• The Lover Team

What Is A Female Orgasm?

What actually happens when you have an orgasm? 

An orgasm is one of the greatest feelings ever, but what's actually going on in your body when you have one?


When a woman is aroused, blood flows to the vulva, heightening its sensitivity. What typically follows is an increased heart rate and rapid breathing. The more aroused the body becomes, it culminates into an orgasm along with a rhythmic contraction and release of muscles all over.


The stages of arousal to orgasm vary, but generally, it happens like this:

  • Excitement, when arousal builds

  • Plateau, when arousal increases and levels off 

  • Orgasm, which causes intense feelings of pleasure

  • Resolution, when arousal diminishes 

Women are lucky in that they can actually orgasm again after the resolution phase (hello, multiple orgasms!), while men require a period of rest before they can have another orgasm.


Climaxing, explained


So, how do you know if you’ve had an orgasm? 


There's no simple answer here, but generally, women can experience any of the following.

  • A feeling of tension release

  • A feeling of elation followed by feeling very relaxed (thanks to your brain's release of dopamine, the hormone associated with pleasure, and oxytocin, a hormone associated with affection)

  • A tingling sensation over your body

  • Contractions in the vaginal wall and across the body

  • Curling of toes and fingers 

  • Rapid breathing

  • Flushed skin and increased body temperature

  • Sensitive genitals after orgasm (sometimes, feeling too sensitive to be touched)

All orgasms vary in intensity, frequency and duration. One person may describe it as an intense tingling sensation all over the body, whereas for another the defining feature might be the sense of elation. These sensations will also depend on the type of orgasm you’re having! That might include anal, clitoral or even a nipple orgasm.


Is it normal to never have an orgasm?


The answer to this question isn't so simple. If you've never had an orgasm during sex, you're not alone. For example, one study in 2018 showed that only 30% of heterosexual women reported regular orgasms from penetrative sex, while 95% of heterosexual men had orgasms every time.


Even though it's less common for women to have an orgasm during sex, this doesn't have to be the case every time!


Decades of inadequate sexual education around female sexual pleasure has led to insufficient stimulation for many women during sex. Since masturbation has also been taboo for so long, many women have yet to truly explore their bodies to find out what they like. This can lead to being short-changed in the bedroom. 


Thankfully, there are solutions and ways to learn how to have an orgasm. This can range from sensate focus exercises to masturbation. For those who consistently struggle to have orgasms, there are also various female arousal disorder treatments available. 


What happens when a woman doesn’t climax


The reason behind nonexistent orgasms can be complex and unique. If a woman doesn’t climax, this doesn’t automatically indicate psychological issues. Anorgasmia can affect anyone, and there are many factors that can get in the way of orgasm.


This can range from issues like stress, depression, distraction, not being pleasured in the right way, or gynecological issues. The problem with inconsistent orgasms is that it can take on a toll on your sex drive. Unsurprisingly, if you're consistently not reaching the desired outcome, it’s natural for sexual desire to wane.


This can also become a self-perpetuating cycle that doesn’t only lead to a low sex drive. Unpleasurable or unsatisfying sex can also lead to relationship dissatisfaction and low self-esteem. Oxytocin (that hormone released by your brain) can increase feelings of emotional attachment, which is why having orgasms with a partner can be important for romantic relationships.

If you're struggling to have orgasms or want to have them more often, download our app today. Our courses are supported by science, and specifically designed to help you climax consistently. To learn more about how Lover can help you, our expert Dr. Britney Blair explains it all here.

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