At almost every workshop, I hear some version of, “What does an orgasm feel like?”
Sometimes, the person asking isn’t quite sure they’ve had an orgasm and craves clarification – did that “build up and then… nothing” count? Others express confusion that their orgasms feel different during partner sex- is that normal? And why? Still others mention how they sometimes experience super powerful orgasms but other times feel disappointed. The simple answer to all of these Qs is YES. The more complex truth is this:
Orgasms come in all different intensities, from whisper-quiet to earth-shattering.
That’s right: not all orgasms feel the same! Some nights you’ll be left wondering, “Did I climax?” while other times your whole body is engaged and you roll over and pass out immediately.
They’re all orgasms and they’re all amazing.
Here in the States however, we’re surrounded by a very masculine model of sexuality. Therefore the answer to “what does an orgasm feel like?” is based on three false truths:
- You should orgasm every time you have sex.
- Every one of those orgasms should be completely mind-blowing and amazing.
- If you aren’t having an orgasm something is wrong with you or your partner(s).
None of this is true.
You don’t need to experience orgasm every time you have sex.
Sometimes the orgasm just. isn’t. there. It doesn’t mean you aren’t enjoying yourself or experiencing pleasure, only that you aren’t having an orgasm. That’s it! For some women, having an orgasm isn’t even all that important. Maybe you are just tired or in need of some serious cuddling but don’t mind a little sexy time along the way. The point is: you might come, you might not, and how much it matters is up to you.
You can climax and not realize it.
Every orgasm is not going to be mind-blowing, out-of-this world amazing.
Sadly that only happens in romance novels.
When you broaden your understanding of what your orgasms feel like, though, you’ll recognize them more often. Reading this is step one. Next, focus on the sensations leading up to your orgasm (or that nothing described above) to see what’s there. Ask yourself not, “what does an orgasm feel like?” but rather “what do my orgasms feel like?” Intentionally “look” for them and see what you find! Then you can focus on making your orgasms stronger and longer.
There’s (most likely) nothing wrong with you or your partner.
This is a common problem that most likely doesn’t have anything to do with you or your partner(s). Are you spending a lot of time on foreplay? Are you asking for and doing the things you know turn you on? Are you fantasizing?
If so, keep at it. If not, start there!
Your partner isn’t lacking in some secret skill and you aren’t broken. There are so many reasons why women struggle to orgasm and though sometimes this includes the people involved, many times it doesn’t
So, what does an orgasm feel like, really?
My favorite definition of orgasm (from Emily Nagoski’s Come As You Are) is a “release of sexual tension.” That may be more explosive or gentler than expected. Regardless, yes, it’s still an orgasm! When you’re open to enjoying the full range of orgasms, you’ll realize that while it might not be what you expect, it feels delicious no matter what!
Want to learn more about Orgasms? Book an All About Orgasm workshop!