Health and Medicine

The Female Orgasm Is Not What You Think It Is

Orgasms, as we’re sure you’d agree, are rather lovely things. Scientifically speaking, there’s also a lot we don’t know about them.

In terms of ladyfolk, it’s been generally agreed that there are three ways to achieve one: stimulation of the vagina, stimulation of the clitoris, or both. There are plenty of nuances to this in terms of timescales, pace, and ability to achieve orgasm in the first place, but those are the basics.

However, a new study published in the journal Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology by researchers from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, has highlighted that some women can probably achieve these biological fireworks by being physically stimulated in several, previously underappreciated erogenous zones. These extra special areas include the lips, nipples, ears, neck, fingers, and toes.

Of course, it’s long been acknowledged that arousal can be generated by interacting with these body parts, but it has never been acknowledged (at least, via a scientific paper) that an orgasm can be induced in some women by stimulating them. However, this depends on what an “orgasm” is considered to consist of.

Based on a huge review of the scientific literature, the team concluded that women have “a remarkable variety of orgasmic experiences,” as noted in a statement. They highlight that “orgasms don’t have to come from one site, nor from all sites,” and that it (clearly) varies greatly between each individual woman.

Significantly, the research from McGill and Concordia Universities defines an orgasm as something fairly subjective, an experience entirely dependent on what a woman understands an orgasm to consist of. Rather than just being a counterpart to the relatively straightforward male orgasm, they posit that the female orgasm is essentially a plethora of experiences.

The most commonly accepted medical definition involves the contraction of genital muscles, accompanied by a rush of endorphins and, sometimes, ejaculate.

However, the key point that most focus on is the “rush of intense sexual pleasure,” which does lend itself to being quite subjective depending on what individuals experience at the time. Indeed, it appears the objective of this new study is to highlight that the female orgasm has no such concrete definition.

This is a metaphor, by the way. katjen/Shutterstock

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