1. Random (non sex-related) orgasms can happen.
Some people orgasm during exercise, while meditating, or even when they get super anxious. More info on weird types of orgasms here.
2. Sleep orgasms are also possible — for men andwomen.
Dudes are actually more likely to have wet dreams during puberty and adolescence (before they’re having regular sex), while women can have them pretty much any time.
3. And nipplegasms exist, too.
Yes, a rare few can climax from nip-stimulation alone. (More info on all things nipple-related here.)
4. Some people even orgasm during childbirth.
Awkward, but it happens.
5. Your brain goes bonkers right before an orgasm.
There’s a gradual increase in activity across the board, behavioral neuroscientist Barry Komisaruk, Ph.D., co-author of The Orgasm Answer Guide, previously told BuzzFeed Life. First your genitals send a signal to your limbic system (the emotional control center), then activity increases in the anterior cingulate cortex and the insular cortex, and finally the hypothalamus and nucleus accumbens are activated when you climax.
6. Those weird facial expressions and curling toes? There’s a scientific explanation for that.
During orgasm, activity in your cerebellum is steadily increasing, which is responsible for muscle tension in response to sexual stimulation. There’s also some activity happening in brain areas responsible for pleasure and pain, which might explain why you look like you’re grimacing when you orgasm. Here’s more on what happens to your brain during an orgasm.
7. More orgasms can reduce your risk of prostate cancer.
You know, if you have a prostate. One study found that men who ejaculated 21 or more times per month had a lower risk of prostate cancer than men who only orgasmed four to seven times a month.
8. Oxytocin probably doesn’t make you ~bond~ with anyone who gives you an orgasm.
Researchers know that oxytocin is a hormone and neurotransmitter that’s released when you come. But… that’s pretty much all we know. There’s no real evidence that it actually produces emotional feelings, Komisaruk previously told BuzzFeed Life.
9. But you might be more likely to talk about ~deep stuff~ after an orgasm.
Post-sex oversharing is actually normal. A 2014 study in the journal Communication Monographs found that when people had an orgasm, they disclosed more serious and positive stuff to their partners (compared to those who didn’t have an orgasm).
10. Squirting doesn’t necessarily equal an orgasm.
A recent study found that squirting is basically a mix of pee and other fluids that are sometimes released with lots of G-spot stimulation (not to be confused with female ejaculation, which is a smaller bit of liquid that comes from the female prostate and mostly stays in the vagina). BUT squirting doesn’t necessarily happen at the same time as an orgasm, and some people don’t find it pleasurable at all. So if you like it, COOL. But if you don’t enjoy it or can’t do it, don’t sweat it.
11. Using lube can help you have an orgasm.
It’s probably stashed in way more nightstands than you think. More than two-thirds of men and almost as many women have used lube during sex, according to research from Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion. And of those lube users, about half of them say it helps them orgasm.
12. It’s DEFINITELY normal not to have an orgasm every time you have sex.
Really. You are not broken. We promise. A recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that women only orgasm 62.9% of the time with a familiar partner, while men orgasm 85.1% of the time, BuzzFeed Life previously reported (obviously this varies from person to person, but these are averages). Plus, only about 40% of heterosexual women and 80% of heterosexual men reported an orgasm during their last casual hookup, according to a study in the American Sociological Review.
So if you’re not finishing every time — or even most times — don’t freak out and assume you’re completely alone in this. You’re not.
13. Lesbians have more orgasms than heterosexual or bisexual women, according to one study.
Researchers found that lesbian women reported having an orgasm 74.7% of the time with a familiar partner, which is more often than heterosexual women (61.6% of the time) and bisexual women (58% of the time) reported finishing. Fun fact: Male orgasm frequency didn’t really differ based on sexual orientation.
14. For anyone with a vagina, you might just not orgasm from penetration.
And that’s totally fine. Actually, it makes a lot of sense. “Clitoral stimulation is how the majority of women have orgasms,” sex and relationship researcher Kristen Mark, Ph.D., tells BuzzFeed Life. And while there is research to suggest that parts of the clitoris extend deeper into the vagina, the bulk of the nerve endings are on the glans (the external part under the clitoral hood). And most people need stimulation here in order to orgasm.
During typical P-in-V (or dildo-in-V) sex, there might not be a whole lot of clitoral contact, so if you want to orgasm during penetration, you’ll need to make sure it’s ~included~.
Again: Don’t assume you’re a weird anomaly if you don’t orgasm during penetrative sex with a partner.
15. Both men and women fake orgasms.
About 70% of women and 30% of men report ever faking an orgasm, according to one national online survey by Good In Bed. So basically, trust no one.
16. And people fake orgasms for lots of different reasons.
It’s not always just to get the sex over with (but, OK, sometimes that’s the reason). Other possible reasons for faking it are to protect your partner’s feelings, to try to boost your own arousal, or to avoid insecurity or negative emotions, according to astudy in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.
PSA: Everybody should really stop faking orgasms. Not only is that straight-up lying, but it’s also just not productive if your goal is to have real orgasms.
17. Doing more ~stuff~ during sex can increase your odds of an orgasm.
Combining several different sex acts (like oral, anal, manual stimulation, playing with sex toys, penetration, etc.) can make men and women more likely to orgasm, according to a study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.
18. There are SO many things that can scare away an orgasm.
For starters, any kind of stress, anxiety, or pressure can make it harder to come, says Mark. Other orgasm-inhibitors include certain medications, alcohol, some health conditions, your masturbation habits, or even relationship issues. Here’s more info on why men have orgasm issues and why women have orgasm issues.
19. Some people never (or rarely) have orgasms.
Anorgasmia is defined as difficulty reaching orgasm after adequate sexual stimulation. It can be lifelong, acquired, or situational, and researchers aren’t always sure of the cause. But remember, this is after adequate sexual stimulation. So it could just be that you haven’t figured out what feels good yet or you’re with a partner who isn’t really taking the time to make you come. If you’re having trouble, check out some of our articles on orgasm issues for men or women, then talk to a doctor or sex therapist if you’re still having difficulty.
20. Piercing your genitals doesn’t guarantee super-good orgasms.
It ~might~ make it easier to come, or it might not, but there hasn’t actually been much research on this. Plus, some people find too much stimulation in a particular area to be unpleasant (like if direct clitoral contact is too much for you), says Mark. So this really depends on the person.
21. Here’s what actually happens during an orgasm if you have a penis:
In the time leading up to an orgasm, the testicles increase in size and become fully elevated, the scrotum skin thickens, the Cowper’s gland secretes pre-ejaculate, and the prostate enlarges, says Mark. During orgasm, there’s a lot of contracting going on in the seminal vesicles, the vas deferens, the anal sphincter, and prostate. There are also penile and urethral contractions, which help expel the ejaculate. Boom, there it is.
22. Here’s what actually happens during an orgasm if you have a vagina:
Leading up to an orgasm, the clitoris enlarges and retracts underneath the clitoral hood while the inner labia increase in size, says Mark. The inner two-thirds of the vagina expand and lengthen (sometimes called ballooning or vaginal tenting) and the outer third of the vagina swells and becomes bumpier and more rigid. When you orgasm, contractions happen in the vagina, uterus, and surrounding areas before everything goes back to normal. Yay, orgasm!
23. There ~might~ be different kinds of vaginal orgasms — but we’re not really sure.
Vaginal orgasms, clitoral orgasms, G-spot orgasms… researchers aren’t totally convinced if these are distinct ways to come or all variations of the same thing. “The anecdotal evidence is strong that different types of orgasms probably exist,” says Mark. But the research has been mixed — some studies show that all these areas are actually connected and that parts of the clitoris reach way back into the vagina (so everything is ~technically~ a clitoral orgasm), while other studies show that not all genital stimulation is equal.
But… do we really care? “What this could be telling us is that maybe there’s a lot of individual variation in orgasms. Maybe focusing on what type of orgasm it is isn’t overly beneficial. If you’re enjoying orgasm and having a pleasurable sex life, than let that be that,” says Mark. Amen.