What does an orgasm feel like?

What does an orgasm feel like?

Shall we talk about orgasms, perhaps? I haven’t really spoken a lot about this topic on my blog, because I am conflicted. And so today I want to talk to you about why I’m conflicted. And then I really do want to talk about what an orgasm feels like. Because for me, when I wasn’t able to have one, I was very curious. Did I have one? Was that something that everyone talks about? How do I…? All sorts of questions about it, but I think the most interesting one is, “What does it feel like?”

First, my name is Janna Denton-Howes. I am a sex and intimacy coach for married women. And that’s why I’m talking about orgasms.

Orgasms in our society

So here are my thoughts about how orgasm is dealt with in our society right now. It is not very helpful and not very healthy. Two things are happening. There’s too much emphasis for a lack of a better term placed on them. And they’re also not emphasized enough. How is that possible?

Let’s look at this. They’re too emphasized because they have been defined as the ultimate success of the sexual experience. Which is very problematic because there’s a catch 22. When you focus on orgasms, they don’t happen. Orgasms don’t work when you feel pressure, when you feel like it’s an expectation, when you feel like the success or failure of the experience is riding on its shoulders. It doesn’t want anything to do with that.

If it has anything to do with how you want your partner, your husband, to feel about the experience or to feel about you, (if you don’t want them to feel rejected or upset, if you don’t want to feel broken or like there’s something wrong with you) that is called pressure.

And our bodies are made for pleasure, not pressure.

This is why a lot of women, shockingly, even in very happy, wonderful marriages will fake an orgasm because they’re like, “Well, I better prove to the world… (probably themselves and their husbands), that they work.” And unfortunately I end up supporting some women in that situation because they have to go to their husbands and say, “Actually, I haven’t been entirely honest with you.” I don’t think this is a truth telling problem. I think it’s a society problem that women don’t feel safe enough just to be who they are. So this can be a very frustrating experience when there is so much emphasis on it because the whole goal from the start is, “Will I be able to orgasm? Will I be able to orgasm with my partner? Will I be able to get there?”

Orgasms aren’t the goal

Where is ‘there’ anyways? Who has even constructed this success or failure benchmark? Is it even necessary? It really misses the mark, because then women are focusing so much on this one goal that they’re absolutely not being able to enjoy sex from all of their nerves. I mean the whole body, your whole skin, your five senses are an opportunity for pleasure, which is actually one of the goals.

When you look at it from a more holistic perspective like sharing love, tenderness, vulnerability, being able to just retreat from the world together and do something really special and intimate…You can delight, you have humor, you can talk. Yes, you can talk during sex. It’s one of my favorite ways to connect with my husband during that time.

Understanding orgasms

Now what about the not emphasized enough part? This is where I see that there’s just not enough clear, direct, factual and diverse information about how to achieve an orgasm. What does an orgasm feel like? I was sitting outside on my patio in the sun with my pen and my notebook as my kids walked around me, and I wrote down questions that would be on the top of my head. Things I would be curious about if I was able to get into a room of women who are open, who are of all ages, all different body types, all different nationalities, all different religions. Here’s what I would be… just off the top of my head.

How do you orgasm? What does it feel like? Do you touch your clitoris? Do you use a vibrator? Can you orgasm with your husband? Do you orgasm first or does he, or do you orgasm at the same time? I don’t know. Maybe there are some unicorns out there who can do that. How long does it take you? Do you expel some liquid? Is there lubrication? Are there sensations after an orgasm? Do you have multiple orgasms? Do you fantasize? What positions work best for you? Do you orgasm during oral sex? Do you like orgasms? How do you feel afterwards? Do you feel inspired and creative or do you feel really exhausted?

Have you ever had an orgasm?

Lots of women have never had an orgasm before, so it’s not emphasized enough in the fact that where are you supposed to go for good, clear, factual, non weird advice? Just like you would go and get advice for budgeting, or for home organization, or how to change the oil on your car. This boring, factual, clear, no weirdness advice.

So by me struggling with this topic I actually haven’t shown up and just provided that clear factual, straight to the point advice. Which I want to change. The thing is men’s orgasm is just expected. That’s just what’s going to happen. And I think it must come somewhat from the fact that male orgasm is necessary for procreation and female orgasm isn’t. I don’t know why that is, and I have spent many hours contemplating this. I do believe in God. So I was like, “Why? Hello? Why were we created this way?” I have my own theories about that. I believe it has to do with actually growing equality in the world, but we need to grow up.

We need to get proper education. We need to be having education in schools. Clear education that involves, “Hey, you have a clitoris. It feels good. Here’s how it could happen.” Why not? Why does it have to be so hush, hush? Why are we getting such poor education from the media?

What orgasms may feel like

I talked in the beginning that I was going to share with you, be open and vulnerable about what orgasm might feel like. Now, I am one woman. I have one very unique body. So the way it feels like for me, it’s going to be different than the way it feels for you. But if I’m vulnerable first, then maybe you’ll be vulnerable second. And then you’ll email me. You’ll comment below on this blog. Imagine that. Wouldn’t that be crazy? And just describe what it feels like for you. And if you haven’t had one, it’s not your fault. Your body is made for pleasure. So take the stupid goal off of orgasm. But I do want to provide you with the right kind of information.

So for me, an orgasm kind of feels like a sneeze.

So much so that when I sneeze, I’m like, “Wow, that’s very similar.” So just imagine a sneeze. It’s like, you feel it coming. It’s kind of like in your body, there’s some like tickling sensations in your nose. You have to kind of stop for a minute and be like, “Oh, hold on just one minute.” if you were in a conversation, right?

You know, you’d be like, “Just pause a minute.” And then you might get to a point where you’re like, “Ohh,” and then something happens. It’s gone. Where did the sneeze go? The sneeze has gone. For those moments leading up to it, I find sneezes quite pleasurable. It’s like, “Here it comes. Here it comes. Here it comes, oh it’s gone.” For me, there are things that help me sneeze. One of them is to look into bright sunlight. Does that help for any of you?

So there are things that you can do to encourage your body towards an orgasm. You can encourage your body with the way you’re touching yourself and the things you’re thinking. Making sure that all your needs are met in that moment, making requests. Maybe the way your partner is going faster or slower, asking them to adjust things. And then at some point when you’re sneezing, you know that you’re going to have a sneeze. You haven’t had the sneeze yet, but you know that the sneeze will definitely happen. It’s not going to stop. So it’s like this moment where you’re like, “Oh, oh, oh,” and then, “Achoo,” like that. Same exact sensation.

Variety in orgasm quality

So what’s interesting to me is that the quality varies significantly for me. And I guess it’s like this for a lot of women. So I have identified three different types. One of them is the proving orgasm. I am going to prove to myself and to my husband that I work. And I am a sexual being, that my body is perfectly functioning. That there’s nothing wrong with me. That is a low quality orgasm. That is usually feelings of like, “I’m a failure if I don’t.” This is very much goal oriented. It’s about success. Even after all of the work I’ve done, I still get into the ruts of proving orgasms. Just human over here.

Then there’s like this pushy orgasm where it’s like, “I really want one. I’m going to go after it and it’s going to happen.” And it’s this graspy kind of thing, “We’re doing this thing.” And usually two things are involved with those ones, vibrators and fantasy. Both of which I have decided I don’t want in my life. Not to say that I don’t use my imagination in really healthy, beneficial ways, but the typical type of fantasy that you would use to just really push and grasp and get there. I’m not interested in it. So I’m not really interested in those types of orgasms either. Proving orgasms and pushy orgasm. Not interested.

My idea of the best quality orgasm

Now what I am interested in, which I feel is more quality is what I just termed right before this video, the soulful orgasm. And it was just funny, because I’m not usually the type of person who is like, “Let’s talk about these things,” but it feels like all of me is involved in it, including my soul. Including that part of me that is drawn towards love, that is drawn towards closeness and connection and intimacy with my partner.

It feels like everything is involved, my body and my soul, because it is a joy for both of them. And usually the experience of them is quite slow. It’s quite relaxed. There’s a lot of peace. There’s a lot of similarity to a sneeze. It would be like, “Ah, ah, ah,” like there isn’t this, “It’s got to be progressive. It’s got to be like A, to B to C, to D. First base, second base, third base,” whatever progression you want to call it. And it’s delightful.

It’s pleasurable.

It’s lots of breathing. There can be some connection with my partner, maybe some sweet words of affection or some eye gazing. And there’s usually a period of time between when I described before, when it’s like, “Yes, I know I’m going to sneeze.” So there’s a point of no return, I suppose. The actual vaginal contractions, if we’re going to be scientific about it. And the more relaxed, the more at peace, the more I’m not doing the proving and pushing orgasm, then I can really lengthen out that time and it’s delightful and engaging and definitely my favorite kind.

So I hope that helped you in some way. Maybe normalize the experience of orgasm. Maybe inspire you to ask more questions. I hope that I will be able to provide more great quality and factual types of education here. You might feel uncomfortable because our society says it’s not comfortable to talk about sex, but I really want to be as comfortable for you as possible.

So let me know if you have any questions at all. Anything specific, I would love to answer them. And until next time, let’s see if we cannot help our culture and our society just become a little bit more balanced, a little bit more in the middle. So we’re not overemphasizing it and we’re not under emphasizing it. We’re just being accepting of ourselves, loving ourselves for where we are, but at the same time, really making sure that our needs are being voiced and are getting met. And we are just getting curious about what more we can learn about our bodies.

So thanks for reading and I will see you next time.

  1. S says:

    Finally – someone talking about it! Like, real ones (as opposed to the fake, screaming type depicted in the media). For a long time, I was in the no-orgasm club. I thought it was never going to happen (there’s a school of thought saying its impossible for about 10% of women), and also that they were some mind-blowing, out of this world fireworks type thing. Now, I can have one solo, and you know, they’re quite disappointing – it’s a bit like, oh, was that what all the fuss was about? As sneezes go, its quite a dainty tiny one. With my husband, unfortunately, I can’t seem to get there. There’s a huge amount of (very good, don’t get me wrong there) tension building, but it never releases. Sex usually ends with my hands actually locked up – its very sexy having to detach your wife from a pillow, apparently. I’ve had vaginismus in the past, and I’m pretty much a control freak in most areas of my life – I guess I just can’t let go fully. Its frustrating, but I’m trying to move away from the ‘orgasm goal’ and just enjoying the whole experience, which tbh, is pretty damm good.

  2. Kelsey says:

    Honestly, I laughed when I saw the organ described as a sneeze because that is exactly how my husband and I have described it to each other.

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