A lot of my vulva-having clients are frustrated that they haven't unlocked some level of orgasming that they think they should have access to. When I dig into what their current experience is, there are three typical responses. The first is that they don’t believe they have experienced an orgasm at all (and some of them have not). Second is that they can experience orgasm on their own but cannot orgasm through partnered sex. I have seen this in straight and lesbian women. And finally, I have had clients who can orgasm consistently on their own and with a partner usually through clitoral stimulation but who want to have a “real” orgasm through penetration.
I would like to dispel the myth that there is a right or real way to cum because the pressure that this idea puts on women is enough to make women doubt their bodies and question their sensations of pleasure and enjoyment. To me, this is a trap. It sets women up to always look outside themselves for validation of their own experiences.
If you have been reading my pieces for Ravishly, you’ll notice that patriarchy is a recurring theme when it comes to how women express their sexuality.
Orgasm is no different. The idea that there is an immature (clitoral) and mature (vaginal) orgasm for women was popularized by Sigmund Freud. He observed little girls in natural pleasure-seeking behavior grinding their vulvas on various items (toys, couches, blankets, etc.) and concluded that this form of sexual gratification was just for the prepubescent girl. He then ordained that for women to be fully sexually mature, they must obtain sexual pleasure through vaginal penetration.
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Please note that the clitoris is highly sensitive. It has about 8,000 nerve endings and becomes engorged like the penis during arousal. The vaginal cavity has nerve endings in the first few inches only because the clitoris has finger-like extensions into the vagina. The piece of female sexuality that has been denied us is that the clitoris is the female Pleasure Center. It controls what happens to the rest of our sexual anatomy. Happy clit, happy life!
While there are definitely different types or orgasmic experiences, my goal is to help women see that there is no orgasmic hierarchy and that if you can access your own pleasure, you can access your right kind of orgasm.
Is It Even An Orgasm?
There are many reasons why women don’t experience orgasm at all, which I won’t get into here. What I want to address is that many women are experiencing orgasm but do not know it. I have had several clients describe to me sensations of arousal, a buildup of pleasurable tension, and a release of that tension that leaves them feeling calm, relaxed, and happy. As a sex coach, I hereby decree that an orgasm!
So why do women feel that they are falling short? For starters, no one ever told them about the full range of orgasmic experiences that are possible. Also, they have only seen depictions of bed-shaking, mind-bending, explosive orgasms in media and porn. That’s just not every woman’s experience.
No Orgasms With A Partner
The great news is if you have orgasms alone, you can translate this information to partnered sex. The first step is believing that how you experience orgasm is valid and worth sharing… because it is!
Many women develop masturbation patterns in childhood that remain fixed throughout their lifetime. This might include grinding on a pillow or blanket or squeezing their legs very tightly together. As you can imagine, it might be hard to insert another person into the mix for that. BUT! You can take note of what types of sensations you are getting from your masturbation practice and start thinking about how you can achieve that with a partner.
This is true for those ladies who use their hands or vibrators too! Take notes. Ask yourself which parts of your vulva you’re spending the most time on. The key to unlocking your orgasm potential is having confidence in your own body knowledge. From there you can start to branch out and explore more.
No Vaginal Orgasm
If you Google “types of orgasm in women” you will be very, very confused. Is it just two? Or are there five? Maybe 16? Women have had bodies and have been using them sexually to propagate the human race, but we can’t seem to come to a consensus on this? Why? Because the number might as well be 3.5 billion because there are as many types of orgasms as there are women in the world.
In a recent post by Sustain Natural’s founder Meika Hollander, she addresses the question “What is an orgasm supposed to feel like?” by stating (perfectly I might add) “maybe the most consistent thing about [female orgasms] is that each one is its very own thing. Yes, researchers can measure uterine contractions and conclude what is and is not an orgasm, but sorry, all the data-collecting probes in the world can’t detect all this wide-ranging nuance.”
I know that all of us conscious consumers are concerned about where and how things are sourced, but I’m here to tell you that when it comes to cumming, it don’t matter! Or as Shakespeare once put it "An O by any other source would feel as sweet." All you need to do is believe that your experience is just as sweet as anyone else's.