What Is An Orgasm? How Do I Know If I’ve Had One?

what is an orgasm

It should feel . . . like this. | Source: Shutterstock

How do you know if you’ve had an orgasm? Let’s see if I can help.

One way to help figure out if you have had an orgasm is to understand what is an orgasm in the first place. Basically, orgasms are the combination of two things. The first is that as a woman gets turned-on, she builds up muscle tension around her pelvis. During an orgasm all this built-up tension releases. The second thing that happens is that at the same time that this tension (or myotonia, if you want to really get technical) is released, a flood of hormones flows into the body. When it happens together, the hormone flow and muscle tension release cause intensely pleasurable feelings. These are often centered around the genitals, but they can be felt all over.

If this doesn’t sound like something you’ve experienced, don’t despair! Pretty much anyone can learn how to have an orgasm.

One of the best ways to do this is by masturbating (aka: touching yourself). When you are alone and the pressure’s off you can experiment with different types of sensation. Plus, you won’t feel rushed or like you have to perform, and you can let yourself fantasize about what turns you on without worrying about what is going on with someone else. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t click right away. Learning how to orgasm can take a lot of practice, both alone and with a partner.

Right after I had sex for the first time, my high school boyfriend turned away from me and mumbled into my hair, “So, um, did you come?”

I was pretty sure that I hadn’t, but it seemed embarrassing and rude, and maybe a little critical and mood-killing to mention this. So instead of telling him the truth, I said, “Yeah, it was really nice,” and left it at that.

It wasn’t that I was totally lying. The experience had been nice enough. But like a lot of girls’ first (or fifth or seventy-fifth) times, it also hadn’t exactly been orgasmic.

how to have an orgasm masturbate

Trying is the fun part! | Source: Shutterstock

In my case, this was a pretty clear result of inexperience and cluelessness about what I needed to do to be able to come. For other girls, not climaxing can be caused by everything from unrealistic expectations, to awful sex, to discomfort with their bodies, discomfort with their partners, or even discomfort with sex itself.

But whatever the reason, the fact remains: a lot of girls are having a lot of sex that isn’t ending in fireworks. It’s not that sex has to be mind-blowing every time, or that orgasms should always be the ultimate goal. But plenty of girls who would like to throw an orgasm into the mix, aren’t quite getting there.

So what can you do if this is the boat you’re in? One thing is to remember that our bodies are not machines that all work identically. Many people have gotten the message that simply inserting part A into slot B should result in earth-shattering orgasms, and when it doesn’t work like this, we feel like we (or our partners) are doing something wrong.

The fact is, most girls orgasm from clitoral stimulation, not from vaginal penetration, and that stimulation often needs to go on for long time. We’re talking anywhere from 6 minutes to 60. Really. It could take an hour of sexy times to get you to orgasm. And you know what? That’s fine, that’s great, that’s awesome.

Take your time and figure it out. You’ll have fun all along the way even if you don’t orgasm every time.

Want More Orgasm Tips? Here You Go!

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  • Nomfundo

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  • Nikki Nivens

    Do your nipples get hard if you orgasm? Does your vagina get wet? If you play with yourself van you orgasm? So, what other ways can get you to orgasm? Please help!!! Thank you!!!

  • Deya

    I get the article but still not sure if I’m having one. I get sensitive and shake sometimes, feels amazing both on my own and when my bf plays with me, but idk if the oozing white stuff is me cumming or not, idk….

  • Cupcake

    Hey, so I’m16. And my bf was fingering me one night and he stopped then I went to use restroom.. when I came bak he asked if he was good at fingering because I’ve never stopped him Becuz I cummed or watev. but I didn’t knw if I ever cummed or nahh but reading thru these comments I always feel like I’m gon pee.. when he fingers me.. but I don’t stop him.. cause Wat Am I suppose to say that won’t make it awquard??? HELP! !???

  • Angel

    Well, ive been masturbation since iwas 13 and i had sex at 14 but i still mastubate and when i didnt have an orgasm but im 15 now and when i masturbate i have an orgasm and it feels like im about to pee so i stop and get up and it be over

    • brianna

      When it feels like you have to pee when you are masterbating don’t stop that’s when you are about to cum