Misconceptions and social scripts around orgasms are everywhere. We’re used to phrases like “managed to have an orgasm”, “gave someone an orgasm”, “achieved an orgasm”. As woke as some of us may be, these hierarchical terms still affect how we think about pleasure.
Orgasms Galore: All the Kinds of Orgasms a Vulva-Owner Can Have
Using different words can reframe our thoughts and open the door to a more playful experience. Think sharing an orgasm instead of giving your partner one, experiencing climax instead of managing to do it, "realized" instead of "achieved". It's okay if these particular words don't click for you. The concept of pleasure adventuring is what's important.
Sex doesn’t have to mean orgasms, orgasms don’t have to mean sex is over. An orgasm may be a part of your sexual joy one day while sensuality without sexual stimulation fulfills you on another. Some people have visual physical responses during their orgasm.
Some folks express affirmations, curses, or noises while others silently enjoy their experience. Experiences of orgasms might differ between solo play and single to multiple partnered touch. Our bodies’ monthly to life-long cycles can affect how we encounter pleasure.
A boost in endorphins, auto-immune function, and stress relief can be facilitated from coming. Orgasms can be a great relief from chronic pain and practice for self-care. Internalized pressures to perform for others, and ourselves, tend to limit what pleasure spaces we can play in. Especially, in the overwhelming COVID-times that we’re all existing in so go easy on yourself.
Understanding what kinds of orgasms can exist, and what accompaniments might support your pleasure, is an important part of sex education. Unfortunately, part of the script around social norms and pleasure is not publicly educating or talking about it! This can make it pretty hard to get new ideas or feel validated in something you enjoy doing. So! Let’s define different types of orgasms that someone with a vulva can have.
Many folks think that the clitoris is only the small button-like node at the top of the vulva. The clitoris is actually quite a large anatomical structure that includes the well-known G-spot. It has internal and external portions. The entire clitoris is about the same size as the palm of your hand.
The external portion of the clitoris can be as small as a pea and as large as your thumb. The superpower of the clitoris is that it’s one of the few spots of the human body that exists for nothing by pleasure! The internal components of the clitoris encase the entrance to the vagina. This means that many orgasms are facilitated by stimulation to parts of the clitoris.
Different kinds of touch to the clitoris can generate pleasure. Some folks have a consistent rhythm to strike a beat-off to. Some people might enjoy a whisper of a touch while others prefer a solid feel. Some may find that their body calls for different kinds of stimulation in changing moments. Grinding or wavy motions or gentler air suction (like that provided by the LELO Sila) against the external portion of the clitoris can grow pleasure, especially accompanied by sultry tunes.
Direct touch to the clitoris and indirect (through the clitoral hood) can both realize an orgasm. An air suction vibrator can be a fun and helpful toy for direct or indirect stimulation! If you are someone with a pelvic floor pain condition, you may find that a clitoral orgasm is best for you on days when your pelvic floor is feeling sensitive.
The G-spot and Squirting Orgasms
The full name for the G-spot is Gräfenberg spot, after Ernest Gräfenberg. It's is a bundle of nerves close to the entrance of the vagina on the front side of the body. This spot is where the vagina, clitoris, and urethra connect, also called the CUV complex.
An easy way to touch the G-spot is to make a “come hither” gesture with a finger once inside a person’s vagina when they are aroused and, of course, give consent. The LELO Soraya Wave uses that "beckoning" motion to stimulate the G-Spot. Once located, pleasure from the G-spot may come from a pulsing motion or a solid, firm pressure.
G-spots can be tricky to touch when solo, lending to the popularity of G-spot toys. These toys are designed to get to that just out of reach pleasure point. Fun whether alone or with partners.
Squirting orgasms, for people who get them, generally come about from G-spot stimulation. But G-spot orgasms don't necessarily bring on squirting and isn’t the only pleasure point that has this ability.
Just like for people with penises, squirting is not urinating. Squirting comes from the urethra and has trace amounts of urine, but is it’s own dang thang. Some people with vulvas will notice a small amount of a milk-like fluid accompanies their orgasm. This isn’t squirting, it is ejaculating and it is also totally normal. Orgasms that include squirting have been reported by some to be more pleasurable, while other people find them messy and embarrassing. Remember here, pleasure is deeply personal and it isn't a game to win.
Vaginal and Cervical Orgasms
Vaginal orgasms come (pun intended) from stimulation of the vaginal canal and the internal parts of the clitoris. Despite the fact that Freud deemed vaginal orgasms the only "mature" type of orgasm for a vulva owner to have and the default position of vaginal penetration as the definition of "sex," the vagina doesn’t actually have that many nerve endings that can receive pleasure!
Besides the G-spot, the area near the cervix (towards the back of the vaginal canal) has the most sensitivity. This spot can be reached through deeper penetration or a longer/larger toy. Cervical orgasms are connected to the mighty clitoris through the pudendal nerve.
Arousal, intimacy, and your old pal lubricant can help those pelvic floor muscles relax and enjoy the deeper ride. Make sure you’re using a water-based lube when using barrier methods, like latex condoms, or silicone sex toys to avoid deterioration of the product!
Many folks have experienced blended orgasms (or combo orgasms) without knowing the name for it. A blended orgasm is a term used to define orgasms that occurs from the stimulation of more than one pleasure zone at once. Stimulation to multiple pleasure points like the vagina, clitoris, nipple and anus, make up the blended orgasm journey.
One of the most common types of blended orgasm comes from a mix of clitoral and vaginal (to the G-spot) stimulation. Makes sense after noting the intertwined nature of the internal part of the clitoris and the vagina.
Rabbit vibrators have been designed to evoke blended orgasms through pleasure to the clitoris and G-spot. Know that not every rabbit vibrator will fit all. It may take some trial and error to figure out how to place your rabbit. Flexible toys, like a LELO Soraya Wave, might be a better match.
If rabbit vibrators aren't your style, you can also try a dual-action sonic massager, like the new LELO ENIGMA. Instead of traditional vibrations, ENIGMA uses sonic waves to stimulate the entire clitoris and the G-spot at the same time.
Perhaps of all the orgasms that exist full-body orgasms require the most presence. Whether solo or in company, these orgasms will explode with connection to body, mind, and breath. Awareness and joy in the moment define this path.
Tying into awareness is intimacy and comfort. Take time to set up your space. Grab your favorite sexy accompaniments, tunes, or scents. Ideally, being somewhere that you can make noise if the energy presents. For you toe curlers out there, it's recommended to relax your whole body as much as possible. And, hey, if you can’t wait, well, worst case scenario is pleasure so gold stars all around!
A few other tips to facilitate a full-body orgasm include edging which is an intoxicatingly enjoyable exercise. Some folks find that sex toys and stimulation to multiple pleasure zones aid their whole-body experience. Tantric practices can also enhance full-body pleasure. Additionally, tantra is great for in-depth work into self-care and connecting with others.
Do What Feels Good
Whatever your practices around your sexual joy may be, remember there’s no wrong answer. Enjoy experimenting with gentler sensations from a toy like the Sila or more concentrated motions from the Soraya Wave. Your pleasure is yours to define, share, and play with however you like! Along your pleasure journey, which always starts with consent, consider what brings you happiness. Intimacy? Ethical porn? ASMR? Erotica? Your imagination? A little RnB? Exploring your preferences and the way they vary is all part of the fun!
Jaxson Benjamin is a queer, disabled, social justice educator and sexologist raised on the land of the Lenni Lenape People in re-named Philadelphia. Jax’s work is rooted in the empathic and story-telling approaches of Community Development that aim to disrupt Eurocentric teachings.