The 12 Types of Orgasms — What They Are & How To Have Them

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(Illustrations: ELLIOTT SALAZAR)

Carlen Costa, PhD is one of Canada’s leading sexologists and relationship experts. A sex-positive feminist, sushi fanatic, and opinionated Beyhive booty-shaker, she encourages us to invite and accept pleasure into our lives. Dr. Carlen is all about real sex for real people, and she aims to make the topic a part of our everyday conversations.

Are you satisfied with your sex life? As a sex-positive, intersectional feminist and sexologist, I hate hearing that people aren’t having great sex or aren’t experiencing enough full-bodied pleasure in the act. We deserve to have regular orgasms. Although many of us are still learning, debating, and practicing (the best part), what’s essential is understanding that we are all capable of experiencing orgasm in a variety of different ways. 

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Cue Nicki Minaj. Her Minajesty recently announced that “[she] demand(s) that [she] climaxes” and that every woman should demand the same. She goes on to say that giving and receiving pleasure should be 50/50. Whatever 50/50 looks like to you in any given sexual encounter or experience, that’s up to you and your partner to negotiate before, during, and after. 

Seriously friends: Your body is capable of some of the most intense, satisfying, and healing energy-producing force. An admirable sex expert Lou Paget says that vagina-bearers can experience 10 different types of orgasms, while penis-bearers can have eight. But, I think there are 12.

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Betty Dodson, the Godmother of Orgasms, has some of the best tips and advice about climaxing. Dodson speaks to the experience of the orgasm via the lens of what it feels like — not just the mechanics of what makes it happen. She says “clitoral and penile orgasms result from stimulation of the pudendal pathway, while orgasms that result from G spot, vaginal, and rectal stimulation often involve the pelvic nerve. Stimulating the pelvic nerve, via the rectum, can also lead to pleasure in some surprising ways.” 

From healing migraines and relieving stress to soothing pain, boosting your immune system, and giving your body an effective workout, orgasms really are a cure-all.

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So, let’s take a look at 12 types of orgasms — and how you can achieve them.

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Some experts say this small, spongy area above the front vaginal wall is a myth. Otherwise known as the Graffenberg spot, it is, according to Lelo, “the most mysterious of erogenous zones. For some, it’s downright mythical, with the big G’s mere existence still subject to ongoing debate. Try telling that to the estimated 30% of women reporting that they achieve their orgasms through penetration alone.” 

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Exactly. It doesn’t really matter if you believe it or not — what matters is this: If applying pressure to this mysterious area in your body feels fantastic, then go for it. 

How to have one? Use a circular “come hither” motion and with applied pressure, and massage the area slowly. Don’t be afraid to get your hands a little wet and maximize orgasmic potential by gently having the labia kissed at the same time.

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According to a study reported on Science of Relationships, “researchers discovered that stimulation of the nipple activated an area of the brain known as the genital sensory cortex. This is the same brain region activated by stimulation of the clitoris, vagina, and cervix. What this means is that women’s brains seem to process nipple and genital stimulation in the same way.” 

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So, it IS possible! Sometimes, it’s easy to forget that our brains are actually the biggest sex organ that we have — and their influence on how we experience pleasure on the whole is huge.

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Your lips are packed with closely set nerve endings, classified as a mucocutaneous region of the body similar to the outer vulva, nipples, and clitoris. This means that they have the power to get you aroused.

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This type of orgasm requires some time commitment. Slow lip synching, tongue rolling, and teasing are all part of building up your arousal and should, in my opinion, be a part of foreplay all the time, anyway. Achieving orgasm this way requires deep focus, but it can happen.

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Yes, your butt. For many women, anal intercourse feels fantastic. 

If you want to try it, use a healthy dose of lube and slowly work your way in and around the anal area, while preparing for penetration. Anal penetration should at first be a slow process, especially if you’re new to the sensation. The tight muscles and thin epithelial cell layer within are subject to tearing, but they are also able to provide you with sensational pleasure. Graduated bead strands are a good starter toy to add to your sex toolbox.

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The urethra. Yes, the pee hole. Surprised? Well, as Lou Paget states in her educational interviews, the urethra is actually surrounded on three sides by the clitoris. This is because your clitoris is actually a lot bigger than you think it is — it goes three to five inches deep inside you. When your U-spot is stimulated, the erectile tissue surrounding the opening engorges with blood, thus triggering the Skene’s Glands to produce prostatic fluid (the stuff of squirting) and you to become aroused.

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This is your inner vaginal zone, also known as the anterior fornix. Look for it at the front vaginal wall, up towards your belly-button area. Some say it’s a great pressure point because it can be considered as indirect stimulation of the G-Spot — much like the U-Spot and clitoral hood are indirect stimulation of the clitoris itself. This zone is best explored when you’re quite aroused and your muscles are super-relaxed.

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This is also known as the deep-spot orgasm or posterior fornix. It’s similar to the A-Spot in that it responds best to pressure, rather than repeated stimulation. Finding this area is the result of deep penetration. 

For some vaginas, this area may be quite sensitive and possibly feel painful rather than pleasurable if the pressure is forced. Many people report experiencing intense orgasms with stimulation of this spot; some say it feels a little like anal sex, which makes sense, as the posterior fornix shares the same nerves as your anus.

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Lelo says: “You’re much more likely to reach the big O if your partner takes a more leisurely route around this most sensual of areas before honing in on the clitoris itself.” 

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Almost all of us with clitorises are capable of having a clitoral orgasm, and, in fact, many of us aren’t capable of coming to orgasm via the other styles. This is because the clitoris can be considered the hub of pleasure; that little love button holds the key to numerous bundled nerve endings — approximately 8,000. Compare that to the penis’ 4,000.

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Whether you’re receiving oral sex, applying pressure, or breaking out your favorite pleasure product for a more consistent vibe, clitoral orgasms are definitely ranked as a favorite. Your clitoris is best served with a blend of direct and indirect stimulation; the more you become aroused, the more sensitive and erect it becomes. This is why foreplay is such a big part of the overall pleasure-inducing experience.

By Dr. Carlen

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