Orgasms are considered the end goal for sexual experiences, so much so that if any type of sex does not result in an orgasm (or multiple), the sex was “trash” and a “waste of time”. However, much of our knowledge of sex and orgasm is learned from a penis-driven perspective.
Since a person with a penis can orgasm from any sort of sexual stimulation, usually marking the end of the sexual experience, we have come to expect vaginas to work the same way (thanks, unrealistic porn and non-comprehensive sex ed!).
Vaginas require a different approach to reaching orgasm, and people with vaginas deserve the same pleasure as people with penises.
What’s the big deal about orgasms?
Orgasms have taken up a lot of space in the sex conversation.
Beyond the expectation of having an orgasm by the time sexual activity ends, researchers have found endless benefits of having regular orgasms - solo or partnered.
Orgasm is said to improve circulation, increase fertility, enhance hormone function, provide relaxation, and even cure migraines.
People with vaginas can be much more self-conscious during sex because of the pressure to orgasm from any and all types of stimulation, when that’s just not the way vaginas work. We worry that we’re taking too long, or maybe we’re not really as into sex with this person as we thought we were, or otherwise doing something wrong if we don’t make it to climax by the time our penis-posessing-partner is finished. We roll over or get up frustrated, annoyed, and unfulfilled.
This stress and other life stress can be a major reason why someone cannot reach orgasm.
Because no one makes it a point to talk about what it takes for people with vaginas to orgasm, many of us go through life thinking something is wrong with us, especially if we have never had one.
What’s the solution?
Making sure that you get yours during partnered sex comes down to three things:
1) Using the right methods
Don’t be afraid to change what’s not working. You may need to do some research and experiment to figure out what methods work best for you. You may require certain tools/toys, positions, and motions to get yours, and that’s okay! If you need more time to warm up and reach orgasm than you think is “normal”, that’s okay too.
2) Clear communication
As with all sexual activity, communication is the number one way to make sure you get what you want from a partner. The first communication should be consent, and following that, a conversation prior to sex and/or in-the-moment guidance on what to do or not do to best please each other.
NOTE: It is easiest to communicate your desires when you already know what they are. That means you need to have done your own self-exploration, preferably without a partner, to find out what pleases you most. You cannot rely on other people to figure out what you like for you. You are the expert on your body.
3) Adjusting expectations
Orgasms doesn’t look the same for everyone. In fact, that are reportedly up to twelve different ways that vaginas can orgasm, including clitoral, vaginal (including G-spot), anal, stimulation of erogenous zones (neck, nipples, toes, etc.) and combinations of these. There are no hard-and-fast rules about sex, so you have to figure out what works for you.
Some consider female ejaculation or “squirting” evidence of an orgasm, but that’s not necessarily true. You can squirt with an orgasm, or squirt without one. Squirting is only evidence that the Skene’s glands on either side of the urethra (the hole you pee from) have been stimulated, usually through the G-spot inside the vagina.
Be clear - sex does not have to end with orgasm, and orgasms don’t mean the sex was amazing. The goal of sex is to feel as much pleasure as you want, so go after that and the orgasms will follow.