If there’s one thing most everyone agrees on: orgasms rock! But if you listen to the media, you might think that people with vulvas never have them. And, that people with penises can’t have multiple orgasms. We’re here to prove that wrong with our guide to being multi-orgasmic.
Multi-orgasmic means different things to different people
For some it’s having more than one in a short period of time. For others it’s a one right after the other, creating what feels like a never-ending climax with dips and peaks. That being said, here’s what we know from research:
5-43% of women say they experience multiple orgasms
Why the big range? Sex research is notoriously difficult. Like with any survey, the folks who respond usually fall into one of two categories: they’re “good” at the survey topic and want to share or they struggle with it and hope for guidance.
Survey participants also tend to choose whichever answers they think the surveyors want them to choose. It’s worth noting, this is a subconscious process – aka they aren’t actively thinking, “Hmmm…what would the makers of this survey want me to put?” Our brains just do it!
When you mix in the taboo of talking about sex, all of these factors get heightened.
In theory, anyone can be multi-orgasmic
It isn’t an innate ability or something only people with vulvas can do. For more information on having multiple orgasms for people with penises, check out The Multi-Orgasmic Man.
That being said, it’s often easier to experience multiple orgasms for some people and harder for others (regardless of gender or genitals). It can help to talk to friends and your partner(s), if you have one, and ask what works for them! Make a list, talk to your partner(s) about what they’re open to and not, and start experimenting! Don’t stress if the first time doesn’t work out or feels awkward—just try, try again.
In reality, many factors impact your ability to climax
- Certain medications (anti-depressants and hormonal birth control commonly have sexual side effects)
- Some health conditions (e.g. pelvic pain, fibroids, hypermobility, chronic pain)
- Stress – in your life and/or relationship
- Leaving enough time for foreplay
- Knowing what turns you on and what turns you off
- Using stimulation gets you there
Plus, some folks simply don’t care about being multi-orgasmic. It’s just not important.
The orgasm gap exists…but it might not be as bad as you think
The other part of Laura’s question has to do with women who struggle to orgasm. Yes there’s an orgasm gap and yes, some women have trouble reaching climax.
Here’s what we know, in heterosexual relationships, women orgasm less frequently than men. We also know that the majority of people with vulvas need something besides vaginal penetration. This tells you that they aren’t getting the type of stimulation they need. It doesn’t mean that women can’t orgasm or even that most of them struggle with it!
There’s also the fact that many people expect orgasms to be mind-blowing all the time. But really, orgasms exist on a spectrum, from whisper-quiet to explosive.
Want to try for multiple orgasms?
Edging is your BFF
The basic premise is this: you bring yourself just to the edge of orgasm…and then slow down, pull back, or pause. Rinse and repeat. We have a full guide to it right here.
Prefer a more hands-on approach?
Check out OMGYes. This website features honest videos, animations, and how-tos that will teach you new techniques for more intimacy and pleasure. Best of all? It’s rooted in revolutionary research on women’s pleasure.
Read more: How to Get What You Want in Bed
STAY IN TOUCH
During the refractory period, keep the sexy talk and touch going, while avoiding areas that are too sensitive. This might look like switching to a sensual massage, sharing an erotic fantasy, watching porn together, letting them pleasure you—the list goes on and on! The goal is to keep letting their brain and body know that it’s still sexy time.
Read more: New Things to Try In Bed: Sensation Play
HONOR THE REFRACTORY PERIOD
After orgasm, everyone experiences what’s known as a refractory period. This is a time when getting aroused and having another orgasm is damn near impossible. How long the refractory period lasts, and how exactly it shows, up varies. Some people can’t get another erection. Others are sensitive to any touch. Some recover quickly. Others need a nap! Get to know your lover’s refractory period and what they need to help them stay in the mood.
DON’T WORRY ABOUT ERECTIONS or wetness
Fun fact: people with penises do not need to have an erection to experience orgasm. Similarly, they don’t need to ejaculate to experience orgasm. The three processes mostly happen together but are, technically, separate. If they recover quickly, great. If not, no need to worry about them getting hard again.
And if things start to get dry, just add some lube!
USE THE BACKDOOR
For people with a prostate, that may be the key to unlocking their multi-orgasmic potential. You can stimulate the prostate indirectly from outside the body or directly through the anus. Check out our guide to the prostate here.
Butt plugs, especially those with a downward curve, are a great option if you don’t want to use your hands or to help your lover advance from fingers to larger toys.
FOCUS ON PLEASURE, NOT ORGASM
For many people, focusing on orgasm makes it harder to experience them! If that starts to happen, shift the focus to both of you experiencing as much pleasure as possible, in the many ways your bodies can.
SET THE SCENE
Before you even get going, take some time to connect. Sit facing each other on the bed and take some deep breaths together while you look into each other’s eyes. If you feel called, name your intentions and hopes for this sexy time sesh.
Read more: Mindful Sex Tips
Your ability to experience multiple orgasms (or not) is morally neutral
While yes, it can be something exciting and that you want to work towards, it is neither the most common nor necessary to having an intimate, exciting, and fulfilling sex life that lasts.