The Female Orgasm 101

It feels like eating a pizza made of love and success

Women have come up with many creative ways to describe what their orgasms feel like. Some say it feels like a sneeze, a steep drop off a cliff, or a volcanic eruption. But regardless of how they choose to word it, they can all agree that the female orgasm feels amazing! This makes it even more upsetting to learn that straight women are only orgasming 65% of the time during sex, compared to their male partners who orgasm 95% of the time.

Researchers think there are two key reasons for the orgasm gap. Firstly, straight women seem to lack a sense of initiative to take control over understanding and experiencing their own pleasure. Secondly, men lack an innate biological awareness of how to sexually please their female partners. When it comes to difficulties in the bedroom, getting more educated is always a good first step to teaching others about your body, leading to better communication and therefore better sexy times. So, to start off…


Why do women orgasm?

Surprisingly, scientists don’t actually know yet. Dr. Elizabeth Lloyd, a professor of biology at Indiana University, explains“The clitoris has the indispensable function of promoting sexual excitement, which induces the female to have intercourse and become pregnant. But the actual incidence of the reflex of orgasm has never been tied to successful reproduction.”

So even though having an orgasm is not required for women to get pregnant and its evolutionary purpose is yet to be defined, it still feels fantastic, and is worth being explored.


How do women orgasm?
Illustration by Lucy Han at

Pictured above is the outside of the female reproductive system. See that little bundle of nerves peeking out slightly where the two inner labia meet at the top? That’s the outside of the clitoris: and as Dr. Lloyd mentioned, it plays a large role in having an orgasm.

The clitoris contains 8,000 nerve endings, which means it is very sensitive – consequently stimulating it is the easiest way for a woman to orgasm. The clitoris also extends deep inside a woman’s body in two shafts that run along either side of the vagina, like this:

Illustration by Lucy Han at

The internal clitoris has a wishbone-shaped structure and is covered in soft tissue like the vaginal canal. During arousal, heart rate increases and blood rushes to the vagina and clitoris, causing beads of lubrication to form along the walls of the vagina. This can result in a warm, flushed, and tingling sensation as the body builds tension.

Eventually, after building a lot of muscle and nerve tension in the genitals, anus, and thighs, a woman’s body involuntarily releases it all at once along with a heavy dose of dopamine and oxytocin in the brain, resulting in the pleasurable rush called orgasm.


Ways for Women to Orgasm

The clitoral orgasm is considered to be the easiest orgasm for a woman to have, and can be achieved by touching the clitoris in a variety of different ways, having oral sex, or by using a vibrator. Women can also orgasm vaginally through stimulation of the G-spot by penetration. However, the blended orgasm combines the best of both worlds by simultaneously stimulating the clitoris and the G-spot.

Physical excitement aside, one of the best things a woman can do to help increase the likelihood of having an orgasm is to mentally and emotionally let go. According to sex therapist Dr. Ian Kerner, women are sometimes prone to ‘spectatoring’ – which describes being too concerned with how they look and behave to really enjoy themselves. 

“It may seem counterintuitive,” Kerner told Women’s Health, “but you need to relax to build sexual tension.” Life is stressful and it can be difficult to unplug, but try to leave any worries at the bedroom door and take some time to calm down before getting revved up.


Want to learn more? Check out Fumble’s other articles Sex Toys 101 and How To Communicate During Sex for guides and how-to’s for achieving better orgasms solo or with a partner.

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