Overview of Orgasms

Physiologically speaking, an orgasm involves muscle tension and relaxation and a brief series of involuntary bodily contractions. Biologically male orgasms consist of contractions that occur in the prostate gland, vas deferens and seminal vesicles, and will usually result in the ejaculation of semen. Biologically female orgasms consist of contractions that occur in the muscles around the vagina, which may (or may not) result in ejaculation or vaginal secretions. Orgasms also induce chemical changes in the body, such as the release of endorphins and other hormones.

The exact experience of orgasm will not only differ from person to person, but the same person may experience orgasms very differently from day to day. Some orgasms can involve very intense sensations like dizziness, while others may feel milder. And, in spite of what some magazine articles may tell you, there is no single path to orgasm and no method or process that is guaranteed to cause orgasm in you or your partner. The best approach is to use masturbation to learn what makes your body feel good, and to communicate with your partner about what will bring each of you pleasure. 

Orgasm Issues

Inability to Achieve Orgasm

While there may be physiological reasons why a person is having difficulty achieving orgasm, often the issue is one of expectation and communication. Culturally, there is the expectation that every instance of sex will result in an orgasm, and that this orgasm should be the main goal of any sexual interaction. This means that there is often a great deal of pressure to achieve orgasm, which can actually decrease satisfaction. Also, the position from which sex is occurring or the movements involved may not be stimulating in a way that leads to climax. For instance, a biologically female person may not orgasm from intercourse alone and may enjoy stimulation from something like a hand or a sex toy. Trouble with orgasming may also come from feeling anxiety about your performance or appearance that makes it difficult to obtain pleasure from sex. If you are experiencing any of these, it is important to communicate with your partners about how you are feeling or what would feel good to you. If you feel unsure about what, exactly, would help you orgasm, consider using masturbation to get a better sense of what angles and sensations give you pleasure.

If you are concerned about having difficulty orgasming, it may also be helpful to talk to a doctor to see if there are underlying physical causes, or if any medications you are taking may be affecting your ability to climax. Keep in mind that, while many people find the difficulty to orgasm problematic, some do not and find their sex lives are rewarding without ever orgasming. So, how you feel about orgasm difficulties and how you choose to conceive of and cope with them is up to you.

Premature Ejaculation

Premature ejaculation refers to a phenomenon in which a biologically male individual ejaculates before either they or their partner wants them to. Premature ejaculation is common, and can have both psychological and biological causes. If you are concerned about how rapidly you climax, it may help to talk to a doctor, as they can recommend techniques that may help you prolong intercourse.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that the average length of time from the start of vaginal intercourse to ejaculation is six minutes; so ejaculating rapidly is not necessarily abnormal. Rapid ejaculation is also common in younger individuals, as inexperience or nervousness about their performance can cause them to climax before they want to. If you are concerned that premature ejaculation is diminishing your or your partner's pleasure, it can be helpful to incorporate methods besides penetrative sex (such as oral or manual stimulation) in order to prolong the length of your sexual interactions.