Healthy lives for young people
Sex

Orgasms

While people experience orgasm differently, generally what happens is that your body grows tense when you are sexually aroused and when you orgasm, the tension is released with an intense rush of pleasure. The feeling of having an orgasm is often described as an overwhelming sense of wellbeing or happiness. Some people say their whole body tingles.

Getting to an orgasm

Often the starting point is desire (wanting sex or intimacy with another person) but some people find that they start to desire sex only after they have become physically and emotionally excited. This excitement is known as arousal. A female’s vagina may become wet and a male’s penis may start to get hard. 

People experience a wide range of physical signs of arousal including increased heart rate and tingling sensation in the genitals. Becoming aroused is the body’s way of preparing for sex, but is very pleasurable in itself and doesn’t need to lead to orgasm. 

If you continue to be stimulated you may get to feeling ‘on the edge’ of an orgasm and most agree it feels good. You might then experience an orgasm. This is a short period when genital muscles contract and feel-good chemicals are released by your brain. After orgasm your muscles relax and most people say they experience a sense of wellbeing.  

Getting to an orgasm takes practice and most people (men and women) reach their first orgasm through masturbation. It is easier to reach orgasm if you feel relaxed, if you and your partner let each other know what sexual activities you like and dislike, and if you are turned on by each other.

Women and orgasms

Most women don’t have an orgasm through vaginal penetrative sex alone. Most need some kind of stimulation of the clitoris. This could be from your two bodies rubbing up against each other or either the woman or her partner rubbing her clitoris. 

A lot of women find masturbating to be helpful and sometimes necessary to achieve orgasm through vaginal sex. It is helpful to keep in mind that the clitoris is the main source of pleasure for women.

Trying to get a female to come by oral sex can be a little tricky, as usually she needs her clitoris stimulated for a while, with the right amount of pressure. This can be difficult to do with the tongue. Exactly how long varies from woman to woman.

Quick orgasm facts

  • It’s not unusual for both males and females to fake an orgasm
  • Having sex does not guarantee an orgasm for everyone
  • Women vary hugely when it comes to having orgasms
  • 70% of women can’t orgasm through vaginal sex alone
  • Orgasm can vary according to mood, menstrual cycle, sexual position, communication with partner, situation, and according to many other things too
  • Pornography often does not accurately represent orgasms
  • The ability to control erections and ejaculation usually gets better with experience and age
  • Most men (of all ages) ejaculate 5-10 minutes after penetration. But it might be less for men just starting out having sex
  • People can vary a lot throughout their lives in their ability to have an orgasm

Drugs, alcohol and orgasms

It’s important to mention drugs and alcohol as they relate to orgasm:

  • By and large, being drunk or high makes you more likely to act without thinking about consequences and may cause you to take risks you wouldn’t take if you weren’t so messed up.
  • A recent study has found that some young people choose to use drugs or alcohol because they think it’ll make sex better. For example, someone may drink in order to relax and gain confidence to hook up with that person they have their eye on. Young people have also reported using cocaine because they think it’ll make sex last longer.
  • There’s the idea that drugs and alcohol can mentally and physically help you get it on better and for longer. In reality, these drugs can actually make you want sex less. You might feel mentally turned-on but your body might not respond.
  • For females, if sexual arousal decreases with drugs and alcohol there will probably be a decrease in vaginal lubrication. Having penetrative sex when the vagina is not lubed-up can be uncomfortable for all those involved.
  • For males, drugs and alcohol can make it difficult to keep an erection
  • It can be more difficult to have an orgasm while high or drunk
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