The female orgasm has long been a topic du jour among both men and women, as lots of myth and mystery surround what is true and what is not about a woman’s most natural sexual response. In modern sexology, it's considered one of the most hotly debated topics, since no one has been able to crack the code about how or why it happens. Whether you learned about the female orgasm in sex Ed, from your friends, or from the famous scene in When Harry Met Sally, where Meg Ryan is moaning and groaning, acting out a fake orgasm, chances are you’ve probably believed a few common myths about the “Big O.”
On National Orgasm Day, it’s time to decipher what is real, what is not, and what gets a woman off in between the sheets. Here are six most common myths about the female orgasm debunked that will make you say “oh” in a whole different way.
Myth #1: Women reach orgasm through intercourse.
False: Only a third, or 30 percent of women, are found to experience an orgasm regularly, while the rest need additional clitoral stimulation to climax. Meanwhile, a third never achieve orgasm during intercourse, says the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada, but they are able to do so by manual and oral stimulation. Achieving an orgasm by means other than intercourse is considered normal in female sexuality because an orgasm is an orgasm no matter the method.
Myth #2: Orgasms are always an earth-moving experience.
False: Women can have orgasms and not always be aware of it. Typical orgasm indicators such as specific breathing patterns, body movements, vocalizations, and muscle contractions may not always be present, suggesting there is not a fool-proof detection method to see whether a woman has had an orgasm or not. Women can experience an orgasm without feeling their pelvic floor muscles contract, but instead will feel very relaxed and pleased after their peak. During an orgasm, according to Brown University, most contractions occur in the lower part of the vagina, in the uterus, anus, and the pelvic floor, with 10 percent of women ejaculating fluid from the urethra when they orgasm.
Myth #3: 'Squirting' and 'gushing' is the same thing as female ejaculation.
False: “Squirting” and “gushing” are often used interchangeably when it comes to the female orgasm. During sexual arousal and intercourse, women will release vaginal secretion, which provides natural lubrication. However, during an orgasm or climax, the vagina secretes a thick white discharge after the muscles of the uterus and vagina contract, and become engorged with blood. Unlike the thick, whitish fluid released from the Skene's gland (female prostate) during an orgasm, “squirting” or “gushing” is just the release of clear fluid from the urinary bladder.
Myth #4: Women should be able to achieve a G-spot orgasm.
Maybe: The existence of a G-spot is still under debate, despite the belief an orgasm is derived from the stimulation of this spot. It is speculated that the Skene’s gland, located on the back wall of the vagina near the lower end of the urethra, may be near or part of the G-spot. Some women are found to enjoy a sensation that is experienced in the upper area of the vagina — thought to be the G-spot — but not all women necessarily experience this.
Anecdotal evidence exists that women have claimed to have found their G-spots, but lab experiments have had trouble with its consistency. A 2008 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine found women who reported having orgasms brought on by the G-spot showed ticker tissue in the area compared to their non-orgasm counterparts via ultrasound scanning. The existence of the G-spot still remains a mystery, so whether women should or should not be able to achieve an orgasm via G-spot is up for debate.
Myth #5: If a woman cannot reach an orgasm, her partner is not a skillful lover.
False: A partner can help a woman reach an orgasm, but in the end, the woman is actually responsible for whether she climaxes or not. A recent study published in the journal Sexologies found women who think erotic thoughts and focus on body sensations during sex have a higher probability of achieving an orgasm. Sexual pleasure is derived from the combination of sensory and psychological signals, suggesting sexual desire and orgasm are influenced by the brain and the nervous system, which controls the sex glands and genitals. This is not to say a woman’s partner should not be involved — communication in telling her partner what she likes and dislikes could improve their sexual chemistry in bed.
Myth #6: A woman has to have an orgasm in order to enjoy sex.
False: An orgasm during intercourse or oral sex is not key for a woman to enjoy sexual acts. Orgasms are elusive. Partners, specifically men, get too caught up on climaxing and forget about focusing on the feelings, sensations, and pleasurable thoughts. The truth is most women do not have one every time, or most of the time, they are in between the sheets, according to womenshealthmag.com, suggesting women appreciate sex for more than just the point of reaching an orgasm.
Remember, do not get caught up on the climaxing. Appreciate sex for what it is with your partner.