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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.
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.
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.
It’s important to mention drugs and alcohol as they relate to orgasm:
Rachel, 21, shares her experience of masturbation and why taking things at her own pace was the right decision.
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Charlotte, 20, shares her journey of becoming comfortable with masturbation and understanding what pleasure means to her.
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