Orgasm, the big O, climax… we all know what it is, but not everybody wants to talk about it. As women, we need to be able to talk about stigmatized subjects like the orgasm, because believe it or not, they’re pretty important (and pretty awesome). Whether you’re a seasoned O-pro or have yet to experience your first time, we talked to some experts to explain seven things you probably didn’t know about orgasms.
1. You don't always need genital stimulation to reach climax.
Some women have been able to reach orgasm from just a simple knee touch or massage. Spontaneous orgasms during such activities are often related to increased blood flow to the genitals and vibration that stimulates the clitoris. According to Kimberley Chestnut, M.A., M.Ed., Ph.D., Director for Student Health Services at Temple University, “The Vagas nerve is the spinal cord destination that allows for orgasm without genital stimulation," she says. "There are actually three spinal destinations that allow for the experience of orgasm: pudendal nerve, pelvic-hypogastric nerve plexus, and vagas nerve." Basically, while it may not be ideal for everyone, it's possible.
That’s right ladies. As afraid of commitment as many of us are, it has its perks. A recent survey from the Kinsey Institute noted that women are two times more likely to climax when they are in a relationship as opposed to a casual hookup. Dr. Tucker says, “Marriage, with all of its trials, leads to the most satisfying sex as couples are committed to working out emotional and sexual issues within a framework of trust and longevity.” So if you’re looking to the future, just remember that commitment is sexy. Guys, you too.
4. An orgasm a day keeps the doctor away...?
Safe sex, as well as masturbation, are good for you! Studies show that reaching climax can help relieve cramps, alleviate stress, boost the immune system, relieve pain and so much more. See ya, Advil! In addition, the New York Times showed that a study released by the British Medical Journal says there's a strong correlation between orgasms and mortality rates, and those who orgasm two times a week or more can add up to eight years on to their life.
5. Half as many women have orgasms when they have sex compared to men.
And up to 10 percent of women are actually anorgasmic, meaning that they can’t reach climax. Some people do it on purpose; they resort to faking an orgasm, whether they’re trying to please their S.O. or just get back to doing their homework. Dr. Tucker says, “There are many spiritual, physical, emotional and mental reasons a woman can be anorgasmic. Most women don't consistently have orgasms with vaginal penetration alone." She also says that orgasm habits can change with age, medical issues or based on medications you're taking. "If you're happy with the climax of your sexual activities, there's no need for concern. However, if one is concerned by lack of orgasm or the intensity of your orgasms, consult your doctor about anorgasmia," Dr. Tucker says.