The cervical orgasm, much like the nipple orgasm, sounds a bit like sex science fiction. For many years, scientists thought it was, believing that the cervix itself doesn’t register sensation. Luckily for us, they were wrong.
In my three decades of practice as a psychotherapist, a relationship expert, and a sex therapist—plus 10 years conducting sex research as a neuroscientist—I’ve learned a lot about the science of sex. In my new Glamour column, Ask Dr. Nan (and in my new book Why Good Sex Matters), I’m answering all of your burning questions about pleasure—an absolute necessity to a woman’s well-being.
What better place to start than the different types of orgasms? Famous sex researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson were the first to discover that the cervix does in fact respond to pressure (though they overlooked what the consequences of their data meant for the future of women’s orgasms). It always amazes me how much the female human body has remained a mystery—so let’s demystify.
Here’s everything you need to know about cervical orgasms and how to have one.
What is a cervical orgasm?
When a penis or dildo rubs against the cervix during deep penetration of the vagina, the result can be an incredibly intense orgasm.
That orgasm doesn’t come from cervical stimulation alone—Mother Nature wired our magnificent genitalia such that stimulation of various parts of the vagina results in indirect clitoral stimulation and vice versa. Same goes for the cervix. In a lab, you can use a special probe to stimulate the cervix directly, but in real life, lighting up the cervix involves stimulating the walls of the vagina, which also triggers the clitoral bulbs hugging the walls of the vagina. Translation? In the process of stimulating your cervix, you’re also lighting up other hot spots.
What does a cervical orgasm feel like?
The sensations (and orgasms) arising from stimulation of the clitoris, vagina, and cervix tend to differ, primarily because the sensory nerves that wire each part are different. You’re most likely to stimulate the cervix during deep vaginal penetration—the resulting orgasms have been described as a "shower of stars," according to research conducted by my mentor and sex science superstar Beverly Whipple, Ph.D. A cervical orgasm feels like it starts in the pelvis, spreads to the abdomen, and then engulfs the whole body.
Can anyone have a cervical orgasm? Is it safe?
In a study done in 2000, 35% of 128 healthy women reported experiencing orgasms from stimulation of the cervix by the penis during intercourse. These numbers suggest that orgasm enhanced by cervical stimulation may be in reach (pun intended) by those motivated to pursue such pleasures.
Cervical stimulation does require deep penetration. Very deep. And that can seem a little scary. In terms of safety, the short answer is that cervical stimulation is safe under normal circumstances—trying something out like this is probably not the smartest move during advanced pregnancy. If you experience cramping, bleeding, or more than mild discomfort, this mode of stimulation might not be for you—and that’s totally fine. Take it slow, and always speak up if you’re in pain or uncomfortable. (And if you have bleeding from intercourse, consult your doctor. The tissue of the cervix is sensitive and can be bruised if the stimulation is too intense.)
It’s perfectly okay if this type of deep stimulation does not appeal to you. Individual differences loom large in and out of the bedroom—listening to your gut feelings about such things is always a good practice.
How to have a cervical orgasm
Before exploring the cervix, have a chat with your partner to discuss how to proceed. And then proceed slowly. As you get aroused during intercourse, the vagina lengthens—which means it will take deep penetration to reach the cervix. Be prepared to give your partner tons of feedback as you experiment with the sensations.
2. For the cervix, it is all about the pressure.
The cervix does register sensation, big time, specifically the sensations of pressure—so much so that some women find deep penetration during intercourse a bit too intense or downright painful. Particularly if they are not sufficiently stimulated.
When you are sufficiently aroused and relaxed, stimulation of the cervix can contribute to a very intense orgasmic experience, so make sure to take your sweet time with foreplay.
3. Take it slow.
Positions that allow for deep penetration, like doggie style, are often best for having a cervical orgasm. But make sure that you don’t attempt them until you are fully turned on. Get the party started by having a clit orgasm first.
Focus on relaxing the body and registering the sensations. As arousal progresses, you can use deep breaths to simultaneously build the sexual energy and ease into the experience of being so deeply penetrated. And most important, don’t chase the orgasm. Relax into the experience and let the orgasm find you!
Nan Wise, Ph.D., is AASECT certified sex therapist, neuroscientist, certified relationship expert, and author of Why Good Sex Matters: Understanding the Neuroscience of Pleasure for a Smarter, Happier, and More Purpose-Filled Life. Follow her @AskDoctorNan.
Originally Appeared on Glamour