Orgasms—those fleeting moments of pleasure that we all crave—are more complex than you once thought. Want to know all there is to know about the big O in people with a vulva? Keep reading!
Who doesn’t love a good orgasm? Reaching the summit of pleasure and then floating back down to enjoy a whirlpool of wellbeing. What’s not to like?! And we’re not about to invent some sky-high percentage—we don’t need to—because we’re already sure that the vast majority of people would say yes to one right now. Orgasms are a catalyst for several different reactions in the body and, in turn, are triggered by others. Ah, orgasms, you do so much good for the world!
Clitoris vs. Vagina. Where would you hedge your bets? Fortunately, this absurd struggle has been overcome by many people, in particular thanks to the increasing popularity of slow sex and its curious but obvious tagline: “do what you like”. Nevertheless, despite this, according to recent studies, 80% of people with a vulva do require clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm, which prompts us to ask another question: do the remaining 20% reach orgasm via the internal part of the clitoris? And if so, could this mean that the clit is the one and only true pleasure organ in people with a vulva? We want to hear from you!
The four phases of the orgasm
Clitoral or not, the orgasm has four phases:
Excitement: Following the brain’s lead, the body starts to get turned on, resulting in increased blood flow, a higher body temperature and faster breathing. Something’s cooking, good looking!
Plateau: Simply put, this is the tasty part of the sexual encounter/masturbation. You might finish here and not reach orgasm, which would be fine, but if you do carry on, you might have an...
Orgasm: Defining an orgasm is no mean feat. Some say that it’s like getting to the top of a rollercoaster; an explosion inside your body; a rush of adrenaline. Funny they should say the latter, actually, because that’s literally what it is. What’s certain though is that it’s all about a pivotal point of physical pleasure. And guess what? It’s not always achieved via the genitals!
Resolution: The calm after the high, where you find yourself enjoying the effects of adrenaline, oxytocin and dopamine, as well as vaginal contractions. Bliss.
If Kafka had chosen to tell the tale of how the body changes during arousal, it would have been an exquisite erotic novel. When we’re turned on, our anatomy undergoes several visible changes. In bodies with a vulva, the most significant change is lubrication. The body is smart and knows that where there’s going to be a little more action, it’s best to keep it safe from any extra friction etc. So, the vulva self-lubricates and the vaginal opening expands slightly. Similarly, breasts become more sensitive. Careful, you’re on fire!
The post-orgasm clitoris
When you reach orgasm through external clitoral stimulation (we’ll talk about the internal part in another post), the clitoris swells until it’s almost doubled in size. And that’s not surprising, given the increase in blood flow when you’re turned on. As in penises, the blood flowing to the clit makes it expand and grow. No wonder it’s so sensitive!
As we discussed when we looked at the phases of the orgasm, the big O releases hormones that make us feel really, realllllllly good. Orgasms have multiple benefits, but without a doubt the most notable is the wellbeing that we experience post-pleasure. These so-called happy hormones reduce stress, one of the body’s greatest enemies in the 21st century.
So, without further ado, it’s time to put your new-found knowledge of the orgasm into practice. Enjoy!
Do you know something we don’t about orgasms? Have any questions? Want to share your experience? Drop us a comment. It will be a pleasure *ahem* to hear from you!