Can all women actually orgasm – and for how long? “For most women, the problem is actually very mental. They’re stuck in their heads and it can feel impossible to get out”, says cosmetic doctor Dr Galyna Selezneza…
No, not every one can orgasm
“There are two main reasons for woman not to achieve orgasm. Either there is something about the woman, or there is something about the sex. Different studies report different statistics. Having researched the subject I can say that 50 to 70 per cent of women have not had an orgasm in their life,” she says.
Anna Hushlak is co founder and chief scientific officer at Ferly, an audio guide to mindful sex.
“No, not all women can orgasm. That being said, the overwhelming majority can, or at least they have the potential to,” she says.
“One American study showed that about 50 per cent of their study subject can not even say the word vagina and do not talk about it. An online survey in the UK showed that over 80 per cent percent of woman did not climax through intercourse alone and needed additional stimulation. Let’s not forget that there are mental, emotional and physical elements of sex,” Dr Galyna says.
“For most women, the problem is actually very mental. They’re stuck in their heads and it can feel impossible to get out. This might relate to beliefs about their bodies, cultural influences they’ve had to navigate, or not feeling comfortable with themselves or their partner(s). Ironically, by putting the focus on orgasms, we’re actually limiting our ability or likelihood to have them. Instead, we should be focusing on experience general pleasure, which comes from things like exploring our own bodies, improving our ability to speak up, and cultivating eroticism, mindfulness and intimacy,” Anna says.
Are we even sure what an orgasm is?
“For women, what an orgasm comes down to is a feeling of intense pleasure alongside involuntary and rhythmic pelvic, uterine and anal contractions,” Anna says.
How long do they last?
“Orgasms range from just few seconds to minutes. However, some women, unlike men, are able to achieve multiple orgasms if stimulation continues,” Dr Galyna says.
“How long an orgasm actually ‘lasts’ is a bit of a tricky question given that pleasure is pretty personal and from a research perspective, replicating a ‘natural situation’ by having women orgasm in clinical trials is not necessarily that easy. But, while there’s a lot of debate amongst scientists on how long an orgasm lasts, the general consensus is that the female orgasm is around 20-35 seconds in duration (Meston et al., 2004),” Anna says.
She goes on, “at Ferly, we’re big believers that our focus shouldn’t actually be on orgasms but on the whole sexual experience. This is in part because well, really in the big scheme of things, orgasms don’t actually last that long, and by giving them so much attention, we’re making sex much more ‘goal oriented’ and limiting the potential for pleasure but bogging it down with a whole lot of pressure and expectations.”
Chances are though, if you want to, you’ll be able to achieve orgasm – even if you have to practice alone for a bit.
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