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A lesson on orgasms

SHE Sexual Health Experts is a dedicated sexual health practice in Arizona. They are devoted to helping women achieve and restore sexual health. Their interdisciplinary treatment approach is designed to address the emotional, physical, a...

Orgasm basics

Forget pain relievers — have an orgasm instead! Women who "self-medicate" with an orgasm are finding relief from headaches, generalized muscular pain, stress and even migraines.
Bashful woman

There are many physical and mental health benefits of orgasm that make it one of the best kept secrets around, and there are multiple orgasm (no pun intended) types that are not as well known.

Types of orgasms

Here's one that's straight out of Ripley's Believe It or Not: Research has shown that some women can have mind orgasms. No physical stimulation needed! That's even more proof that the mind/body connection for women is so crucial in sexual response.

One of the biggest myths about orgasm is that it comes from vaginal intercourse only. The truth is, orgasm from penetration is actually caused by indirect clitoral stimulation, and commonly, vaginal penetration alone does not provide enough stimulation to evoke an orgasm. Many women must have direct clitoral contact in order to climax.

There is also the elusive G-spot located on the anterior wall of the vagina that when stimulated, can put a woman in a pleasurable state. There are specialized receptors in the tissues of the vaginal opening that are sensitive to pressure, and respond well to penetrative touch. The other types of orgasm include cervical, nipple and perineum.

Many believe a blended orgasm, which contains multiple sensory inputs from several erogenous zones, usually results in a more intense experience.

But what about those who, no matter how often they have sex or how hard they try, can't reach orgasm with a partner?

What if you can't orgasm?

We need to remember that orgasm is not a “thing,” nor is it something that someone “gives” us. It can become a serious problem when a woman just waits patiently for it to “arrive,” and it's very frustrating and disappointing when it doesn't.

Second, remember that sexual pleasure really stems from a combined state of both mind and body. Learning to become orgasmic involves knowing your anatomy and physiology, becoming embodied and learning to trust your partner enough to "let go." Orgasm is about pleasure and each woman should take responsibility for her own orgasm.

Don't forget though that there are times in life when orgasm may change or can become more difficult because of relationship issues, physical challenges, hormonal changes or medications. The first step is to assess all factors that may pose a barrier to the mind/body interaction, and then seek help — as most of these problems can be solved with a comprehensive treatment that is a blend of both medical and psychological interventions.

The bottom line

We know that orgasm doesn’t have to come from mind-blowing sex. Through self-stimulation, women can have powerful sexual experiences and pleasure. Pleasure that engages the mind, body and emotions leads to an orgasmic state that is much more than a state of euphoria. For women, orgasm can evoke a creative awakening and activate parts of the brain and nervous system responsible for feelings of self-love, creativity and connectedness. Orgasm is associated with a release of powerful hormones that stimulate either bonding with a partner or motivation for social engagement. Either way, it's a win-win situation.

Self-exploration and discovery are important for learning what feels good and then to be able to express this to one’s partner. Keep in mind that an open and honest description of what feels good can be a revelation and open many new possibilities for every woman and her partner as well. Another win-win.

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