First of all, what is a female orgasm like?
Before we get to how to make a woman orgasm, let's explain what a female orgasm is actually like. Experts generally agree that an orgasm goes down in four stages: excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. During the excitement stage when a woman is stimulated physically or psychologically, blood will begin flowing to her genitals causing the vulva will swell and fluid to pass through the vaginal walls. Her heart rate will increase and her breathing will quicken often resulting in the woman appearing flushed. In laymen's terms, she'll begin to get wet, hot and bothered.
During the plateau stage, lower area of the vagina begins to firm up thanks to the blood flow and her breasts will increase in size (sometimes by up to 25 percent!). At the same time, the lower part of the vagina narrows in preparation to grip the penis, while the upper part expands to give it room to go.
When it's time to orgasm, her genital muscles begin to experience rhythmic contractions around 0.8 seconds apart. How is a female orgasm different to a male orgasm? Well, the female orgasm typically lasts around 13 to 51 seconds, while a male orgasm will last around three to 10 seconds. Unlike men, most women don't have a recovery period so can experience further orgasms if they're stimulated again before experiencing resolution and the body returns to its original state.
While multiple, long orgasms sounds might induce envy in many men, there are pros and cons. Stats show that women will climax in 69 percent of sexual encounters while men hit the mark in 95 percent of experiences.
Are there different types of female orgasms?
It's a less of a case of different kinds of orgasms, but rather, many different ways of achieving orgasm. This is because women's erectile tissue is spread out over a large area, meaning they have multiple erogenous zones.
- Clitoral orgasm
The clitoris is a small, nerve-dense structure located at the tip of the vaginal opening that serves no purpose other than to provide sexual pleasure.
- G-spot orgasm
This highly erogenous area on the anterior (or front) vaginal wall of the urethral sponge can be stimulated during sexual activity.
- Blended orgasm
Best achieved when two or more types of stimulation occur simultaneously. I.e. the nipples and G-spot or clitoris and vagina.
- Anal orgasm
The legs of the clitoris stretch all the way back to the anus, meaning backdoor stimulation may increase sexual arousal.
- A-spot orgasm
The tissue that sits near the entrance of the uterus (toward the end of the vaginal canal) can engorge with blood and become bigger when penetrated.
- C-spot orgasm
This involves stimulation of the nerve endings located in the cervix and around the uterus.
- U-spot orgasm
The tissue that surrounds the urethra (located just below the clitoris) is also sensitive to vibratory stimulation.
Tips for helping her have an orgasm
Helping her achieve an orgasm doesn't just begin when you slide between the sheets. There are a number of ways you can help set her up for climax well before sex starts. Here's how to make a woman orgasm.
1. Ask her what she wants
It might seem like a no-brainer but discussing her needs and wants is one of the best ways to help her orgasm. Studies have shown that people who are more comfortable talking about sex have better sex, because they feel less anxious during intercourse. Cover topics like fantasises, preferences and major turn offs, for a start.
2. Help her relax
For women, an orgasm is just as much in the mind as it is in the body. Ensuring she's in a relaxed, stress-free state is essential for achieving orgasm.
"Studies show that in order for a woman to achieve orgasm, the part of her brain associated with stress, emotion, and anxiety has to shut down," sex therapist Ian Kerne says.
If she's keyed up after a stressful day, give her a back massage to ease her into a more laid-back state. Turn off your phones, lock your doors, hit the lights, and put on the slow jams: Music and candlelight will help calm her central nervous system, says licensed marriage and sex therapist Dr Kat Van Kirk.
3. Build up sexual tension
It's never too early in the day to start building sexual tension. Text her a sexy message in the morning, play footsie under the table at dinner and indulge in some PDA. By the time you get to bed, she should be extra, er, hungry for sex.
4. Don't underrate kissing
Kissing isn't just a warm up, it's integral (and ongoing) component of the main event. Studies by Lafayette College found that kissing reduces levels of the stress hormone cortisol, quickening the time it takes to turn you both on. Once things start heating up, you might be tempted to focus less on locking lips in favour of more X-rated pleasures. But deep kissing is a must for female orgasm, according to a 2017 survey of more than 50,000 adults. The findings revealed that women were much more likely to reach orgasm if their sexual encounter included a combination of deep kissing, oral sex and genital stimulation.
5. Compliment her
“Compliment your partner on each part of her body as you undress it,” psychotherapist Christine Webber told Men's Health. “Your approval will dramatically reduce her self consciousness.”
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6. Tease out the foreplay
Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to having an orgasm.
“Stroke and caress her through the fabric rather than going for gold,” says sex therapist Paula Hall. “Focus on building anticipation rather than going straight for direct stimulation.”
Working multiple sex acts into one session can also help her come because the variation creates more tension and arousal, says Van Kirk. Start with oral sex or use a sex toys to stimulate all her erogenous zones: her nipples, clitoris, vagina, G-spot, and even her anus if she’s into it.
7. Clitoral stimulation is essential
While teasing is all well and good, direct clitoral stimulation is essential for a vast majority of women to reach orgasm. In fact, a study of more than 1,000 women in 2017 revealed that only 18 percent of ladies can orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone.
Include clitoral stimulation with your hands, mouth or toys during foreplay, and continue it during intercourse. Given that her clitoris can be anywhere from 2.5 to 4 centimeters away from her vaginal entrance, some sex positions make it easier to do this than others. Cowgirl, doggy style and missionary are great options.
8. Lube up
No matter how hot and bothered you think you're getting her, without lubrication sex can become uncomfortable and painful. Hardly an orgasm friendly situation. In fact, studies have shown that sex is more enjoyable for women when they use even moderate amounts of lube.
"Lubrication increases the comfort and speed with which you can penetrate the vagina and grind against the clitoris," says says Ellen Friedrichs, an adjunct professor of human sexuality at Rutgers University.
9. Encourage her to take the lead
The best way to figure out what will help her orgasm is by letting her show you. Have her straddle your face as you lay comfortably on your back during cunnilingus or opt for cowgirl during penetration. When she takes over, note how hard she's pushing and in what direction. Use that information next time during foreplay to get her there faster.
10. End with consistency
While variation is helpful during foreplay, repetition is a winner in the final stages of intercourse. When she's warmed up, you've figured out what's working and an orgasm is within reach, keep doing what you're doing at exactly the same speed and pressure.
“Women hate too much chopping and changing of techniques,” says Joni Frater, co-author of Love Her Right.
“It distracts us, and takes our arousal back to the starting blocks,” she adds.
How do you know when she has climaxed?
Everyone experiences orgasms differently, at different times. So there's no hard and fast rule for determining whether a woman you're attempting to satisfy has climaxed or whether she's faking an orgasm. Your best bet is to just ask her. This can encourage an open and judgement-free discussion about what's working for her and what isn't.
Reasons she might be having trouble orgasming
There are innumerable reasons why a woman might struggle to reach climax. Aside from an unsatisfying sexual experience, common culprits can include underlying health issues, certain medications, previous trauma, psychological and relationship factors. This can lead to significant shame, frustration and distress, and stressing about the situation doesn't make things any easier.
“The pressure to ‘come’ prevents many of us from reaching an orgasm because we are all up in our heads,” sexologist, coach and tantra practitioner, Juliet Allen, told Men's Health.
That being said, an orgasm isn't always essential.
“When we let go of the 'end goal' we are able to be more present,” Juliet adds. “So, I encourage people to not have achieving an orgasm as their be-all and end-all."