HomeIntellectual aspects of sexualityHow orgasm is achievedHow we know that someone has had an orgasm

How we know that someone has had an orgasm

How we know that someone has had an orgasm

Orgasm is a subconscious response but we need to take conscious actions to achieve it. A responsive person knows when they have had an orgasm because they took specific and focused steps to get there. Arousal (and hence orgasm) relies on what happens in the mind. Some women assume they have an orgasm just by engaging in intercourse. So we need to consider the external signs and behaviours that indicate a person has had an orgasm.

A man only engages in sexual activity of any kind when he has an erection or can be reasonably sure of being able to achieve one. In other words, he must be mentally aroused. His short-term objective may be penetration and the pleasure of thrusting but the apparent goal is orgasm. This is because his desire to engage in sexual activity ceases once orgasm has been achieved.

This explains why sex ends with a male orgasm but never with female orgasm. There is never a point at which women can no longer engage in sexual activity. This is clear evidence that women do not orgasm with a lover. If a woman’s motive for engaging in sexual activity with lover was the desire to achieve orgasm, then she would cease sexual activity before even getting to intercourse. Not only would she leave the man unsatisfied and frustrated, but the result would be disastrous in reproductive terms. A woman needs to be willing to engage in intercourse regardless of her own arousal and orgasm.

Achieving orgasm relies on a number of factors. The most critical issue is that an individual must have the necessary responsiveness. Responsiveness is a male characteristic. So men are much more likely to experience orgasm than women are. Further factors include a degree of privacy, a degree of confidence for men in the sociable situation and a relaxed state of mind.

A man can feel secure in a harem because he is the only male. Men fantasise about threesomes: sex with one man and two women. Foremost a man doesn’t want any interruptions until he has ejaculated. Women want privacy because of embarrassment. Men need to recuperate before they can be aroused again. In a swinging situation, women can have more partners than men because they are not erotically aroused and do not orgasm with a lover.

Achieving orgasm involves applying consistent stimulation until orgasm and then desisting. The time taken to achieve orgasm depends on various factors including our current state of arousal. But that period of stimulation cannot be determined in advance. We cannot set our watch and demand that someone reaches orgasm at an exact point in time. This makes it very unlikely that lovers can orgasm at the exact same moment as each other.

If we are aiming for orgasm, we want to control our own stimulation. We want to synchronise the stimulation of the phallus with what is happening in our heads to optimise the mental impact of orgasm (satisfaction obtained from sexual release). For adults, achieving orgasm may involve considerable effort. We experience an increase in heart rate and heavier breathing due to sexual excitement. For men, this effect is increased if they have engaged in vigorous intercourse for some time. Female arousal depends on mental concentration rather than physical effort. A woman may tense and hold her breath as she concentrates on her arousal, which adds to her breathlessness.

We do not experience the exact same sensations every time we orgasm. Sometimes the release is more satisfying than at other times. The most satisfying orgasms are those that involve some build up in erotic arousal and culminate in an orgasm that includes strong pelvic contractions, multiple waves of pleasure and a deep sense of release. Factors that affect orgasm quality include: our pent-up need for sexual release, our ability to achieve a mental focus on eroticism and factors such as our general state of well-being.

The feelings that accompany orgasm are unique and do not equate to any other experience. Arousal feels like excitement or anticipation. We feel a slight adrenaline rush. We hold our breath to concentrate on the feelings. Our mind is totally absorbed in what is happening. Orgasm is joyful. Orgasm ideally involves psychological stimuli (conscious erotic fantasy or a subconscious response to eroticism) combined with genital stimulation (of the tumescent sex organ: penis or clitoris) that culminate in a release of sexual tension (called an orgasm) followed by a pleasurable aftermath of orgasm including waves of post-climax echoes and sensations of lassitude.

After orgasm there is a sense of release and relaxation as the blood flows away from the penis and vulva. An orgasm is a release of sexual energy. Following sexual release, we feel sated. We have a similar feeling after eating a big meal but especially if we were very hungry beforehand. We also feel sleepy after a heavy meal. Responsive women masturbate as a means of getting to sleep. The process of achieving arousal clears a woman’s head of all other concerns (that may be keeping her awake). She feels totally relaxed after her orgasm. The effect is stronger for men because male orgasm is considerably stronger than female orgasm. This is why men often fall asleep readily after the exertions of intercourse. While women are left wide awake. This is evidence that women do not orgasm from sexual activity with a lover.

Erotic stimulation … effects a series of physiologic changes which … appear to involve adrenal secretion; … increased pulse rate; … a flow of blood into … the penis … and the clitoris; … often considerable loss of perceptive capacity; increase in nervous tension; some degree of frigidity in whole or part of the body at the moment of maximum tension and then a sudden release which produces local spasms or more extensive convulsions. (Alfred Kinsey)

Excerpt from Learn About Sexuality (ISBN 978-0956-894748)