Orgasms don’t always come easy, but thanks to the wildly subjective nature of human pleasure, there are so, so many ways to reach that peak. And I think we can agree that it is *worth it*, no matter what “type” of orgasm you experience.
Although the orgasm rate for penis-havers is higher (boo), the erectile tissue for people with vaginas is spread out over a larger area, meaning more erogenous zones to enjoy and more ways to reach climax. So there is no reason that with a lil’ effort, lots of communication with partners, and a clear understanding of your body, that orgasm gap can’t be closed.
Now, to clear things up, “different orgasms” doesn’t really mean different types so much as different ways to evoke the sensation. “Most researchers tend to believe that there’s really only one kind of orgasm that can be triggered by different parts of the body,” says Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and the creator of Finishing School, an online orgasm course for women.
Sheila Loanzon, MD, a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist and a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, agrees that there aren’t always clear categories to orgasms. “Instead of thinking about kinds of orgasm, there are different ways that an orgasm can be reached,” she tells Women’s Health. Sometimes you can just aim to stimulate different areas to achieve an orgasm, and other times, it can be a combination of factors. “There can be clitoral, vaginal, breast, inner thigh, toe sucking, oral, sensual massage, and mental orgasms and so many more,” says Dr. Loanzon.
And this means even more exciting ways to spice up your sex life. Now let’s get started so you can get to trying out all 11 ways to have an orgasm.
1. Clitoral Orgasm
The clitoris is a small, nerve-dense structure seated at the top of the vaginal opening, and serves no function other than to provide sexual pleasure. “If you’ve never had an orgasm before, you want to start with the clitoris,” Marin says.
How to have a clitoral orgasm: First things first, you need to figure out if you prefer direct or indirect stimulation, which is to say, touching the clitoris itself, or through the labia and clitoral hood. Marin suggests rubbing it with your fingers (rather than a sex toy) at first, “going in a spiral type of shape around your clitoris.”
Start pretty far from it and then spiral in closer to it until you’re finally spiraling over it, and then spiraling back out,” she says. Note when and how your body responds: With that knowledge base, experiment with different types of touch until you find the one that works for you.
2. G-spot orgasm
“The G spot is a hypothesized highly erogenous area on the anterior (or front) vaginal wall of the urethral sponge that can be stimulated during sexual activity,” Loanzon says. “It is the female equivalent to the prostate.”
How to have a G-spot orgasm: “Pee first so you don’t hold yourself back from climax, as G-spot stimulation can lead to a need-to-pee sensation and female ejaculation,” says Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure. “Insert your middle finger in the vagina, on the belly-button side of the body. You’ll feel an area that’s likely corrugated in texture. Stop there and use a come-hither motion to stimulate or a toy rubbing or vibrating in that area.”
Or, if you’re having penetrative sex, try a position that hits your G-spot—rear entry positions work well for this—and keep stimulating the area until you climax.
3. Blended orgasm
“Blended orgasms are combining clitoral stimulation with some kind of other stimulation, and that can actually be a great way—once you’ve mastered the clitoral orgasm—to figure out what other parts of your body feel like,” Marin says. So, theoretically, you could achieve blended orgasm from stimulating your nipples and your G-spot simultaneously, but the most common combination is clitoris and G-spot.
How to have a blended orgasm: If you’ve got both the G-spot and the clitoral orgasm down, you’re in great shape—basically, just stimulate the G-spot at the same time you stimulate your clit.
Or, if nipple tweaking, earlobe biting, or the anus are what get you going, focus your attention there. But for most people who have clitorises, involving that area will up your odds of achieving a blended orgasm.
4. Sleep Orgasm
“People of all genders can have orgasms in their sleep. Orgasm happens in the brain, and the brain is quite active at night,” Marin tells Women’s Health.
How to have a sleep orgasm: “Unfortunately, there’s no way to make yourself have a sleep orgasm. They’re fun when they happen, but you can’t do anything to create them,” said Marin. Darn.
5. C-spot orgasm
The C-spot is your cervix, and involves nerve endings located in the cervix and around the uterus. Anatomical differences and surgical history—i.e., a hysterectomy that involves the cervix’s removal—can affect a person’s ability to achieve cervical orgasm, as can a partner’s penis size (if your partner happens to have a penis). Heavy thrusting with a particularly well-endowed partner may hurt, so communicate about how cervical stimulation feels for you.
How to have a cervical orgasm: The key to a cervical orgasm is the build-up, Jessica O’Reilly, Ph.D., author of The New Sex Bible resident sexologist for ASTROGLIDE, told Women’s Health. You have a better chance of achieving one—and of enjoying pleasurable, rather than painful, C-spot sensations—if you’re very turned on. So, save deep penetration until you’re close to climax, and then have your partner thrust (or use a sex toy or finger) so that they hit your cervix.
You probably already know where and what the nipples are, but what you might not know is that some people can orgasm solely from their stimulation. As Men’s Health reported, in one study of 213 women, 29 percent reported having had a breast-based orgasm at some point in their lives.
“When the nipples are stimulated, oxytocin is released, which causes the same uterine and vaginal contractions associated with orgasm,” says ob-gyn Christiane Northrup, MD, author of Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. “This brings more blood flow to the genitals and can trigger an orgasm.”
How to have a nipple orgasm: “When it comes to nipple/breast pleasure, I wouldn’t get too hung up on the goal of orgasm,” O’Reilly says. “Focus on the pleasure and see where it leads.”
O’Reilly recommends experimenting with the area right above the areola, which many people find to be the most touch-sensitive. “Start on the outer edges, using the backs of your fingers ,and circle your way slowly into the center,” O’Reilly says. You can also roll the nipple between thumb and forefinger.
Some people may find it feels great to have a partner breath on, lick, suck, or pinch the nipples. This is all subjective, so it’s a matter of playing around to determine what feels best for you. A light touch, at least at first, may be best for breast action. Try gentle boob cupping while stimulating the nipples with a tongue or vibrator, rather than full-on grabbing.
A coregasm is “when you work out and you have orgasms” just from the physical activity, Marin says.
How to have a coregasm: Unfortunately, this may not be something you can train your body to do. “It seems to be people are kind of born doing that and it kind of tends to be an annoyance, more often than not,” Marin continues. Because yeah, exercising in a crowded gym and not being able to stop yourself from climaxing can get…awkward.
Typically, Marin explains, coregasms happen in two ways: “One is from running, where your thighs might be rubbing together and you’re getting a little bit of indirect clitoral stimulation.” But the more common one is from core workouts. “Some people with vaginas will have them from just doing sit-ups. Others experience them from yoga-type practices, or being in a bridge position where you really have your core engaged,” adds Marin. So maybe it’s more of an at-home workout type of experimentation…
8. Skin orgasm
A skin orgasm is also called “frisson,” like the tingle that runs through your limbs when you hear a particularly affecting song. Maybe you get goosebumps, maybe your hair stands up, or maybe you get a little shiver.
How to have a skin orgasm: Research shows that skin orgasms are most commonly triggered by music—but emotionally-evocative scenes in movies, moving artworks, or even other people with whom you feel a very special connection can spark frisson. It’s an unpredictable one, though.
9. Breath orgasm
“Sex is often pigeon-holed into a physical act involving the genitals, but the reality is that the hottest sex happens between our ears—and is often enhanced by how we use our breath and lungs,” O’Reilly says. “Your breath impacts your interpretation of sensations and helps to put your mind into a state conducive to experiencing pleasure.” Which is to say, you can in fact breathe your way to climax—while also dismissing the intrusive thoughts that can distract from pleasure, O’Reilly adds.
How to have a breath orgasm: First things first: O’Reilly suggests finding a quiet, comfortable place to lie down on your back. Placing your hand on your belly, breathe in deeply through your nose, such that you can feel your hand rise and fall, and exhale through an open mouth. Slowly, begin a mental scan of your body from head to toe, actively relaxing each body part as you go.
“The way you breathe has a significant impact on your sexual and orgasmic response,” O’Reilly explains. “And though each of our bodies is unique, many people report that deep, slow breathing intensifies their orgasms and can even result in multiple climaxes.”
But because everyone orgasms differently—whether from breathing exercises or physical touch—there’s no right way to do this: “You have to experiment with different types of breathing to see what works for you,” she continues, whether that’s rapid, shallow breaths, slow, deep breaths, inhalation through the nostrils, or any other type of breathing that feels especially good to you as you imagine yourself in an arousing scenario.
10. Fantasy orgasm
“So powerful is the mind’s hold over our sexuality that some people can actually ‘think’ themselves off,” says O’Reilly. This one is pretty self-explanatory: We’re talking about fantasizing your way to climax—not touching your body, just flexing your mind muscles until you peak. Often, breath work and fantasy will go hand-in-hand—you may well find that visualizing scenarios and your body’s response works best in conjunction with breathing exercises.
How to have a fantasy orgasm: “Though only a small percentage of people report being able to reach orgasm through fantasy alone, you may want to experiment with the power of your mind,” Dr. O’Reilly says. “Allowing your mind to wander into unchartered territory can help you to recognize and benefit from your most genuine fantasies and untapped desires.”
Don’t place any fantasy off limits, just let your mind go where it wants to go. Focus on your sexiest possible scenario—while also engaging whatever breath work feels best to you—and immerse yourself in it, imagining the touch and the atmosphere. Really get yourself into the scene, and just keep using your imagination until you and your fantasy self-climax.
Did you know that female ejaculation, or squirting, is technically a completely separate process from orgasm? “You can squirt without orgasming, and orgasm without squirting,” Marin says. She also explains that a lot of fascination with this is unhealthy because it comes from seeing it in porn (which is faked most of the time).
If you personally want to see if it can happen some day, then great, go for it on your own or with someone else. But if your partner is insistent on making it happen because it’s a fantasy for them, make sure they know the science behind squirting (cough, cough, this is why we need sex ed).
How to squirt: “Remember that for most women, sex starts in the brain,” Taylor Sparks, erotic educator and founder of OrganicLoven.com, told Women’s Health in a previous interview. “Start the mental seduction earlier in the day.”
When the time has come for things to get steamy, focus on the clit, then the G-spot. “As the sensation/pressure starts to build, it will feel like you have to pee—that’s
the time to use your pelvic floor muscles,” Sparks explains. “Don’t tighten them, but push out…as if you are pushing out the pee. It takes practice, but it’s doable.” (And remember: You won’t actually be peeing.) And, finally, if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen and that is totally okay.
Can I have multiple types of orgasms in a row?
Those with vaginas can orgasm multiple times in a row, like a mountain range instead of a single peak 😉. Lucky ducks.
“People with penises have a refractory period, meaning that the body needs time to cool down before being able to get turned on and orgasm again. People with vaginas don’t have this, so they can orgasm again right away.” Marin says.
So go ahead…give a few of these a whirl. And remember to have fun along the way, even if you don’t end up orgasming from all of your attempts.