Listen, we get it. Sex is all about the journey, not the destination. You want to cultivate intimacy with your partner, be vulnerable, and explore the spiritual deepening that comes with sharing your bare body. That’s all fine and dandy, but let’s get real: you also want to have an orgasm.
While a male orgasm has a very significant goalpost (deposit sperm into egg,) a female’s has no proven evolutionary benefit, though scientific research continues to be done. But ultimately, if our bodies were built to deliver us an unconditioned pleasure, it would be a great shame to miss out on all the ways we can experience it.
For those with a vagina, there are many types of ways to stimulate our bodies and reach a myriad of different kinds of orgasms, from nipple to anal play. For now, let’s focus on breaking down the science behind two of the biggest players in the game: vaginal orgasm and clitoral orgasm.
The Art of an Orgasm
Sometimes, simply reaching an orgasm is a miracle in and of itself. In fact, sexual dysfunction affects about 40% of women. Anorgasmia, the term used to reference having an interest in sex but not being able to consistently achieve orgasm, is amongst one of the many factors that can affect a woman’s ability to climax. Others include:
- Certain medications, including antidepressants & SSRIs
- Hormonal deficiencies
- Medical conditions like diabetes & hypertension
- Sleep disorders
There are also a few lifestyle factors to take into account, like not getting enough exercise, drinking too much alcohol, or smoking tobacco. Beyond that, a lack of dialogue and awareness surrounding how to stimulate these areas play a factor in many women feeling lackluster in their sex lives.
In an effort to reclaim our pleasure, let’s get to know the difference between clitoral and vaginal stimulation.
Are Vaginal Orgasms Real?
While the orgasm has the strongest PR team, it’s worth noting that most people with a vagina don’t actually experience it. In fact, according to a 2017 study, only about 18% of women achieve orgasm through penetration alone. This may feel validating to anyone who has felt isolated by being unable to climax vaginally, though it also poses the question: how many of those missed orgasms are due to the ineptitude of a sexual partner on their search for the elusive g-spot?
The g-spot, AKA the Grafenberg spot, refers to a region just a few inches inside your vagina that may feel especially pleasurable when stimulated. With the lack of information available, it’s truly nobody’s fault why it’s so elusive, but knowledge is power! The g-spot isn’t a distinct part of your anatomy, but rather, a part of your larger clitoral network, and achieving a vaginal orgasm is more dynamic than you may think.
How do you reach the infamous g-spot orgasm? Here’s a quick how-to guide:
- While partnering up is certainly all the rave, it may be easier to first locate the g-spot through self-exploration
- Bring your body to its most relaxed, starting by breathing deeply and massaging around the vagina before making your way inside
Using your fingers, lift upward toward your belly button in a “come here” motion. There’s no specific button to hit, but rather, a sensation to discover (note: your g-spot's texture may be more like the outside of a walnut than the smooth, soft skin surrounding it)
- Instead of an in-and-out movement, experiment with keeping your attention focused on this internal area and repeat the motion as the feeling builds
Once you’ve found it, guiding in a penis or a sex toy can heighten the experience (note: squirting may even make a guest appearance!)
- If you’ve got a partner to explore with, consider positions that help more easily stimulate the g-spot, such as: cowgirl, doggy style, or closed missionary
If you can’t seem to get yourself there, no biggie! Every body is different, and we all aren’t going to experience sex in a cookie cutter way. Instead, give yourself grace to explore the different ways vaginal pleasure feels good for you.
Experimenting with lubricants, positions, and toys can make vaginal stimulation all the more enticing. Shallowing, which refers to focusing on penetrating just inside the entrance of the vagina, can be an otherworldly sensation all on its own, sans the big g-spot finish.
Let’s Talk Clitoral Pleasure
With clitoral-focused vibrators like the Rose Toy and Magic Wand booming in popularity, it’s no secret that the clitoris is one of the most significant components when it comes to female pleasure. In fact, as your most sensitive erogenous zone, that’s its only true purpose: arousal.
A complex network of erectile tissue and nerves, any kind of stimulation to this area will be pleasurable, even if it doesn’t result in orgasm. If you find that the head of your clitoris is sensitive to the point that direct touch isn’t enjoyable, massaging and rubbing the surrounding area can also easily do the trick! In fact, the u-spot, positioned at the opening of the vagina, directly above and to either side of the urethral opening, can produce incredibly erotic sensations when stroked lightly.
A blended orgasm, which focuses on working both your clitoris and g-spot, can call on a bit of creativity, but ultimately, a mind-blowing experience.
A few ways to experiment with clitoral stimulation:
- Embodiment is an incredibly important factor, so remember to breathe from the belly, relax the body, and release tension in the pelvic area
An easy start would be to stimulate the clit with a finger or sex toy at the same time as the vagina is being penetrated
- You can also rock the base of a penis or toy so that it rubs against the clitoris during penetration
- Known as angling, you can rotate, raise, or lower your hips during penetration to adjust where the toy or penis rubs
Whether on your own, partnered, or wand in hand, do yourself the favor of exploring all the different ways your body screams, “yes!”
And most importantly, don’t be shy in sharing your findings with any sexual partners in your life—communication is key in getting both of you the satisfaction you deserve.