What Happens During Orgasm?


So how does the body respond during orgasm?

In the 1950s Masters and Johnson discovered that both men and women experience a similar pattern of response in the body during sexual stimulation and orgasm.

The sexual response cycle is divided into four distinct phases starting with the arousal phase, also known as the excitement phase, followed by the plateau phase, after which comes the moment of orgasm or climax, and the final phase is the resolution or recovery phase.

But despite the fact that sexual responsivity in both men and women is so apparently similar, there are some major differences.

For example, in general men have a much shorter plateau phase than women, who may hover on the edge of orgasm for quite some time before they finally tip over into climax.

As we've already mentioned, it is possible for men to extend the duration of the plateau phase so that they can become multi-orgasmic, but in general the plateau phase is quite short for men: a man knows that he is going to ejaculate moments before it happens, and it is then usually inevitable that he does so.

Men who wish to stop premature ejaculation have almost no warning they are about to come - in other words they spend almost no time in the plateau phase, but move rapidly from excitement to orgasm.

Masters and Johnson actually showed that a woman's clitoris is just as sensitive as a man's penis and can produce just as much sexual arousal.

The reason a woman finds it more difficult to reach orgasm is that she requires more sustained and continuous stimulation of her clitoris than a man does of his penis.

In particular, this has implications for couples who wish to achieve female orgasm during intercourse, because the clitoris sustains very little stimulation during male thrusting.

Unless, that is, the couple adjust their positions so that the man can stimulate the woman's clitoris manually or they use the coital alignment technique, which is designed to provide additional pressure on the clitoris during intercourse.

Distinct similarities exist between male and female responses during sexual arousal: these include the buildup of tension in the muscles, an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, a faster rate of respiration, and sex flush that can cover some or all of the chest.woman enjoying orgasm

For a man, orgasm occurs when the tension that has developed in his body combines with the nervous input from stimulation of his penis to produce a level of nervous system arousal sufficiently intense to trigger the ejaculatory response.

Just before he ejaculates, there are rhythmic contractions of the muscles of his pelvis, which include the muscles around the prostate gland, and those around his internal sexual organs such as the seminal vesicles and the epididymes.

Semen is emitted into the base of the penis, then ejaculated forcefully through contractions of the pelvic musculature. The initial contractions are usually more powerful than the subsequent ones, but there may be no connection between the strength of the contractions and the pleasure that the man experiences.

Indeed, men who are into whole-body orgasm may find that they experience pleasurable sensations that go on for sometime after their ejaculation is complete.

In women, orgasm is more elusive and harder to attain, even when they have achieved a high level of sexual arousal.

Sometimes this is because a woman has been distracted by some external stimulus such as the doorbell or noises outside the bedroom.

On other occasions it's because her partner hasn't achieved the rhythmic level of continuous stimulation to her clitoris necessary for orgasm to occur; in some cases it's simply because a woman isn't aroused enough to get her to the level of sexual arousal at which she can tip into orgasm.

Putting effort into reaching orgasm can be very unhelpful for a woman it's a common experience for women to find the more they try to reach orgasm, the more elusive it becomes. It's almost like orgasm arrives by a process of relaxing into the sensations and allowing it to happen actually.

As we've mentioned, the majority of women are unable to reach orgasm through vaginal stimulation alone, at least during sexual intercourse.

When a man is skilled in stimulating a woman's G spot with his fingers (or, if he has considerable staying power, with his erect penis rubbing on her G spot during intercourse), he can take a woman to a very different kind of orgasm - the G spot or vaginal orgasm which we shall discuss later on this website.

Of course, there's no reason why woman who knows her body intimately can't do this for herself, although G spot orgasms tend to be the product of a relationship with a partner where a woman opens up not just physically to him (or her), but also emotionally and perhaps spiritually.

During the course of a normal orgasm, women often report that they experience warmth in the pelvis, followed by intense sensations of throbbing muscles in the pelvic and vaginal region. At its peak this tension suddenly explodes into rhythmic contractions around the anus, the vagina, and the uterus.

Both men and women tend to lose control over their voluntary muscles during orgasm, so that their bodies may contract rhythmically or spasmodically, they may utter unintelligible cries, and they may lose control of their facial expressions.

These are involuntary contractions in the musculature of the body whose function seems to be to release the blood which has engorged the pelvic region during the buildup to arousal. In both men and women if orgasmic release does not take place the sensations of engorgement in the pelvic region can be both uncomfortable and emotionally disappointing.

Faking orgasmwoman faking orgasm

It's a truism that many women fake orgasm because they want to please their man.

It's a disappointing indication of a lack of trust within a relationship, or perhaps a sign that a man's ego is too sensitive for him to face the fact that he's not going to be able to bring a woman to orgasm through intercourse.

The problem is that once a woman has started faking orgasm it's extremely hard for her to admit that she's been doing so: so the golden rule is never fake it.

Honest and open communication is a far better route to achieving sexual satisfaction for both partners.

All that is necessary is that the woman should be able to explain what turns her on, and what she needs to get climax, and the man should then be able to help her get there.

If the man needs to last longer in bed he can get the appropriate information here: techniques to control premature ejaculation - a complete resource for men who come quickly.

Multiple orgasms

Sometimes the resolution phase in woman is very short, and this means that a woman may be capable of achieving multiple orgasms within a single session of sexual play.

(Although it's conventionally said that men are incapable of multiple orgasm, it is possible for men to learn to separate orgasm and ejaculation, and once they've done so, they are able to experience multiple orgasms without ejaculation.)

It seems that the woman's orgasmic capacity is potentially almost unlimited, but there's a problem in making that statement - it can cause women to feel pressured to perform sexually in a way that mirrors the experience of men, too often felt pressured to perform in satisfying woman.

My own observation is that women who orgasm powerfully and for a prolonged period of time are much less likely to want or need multiple orgasms within one session of sex.

What this points to is a long slow buildup of arousal and a powerful climax induced by the right type of stimulation at the right time; knowing your partner intimately can be a real bonus, and it's one of the reasons why casual relationships may not be as satisfying as long-term relationships.

There has probably been more tendentious nonsense talked and written about the respective natures and roles of the two sexes than about any other subject.

What is particularly surprising is the amount of material that the subject has generated considering that any scientific attempt to define masculinity and femininity is virtually impossible because all the descriptive qualities have their basis in tradition and culture.

The concepts of masculinity and femininity are not the same as male and female, but are often used as if they were.

The act of the female being penetrated by the male has given rise to femaleness being equated with passiveness, maleness with activity. And because of mankind's inherent belief in the duality of nature, all passive elements have been engendered female, all active ones male. Worse still, female was also negative, dark, evil. Likewise the concepts of gender have become so deeply rooted in language that they are taken for granted in the same way that one takes it for granted that the earth is round except that the latter statement can be verified.

There is nothing "natural" about a woman being passive and yielding - in fact childbirth, woman's "natural" function, is quite the opposite. But from infancy children have been molded into these predetermined roles.

Girls were discouraged from boisterous play and taught to be "ladylike," unambitious, and marriageable.

Boys on the other hand were encouraged to be as active as possible, but also to gain the strength to take on all responsibility. Any departure by either sex has been treated as deviancy.

Yet historically there is no evidence that women are naturally the weaker sex. Female vulnerability was a trait neither valued nor encouraged by poorer communities because it was a liability.

Socially only the rich could afford a lady. And there have existed matriarchies and matrilineal societies as well as patriarchies and patrilineal orders.

The roles ascribed to the sexes reflected the order, so we should bear it in mind that what is so often termed "natural" - by implication unalterable, divine, and self validating should in fact be called "cultural".

We can then question its value more readily without fear of infringing laws of science.

One of the most enlightened views of modern psychology is that all human characteristics, including the traditionally ascribed masculine and feminine ones, are present in all human beings, but in different proportions in each individual.

This means that the complementary sex roles need not be associated with gender, nor should the reversals and exchanges of traditional roles put a person's basic sexuality in jeopardy.

In her science fiction novel, The Left Hand of Darkness (1973), Ursula Le Gum imagines a distant world named Winter where the inhabitants are hermaphroditic but sexually neutral except for a few days in each month.

When a sexual encounter occurs one partner becomes actively male and the other actively female, but neither knows which it will be in advance, so either may get pregnant.

It is the utopia of unisex, and when the first visitor from Earth goes there he writes in his report:

"A man wants his virility regarded, a woman wants her femininity appreciated, however indirect or subtle the indications of regard and appreciation. On Winter they will not exist. One is respected and judged only as a human being. It is an appalling experience." The deliberate irony recognizes the underlying truth. In human beings the fulfillment of their sex roles can become confused with the expression of their sexuality and their sense of personal identity.



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Updated: June 3 2016