Female orgasms have been the subject of a lot of debate—and with good reason. For one, no two people are the same, so it may be a bit hard to gauge and get an exact science on what causes some to have the big O every time they do the do, while others report never having had one their entire lives. The bright side is, because everyone’s body responds to stimuli differently, there are multiple ways to get to the finish line. Below, eight types of orgasms you should know about, because there are several ways of getting there.
8 Types of Orgasms You Should Know (Because There Are Different Ways of Getting *There*)
1. Clitoral orgasm
This is perhaps the most popular type of orgasm. To fully understand how you can get to the finish line via clitoral stimulation, you first have to understand it’s anatomy as so much of the pleasure for a person with a vagina hinges on the little magical button. “The ‘clitoral complex,’ as it is known, includes way more than what we see,” explains Dr. Nan Wise PhD, licensed psychotherapist, certified sex expert and relationship expert. “The external part is the glans/head, which is partially covered by a hood, analogous to the male foreskin. However, roughly four-fifths of the clitoris is submerged in the body, encircling the vagina. These internal parts include a shaft, (or ‘body’), legs and bulbs, all made up of erectile tissue.” Because so many parts of the mighty powerful clit are internal, you might get to the big O by indirectly stimulating it from within—and there several ways to do so as you’ll see. Keep in mind that because the clitoral hood connects with the labia (aka inner lips of the vulva), anything that moves the labia can also stimulate the clitoris. So feel free to explore down there and figure out what works for you.
2. Vaginal orgasm
Closely related to the clitoral orgasm, this type of orgasm can be achieved by stimulating the vagina via penetration. And there are several ways to get the job done—be it with fingers, a toy or penal penetration. The added bonus with vaginal orgasms is that they may also give way to clitoral orgasms as, again, vaginal stimulation often leads to indirect stimulation of the clit. Sometimes, this double-action leads to simultaneous orgasms, but more on that later. Because clitoral and vaginal stimulation are so closely intertwined due to their geography, it’s hard for some people to tell the difference, however, the sensations of each are quite different. “Women tend to report that orgasms elicited by stimulation focused on the clitoris feel intense, but more ‘localized,’” Dr. Wise explains. “Orgasms resulting from stimulation elicited by vaginal penetration (with the indirect stimulation of the clitoris), on the other hand, are experienced as more ‘deep and heaving.’”
3. G-Spot Orgasm
Perhaps no other topic has been highly debated as the existence of the G-spot. There are scientists on both ends, with some saying the Gräfenberg spot is 100 percent a thing, while others aren’t so convinced. (Some have even claimed it can be ruptured during childbirth, never to respond to stimuli again, kinda like a hymen). Still, those who believe in the existence of this mysterious little nerve believe that it can be found a few inches inside the vagina along the upper wall. Stimulation of this area can lead to ejaculation or squirting or both. Simply insert two fingers, massage the area using a “come hither” motion and see if any magic happens. (Remember, everyone is different, so if this doesn’t yield any results, find something that works for you.)
4. Cervical Orgasm
Though not as widely known as the G-spot orgasm, people report that the cervical orgasm, aka the C-spot orgasm, can be equally awe-inspiring. This type of orgasm occurs when the cervix is stimulated during deep penetration of the vagina. While clitoral orgasms feel localized and vaginal orgasms feel deep, cervical orgasms have been described as “a shower of stars,” starting from within the cervix, spreading to the abdomen, before radiating throughout the whole body. As glorious as that may sound, you also have to be a little careful when maneuvering this type of orgasm. “The cervix is part of the uterus, and it’s the part that opens up during childbirth,” the experts at Sex Coaching remind us. They continue, “While many people seem to be interested in the idea of cervix penetration, it is dangerous and something you should never attempt. The cervix only opens wide enough for penetration during childbirth, then quickly resumes its tightly closed position. Cervix penetration at home can lead to infection, a torn uterus, or far worse consequences.” That means late-term pregnant people should definitely skip out on this one.
5. Blended Orgasm
“The term for orgasms resulting from stimulation of a number of genital regions is called ‘blended orgasms,’ and they are reported to be fairly spectacular,” says Dr. Wise. As we previously alluded, these types of orgasms come to fruition when both your vagina and clitoris reach climax at the same time. While it can seem a bit intimidating to try and accomplish a blended orgasm, a little bit of patience and some assistance may help you get there. While riding solo, you can use your fingers to stimulate your vagina first, then a toy for your clit or vice versa. (You can also nab a toy that does both). With a partner, the choice is up to you—they can use their fingers, mouth, penetration or a toy to get the job done.
6. Nipple Orgasm
Because the body is an endless hot bed of pleasure and erogenous zones, it is possible to have an orgasm via nipple stimulation. In fact, a 2006 survey found that 82 percent of women and 52 percent of men responded that a little TLC to the nipple area significantly enhanced sexual arousal. People who’ve experienced nipplegasms have reported that they range from “small and sigh-like to the bigger toe-curling variety,” says Dr. Wise. To achieve one, she recommends you do Kegels while stimulating your nipples. “In addition to the sexual health benefits of strengthening the pelvic floor through a regular practice of Kegels, pulling up on the floor of the pelvis (using a similar action to that used to stop the flow of urine midstream) and rhythmically contracting the PC muscles during nipple stimulation can enhance sexual pleasure and increase the probability of enjoying a nipplegasm or any other kind of ‘gasm’ for that matter,” she advises. Happy Kegel-ing, folks!
When they said exercise could potentially boost your libido, we hardly thought they meant during the workout session. But alas, a study by the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation confirmed that women can actually have an orgasm while sweating it out at the gym—a phenomena scientists dubbed the exercise-induced orgasm or coregasm. “The most common exercises associated with exercise-induced orgasm were abdominal exercises, climbing poles or ropes, biking/spinning and weightlifting," said Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center. "These data are interesting because they suggest that orgasm is not necessarily a sexual event, and they may also teach us more about the bodily processes underlying women's experiences of orgasm." As if we need another reason to go to the gym.
8. Anal Orgasm
Anal orgasms have mostly been associated with people who have penises because the prostate is located back there. But scientists have discovered that people with vaginas can also experience anal orgasms because the muscle is packed with nerves. One of those nerves—the pudendal nerve—carries sensation to and from your perineum, reaching your vagina and vulva. So a little backdoor action can, you guessed it, lead to indirect stimulation of the clit. In fact, Uproxx posted a study by the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, which showed that out of all the sex acts women and men participated in, only anal sex came close to making women reach climax as much as men. Partner masturbation came in at roughly 63 percent in women, compared to 90 percent of men. Oral was at 80 percent for women and 91 percent for men. But anal sex gave a whopping 94 percent of the female respondents an orgasm, while the men were at 100 percent.