Tag Archives: Orgasm

What’s The Difference Between G-Spot And Clitoral Orgasms?

A couple of weeks ago I emailed Dr. Justin Lehmiller, a Harvard Psychology professor who’s blog The Psychology Of Human Sexuality is one of my top reads every week. I asked him a question about women’s ability to orgasm and he was awesome enough to post the question and his response on his blog this week on his “Sex Question Friday” segment. Here’s what I asked and his response:

I know that some women can only experience clitoral orgasm but not G Spot orgasm. I was curious to know if there are many cases of women who are able to have G Spot orgasms but are incapable of orgasming through clitoral stimulation. I’m sure there are a few cases but are these the exception to the rule or is it quite variable?

Thanks for this very interesting question. The short answer is that the route to female orgasm is highly variable and there is not one “correct” or right way for a woman to climax. Some women do it through vaginal insertion, others through clitoral stimulation, while some can orgasm simply by having their nipples touched. Stimulation of the cervix has also been recognized as a way some women reach orgasm.1 As a result, it would never surprise me to hear that some women can climax from one type of stimulation but not another. Thus, there are no “rules” when it comes to female orgasm.

That said, you asked specifically about the relationship between G-Spot and clitoral orgasms and whether you can have one without the other. This is a difficult question to answer with any degree of certainty because, among sexual scientists, the G-Spot has often described as a “gynecological UFO.” In other words, although there have been many G-spot “sightings,” scientists have had a hard time proving its existence. In fact, a 2012 review of all of the G-Spot research conducted to date concluded that “the existence of an anatomical G-Spot…remains to be demonstrated.”2

Now, this is not to say that the G-Spot doesn’t exist. There are indeed many women who report experiencing highly pleasurable orgasms as a result of stimulation of the area typically thought of as representing the G-Spot (i.e., the front vaginal wall, about one-third to one-half of the distance between the vaginal opening and the cervix). However, it turns out that the source of this intense pleasure may be a result of stimulation of the internal portion of the clitoris.2 Most of the clitoris is actually inside of the body anchoring it to the pubic bone. During sexual arousal, that internal portion of the clitoris swells with blood (it consists of erectile tissue, just like the penis) and, consequently, moves closer to the vaginal walls. As a result, when stimulating the supposed G-Spot, we may simply be stimulating a different portion of the clitoris.

As a result, there may not be a lot of point in distinguishing between clitoral and G-Spot orgasms and who is able to climax which way. Although stimulation of these two areas may produce orgasms that differ in intensity (and potentially ejaculation), it is important to recognize that this may simply be the result of two unique types of clitoral stimulation.

For past Sex Question Friday posts, see here. Want to learn more about The Psychology of Human Sexuality? Click here for a complete list of articles or like the Facebook page to get articles delivered to your newsfeed.

1Cutler, W. B., Zacker, M., McCoy, N., Genovese-Stone, E., & Friedman, E. (2000). Sexual response in women.Obstetrics & Gynecology, 95, S19.


2Kilchevsky, A., Vardi, Y., Lowenstein, L., & Gruenwald, I. (2012). Is the female G-spot truly a distinct anatomic entity? Journal of Sexual Medicine, 9(3), 719-726.



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Wearing Socks To Bed Makes It Easier To Orgasm

You read it right, wearing socks while having sex can help you orgasm. A  study by Johns Hopkins University in which couples having sex underwent brain scanning, provided a bunch of data about how psychological states and physical stimulation affect people’s ability to orgasm but apparently the scanning room was a little bit cold. Providing couples with socks due to the draft in the room increased their ability to orgasm from 50% to 80%. I know of a few people who find it supremely unsexy to wear socks while having sex. Perhaps they need to change their attitude. The study doesn’t explain any reason why wearing socks might help people orgasm but I imagine it has something to do with being comfortable and not having your focus directed to your cold extremities. The scan was also able to tell if women were faking orgasm, even if their partners couldn’t

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Women Can Orgasm Just By Going To The Gym

So, it’s almost the end of January and we’ve almost forgotten about our new year’s resolutions. We’re eating rich food again and skipping the gym more than we said we would. Well here’s one more reason (for women at least) to keep going to the gym. Besides the fact that physical exercise is extremely good for you and important for your long term health, it can also give women orgasms. Seriously. In a study done last year by researcher (and amazing sex columnist) Debby Herbenick and her team at Indiana University, hundreds of respodants said that they had experienced orgasm during workouts. Almost half of them had experienced them on more than 10 occasions.

This exercise induced orgasm has been affectionately named the “coregasm,” and it’s an apt name. It appears that core exercise (exercise focusing on the abdomen) is linked most strongly to orgasm. This doesn’t surprise me, in fact I have personally experienced an orgasm like release whilst doing a lot of ab work. “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,” says Herbenick.

But this isn’t new news. The Kinsey Institute for sex research reported finding women experience exercise induced orgasms back in 1953 but little research has been done on them until now.

“Corgasms” are also associated with weight lifting, yoga and cycling. Here’s a list of the percentages of how closely various exercises are associated with orgasm:

Abdominal Exercises: 51.4%

Weight Lifting: 26.5%

Yoga: 20%

Cycling: 15.8%

Running: 13.2%

Walking/hiking :9.8%


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What The Shape Of Your Lips Says About Your Orgasms

You know that dip in your upper lip? Well it has a definitively unsexy name: the tubercle. Anyways, the shape of woman’s tubercle may determine wether or not she is able to experience vaginal orgasm. Vaginal orgasms are orgasms from penetration as opposed to orgasms from clitoral stimulation. Many women have difficulty reaching orgasm especially vaginally.

A new study posits that a prominent tubercle may be a genetic marker of vaginal orgasm ability. Genetic Marker?! What’s that?!

[Insert crappy biology lesson by totally unqualified blogger] So humans only have 23 chromosomes that carry our genetic information, but we have, like, a bajillion different genes. So a bunch of different genes are bunched into each chromosome. So often if you  have one trait it means that you’re likely to have another one too. So trait A is a genetic marker (means you probably have) trait B, because they were passed on to you through the same chromosome.  This is why, hypothetically, that if one of your parents gave you the gene for having vaginal orgasms, they also gave you the gene for having a prominent tubercle, or so this study claims. [End of terribly simplified explanation]

So, the more prominent and sharply raised your lip dip is, the more likely you (and your children) will have penetrative orgasms! For all the other women, fear not! Clitoral orgasm ability is unaffected by lip shape.

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Premature Orgasm: Not Just A Male Problem

Premature orgasm and ejaculation is a fairly common phenomenon amongst men of all ages. It often leads to feelings of shame and discouragement but other than that is really not a major medical issue. Seldom are women considered when talking about premature orgasm except for the partners of the premature ejaculating men. So it may surprise some people to learn that some women also experience premature orgasm.

A Portugese study published in 2011 surveyed 850 women aged 18 to 45 about orgasm. Of the 510 respondents, 40% claimed to have had an orgasm earlier than they would have liked and 14% reported having premature orgasm on a regular basis. 3.3% or the respondents had premature orgasm frequently enough meet the criteria for “sexual dysfunction.”

Unfortunately, this is the only study dealing with this particular subject matter so there isn’t enough research to draw concrete conclusions about female premature orgasm. We don’t know what causes it, if it’s related to male premature orgasm and how it can be treated for those who find it to be problematic.

I suppose there is some irony since some women have a hard time reaching orgasm at all, but for women who orgasm earlier than they’d like, the psychological impact could be as devastating as it is for some men. Luckily, women are capable of multiple orgasms which may explain why we don’t hear about female premature orgasm very much, it doesn’t put a halt to things in the same way as premature ejaculation seems to. Once again we encourage people to take some of the pressure off their genitals and focus on the other parts of the body and how they can enhance the sexual experience. Premature orgasm doesn’t mean the sex has to end prematurely.

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Are Women’s Orgasms Different Than Men’s?

There is this popular notion that men and women experience very different things when they orgasm. It is as though they are two completely different things all together. And this notion is not based on nothing. It does often seem that the two sexes’ orgasms are qualitatively different. But what does science have to say about the matter?

Well, in the early years of this century, Dutch scientists studied the PET scans of men and women during orgasm. PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scans display images of blood flow to the different parts of the brain. These studies showed that blood was flowing to different parts of the brain for men and women during sexual arousal but not during orgasm. As far as brain blood flow was concerned, men and women’s orgasms looked pretty much the same.

In 2012, however, a new study was done using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners, which are pretty much a better, faster and higher tech PET scan. At first this study showed similar results to the older ones but upon closer investigation it was noticed that there were some significant diferences between the sexes and between individuals. The neuroscientists involved in the fMRI studies have stated that they need a larger group of participants to make any solid conclusions about the differences between the sexes.

So are women’s orgasms different than mens? No? Yes? Maybe?

Science will tell us eventually, but unfortunately we still can’t be sure right now. Neuroscience is a burgeoning field for research and as they say, the brain is the biggest sexual organ. There is a lot of good work being done and to be done in neuroscience in regards to sexuality and gender. I’m looking forward to the coming years and decades to see what more we can learn about ourselves and each other.

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Sexual Touch May Be The Reason You Aren’t Orgasming

Sexual touching, that is hugging, kissing, caressing, massaging, etc. is wonderful. It feels great, it’s fun, it’s safe and according to a recent study how much or how little you are doing it could explain how easy or difficult it is for you to get aroused and orgasm. Debby Herbenick of Salon writes:

…feeling emotionally satisfied in one’s relationship was strongly linked with sexual touching. Finding one’s relationship physically pleasurable was also linked with sexual touching.

Sexual touching was associated, too, with men’s erectile function. Men who didn’t engage in much sexual touching with their partner had more than twice the odds of experiencing erectile problems than men who usually or always engaged in sexual touching.

This was especially the case with women. Women who weren’t touched sexually less often were far less likely to be able to orgasm.

…sexual touching was highly linked with women’s arousal during sex, even after controlling for psychological factors and emotional satisfaction. In fact, women who only sometimes, rarely or never engaged in sexual touching were almost six times more likely to being “never or rarely aroused during sex” compared to women who always engaged in sexual touching. Infrequent sexual touching was also associated with climaxing during sex, particularly for women

Now this isn’t an earth shattering discovery by any means but what is pretty awesome is the fact that sexual touch is being studied at all.  Sex is often studied in a very clinical and sterile way but sexual touch is by nature about affection. It is an acknowledgement that sexual pleasure and affection are linked and may effect one another. A sex worker I spoke to told me that some of their clients just want to be touched or held because that’s not something they get in their everyday lives. Being touched and shown affection can be very arousing. I’m glad to see that science is taking that into account and asking how the sex and affection are linked.

Via Salon

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Can Women Really Orgasm From Stimulating Their Nipples Alone?

Yup, sure can! According to our BFF Science the parts of the brain activated during nipple stimulation are pretty much the same parts of the brain activated  during genital stimulation.

The researchers discovered that stimulation of the nipple activated an area of the brain known as the genital sensory cortex. This is the same brain region activated by stimulation of the clitoris, vagina, and cervix. What this means is that women’s brains seem to process nipple and genital stimulation in the same way. In light of this, it is not at all surprising that many women are aroused by having their nipples touched and that, for some, this may be enough to lead to orgasm.

Now this doesn’t mean that every woman can have nipplegasms. The female orgasm is a pretty darn complex thing and it’s not just one brain region at work here. There is a lot going on in the brain during the orgasm, in fact in this video of a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) of the brain during orgasm, it shows that almost the entire brain is active at the time of the big O! The more we learn about this complex neuro process, the more we are likely to learn about why some women have so much trouble orgasming whilst others just have to play with their nipples.

Life isn’t always fair it would seem. Or at least for your nipplegasmers, life is more fair for some than it is for others.

Via Science of Relationships

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We Need To Take Pressure Off The Penis (or Why Premature Ejaculation Shouldn’t Be A Boner Kill)

Debbie Herbenick, a sex writer for Salon wrote an extremely thoughtful article about Premature Ejaculation (PE) underscoring the fact that it’s not women who get the most upset about PE but the men who experience it. Now this isn’t too surprising, men who experience PE are often under the false belief that the length of time they can engage in coitus is positively correlated with their level of masculinity or some other self defeating idea. Women who’s partners experience PE tend not to rate PE as a major problem nor do they describe it as hindering their sexual satisfaction. It’s men who believe that their inability to contain their excitement is leading to a decrease in their partner’s pleasure.

Here’s the problem as I see it: Our culture is placing too much emphasis on the penis. Vaginal penetration is only one way to have sex, ask any LGBT person. Furthermore, most studies conclude that the vast majority of women can only reach orgasm through clitoral stimulation. A man’s ability to last has nothing to do with his ability to bring his female partner to orgasm. A man’s ever erect tongue and fingers are more than sufficient to please his partner. Why is the penis seen as this amazing tool for female pleasure. Sure vaginal intercourse feels great for most women but so does cunnilingus. As a man (read: as a person who doesn’t know what he’s talking about), I’d venture a guess that vaginal intercourse is as much about feeling connected to ones partner as it is about physical sensations in the eyes of many women. I’d also posit that women might gain a lot of satisfaction out of pleasing her partner and making him come. It’s possible that maybe, just maybe, her ability to get him off lightning fast makes her feel extremely sexy and a good lover, just as it would if the roles were reversed and he were getting her off in no time flat.

Herbenick makes a really great point at the end of her article. Many of the men who have what is called Situational PE came to orgasm quickly due to their high level of excitement and arousal or feelings of romantic attachment. It is seen culturally as a good thing when women are able to come to orgasm quickly because they are so turned on that they can’t hold back. The fact that the exact opposite is true in the eyes of some men seems unfair and often untenable.

Finally, I wouldn’t be able to finish a post without mentioning sex education and Herbenick sums up some of my strongest opinions about sex education perfectly.

I mention this because larger cultural conversations about sexuality education often get stuck focused on issues related to teenagers, condoms, abstinence and politics, and, in my view, we need to talk more broadly about sex education. Young men and women who fail to learn about human sexuality (whether from parents or teachers) grow into adults who still don’t know anything about human sexuality. This doesn’t just mean that they don’t know how to use a condom correctly or how to prevent or treat chlamydia. It means that, unless they learn about sex along the way, they likely won’t know how to make sense of their own or their partner’s sexual pleasure or whether they are sexually “normal” (a heated term, and something I am asked about regularly: “Am I normal?”).

Relevant to PE, a lack of sex education means that men often think they should last longer than is humanly possible for most men or wanted by many women. It means, too, that if they try and fail to last longer, they may feel badly about their own bodies or sexual response. If they try and succeed at lasting a long time, they may run the risk of contributing to uncomfortable or painful sex for their partner. Data from our National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior show that about 30 percent of women (compared to 5 percent of men) experienced pain during their most recent sex act.

Sex ed has been so poor for so long that we now have generations of poorly educated adults as well as teens. Sex education isn’t just for teens. That’s like saying English is just for teens and if you don’t know how to speak it by the time you’re out of high school then tough luck. We are a culture of people where sex is a second language.

Via Salon

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Orgasms And The Brain

Megan Flemming tells us how orgasms affect our brains.

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