Let’s face it: sex without an orgasm feels like unfinished business. And while it’s only natural to rely on fail-proof methods to reach that pinnacle of pleasure again and again, it can get boring if you don’t mix it up in bed.
The good news is, there are at least seven different types of orgasm. The better news? Women are capable of experiencing every single one of them, says Dr Betty Dodson, American sexologist and author of Orgasms for Two: The Joy of Partnersex.
Here’s the lowdown on each of these orgasms, and which one to aim for depending on your mood.
“I’M SO STRESSED OUT!”
GO FOR: A tension orgasm
TELL ME MORE: You achieve this with direct and intense stimulation while keeping your body tense and muscles tight, and holding your breath. It offers an intense build-up followed by a sudden release.
HOW TO GET THERE: Tense the same muscles you’d squeeze to stop the flow of urine midstream (the way you do your Kegels). Working the pubococcygeus (PC) muscle increases blood flow to the genitals and gets you more aroused, according to health information website WedMD.
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: “I usually squeeze my PC and inner thigh muscles, and take a deep breath when I know I’m about to climax. This method works best when I’m on top. The orgasm usually feels very intense, but only lasts several seconds.” – Jane*
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: 1 out of 5. We couldn’t ask for a better way to end a tough day at work – it’s easy and lets us blow off steam. Besides, it works for a lunchtime quickie or steamy make-up sex after a fight, too. Mmm!
“I’M FEELING LAAA-ZZZY…”
GO FOR: A relaxation orgasm
TELL ME MORE: It comes from deep relaxation during sexual stimulation, where you aim to release tension from your muscles and let go of control.
HOW TO GET THERE: Let your man do all the work. Try stopping all movement just as the orgasmic build-up begins and go completely limp, say Dr Alex Comfort and Susan Quilliam, authors of The New Joy of Sex. Ask him to kiss you all over or give you a massage to help you loosen up.
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: “This type of orgasm is most easily achieved through clitoral stimulation and lasts about five to 10 seconds. I usually lie on my back while my man performs oral sex. It feels wonderful not having to do any work.” – Cheryl*
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: 2 out of 5. Lying back and letting go can be the easiest thing in the world – as long as you’re in the right frame of mind. Sunday mornings, a lazy weekend or a romantic vacation will be the best times to try this – when work is the last thing on your mind and you’re all set to be pampered by your man.
“I’M FEELING INDECISIVE.”
GO FOR: A combination orgasm (also known as a “blended” orgasm)
TELL ME MORE: If you excite different pleasure points on your body (your clitoris and G-spot included), Dr Dodson says you might enjoy a combination orgasm. It’s basically a clitoral and G-spot orgasm in one.
HOW TO GET THERE: Use a variety of actions such as clitoral stimulation, G-spot stimulation, PC muscle contractions, pelvic thrusting and breathing out loud during foreplay and intercourse to achieve this orgasm, says Dr Dodson.
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: “I usually employ a range of different stimuli in bed to achieve this. What usually works is when my man and I take our time during sex. During intercourse, we might try two or three positions to really build up the tension. This type of orgasm is a total body experience and lasts at least five seconds.” – Jane
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: 3 out of 5. We reckon this orgasm is achievable, and we like that it covers all the bases with a little bit of this and a little bit of that – and don’t be surprised if all those little bits add up to one big bang.
“I’M IN THE MOOD FOR ADVENTURE.”
GO FOR: A G-spot orgasm
TELL ME MORE: Achieved by stimulating your G-spot – an area typically a few inches inside a woman’s vagina. Beckon towards your belly with your fingers to look for it.
HOW TO GET THERE: Any position which maximises pressure to the G-spot increases the chance for such an orgasm, say Dr Comfort and Quilliam. Get your man to enter you from behind. Then, arch your back and widen your legs. You could also try lying down, and putting your feet on his chest and arching your pelvis as he pushes into you.
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: “The first position felt awkward, probably because he was much taller than me. For added comfort, we knelt on the bed and I held on to the frame for support. The second position was more pleasurable for me. I also liked that my orgasm was prolonged because of the G-spot stimulation.” – Jane
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: 4 out of 5. This is a great way to try new positions and spice up a routine sex life. It might be challenging to find your G-spot, but we guarantee you’ll have lots of fun along the way. Having an orgasm with this method is an euphoric bonus.
“I WANT IT ALL – I’M GREEDY!”
GO FOR: Multiple orgasms
TELL ME MORE: Kind of self-explanatory, right? It’s about climaxing more than once during the same sexual encounter.
HOW TO GET THERE: Dr Rachel Carlton Abrams, co-author of The Multi-Orgasmic Woman, has several tips. First, focus on foreplay as women climax more easily through clitoral stimulation from oral sex. Even if you don’t reach orgasm during foreplay, your body will still be prepped for multiple climaxes. After your first, take a mini-break to let your nether regions cool off for a bit. To get your second orgasm, try positions that stimulate your G-spot and get him to touch you all over – women are more likely to have additional orgasms if they have several body parts stimulated at the same time.
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: “My man made me climax once through oral sex. Then, we tried the reverse cowgirl position. This really stimulated my G-spot. I sat upright to allow deeper penetration. I had an orgasm soon after and it felt fantastic!” – Cheryl
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: 4 out of 5. Realistically, it isn’t that easy. Still, you have nothing to lose. Give it a shot when you’re in a randy mood and have lots of time to kill.
“I’M NOT IN THE MOOD FOR COMPANY.”
GO FOR: A pressure orgasm
TELL ME MORE: You can go solo doing this one. All you need to do is lean heavily against or on something, and rock back and forth or squeeze your legs together.
HOW TO GET THERE: Try crossing your legs, and tightening and relaxing your thigh muscles until you get an orgasm. For some women, rocking their torso back and forth increases the sensation during the pre-orgasm build-up.
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: “This orgasm is fleeting compared to the more sustained sensations I get from sex. It feels quite similar to my man performing oral sex on me.” – May*
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: 4.5 out of 5. We’ve heard of women reaching orgasm when horse-riding, cycling or working out at the gym (exercises that work your quads and inner thighs do the trick, apparently), so it doesn’t sound too farfetched. Still, we think it’s tough for the average woman to climax this way. Only the lucky (and athletic) ones among us might find it a piece of cake.
“I’M UP FOR A CHALLENGE!”
GO FOR: A fantasy or mental orgasm
TELL ME MORE: Let your imagination run wild. And we do mean wild, because this type of orgasm is apparently achievable without any form of physical touch.
HOW TO GET THERE: Read a steamy novel with lots of juicy bits or try hot phone sex with your partner – just make sure nobody’s eavesdropping!
WHAT IT FEELS LIKE: “This orgasm feels like I’m climaxing from both clitoral stimulation and penetrative sex. It’s very brief, though – about one or two seconds – but I like that I can climax without lifting a finger. But I don’t think every woman can orgasm this way easily.” – Cheryl
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: 5 out of 5. “Is this for real?” was what we thought when we first heard about it. Researchers at Rutgers University in the US have found that it’s possible to climax purely by fantasising – and that the physiological effects of a mental orgasm are the same as a physical one. Even Lady Gaga told New York magazine that she climaxes this way. Still, unless you have an exceptionally vivid imagination or a really high sex drive, it might be tough to pull off.
*Not their real names
This story was originally published in the March 2011 issue of Her World.