The "Vaginal" Orgasm

It has been a long-time attempt to convince women they should not only need penetration during sex to have an orgasm but that the vaginal orgasm by penetration is the crown jewel of sexual satisfaction. With such expectations filling men and women’s minds, feelings of inadequacy, frustration, and just plain being pissed off occurs. Sound familiar? Forcing this model of sex doesn't help anyone because penetration just isn’t what most women need to have an orgasm. Although penetration alone works for some, it doesn’t work for a lot of women. To help provide some explanation, consider the following studies:

The Vaginal Orgasm

In an effort to answer many questions, including the answer to the question, “Are clitoral and vaginal orgasms truly separate anatomic entities?” Masters and Johnson studied hundreds of men’s and women’s sexual responses, the results of which are in their bookHuman Sexual Response. The result of their efforts led them to conclude that, “From a biological point of view, the answer to this question is an unequivocal No.” (65).

Wait, WHAT?! There is no vaginal orgasm? Nope.

Instead, what differs is the variation in the direct or indirect stimulation of the clitoris, which then causes a variation in the duration, intensity, and subjective feeling of an orgasm. Different types of touch and duration of that touch cause different orgasmic experiences for women. For example, an orgasm from a vibrator on your clitoris might feel different from the orgasm you feel when your partner’s penis is inside of you, your clitoris is rubbing against his pubic bone and he’s pulling your hair. Orgasms can feel deep, superficial, dull, intense...anything under the sun depending on what you’re doing and how YOU interpret the feeling. Further, an orgasm that comes quickly might feel different from one that takes longer because of the differences in muscle tension and blood buildup. Essentially, variation in stimulation will also cause different feelings of orgasm for women but an orgasm is an orgasm is an orgasm.

Orgasm From Penetration

Not only is there not a vaginal OR clitoral orgasm (but simply variations in orgasmic feeling based on where the stimulation originates), expecting all women to orgasm through penetration alone is also pretty darn unfair. According to The Hite Report, a study of over three thousand woman conducted by Shere Hite, only 30% of women can have an orgasm through penetration. The study also found that half of that 30% also needed simultaneous clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm through intercourse. That means the majority of women rely on clitoral stimulation to orgasm. 

What’s more, in a study where 20,000 orgasms were monitored by sexologists William Hartman and Marilyn Fithian, it was found that it takes the average woman 20-30 minutes of constant, sustained stimulation to have an orgasm. With the four minutes of only penetration a woman might currently have to work with, it’s no wonder many are left feeling unsatisfied. That’s just enough time to get the blood flowing and your mind cleared from your hectic day. 

What Does This Mean for You?

First, don’t downplay the orgasms you are having because they aren’t the earth-shaking, five-in-a-row ones you think you are supposed to have. Love the awesomeness that is each orgasm, no matter how small or big or what stimulation is takes to have one. What’s more, sexual pleasure doesn’t always have to be about “achieving” orgasm. You can simply want to feel some pleasure but not want an orgasm. Or perhaps you aren’t in the mindset to have one. Whatever it may be, orgasm shouldn’t be the determining factor or end-all-be-all in your pleasure, but rather a part of your overall pleasure experience. 

Also, as a woman if you want to have sex and an orgasm during sex, you will probably need to do more things than rely on penetration alone. For instance, you can be on top so you can grind your clitoris on his pubic bone. Or, you or your partner can also stimulate your clitoris with a hand or vibrator (yes it can be awkward at first but practice helps!). And keep in mind orgasms most certainly don’t have to happen at the same time. If they do, great. If not, great. It’s a rare occurrence for most, and an exhausting goal to try and reach. The main thing is to have fun and focus on pleasure, however that comes about for you.

Take Aways:

  • The vaginal orgasm isn’t better than a clitoral orgasm.
  • An orgasm is an orgasm is an orgasm and variations exist. 
  • Penetration during sex alone doesn’t work for most women so more direct clitoral stimulation will likely need to happen before, during, or after sex for you to be satisfied.