Quick note: throughout this article we use the terms "female" and "women" interchangeably for linguistic purposes, but recognize and acknowledge that not all women have vaginas or female reproduction systems.
Didn't know that there was anything other than a vaginal orgasm when it came to female orgasms? Buckle up because you're about to learn a lot about sexual health and female sexual desire. Women experience the 'big o' in a myriad of ways and understanding which type of orgasm you're experiencing (or want to experience) will greatly benefit your sex life.
There aren't different types of orgasms per se, but rather different ways of reaching the sensations of climax. One orgasm (in terms of actual bodily function), across a range of intensities and a variety of ways to get there.
How so? The erectile tissue in the female body covers a larger area than it does in males, which means more erogenous zones, which means a wider variety of ways to orgasm! For this reason, we can't guarantee that the below list is near comprehensive (there could be infinite ways to climax), but it covers the kinds of orgasms that have been more highly reported by women and researched more diligently.
Our full list of the different types of orgasms
1. Clitoral Orgasm
The clitoris is probably the best place to start if you've never had an orgasm - its sole purpose as a body part is to deliver pleasure. In its entirety, the clitoris is wishbone shaped, with much of it being invisible, extending back into the body. The visible part is the bean-shaped bulb at the top of the vulva and is extremely dense with nerves, which can make that pin-pointed area especially sensitive.
Try it out:
Every woman has a different level of sensitivity when it comes to their clitoris. Getting to something that feels good to you will probably take a little experimentation and you might even get more out of touching around the clitoris than directly on it. We'd recommend getting familiar with your clitoris without the goal of orgasm to start with - move your fingers down there (on and around the clitoris) until you find certain motions or patterns that feel good.
It might feel best to move your pointer and middle in a back-and-forth motion across the clitoris but moving in a spiral motion is a good method to start with. Start further out from the clitoris itself, moving in closer and closer with each spiral, noticing what feels good along the way. If You've felt comfortable using your fingers, consider trying out an external vibrator around the clitoris, building up slowly (don't use the highest setting straight out the gate).
2. Vaginal Orgasm
Vaginal orgasms (an umbrella term that includes G-spot orgasms) are less common than clitoral orgasms, in that only about 20% of women have reported having one. This runs in contrast to both mainstream and porn media representation, which tend to make it seem like a given that women will orgasm -and orgasm powerfully - from penetrative sex alone.
Try it out:
Working towards a vaginal orgasm on your own shouldn't necessarily be about emulating rapid in-and-out penetrative sex. Try slow and smooth pressure, not far off from how you'd want your clitoris to be touched, but internally. This is when your fingers or a toy that's angled or can be adjusted while inside you comes in handy. Angle towards the front vaginal wall (point at your belly button, from the inside) and rotate the end of the toy or your fingers in circular motions slowly.
Clitoral ad vaginal orgasms are cut from the same cloth, since the clitoris and vagina share nerve pathways and muscular structure. Try touching your clitoris next time you're having penetrative sex and it'll help push things over the edge for either a vaginal or combined orgasm.
3. G-Spot Orgasm
The G-spot lives towards the back of the vagina, making a G-spot orgasm a type of vaginal orgasm. Despite its name, it's less of a "spot" and more of a "zone" and when stimulated, it could be best described as stimulating the inverse side of belly button.
Try it out:
Using your middle finger, insert it deep inside your vagina (make sure you're properly lubricated before) until you feel a sponge-like textured surface. From there, motion your finger in a "come hither" motion. If this feels good, try using a toy like a dildo or an internal vibrator, using lubricant and moving slowly, building up as needed. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and concentrate on what's feeling good, adding clitoral stimulation if you feel like you're getting close but aren't quite getting over the edge.
4. A-Spot Orgasm
A-spot is short-hand for your anterior fornix, which is an arch right up against your cervix, slightly deeper than the G-spot. It's a particularly sensitive area within your vagina that has key responsibility in generating additional lubrication when you're experiencing overall vaginal stimulation.
Try it out:
Since it's so close to the cervix, you'll want to move slowly when reaching for the A-spot - hitting the cervix can get uncomfortable, especially at certain phases of your menstrual cycle (on or close to your period).
If you're masturbating, use two fingers or look for a toy longer than 5 inches but not too thick (so that it's not overbearing on the cervix), with a gently curved tip. Toys that are great for G-spot stimulation won't be great for A-spot stimulation since they have more dramatic curves that won't let you get far enough back. Point the toy in the direction of your butt, using pillows or a wedge to elevate your butt if it makes it easier.
Find the same angle if you're looking for A-spot stimulation during sex, either using a pillow to have your hips angled upwards or have him keep his butt low and pelvis tilted upwards while in doggy-style.
5. Cervical / C-Spot Orgasm
Your cervix is a narrow passage at the bottom of the uterus - it varies greatly from one woman's body to the next and changes based on where you are in your menstrual cycle. Add in the fact that some women have it completely removed in the case of a hysterectomy obviously affects a person's ability to have a cervical orgasm, as can the size of the penis or toy being inserted. If anything goes too deep and hits the cervix, it can be painful - be sure you're gentle with yourself and communicate with your partner. For many women though, deep deep penetration that reaches the cervix feels great, so it's probably worth a careful shot!
Try it out:
It's not very likely you'll be able to reach the cervix with your fingers alone (at least not comfortably), so you might want to try out an extra-long toy. The important thing, if masturbating or having sex, is to create a build-up. Your best chance of having a cervical orgasm is by being very, very turned on. Indulge in plenty of foreplay clitoral stimulation, G-spot stimulation, etc. Save the deepest penetration for when you're close to climax and then thrust towards the cervix to finish. Doggy-style and ride are both great sex positions to get deep enough for this kind of orgasm.
6. Anal Orgasm
The rectum and the vagina have shared nerves and the legs of the clitoris stretch all the way back to the anus, so it's absolutely possible for those with vaginas to experience orgasm through anal penetration alone. The two main ways to get there are either via the nerves around the entrance of the anus (the external sphincter) or the A-spot, which can be stimulated through anal penetration.
Try it out:
The most important thing with anal penetration of any kind is lots of lubrication and enough arousal to feel...relaxed back there. Start off with using one of your own clean fingers, using it in the same belly-button angle that you would with vaginal stimulation. If you feel comfortable using a toy, start by moving the tip of the toy in a circular motion around the entrance of your anus. You might feel most comfortable (and get more pleasure) from a smaller sex toy like an anal plug, which could be used alone or with vaginal or clitoral stimulation. If you're having anal sex with a partner, try doggy-style for deeper penetration or missionary for something more intimate and close.
7. Nipple/Breast Orgasm
In a study done by Men's Heath, nearly 30% of women involved in the study claimed to have had an orgasm from nipple stimulation alone. This is because the nipples have a high concentration of nerves which, when stimulated, send off signals to your genital sensory cortex (the same part of your brain that lights up with vaginal or clitoral stimulation).
Try it out:
Use the pads of your fingers to gently circle around your nipple - it might help to use a little lubrication to move more smoothly. Any wetness will also amp up pleasurable sensations, so the nipples are a great spot to try out ice play or use oils or lotions. Periodically try lightly squeezing your entire breast, massaging the nipple area with your palm. If it's comfortable, try pinching the nipple in between your thumb and pointer finger, "rolling" it around and increasing in speed and/or intensity in a way that feels good.
8. Energy Orgasm (Exercise-Induced Orgasm / Kundalini)
Energy, or exercise-induced "coregasms" are difficult to come by intentionally and take quite a bit of practice and concentration in most cases. That said, there's a fair share of people who have accidentally had an energy orgasm during a workout and didn't realize what was happening until it snuck up on them out of nowhere. While the exact cause of an energy orgasm isn't highly researched, there are suspicions that they occur mostly because the abdominal muscles get tired and put pressure on the clitoris.
Try it out:
One way to try for a coregasm is simple to explain but tiring to do: work out your abdominal muscles, hard. You could do a bunch of crunches, focusing on the build-up of heat and energy in your groin as you move and breathe.
The other way to try it out is harder to explain but easier on the body. Lay on a flat but comfy surface like a yoga mat and being taking focused, deep breaths in and out in a continuous loop. Rock your pelvis so that your lower back is arched on the inhale and squeeze your kegel muscles on the exhale, rocking back into place. You might feel this start to kick your vaginal and clitoral nerves into action, in which case, begin opening and closing your legs in a butterfly motion while continuing rocking/breathing. It might sound complicated, but the main point is focusing on the breath and flow of heath and energy.
9. Sleep Orgasm
We've all heard about wet dreams as they relate to men. Women can also experience orgasms while they sleep - we just haven't given it a fun name. You might've experienced a sleep orgasm if you wake up from REM (deep) sleep as you find yourself climaxing, making this an actual physical response over just dreaming that you had an orgasm. That said, it's easy to forget if it actually happened because unlike men, there's not much physical evidence of a release and you could've fallen back to sleep afterward. Sleep orgasms happen because while you're in REM sleep, you have increased blood flow in your genitals, which can subconsciously lead your brain to arousal, mostly coming to full fruition with a sex dream.
Try it out:
Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you like surprises) sleep orgasms are hard to predict or induce. It's worthwhile to find ways to try and have more sex dreams since they tend to be the instigator of sleep orgasms. Start reading erotic novels or binge a sexy TV series right before you go to bed. You can also delve into the curious world of lucid dreaming to steer your dreams towards sex. You might also try out sleep positions that create more direct contact with your clitoris or pubic bone like sleeping on your stomach or with a pillow in between your legs.
Some additional orgasmic experiences...
Having multiple orgasms means exactly what it sounds like - having more than one orgasm in a single setting. It's commonly thought that five is the "max" number of orgasms a person with a vagina can have in a row, but others suggest it could be more. Multiple orgasms can happen because women don't need the same refractory period that men need and because we have more ways of reaching orgasm.
Since erogenous zones are all interconnected, with the genital region as the heart of it all, blended orgasms are common, especially when it comes to other body parts plus the clitoris. In cases like vaginal, anal, and nipple orgasms, we recommend touching the clitoris as well to increase your chances of having an orgasm in the other place you're stimulating or more likely, both at the same time.
A megagasm is what you'd call any orgasm that is particularly intense and full-body, generally lasting an extended length of time, whether it's 30 seconds or two hours. For some, it can be a highly spiritual experience that isn't unlike being on euphoria-inducing drugs.
A microgasm is a subtle climax, sometimes so minor that it goes unnoticed. A lot of coregasms are microgasms if they're accidental and you're focused less on having an orgasm in the moment and more on the workout. It could also describe a regular orgasm that stops before it starts, as could be the case with edging. Having a series of intentional microgasms over time might lead to a high payoff once you finally let yourself go the full way over the edge.
Female ejaculation - it's real. Also called squirting, female ejaculation is a 'you'll-know-it-when-it-happens' sensation, because there will be a noticeably higher amount of fluid beyond the usual wetness of arousal. About two fluid ounces, to be exact. It's scientifically unclear if the fluid contains urine, but the sensation of ejaculation feels similar to peeing so there's a good reason to go to the bathroom before having sex or masturbating.
Not every woman has or will experience ejaculation, which is perfectly normal.