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  • Writer's pictureHannah Oliver

5 Things You Didn't Know About Orgasms

By Hannah Oliver, a sex, gender and culture writer from Sheffield, UK, currently living in Toronto, Canada and founder of The Kink Klub on Instagram.

Orgasms are essential. But how much do we really know about them?

In a 2022 US study whilst 95 percent of men reported almost or always orgasming during sex, only 25 percent of women reported the same. Whilst we can pin this on several factors (cough: an ingrained, misogynistic disregard for female pleasure), one of the largest is undoubtedly a lack of sufficient sex education for people of all genders.

For an overwhelming majority of people with vaginas, orgasms are like a £100 note: we know they exist, and we pretty much know what they’re supposed to look like, but we come across them so rarely that we basically never look for them, let alone expect them.

But also much like a £100 note, our pleasure is of the utmost value. So, it’s time to debunk some orgasm myths and centralise our sexual satisfaction - if not for ourselves, then for feminism.

1. Variety is the Spice of Orgasms

By now, most of us are familiar with the idea that vagina-owners are capable of having both clitoral and vaginal orgasms; however, the beautiful extent of the orgasm rainbow doesn’t stop there. 

Whilst 60% of female orgasms do occur due to clitoral stimulation, with vaginal and clitoral-vaginal orgasms proving to be strong runners-up, the human body is also capable of experiencing G-spot orgasms, anal orgasms, mental orgasms, nipple orgasms, and blended orgasms of all kinds. The key to experiencing alternative orgasms is comfort: make sure, whether you’re experimenting with a trusted partner or a tried and tested toy, that you’re aware of your own boundaries, and are comfortable with these new experiences. It might take time - but trust me, it will be worth it.

2. Your Brain Does Most of the Heavy Lifting

Whilst the physical sensations of an orgasm are felt primarily in our erogenous zones, our brains are where our orgasms really come to climax. During orgasm, our brains release a cocktail of neurotransmitters including dopamine, oxytocin, and serotonin, which are responsible for feelings of pleasure, bonding, and overall wellbeing. One 2017 study highlighted the importance of brain engagement when reaching orgasm, finding that brain activity gradually increased leading up to orgasm, peaked at orgasm, and then decreased.after orgasm.

But how can I engage my brain during sex?

This is an important question - and an issue that many people struggle with, especially those living with ADHD, PTSD, anxiety disorders, and other mental complications. In order to fully use your brain to improve your pleasure, you can try practicing more mindful sex - think about your breathing, be open with your partner, and maybe even consider involving elements of tantric sex, as long as you feel comfortable. 

3. Orgasms are Natural Pain-Killers

It’s fairly common knowledge that orgasms can relieve period cramps - however, you don’t just have to cash-in your orgasm prescription once a month.

During orgasm, your body releases endorphins which can both block pain and enhance the parts of our brain responsible for pleasure. This transforms orgasms into natural painkillers which can be used to help alleviate headaches, aching joints, stomach pains and many other types of discomfort. 

4. Orgasms Can C*m When You Least Expect It

Orgasms are like the mysteriously attractive lead in a 2000’s rom-com: sometimes, they come when you least expect it.

This phenomenon was highlighted in a recent TikTok trend in which women shared their experiences of ‘gymgasm’, or ‘coregasm’, orgasm brought on by particularly intensive gym workouts. Though researchers aren’t exactly sure of the science behind this, some theories link shaky and tired abdominal muscles to sexual stimulation. Others suggest that the stimulation of pelvic floor muscles during exercises such as crunches, spinning, and yoga can increase blood flow to the genital region. Tired and strained muscles are also contributing factors to the birthgasm, a rare but real phenomenon in which women climax during childbirth, although admittedly research on this is slim.

Another, more common type of unexpected orgasm exists in the form of wet dreams. On average, 8% of dreams have some sexual content, and many of us will experience at least one wet dream in our lifetime. Whether purposely induced or completely unexpected, these wet dreams act as a reminder of the powerful connection between physical sensations and psychological arousal.

5. Orgasms Age Like a Fine Wine

According to a 2018 study, whilst frequency of sexual activity may decline with age, overall sexual satisfaction typically increases.

A study by the University of Manchester found that 85% of sexually active women between the ages of 60 and 69 were satisfied with their sex lives, whilst 90% of those in the 79%+ group reported the same.

Whilst much of this can be chalked up to experience, this increase may also be due to an increased confidence, and improved ability to communicate with partners, and a heightened understanding of exactly what you need.

Follow @hannaholiverwriter on Instagram

Overall, orgasms are a complicated, but ultimately very important, aspect of our individual sexualities. Laced with physical, emotional, and even therapeutic benefits, understanding our orgasms can help us in turn to better understand our holistic health and wellbeing.

When it comes to orgasms, trying to understand all of your body’s quirks, intricacies, and individual requirements is enough to make you want to scream - but isn’t that exactly what we’re looking for?

Find out more at @thekinkklub on Instagram

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