There is a common idea out there that there are multiple types of orgasms for women (though not for men). This notion seems to fascinate both male and female partners. Women wonder why they can’t have the other types of orgasms which other women apparently can have, and feel left out. Men worry that if they can’t get their female partners to have every type of orgasms, they’re doing something wrong or aren’t good enough in some way. Is there any truth to this? Where did this idea of multiple orgasms get started?
It seems that the culprit is Sigmund Freud, who identified two “types” of orgasms which women could have—clitoral and vaginal. In other words, some women could get off only through stimulation of the clitoris, while others could get off through stimulation of the vagina, and some could achieve both. Freud considered clitoral orgasms to be a sign of “immaturity.” It’s pretty easy to see that this came from a point of view which is both heterocentric and arguably misogynist. This is the same guy who thought women had “penis envy.”
On that note, it wasn’t really until several centuries ago that writers made note of the fact that women generally require clitoral stimulation to have orgasms at all! This is because society has been male dominated for so long that the expressions of sexuality which have made it into historical text have generally been focused on male pleasure and not on female pleasure. Interestingly enough, one of the first writers who notably pointed out the importance of the clitoris in female arousal was the Marquis de Sade.
In reality, about 75% of women can have “clitoral orgasms.” Scientifically speaking, an orgasm is an orgasm is an orgasm, which is helpful to know. The same muscle contractions occur regardless of the pattern of stimulation. Some orgasms are felt more intensely than others; some produce different sensations, and so on, but an orgasm is still an orgasm. Some women ejaculate during orgasms as well, but not most.
Another “type” of orgasm which many people now believe exist is the “G-Spot” orgasm. The “G-Spot” isn’t so much a “spot” as it is a region, which is supposedly located roughly 1-3 inches up inside the front (anterior) wall of the vagina. There can be quite a bit more variation in the location than this, however, and many women will never find their G-Spot, assuming again that it even exists, which is debatable.
So Are There Really Different Types of Orgasms?
All of this in mind, it’s fairly inaccurate to say that there are multiple “types” of orgasms. There aren’t really technical classifications of orgasms, though there are different sensations which can be felt according to a number of different factors. And again, not all women experience arousal or orgasms the same way. There is nothing whatsoever wrong with that. Here are some of the factors which can influence an orgasm in either sex:
- Type of stimulation. Depending on the area being stimulated, different nerves can respond, and different sensations can occur. Again, most women only experience orgasms in response to clitoral stimulation. This doesn’t mean anything is inadequate about them or their partners. It doesn’t mean that you’re “doing it wrong,” and that you need to keep trying to make it work differently. It already works the way it’s supposed to. Also consider that the manner of stimulation and not just the area can impact arousal and sensation. And on that note, consider that some men and women find certain things painful that others enjoy. Some men enjoy having their testes stimulated, while others find it unpleasant. Some women enjoy penetration while others find it painful.
- Duration and arousal level. All of us go through swings in our sex drive. When our libido is high, we tend to arouse more easily and experience more intense orgasms. When our libido is low, our orgasms are usually less pronounced. The duration of a sexual encounter and the amount of foreplay can also impact how an orgasm feels. More intense orgasms are often the result of longer sexual encounters
- Time of the month. For women, arousal, sensation, and orgasms can all be influenced by the time of the month. Women’s bodies go through substantial shifts in hormonal levels throughout the month. During some times of month, sensation is less pronounced and orgasms are less intense. During other times of the month, nerves are more sensitive and orgasms are more explosive. Many women go through a high point in arousal right before ovulation. Evolutionarily, this is probably related to this being a time of high fertility. Some women are the other way around, however, and are less aroused during this time and more aroused during less fertile times.
- Substance use and abuse. Drugs can alter the experience of an orgasm. This includes alcohol, which can dampen sensation and produce less intense orgasms. Other things that alter brain chemistry can also impact orgasms. This can even include mental illness. Depression and anxiety can make it more difficult to achieve the high level of arousal required for intense orgasms.
You should now have some insight into the different factors that can influence orgasms and how these factors combine to create intense or disappointing orgasms. Keep in mind there is also a degree of randomness at all times, and there is no scientific formula to producing the ideal orgasm, though there are things you can do to make them more likely. Don’t abuse drugs and alcohol, do engage in foreplay, and do experiment with different types of stimulation to see what different sensations you can produce. When you know you’re more aroused during certain times or in certain situations, take advantage of those times to get intimate with your partner. Remember to have fun and don’t worry about it if you or your partner can’t achieve a certain “type” of orgasm. The only “type” that matters is the type that gets you or your partner off.