What is an orgasm supposed to feel like?
 
It’s difficult to define an orgasm. Each one is as different as the women having them. But still we try. Here are a few ways some women have described them to us:

“Think of the absolute best foot massage you’ve ever had, then multiply that by one hundred.”

“It’s  the  ticklish  buildup  to  the  biggest  sneeze  ever,  plus  the sneeze, and then the best exhaustion postsneeze.”

“Toe-curling, heart-pumping, pure and uncontrollable pleasure.” “Blacking out—in the best way possible!”

“Lack of breath, emptiness in the whole body, tingling all over with goose bumps.”
 
“A powerful feeling of amazing sensation, including a falling-over-cliff loss of accumulated erotic tension.”

“An involuntary muscle contraction accompanied by whole-body bliss.”

“When  your  body  takes  over  out  of  your  own  control,  totally adhering to your pleasure, your mind is quiet, and then an explosion.”

“Scratching the worst itch ever, it almost hurts it’s so itchy, resulting in full-body waves of clenching and releasing—almost spasmic and totally spontaneous.”

“Orgasm is the sudden, involuntary release of sexual tension.” (This one is from Emily Nagoski, author of Come As You Are.)

You can read the overlap in experience here, but also how unique every woman’s experience can be. Basically, the female orgasm is a mys-tery. If you have had one—or a zillion—you know why. It feels different pretty much every time. Some are lovely. Some are thunderstorms. Some change your life. Some are full of emotion. Some are purely physical. Some are sad. Some feel like they come from deep inside. Some can stop your cramps. Some reduce you to tears. Some make you want another one right away because they’re not quite enough or because they were so good you want more. And so on. The point is that quality varies; maybe the most consistent thing about them is that each one is its very own thing. Yes, researchers can measure uterine contractions and conclude what is and is not an orgasm, but sorry, all the data-collecting probes in the world can’t detect all this wide-ranging nuance. And it’s probably easier to have an honest orgasm when there isn’t a probe inside of you, anyway. Still, people—amateurs and researchers alike—are busily trying to define the female orgasm.

 

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