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Sex Ed: How Many Different Orgasms Are there?

If you have a vagina, chances are at some point in your life you’ve struggled with the elusive female orgasm. For over 25% of American women, it seems more likely that they’ll ride a unicorn than the pleasure wave of the big O. To complicate it further, conflicting research and information informs us how to get to that magical place of satisfaction. For years it was the G-spot, but that has been discredited and expanded to an entire G-zone. For some time it was purported that it was not possible for a woman to orgasm during intercourse....and the search continues. The latest word on the street is that there are multiple types of female orgasms, giving us women the opportunity to find out what works best for our unique body.

Since female sexuality was considered taboo for much of the 20th century, we are still uncovering all of the beautiful complexity of the female anatomy, and what causes us to feel that whole body ecstasy that is so readily available to men (damn them and their exposed pleasure sticks). The Journal of Sex Medicine conducted a study in 2013 that shed light on two different types of orgasm: The Vaginal and the Clitoral. During the study healthy female volunteers were stimulated externally as well as through penetration.

The findings from sonographic imaging during the study showed that different forms of stimulation to different anatomical parts of the body still lead to orgasming. Additionally, the viral video from Professor Barry Komisarek showing MRI images of a woman’s brain when orgasming suggests that different areas (80 different areas in fact) of the brain are activated depending on the place where a woman is stimulated.

The research on this hot topic continues, but the current widely accepted belief is that though it is difficult for many women to experience a vaginal orgasm, it is possible.

Some experts claim that there are actually 3 orgasms, the third being when orgasms from penetration and external clitoral stimulation simultaneously happen. The double whammy of orgasms, this is said to be the most enjoyable of all. Sound too good to be true? Though fairly uncommon, it’s not impossible, and the key to getting on this pleasure boat is devoting ample time to foreplay (something we're never opposed to). With effort, attention, and intention, anything is possible. Including a tandem, toe-tingling, I-see-stars orgasm.

There has also been argument in favor of a 4th orgasm: the anal O. Some women find attention to this area particularly arousing, however the truth stands that the female anatomy makes it impossible for women to experience a full physiological orgasm from anal stimulation. But don’t let that stop you - if it feels good then go for it. Who knows that you'll find.

At the end of a day, when the lights are off and the covers drawn, whether or not there are 1, 2, 3 or 10 different orgasms is not nearly as important as the perspective partners take when approaching sex. There is hyper-pressure put on orgasming that can easily make women feel abnormal and men incompetent if it doesn’t readily happen. Yet, the more you try to force an orgasm to happen, the less able the body is able to relax and the less likely it is that it will occur. Intimacy and pleasure are not exclusive to the presence of orgasm - vaginal, clitoral, or otherwise. What is more important is the focus on connection, sharing energy, emotion and passion with another. If the focus is locked on creating a whole experience and getting to know yourself and your partner rather than chasing a singular climax, what’s present is the happiness, beauty, and transcendent bliss of sex time after time.

And that may just be better than the big O after all.

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