Couples often confide in me that one of their biggest challenges is attempting to understand the differences between men and women. However, I think sometimes it is also important to understand all of our similarities, too!
Despite the anatomical differences between male and female genitals, orgasms in men and women are physiologically and psychologically very similar. In fact, some studies have been done in which “experts” could not reliably determine gender when reading descriptions of orgasms with all the anatomical references removed.
Women have described the sensations of orgasm as beginning with a sense of suspension, quickly followed by an intensely pleasurable feeling that usually begins at the clitoris and spreads throughout the pelvis. The genitals are often described as becoming warm, electric or tingly, and these physical sensations usually spread through some portion of the body. Most women also feel muscle contractions in their vagina or lower pelvis.
The subjective feeling of orgasm in men has been described quite consistently as beginning with the sensation of deep warmth or pressure that leads to the point when ejaculation cannot be stopped. It is then felt as sharp, intensely pleasurable contractions involving the PC muscles, anal sphincter, rectum, perineum and genitals. Finally, a warm rush of fluid or a shooting sensation describes the actual process of semen traveling through the urethra during ejaculation.
A major difference between the female and the male orgasmic phase is that far more women than men have the physical capability to have one or more additional orgasms within a short time without dropping below the plateau of sexual arousal. Being multi-orgasmic for women depends on both continued stimulation and their level of sexual interest. But, because both of these factors are not always present every time a woman experiences and orgasm, multiple orgasms do not always occur with every sexual encounter.
On the other hand, upon ejaculation, men enter a recovery phase called the refractory period. During this time, further orgasm or ejaculation is physiologically impossible for men. However, some men can learn to have an orgasm without ejaculating, thereby making it possible to experience multiple orgasms in their own right.
Orgasms can’t be forced, and the more pressure you put on yourself (whether you are male or female) or your partner to experience an orgasm, the less likely it is to happen. Take things slowly, learn new techniques, experiment with them and find what works for you! If you start getting frustrated when you aren’t seeing results, it will show, and unfortunately make it even harder. Sex is supposed to be fun and enjoyable – as soon as you make it too serious, it takes away from the pleasure!