Have you ever pondered: Why do orgasms feel so good?

The question is pretty straightforward; the answer, however, is a little trickier. Whether you get there with a partner or with the help of a sex toy, we all know that some orgasms just hit the spot differently. But, why?

According to recent Pleasure Center statistics, women require an average of 14 minutes during partnered sex to hit the Magic O – compared to an average of 8 minutes during masturbation. So, does this mean that there are different kinds of orgasm? The short answer – of course! 

When we have sex, what we experience physically sends information through our nerves to our brain which, in turn, responds by creating hormones that increase our pleasure. As a result, the term “post-orgasm glow” was coined to describe the euphoric sensation you feel after having great sex.

YES! YES! YES!

First and most importantly, what exactly is an orgasm?

When a woman is aroused, blood rushes to the clitoris, vagina, and nipples, causing a full-body sexual flush, while the pulse rate and blood pressure rise. This creates a warm sensation that generally emerges from the pelvis and extends throughout the body.

Funn Fact: At the moment of orgasm, certain areas of your brain that control emotion shut down. The area that processes fear is deactivated, and your ‘vigilance for danger’ switch also turns off momentarily.

Orgasms can vary in intensity, differ by sex position, and feel different for everyone. The female orgasm is not just an emotional and psychological response, but also a physiological one. Essentially, orgasms are a bodily phenomenon that varies from person to person. 

Have you noticed a difference in the intensity of your orgasms from month to month? That’s also normal! It can change depending on a variety of things, such as your bond with your partner, sexual arousal, and so on. Have you recently learned how to talk about a fetish and are interested in trying out bondage, pegging, or watching porn? 

It’s possible these factors could influence the intensity of your orgasms. Similarly, re-learning how to be intimate with your lover may make the experience more intense and special.

Types of orgasm

The two most common forms of orgasm are clitoral and vaginal.

Many female orgasms are caused by clitoral stimulation — this is the most prevalent type of orgasm in women. According to Live Science, researchers have now found evidence that these two main types of orgasms (FYI, we’re not kidding, there are other types of orgasms, such as coregasms!) are separate phenomena.

Some experts also believe that the front wall of the vagina is intrinsically related to the clitoris, making it difficult to stimulate the vagina without simultaneously activating the clitoris.  Brain scans of masturbating women show that various orgasms stimulate distinct sensory cortexes in the brain. 

This could explain why women who suffer spinal cord injuries (disrupting communication between the clitoris and the brain) can still have orgasms when stimulated vaginally. 

Women who have regular orgasms tend to have lower resting heart rates and are less prone to employ maladaptive psychological coping methods than those who do not; while stimulating the elusive g-spot (through vaginal rather than clitoral stimulation) raises a woman’s pain threshold. 

Emmanuele Jannini, professor of Medical Sexology, says that a woman should understand her own body, but should not regard an orgasm as a race. He adds: “Seeing the vaginal orgasm as a must, as a duty, is the most effective way to lose the happiness of sex!”

Funn Fact: Approximately 70% of women have faked an orgasm. However, there are several surefire ways that your partner can spot whether it’s genuine. These include retraction of the clitoral hood shortly before orgasm, a racing heart, dilated pupils, and spasms in the vaginal muscles. It’s really hard to believe that the fairer sex has gotten away with it for so long!

Come as you are, er, as you can…

Your brain produces oxytocin during orgasm. This is a ‘feel-good’ hormone involved in social bonding, which partially explains why orgasms may feel so fantastic and bring you closer to the person with whom you had them. 

Similarly, because orgasms are so satisfying, some people utilize coupled sex or masturbation to alleviate chronic stress symptoms. Since oxytocin promotes relaxation, climaxing may make it simpler to wind down after a long stressful day.

According to research conducted by neurologist Adam Safron, rhythmic stimulation affects your brain activity during climax, which explains why orgasms may feel so darn good! Without getting too technical, sexual stimulation basically focuses our neurons to the point that we enter a trance-like state. This meditative state enables us to focus entirely on the pleasurable sensation. 

Now, that’s taking the meaning of mind-blowing orgasm to a whole new level!

After reviewing related studies, Dr Safron developed a model demonstrating how rhythmic sexual activity affects brain rhythms. Stimulating certain nerves in a specific way and at a specific pace, in a continuous motion, drives our neurons to focus on the activity and synchronize their activity to it. So, effectively, our neurons join in on the fun. As the stimulation continues, this synchronization extends throughout the brain, allowing it to concentrate exclusively on the experience the body is feeling. This is referred to as neural entertainment, (which seems rather apt, if you ask us!)

But, while all this sciencey stuff is great, let’s get to the real reason why you’ve kept reading:

Five fabulous reasons why you should prioritize regular orgasms

1. You’ll feel relaxed

As anyone who has ever been rendered speechless following an earth-shattering orgasm will confirm, they possess some pretty strong sedative properties. That’s because climaxing increases prolactin levels, a potent relaxant hormone that, when paired with the endorphins, can induce sleepiness.

2. Orgasms have the potential to boost your mental health.

During sexual stimulation and orgasm, the brain produces, and releases molecules called neurotransmitters and neuropeptides. These substances are beneficial to your general physical and mental well-being. According to researchers, these chemicals can help alleviate stress, improve sleep, boost immunity, and elevate mood.

3. Orgasms can promote a healthy body image.

Have you ever thought about how body image could be connected to sexual health? Well, it turns out that these two concepts are far more intertwined than we may think. Our body image can have a major impact on our mental health, which in turn, influences our behavior toward ourselves and others. A positive self-image and self-love may be promoted via more fulfilling orgasms, which can improve your sexual functioning and sex in general.

4. Orgasms are great for your skin

Since orgasms increase oxytocin (a hormone that communicates pleasure) and reduce cortisol (a hormone that signals stress), you’re less likely to break out or develop rashes if you have regular orgasms. The Big O also has some instant skin benefits. Orgasms produce a radiant flush on the face by boosting blood and oxygen flow to it. You may even notice that your increased oxygen intake stimulates collagen formation – say hello to collagen and goodbye to fine lines and wrinkles!

5. Orgasms keep things healthy down there

Finally, when you have an orgasm, blood and nutrients flow to your vagina, which helps maintain things down there in good working order. It has also been reported that women who orgasm once a week are more likely to have regular menstrual cycles that last 26 to 33 days than those who have less or more irregular sex. 

Healthy vagina = happy vagina!

There you have it … make pleasure a priority!