The Female Orgasm: Everything You Need to Know

by Lovehoney

on Jul 5, 2020

Put simply, a female orgasm is when the vagina, anus and uterus all contract simultaneously. Orgasms are involuntary, in that you can't generally control them after they've started, but they also suffuse you in pleasurable feelings.

Female orgasms - everything you need to know

Now, orgasms aren't everything, but they are pretty great, and unfortunately, according to our very own Sexual Happiness Report, only 26% of women report having orgasms every time they have sex, a fifth of women report orgasming 'rarely' during sex, and 5% of women report never having experienced an orgasm at all. There must be a better way!

Fortunately, with a little care and oh-so-sensual attention, you can increase your chances at experiencing a toe-curling female orgasm for yourself. If you've ever found yourself wondering how to have an orgasm or about the best position for female orgasm, or ever caught yourself asking 'What is a female orgasm anyway?' and 'What DOES a female orgasm feel like?', welcome to the answers.

Whether you're seeking to experience a female orgasm yourself or you're hoping to help spark one in a person you love, we've got all the info you need right here.

What is a female orgasm?


Put simply, a female orgasm is when the vagina, anus and uterus all contract simultaneously. Orgasms are involuntary, in that you can't generally control them after they've started, but they also suffuse you in pleasurable feelings.

Orgasms usually happen after plenty of stimulation in the pelvic area, which causes blood to flow down there and make the area flush and sensitive, just like arousal causes blood to flow down into the penis and make it erect. Part of the satisfying sensation during the point of orgasm is blood leaving your pelvic area again as tension leaves your body.

A female orgasm may also be called coming, cumming or climaxing, and whether it feels like it's happened because of stimulation to your clitoris or your G-spot (or somewhere else!), it's still a female orgasm.

What does a female orgasm feel like?


Ultimately, how an orgasm feels is hard to define, because it's highly personal and different for everyone. But since climax is a release of nerve tension that builds up during arousal and sex, we can offer a little guidance on what a female orgasm may feel like for you.

Many Lovehoney customers have described the stage immediately pre-orgasm as feeling like they're coiled up, like their body is getting ready to unleash all that built up tension. Some folks mention curling their toes and feeling like all their muscles clench up, and others describe experiencing ripples or pulsations in their vaginal area before the uncontrollable rhythmic pattern of their orgasm hits.

Orgasm itself is the opposite of those things: an unclenching, a release, a rush. Many people say it feels like cresting a wave, where the build-up has been pleasurable and the peak, though brief, is just exquisite. Some describe their whole bodies shaking and others even experience squirting – learn all about squirting in our guide on the topic.

Coming down on the other side of your orgasm can be just as pleasurable as rising up to it, but often the area you stimulated will be hyper-sensitive and may not want to be touched any longer.

How to have an orgasm if you have a vulva

Not every person with a vulva finds it easy to climax, but there are both multiple types of orgasms and many, many ways to achieve them.

Studies have linked more frequent partnered orgasms with positive communication like asking for what you want in bed and praising your partner for doing something you find stimulating and pleasurable. You're also more likely to orgasm if you and your partner spend a while building up to vaginal intercourse, by exploring manual stimulation or oral sex first, and if you try to be a little adventurous, like exploring new positions or talking dirty.

In order to tell your partner what you like, though, you need to be aware of it yourself. One of the best ways to have an orgasm is to settle down for some alone time with yourself and explore. You'll need a comfortable, private space and confidence that you won't be interrupted – we recommend feeling your way to orgasm in the bath or in your bedroom with the door locked.

Depending on which kind of orgasm you're hoping to have, there are different tips and tricks to maximise your enjoyment.

Types of female orgasm

Clitoral orgasm


The clitoris is completely designed for sexual pleasure, so it's no wonder this little bean is responsible for the majority of female orgasms. In fact, many people with clitorises actually can't orgasm unless it's stimulated in some way.

Using the dexterity of your fingers is a fantastic starting place for getting to know your clitoris and what feels good. Start out soft and slow with light pressure so it feels like you're almost teasing yourself.

Be sure to use plenty of water-based lubricant so your touch can skim and glide along in a pleasurable way. You could also try stimulating the clitoris with a bullet vibrator, like the Lovehoney Magic Bullet 10 Function Bullet Vibrator.

Bullet vibes are particularly great for stimulating the clitoris because they're small and easy to direct, letting you change the angle and direction as and when you need to.

Vaginal orgasm


Vaginal orgasms usually occur with help from internal stimulation – so during sex with a partner, or play with a dildo or vibrator inside the vagina. They're usually known as G-spot orgasms and for many people who have one, stimulating the G-spot is a surefire way to achieve a powerful orgasm.

To seek out a G-spot orgasm with your fingers, lube up and slide them inside you, curling them up towards your belly button. There, you should be able to feel a firm, spongy texture inside your body: this is the G-spot. It will usually get more pronounced and sensitive as you stroke and tease it.

Toys for G-spot pleasure are distinctly curved to help target this special place. Firm toys made of glass or plastic, like the Lovehoney G-Slim G-Spot Vibrator, are superb G-spot stimulators because their more rigid shape lets you apply more pressure when your body wants it.

Anal orgasm


Don't forget about the butt! The anus is packed full of ultra-sensitive nerve endings, which makes it another excellent place to go orgasm hunting.

You'll want plenty of water-based anal lubricant and an anal toy like a dildo with a flared base or a butt plug. The anus does not self-lubricate, so be sure to use a generous amount of lube before playing in there.

A vibrating butt plug like the Lovehoney Butt Tingler 10 Function Butt Plug provides your choice of vibration functions, letting you experiment and play until you find the one that's best for you.

Of course, you can also experience anal orgasms through anal sex with your partner, if that's something you both enjoy.

Combination orgasm or blended orgasm


Combination orgasms: aka, burrow into pleasure with a rabbit vibrator.

Okay, rabbit vibes aren't the only way to enjoy a combination orgasm (also called 'blended orgasm'), which happen when you trigger an orgasm concentrated in multiple places at once, usually by stimulating those places together. You can also experience this type of orgasm by having penetrative sex with your partner while they wear a vibrating cock ring.

But far be it from us to deny the rabbit vibrator its claim to fame. With an insertable shaft and external bunny ears to tease the clitoris, a rabbit vibe like the Lovehoney Jessica Rabbit 10 Function G-Spot Rabbit Vibrator delivers all the stimulation your body needs to come into combo orgasms.

Erogenous zone orgasm


Do you have a favourite erogenous zone, somewhere away from your clitoris, anus or vagina? Maybe it's your nipples that are really sensitive, or that dip in the small of your back.

Wherever it is, it has the potential to offer an orgasm. Stimulating these areas often won't result in an orgasm that feels as concentrated as a vaginal or clitoral orgasm, but using a wand vibrator like the Lovehoney Deluxe Rechargeable Mini Massage Wand Vibrator all over your body can suffuse you with sensational, all-over orgasmic pleasure.

Best positions for female orgasm

Once you know what works best for your body, you'll likely be able to enjoy orgasms in many positions, but here are just a few of our recommendations to get started.

On your back


With your partner holding your legs apart and thrusting with you, you have perfect clearance to reach down and stimulate your erogenous zones, like the clitoris, until everything is golden good. Use your trusty bullet vibrator or an orgasm gel for extra tingles.

Oral sex


How you choose to enjoy oral is up to you, but slinging your legs over your partner's shoulders can help bring your clitoris to their mouth while also giving them space to stroke and squeeze your thighs. Oral can always be enhanced with your favourite flavoured lubricant.

Riding their lap


It may seem counter-intuitive to face away from your partner, but this close cousin of doggy style puts you in place to grind down against your lover's lap while they penetrate deep inside you. Try pairing it with a vibrating cock ring for out of this world thrills.

Scissoring or grinding


This position is about finding that sweet clitoral bliss. You and your partner grind together, without penetration, concentrating on rubbing your clitoris against their genitals. This position is made all the better with plenty of friction-reducing lubricant.

Why can't I orgasm?

If you've tried all these things and you still can't orgasm, don't worry – you're not alone.

There's a very small percentage of people who can't orgasm at all. Scientists have found links to genetics as the cause for being orgasm-free, but it's not common.

There are plenty of non-genetic factors that can negatively impact your ability to orgasm; things like feeling self-conscious during sex, feeling shameful about sex or sexual pleasure and not knowing what feels good to your body are all common barriers to achieving orgasm.

That's one of the reasons we highly recommend learning to masturbate if you want to have a female orgasm. Another good method to overcoming these barriers is to try talking about them with your partner or your friends, and exploring partnered sexual play that doesn't focus on achieving orgasm at all.

How long does a female orgasm last?

Compared to people with penises, female orgasms both take longer to achieve and tend to last a little longer. According to 1960's sex researchers William H. Masters and Virginia E. Johnson, it can take between 10-20 minutes for most women to achieve orgasm.

Luckily, it's all worth it in the end, because research from the 1980's found that a female orgasm can last up to 2 minutes, depending on how aroused you are and how direct the stimulation has been. Plus, further research indicates female orgasms are more likely to come in twos and threes; multiple orgasms happen when you continue stimulation during or immediately after orgasm, until you find another peak to enjoy.

What happens during female orgasm?

During female orgasm, the whole pelvic area responds to pleasurable stimulation by contracting all together at once. Your heart rate and breathing rate will increase, and you may feel a sensation like opening up or rushing as tension leaves your body in waves of pleasure.

Some people even squirt during orgasm, which you can learn more about in our guide on the topic.


Written by Lovehoney. For collaborative posts between Lovehoney team members and guest authors
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Originally published on Jul 5, 2020. Updated on Nov 17, 2020