orgasms in men and women
  7. Ways to achieve an orgasm
  8. Doctors for Orgasm: What is orgasm and how to reach an orgasm

An orgasm is the climax or peak of sexual satisfaction. It is a strong physical pleasure where accumulated sexual tension is released. While medical practitioners view orgasms merely based on physiological changes that occur, it does, in fact, include cognitive and emotional changes as well.

The understanding and perception of orgasms has drastically changed over the years. Several facts have emerged and myths have been explained and shattered. Here are some interesting facts about an orgasm:

  • It is experienced by both the genders and not just men.
  • Orgasms can also occur for reasons other than sexual stimulation.
  • Orgasms have several health benefits owing to the chemicals and hormones released during the experience.

Common misconceptions around orgasms

Several misconceptions around orgasms exist, some because of lack of information and the others because of what has been said and heard. Here are some misconceptions you may have come across, and some you may even be believing:

  • Every woman experiences orgasms.
  • Orgasm is the only goal of sexual intercourse.
  • You can only orgasm with penetrative sex.

The truth is that-

  • Not all sexual encounters end with an orgasm. Many women do not have an orgasm right through their sexual experience.
  • While sexual interactions do usually culminate in orgasm, not everyone believes it to be the highlight of sex. Many consider intimacy and passion more important.
  • There are more ways to achieving an orgasm than penile-vaginal arousal.

Orgasm is a relaxed and pleasurable state achieved after sexual arousal and can be of different types in women depending on the part of the genitalia that is stimulated. Clitoral orgasms are more common in most women as opposed to vaginal orgasms. Orgasmic pleasure can be felt through a variety of ways and triggered in different forms. These are:

  • Relaxation orgasms are those that are experienced as the body relaxes during sexual stimulation.
  • Pressure orgasms are most common in children and are experienced when pressure is applied on the genitals or there is self-stimulation.
  • Tension orgasms are reached when the body and muscles are tense and rigid.
  • Combination orgasms are orgasms experienced when more than one type of sexual stimulations are blended together.
  • Multiple orgasms occur when more than one orgasm is experienced during a single sexual experience.
  • Fantasy orgasms are reached through mental stimulation alone.

While the pleasure from an orgasm is the greatest of all its benefits, there are some health benefits that have also been found, which are described as follows:

  • Studies show that regular ejaculation reduces the risk of deadly cancers like prostate cancer.
  • Hormones, including dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and oxytocin, released during orgasm can also protect against the risk of heart disease and cancer.
  • Orgasms are also known to work as a great relaxant. During an orgasm, endorphins are released in the body, which is responsible for the pleasurable sensation and feeling of relaxation in the body. Due to this, most individuals are likely to feel more happy, comfortable and warm after achieving an orgasm.
  • In some individuals, orgasms helps in inducing sleep and maybe a helpful activity for those who face trouble falling asleep.
  • Further, in some, orgasms may help to reduce headaches and other types of body pain.

Female Orgasms

Although women may find it harder than men to be sexually excited and reach a state of orgasm, they tend to experience it longer. Various factors come in play when a woman experiences an orgasm, and the build-up to an orgasm is quite interesting. let’s have a look at what actually happens inside your body while you experience this pleasure:

  • When aroused either physically or psychologically, dilation of the blood vessels occurs in the genitals of a woman causing an increased blood flow to the area.
  • Asvulva begins to swell and the blood flow to the vagina increases, the vagina and vulva begin to wet, which is the primary source of lubrication, which is important for sex.
  • Blood flow to the vagina soon reaches its maximum limit, and the top of the vagina starts to expand. Soon after, the vagina becomes firm and swollen and rhythmic contractions are experienced. The clitoris retreats towards the pubic bone and seems to disappear.
  • The breasts swell to almost 25% more than their usual size and the nipples soften. Blood flow around the area of the chest also increases, which may cause darkening of the area surrounding the nipples, that is, the areola and erection of the nipples.
  • Soon after these changes when an orgasm is achieved, it is felt as rhythmic contractions of the genital muscles including those of the uterus.
  • Bodily changes experienced include quickening of breath, rapid heart rate and increased blood pressure.

An average orgasm in a woman lasts between 10 and 45 seconds, much longer than a male orgasm.

Following an orgasm, the body gradually returns to its original state, the breathing and heart rate return to normalis, and swellings of sexual organs reduces. Women do not usually need a recovery period and can experience an orgasm again if stimulated. (3)

Male Orgasms

The male anatomy also  undergoes various changes and stages before reaching a climax. These can be described as:

  • An erection of the penis in males is a classic sign of arousal. When erect, the corpora, a spongy tissue in the penis, enlarges and turns rigid as blood flow increases. Other signs include movement of the testicles toward the body and the tightening of the scrotum.
  • Blood vessels in and around the penis are now filled with blood to their maximum capacity, and the testicles and glans grow bigger.
  • Pulse rate and blood pressure increase. Muscles of the thigh and buttocks tighten.
  • Then, seminal vesicles and prostate gland experience contractions, semen is forced out of the penis. This is called ejaculation. During ejaculation, there is closeure of the neck of the bladder to prevent the spillage of seminal fluid into the bladder. An erect penis then releases seminal contents due to repeated contractions.
  • The male orgasm lasts between 10 and 30 seconds.

The male body goes into a state known as recovery, where it is not possible for him to have any more orgasms. The phase of recovery differs depending on the age and body type, and can take between a few minutes to a few days at an older age. After an orgasm, all the vitals and the penis and testicles return to their original state and size.

The body of both women and men have erogenous zones or points through which sexual excitement is triggered. This may include the anus, nipples, genitals and perineum (the area between the penis/vaginal opening and anus). When stimulated continuously, there are two main responses that occur in both males and females, which eventually lead to an orgasm. The causes of an orgasm are:

  • Vasocongestion: the filling of body tissues with blood and enlargement of the genital organs.
  • Myotonia: continuous flexing, contracting and tightening of the voluntary and involuntary muscles without their relaxation.

It has been found that apart from the genitals and other related organs, the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system also play a critical role in experiencing an orgasm. This probably explains why people who are prescribed epileptic medication feel the onset of an orgasm when they take their medicines.

Both men and women can experience problems related to having an orgasm. While the problems faced by both genders differ the implications are the same for both. Those unable to experience an orgasm are likely to feel anxious and frustrated. A sense of shame may also be felt by those who have problems. It is likely that problems with orgasms and disorders associated with it can cause issues among partners if not addressed constructively.

Here are some disorders women and men are likely to face:

Orgasm-related disorders in men

There are some commonly experienced disorders related to orgasms in men. These could be the result of physical ailments like heart problems, neurological issues, side effects of medication or even psychological conditions like anxiety and stress. Some common disorders include:

  • In some cases, males are either unable to reach an orgasm or face a persistent delay in reaching it even after sufficient stimulation. This is termed as an inhibited male orgasm.
  • Men can sometimes ejaculate rather quickly for various reasons including hormonal issues, nerve damage or psychological factors. The condition of premature ejaculation occurs when men ejaculate in less than a minute into penetration. In some cases, premature ejaculation occurs at the time of penetration as well. Fertility issues and erectile dysfunction can also come in the way of having an erection and achieving an orgasm.

Orgasm-related disorders in women

Women also have disorders that come in the way of reaching an orgasm. They can be a result of physical ailments like heart conditions, gynaecological factors, hormonal imbalance, side effects of medication or psychological issues. Here are some commonly experienced orgasm-related disorders in women:

  • A delayed or complete absence of orgasm even after sufficient stimulation.
  • Primary anorgasmia, a condition where a woman has never had an orgasm.
  • Secondary anorgasmia, when a woman who has experienced orgasms in the past but cannot climax any more. This condition may be episodic or general.

Whether in males or females, there are certain measures that can help you achieve an orgasm, which are mentioned below.

While the orgasm is a physiological response to stimulation, a whole lot goes into its build-up, and it is an important part of a sexual experience. In trying to make sure the orgasm is most pleasurable, here are some tips you can follow:

  • Clitoral orgasm: This is reached through continued stimulation of the clitoris. For reaching a heightened clitoral orgasm, you need to ensure the clitoris is wet or stimulated. This can be achievable by using a repetitive movement or by applying gradual pressure to stimulate it until an orgasm is reached. Some women can only reach a level of orgasm when clitoris is stimulated.
  • Vaginal orgasm: A spot in the vagina, known as the G-spot, when aroused leads to an orgasm. This is the most common, yet most difficult orgasm to attain in women. Ensure the woman is stimulated, make the right strokes to work the G-spot correctly and use adequate pressure to help her reach an orgasm. A better vaginal orgasm can be achieved with the help of tactile stimulation.
  • Anal orgasm: Through stimulating the area just outside the anus and exploring the inside with a finger, it is possible to reach an anal orgasm. The key is to ensure you use plenty of lubrication to make the experience smoother and more pleasurable. In males, massaging towards the prostate gland can help orgasm more effectively.
  • Combination orgasms: This involves having a vaginal and clitoral orgasm together, and is ideal for women since both can be stimulated. It is also the most pleasurable orgasm. Using a lot of experimentation, stimulating various erogenous zones like the nipples, neck, elbows and other body parts, can help achieve this orgasm better. It involves both physical and mental stimulation, so foreplay forms the key to this kind of orgasm. It also takes a great deal of imagination.
  • Communication and foreplay: These probably form the basis of achieving an orgasm. Communication between couples helps improve intimacy, which is ideal for an orgasm. Mental stimulation is as important as physical. Talking of physical stimulation, it is important that you and your partner engage in sufficient foreplay to reach a better climax together. In women, this will improve lubrication, facilitating a better penetration and in men, it will help them in getting more harder. Moreover, foreplay will help in stimulation of other erogenous organs other than the genitals, which will help in making the experience more pleasurable.
  • Oral sex: Orgasm is multifold and it is not merely an after-effect of penetration. Go exploring and go down on each other to enhance your sexual experience and to improve stimulation. Studies have found that oral sex and tactile stimulation immensely help in acheiving orgasm in women and certainly the same is true for men. So, don’t say no to your partner’s fantasies.
Dr. Abdul Haseeb Sheikh

Dr. Abdul Haseeb Sheikh

Sexology
8 Years of Experience

Dr. Srikanth Varma

Dr. Srikanth Varma

Sexology
8 Years of Experience

Dr. Pranay Gandhi

Dr. Pranay Gandhi

Sexology
10 Years of Experience

Dr. Tarun

Dr. Tarun

Sexology
8 Years of Experience

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References

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  2. National Health Service [internet]. UK; Female sexual problems
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  5. Department of health. Orgasm. Government of Western Australia[internet].
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  7. Alwaal A, Breyer BN, Lue TF.Normal male sexual function: emphasis on orgasm and ejaculation. 2015 Nov;104(5):1051-60. PMID: 26385403
  8. Wallen K, Lloyd EA.Female sexual arousal: genital anatomy and orgasm in intercourse. 2011 May;59(5):780-92. PMID: 21195073
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