Whether you're coupled up or going it solo this Valentine's Day, here's every question you've ever Googled about The Big O, answered by an expert
Last Valentine’s Day, who’d of thought that in a year’s time we’d be confined to our houses – with a dating app that allows you to send voice notes being the closest we’ve come to intimacy in months. From living in literal isolation for weeks, to being advised to wear face masks while doing it and puzzling over the best facing-away sex positions, it’s fair to say our romantic lives have had a rough old ride this past year. (Not the good kind.) But never a nation to be deterred, it actually turns out that questions about orgasms have experienced a helluva spike during the pandemic.
*Drops £800 on a state of the art vibrator.*
So we enlisted the help of Dr Elesha Vooght. As a sex expert at Kandid, a fresh-thinking sex toy shop on a mission to normalise self-pleasure as a wellness tool, we figured Dr Vooght would be the best point of contact when it came to getting insight into the most common orgasm-related queries.
So without further ado, these are the internet’s most asked questions about orgasms, answered by someone who knows what’s up.
Happy Valentine’s Day…
The internet’s top five questions about orgasms, answered:
1. What is an orgasm
An orgasm, according to Dr Vooght, is the release of sexual tension characterised by muscle contractions in the pelvis, a sense of euphoria and a flooding of endorphins into our bloodstream. Sounds about right. Though it can be associated with a reproductive function, such as ejaculation, Dr Vooght reveals that we still don’t know the actual reason why we have them. As long as they continue to feel as good as they do, best not to ask anymore questions about this…
2. Why can’t I orgasm
According to Dr Vooght, there are tons of reasons why some individuals can’t orgasm. Some actually even require a higher level of stimulation than can be produced by a human, meaning toys can make an excellent alternative.
In other cases, some people just haven’t yet figured what works for them. Dr Vooght warns anyone whose concerned not to let anyone else think that good orgasms take any less than time and patience to figure out how you work: ‘Give yourself permission to explore your body through solo-sex to find the things that bring you ultimate pleasure.’
Ill health, medications and stress can also inhibit orgasms. If you think any of these issues may be affecting your sex life, then speak to your doctor (GP or GUM clinic are good places to start) for further personalised advice.
3. How can I orgasm during penetrative sex
This, as indicated by Dr Vooght, is where solo-sex well and truly comes into use.
‘Think about what gets you off. Are you a clitoral orgasmer or a g-spot orgasmer?’, Dr Vooght says. ‘Both or neither or really anything at all are also suitable responses. Focus on the motions and intensity that you enjoy. Now, combine that with your partners assets and apply it to partnered sex. It does require you to be a little bit brave and have a candid conversation with your partner, but sex is about mutual pleasure, so I promise they want to know.’
4. How long does the female orgasm last
On average, a female orgasm lasts 6-20 seconds. But don’t be surprised if it feels longer. Damn.
5. What happens when a woman orgasms
To understand what happens during an orgasm, Dr Vooght says we have to understand the whole process the body goes through: ‘When we first become exposed to a sexual stimuli, we begin to get aroused. Our heart rate, blood pressure and breathing rate all increase and we get a large flow of blood to the genitals, making them much-more sensitive.’
As we start stimulating our erogenous zones, our pelvic floor muscles then apparently begin rhythmically twitching, as the clitoris and nipples become erect and the vagina becomes increasingly lubricated. Dr Vooght says that some individuals can even become ‘flushed’ due to the increased blood flow, giving the labia a darker appearance.
She added: ‘It’s believed once these contractions of the pelvic floor muscles become a certain frequency, there is an explosion of endorphins and happy hormones giving you the tingly euphoric feeling.’
Wow – does anyone else kinda, really miss sex right about now?