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Orgasm: A Comprehensive Guide To Sexual Climax

Learn all about the "end goal" of sexual pleasure, including the different types of orgasms and how to have them.

Portrait of Mia from Blissful Cherry

Mia Hart

February 25, 2024

Portrait of Mia from Blissful Cherry

By Mia Hart    February 25, 2024

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Going into a sexual encounter of any kind, there are certain expectations for most people regarding achieving a level of sexual satisfaction that makes the encounter worthwhile.

Whether this refers to masturbating in private or going to a full-blown orgy, a sexual encounter is typically judged by how satisfied all parties were from a sexual standpoint.

And while what it means to be satisfied is often up for debate, there is no denying that an ideal indication of sexual satisfaction can be summed up into one word: orgasms.

Whether you have some experience with orgasms yourself, or you are new to the world orgasms entirely, keep reading to learn all about the art of the sexual climax, including the different types of orgasms and ultimately how you can successfully incorporate them into your sex life regularly to maximize your sexual pleasure.

What is an orgasm?

For anyone who has masturbated or has had sex before, you know how it feels and in general those feelings can be largely described as sexual arousal at its core.

As these sexual encounters continue over time and your body continues to be sexually aroused, sexual tension is also produced.

This sexual tension builds up until it ultimately is released by your body.

An orgasm is the release of that sexual tension and more importantly, is the peak of sexual arousal.

For most people, orgasms are the “end goal” when it comes to sexual activity, simply because it is when your body feels the absolute best.

But orgasms also are associated with typical bodily responses…

What is Ejaculation?

Ejaculation is essentially the release of sexual fluids from the body.

In more colloquial terms, it is often referred to as “coming” (or sometimes spelled “cumming”) and effectively is synonymous with having an orgasm.

The actual release of sexual fluids is also colloquially referred to as cum.

If your partner is saying that they are “coming”, that means that they are in the middle of having an orgasm!

Male ejaculation vs. female ejaculation

Although men and women in general are very similar when it comes to sexual experience, there are some notable differences, and arguably that is no more apparent than in the case of ejaculation.

Male ejaculation is typically very apparent when it happens, with their seminal fluid often shooting out of the tip of their penis with significant force and velocity.

Not to mention that a man’s ejaculation is typically preceded by their penis convulsing and shaking uncontrollably before their semen shoots out of their bodies, which is fairly apparent to their sexual partner as well.

However for women, ejaculation is a lot less obvious.

In the extent of ejaculation varies entirely by individual.

In more typical cases a woman will expel a small amount of thick white milky fluid, somewhat similar to male seminal fluid, although at a much lower volume overall.

Or for some women who are stimulated in just the right way, they may find themselves having a squirting orgasm if they allow their body to fully release the sexual tension without holding anything back.

But some women may not release any fluid at all, or their fluid is so minimal that it is not obviously expelled from their vagina.

Although ejaculation is synonymous with orgasms, it is not a requirement for someone to ejaculate to consider them as having an orgasm.

Never forget that orgasms are inherently defined by the peak of sexual arousal coinciding with the release of immense built-up sexual tension.

In other words, if you have an orgasm, it will be undeniable and you will know - ejaculation or not.

The Refractory Period

After achieving peak sexual arousal, it makes perfect sense to want to immediately continue with more sexual stimulation to achieve that amazing feeling again as soon as possible.

However, the refractory period is what prevents us from doing just that.

The refractory period is a period after having an orgasm during which you will not be sexually aroused like you were before.

No matter how hard you try to get “turned on” again, it is more or less a futile effort until you get through this period of time.

But once this period of time subsides, your body is ready to be sexually aroused again and if you so desire, you can go right back to sexual activity and go for yet another orgasm.

How long is the refractory period?

It would be nice to have a very straightforward answer for this question, but in reality, the refractory period varies from person to person.

Some people can go at it again after a few minutes, while others have to go wait as long as an hour or two.

In addition, anyone’s refractory period can change over time, often times influenced by health factors and lifestyle choices.

As long as you know that the refractory period exists overall, you can set the right expectations when it comes to pleasuring yourself or having a sexual encounter.

This does lead to a few additional points on this topic worth mentioning.

Men are affected more than women

This is an undeniable fact for anyone who has had sex with a man before.

When men have an orgasm there is almost definitely a clear refractory period in which they cannot continue having sex.

Biologically speaking, their penis will ultimately lose its hardness and make vaginal penetration basically impossible, although they can still pleasure their partner with other methods such as their mouths.

And while some men are born “lucky” without any refractory period whatsoever, these men are far and few in-between.

Women on the other hand may have a refractory period, but it will generally be shorter compared to men.

So even if a man and a woman both orgasm at the same time, it will generally be the woman who is ready to go at it again.

Having said that though, studies have shown that most women actually do not have any real refractory period at all, or if they do, it will be a very brief one.

This ability to orgasm multiple times in succession is actually a notable advantages when it comes to having sex with women compared to men.

Consider Edging

For women who typically have no refractory period, it makes perfect sense to try and achieve female orgasm as quickly as possible.

But when it comes to men, it actually may be detrimental to have them orgasm quickly if it leads to a prolonged refractory period which can put a damper on the mood.

Instead, it might be better to try and maintain their sexual arousal and keep that sexual tension built-up for as long as possible, which is the basis behind edging.

There are many benefits to edging and you should definitely check out this comprehensive edging guide to learn more.

How to Orgasm: General Tips

Now that you know pretty much everything there is to know about what an orgasm is and all of the other elements that make up an orgasm, let’s learn exactly how to achieve one for yourself.

And perhaps most importantly, learn how to achieve an orgasm reliably.

There are actually a great number of ways to stimulate your body to orgasm, but before we get there, it is arguably more important to provide some general tips on setting yourself up for success in your search for sexual climax:

Give yourself privacy (and time)

If you’ve masturbated before, you know that the worst thing to ruin the mood while trying to get off is to be interrupted by someone such as a family member or a roommate.

Orgasm is the end result of consistent and prolonged sexual stimulation, so privacy is an absolute must to keep in you the mood.

And in order to keep you in the mood until you do finally orgasm, make sure you also set enough time up for yourself.

As silly as it may sound, clear out your schedule and make sure you have time to focus on you and only you.

Explore your body freely

Although we will give you plenty ways to stimulate your body to orgasm, it is important to go into the process with an open mind.

Don’t just take our word for what can lead to orgasm, but explore for yourself and figure out what feels good for you personally.

Your first exploration into masturbation is a microcosm of this mindset.

When you first learned to masturbate, there was likely no guidance from anyone.

Over time you realized that certain things made you feel good and it led to your understanding of how to masturbate to achieve that sexual pleasure consistently.

The same logic applies to orgasms as well.

If something feels good to you sexually, hone in on that feeling and see if you can not only keep making your body feel good that way, but potentially find other ways to make yourself feel even more amazing.

Keeping an open mind to try new things that your body responds to the most is the fastest way to realize orgasms for yourself.

How to Orgasm: Masturbation

Once you have the proper mindset to put yourself in a position to achieve an orgasm, all that’s left is to explore all of the many ways to achieve said orgasm for yourself, and see what feels the best.

Keep in mind that everyone’s body and response to sexual stimulation is different, so what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you.

Male Solo Masturbation

Masturbation is a great starting point for learning how to orgasm, and most of the variety of stimulation methods available can actually be achieved on your own without the help of any partner.

For men, the formula is pretty standard and orgasm can fairly reliably be achieved by gripping their penis with their hand and stroking it up and down to make themselves feel good.

Vary not just the speed of your strokes but also the intensity of your grip and you’ll very quickly find what feels the best.

Just keep engaging in this stroking motion (feel free to vary things over time if it helps) and eventually you will certainly achieve orgasm.

Almost certainly along with the aforementioned male ejaculation synonymous with sexual climax!

Female Solo Masturbation

Similar to males, females generally are able to get themselves off by manually stimulating their genital areas.

However there are a few different ways to do this, with a lot more techniques compared to male masturbation.

Rubbing the external part of the vagina is a very common technique that does stimulate a woman quite well.

However, through a bit of self-experimentation, most women will realize that rubbing the clitoris in particular will create the most sexual pleasure.

In fact most women actually cannot orgasm reliably without clitoral stimulation, so it is important to prioritize this area if that applies to you.

Another typical way to masturbate is to insert your fingers into your vagina and stimulate yourself by applying friction to your internal vaginal walls.

More fingers inserted leads to more sexual stimulation, so apply whatever number of fingers feels the best to you.

For reference, a lot of women go with inserting two fingers vaginally, but even one finger or three fingers is fairly typical.

And you can even vary the number of fingers you insert based on your overall level of sexual arousal.

One place to focus your fingers on in particular is the g-spot which is generally speaking the best way to achieve an orgasm vaginally.

Beyond using your fingers alone, using sex toys are very typical, especially for women in particular.

Given that women often are unable to orgasm using manual stimulation alone, the unique physical sensations of sex toys can push you over the edge from just achieving normal sexual pleasure to achieving an actual orgasm.

Syntribation is another great technique that involves squeezing your legs together to put pressure on your vulva and clitoris.

This pressure surprisingly feels really good and the act itself can even can be done without removing any clothing, making it a great alternative for women who don’t have as much privacy to masturbate using more typical methods.

Other Solo Techniques

The techniques mentioned above are only a small number of ways to masturbate with the goal of achieving orgasm.

However, they are not the only things you can try.

There are also a few other techniques for all genders that are just as viable and well worth further exploration.

Manually stimulating your nipples perhaps surprisingly can be a huge turn-on, and for some people can even lead to nipple orgasms.

The anus is also a great place to focus your attention.

Try rubbing the outside of your anus with your finger, or even insert it into your anus for a more intense sensation.

If you want to go even further, try using inserting an anal toy inside of you while you masturbate, such as a butt plug or anal beads.

How to Orgasm: Sex

Solo masturbation is just one way to get yourself off sexually, but in reality there are many other ways to derive sexual pleasure.

However for a lot of these techniques, you will need help from a partner.

If you want to have an orgasm during sex, beyond the techniques we mentioned above which can still be applied when in the company of another person, be sure to try out these ideas as well.

Vaginal Intercourse

This is the basic sexual act that we all typically associate with sex, with the man putting his penis inside of a woman’s vagina.

Although this technique typically does the job for men, the same generally cannot be said for women, with vaginal stimulation alone often not being enough to lead to orgasm.

Thankfully this next option is arguably the best for help women reach climax.

Oral Sex

This form of sex involves putting one’s mouth onto their partner’s genitalia.

In the case of men, this involves giving them a blowjob by sucking on their penis (and their balls as well).

For women, this is known as eating them out by licking and sucking their vulva, with cunnilingus being the technical term.

The act of stimulating the clitoris in particular is the key element that helps women achieve orgasm.

Since this clitoral stimulation is not typically applied during vaginal intercourse, cunnilingus is highly recommended during sex if female orgasm is a priority.


Similar to cunnilingus, analingus is another form of oral sex, but with the stimulation applied to the anus rather than the vulva.

This act is also commonly referred to as a rim job.

Applying someone’s tongue on the sensitive sphincter muscles of the anus not only feels good physically but is a very erotic act overall which can turn the receiving partner on even more.

Anal Intercourse

While anal sex is not for everyone, it does have its place in the bedroom for couples looking to go beyond typical vaginal intercourse.

The tightness of the anus often makes the receiving partner feel “full” when they are penetrated by a penis, and is generally considered a highly pleasurable sensation, as long as enough lube is applied.

When it comes to orgasms though, it is definitely something that can move the needle for women in particular, with many women noting that anal sex can bring them to orgasm, even when vaginal sex does not.

If you are open to the idea of anal sex, it may be worth a shot just to see if it does in fact lead you to orgasm.

Make Regular Orgasms the Ultimate Goal

Orgasms are undeniably an amazing part of the sexual experience.

And in all honesty, if you’ve never had one before, you wouldn’t truly know what you were missing.

But the fact that so many people, especially women, have never experienced a genuine orgasm in their lifetime is such a shame!

Hopefully this guide has helped you learn everything there is to know about orgasms, and most importantly ways to try and achieve them for yourself.

In conclusion, although sexual pleasure goes way beyond reaching sexual climax, having an orgasm is not something that anyone should overlook.

As much as possible, regular orgasms should be a staple in any sexual experience because they only serve to enhance your sex life, and they do so quite immensely!