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Orgasm is the conclusion of the plateau phase of the sexual response cycle, shared by males and females. During orgasm, both males and females experience quick cycles of muscle contraction in the lower pelvic muscles.

Orgasm is the conclusion of the plateau phase of the sexual response cycle, shared by males and females. During orgasm, both males and females experience quick cycles of muscle contraction in the lower pelvic muscles.

These pelvic muscles surround both the anus and the primary sexual organs. Orgasms in both men and women are often associated with other involuntary actions, including vocalizations and muscular spasms in other areas. Beside this, the most recognized sign of orgasm is a euphoric sensation. 

More About Orgasm

After orgasm occurs, it generally causes perceived tiredness, and both males and females often feel a need to rest. This has recently been attributed to the release of prolactin, which is a typical neuroendocrine response in depressed mood and irritation [1]. A recent study indicated significant differences in brain activity during the female and male orgasm. Even scans showed that both the female and male orgasm shut down areas in the brain associated with anxiety and fear. It has been found that the male orgasm focused the brain on sensory input from the genitals a little bit more than the female orgasm.

Male Orgasm

In a male orgasm, there are rapid, rhythmic contractions of the prostate, urethra and the muscles at the base of the penis. This process in the adult typically forces stored semen to be expelled through the penis’ urethral opening, in a process known as peristalsis. This is referred to as ejaculation, and is a well-known situation. The process generally takes from 3 to 10 seconds and is usually extremely pleasurable for the male.[2] Orgasm is generally induced by direct stimulation of the penis although some men experience heightened orgasm by direct stimulation of the prostate through the perineum or rectum. As a man ages, it is normal for the amount of ejaculate to diminish, and hence, the length of time the man sustains orgasm also could be reduced. This does not affect the pleasurable feeling of orgasm at all; it merely shortens the duration of pleasure.

Following ejaculation, a refractory period usually occurs. This is a period during which a man cannot have another orgasm. This period can be anywhere from under a minute to over half a day, depending on age and other individual factors, although a few cases have been reported of men who appear to have no refractory period at all.[2]

Male Prostate Orgasm

Some men are able to achieve ejaculation or orgasm through intra-anal stimulation of the prostate gland, where men reporting the sensation of prostate stimulation often give descriptions similar to women’s accounts of G-spot stimulation. Other men report finding anal stimulation or penetration of any kind to be painful. Others explain simply that they find no profound pleasure from it. With sufficient stimulation, the prostate can also be milked, so providing that there is no simultaneous stimulation of the penis, prostate milking can cause ejaculation but without orgasm. When combined with penile stimulation, some men report that prostate stimulation increases the volume of their ejaculation, and provides an enhanced and more pleasurable version of the standard orgasm.

Male Multiple Orgasms

It is possible to have an orgasm without ejaculation, which is called a dry orgasm. [3] It is also possible to ejaculate without reaching orgasm. Some men report that the ability to consciously separate orgasm and ejaculation has allowed them to achieve multiple orgasms and men who have practiced this technique extensively report that they can sometimes experience a continuous wave of orgasm. This can last indefinitely, but in practice is limited by the man’s ability to concentrate, or “surf the wave”. Reaching between ten and twenty orgasms in one session is reportedly common for many of the practitioners.

During recent years, a number of books have described various techniques for achieving multiple orgasms. Most multi-orgasmic men and their partners report that refraining from ejaculation results in a far more energetic post-orgasm state. Additionally, some men who have become adept at this practice also report more powerful ejaculatory orgasms when they choose. Some of the most basic techniques for achieving multiple orgasms require that the man hold on to the perineum to prevent ejaculation.

More advanced techniques are analogous to reports by multi-orgasmic women, indicating that they must relax and let go to experience multiple orgasms. Some young men have enough stamina so that the penis, given sufficient stimulation, never goes flaccid during the refractory period. In such cases it is unnecessary to try yoga and meditation techniques that could help them gain control over their body. It is actually quite painful to try to interfere with the ejaculation response once it has been triggered and generally within 30-45 minutes of the onset of the first refractory period, men are able to have an orgasm again. Internet rumors and a few scientific studies have pointed to the hormone prolactin as the likely cause of the male refractory period.

Because of this, there is currently an experimental interest in drugs which inhibit prolactin, such as Dostinex. [4] Anecdotal reports on Dostinex suggest it may be capable of eliminating the refractory period altogether. Then it is possible for men to experience multiple ejaculatory orgasms in rapid succession. At least one scientific study supports these claims. Dostinex is a hormone-altering drug with many potential side effects, and has not been approved for treating sexual dysfunction. Another possible reason may be an increased infusion of the hormone oxytocin, and it is believed that the amount by which oxytocin is increased may affect the length of each refractory period. It can also be said that in some cases, the refractory period can be reduced or even eliminated through the course of puberty and adulthood.

Female Orgasm

In a female, orgasm is preceded by moistening of the vaginal walls, and an enlargement of the clitoris. This is due to increased blood flow trapped in the clitoris’ spongy tissue. Some women exhibit a sex flush – a reddening of the skin over much of the body due to increased blood flow to the skin. As a woman comes closer to having an orgasm, the clitoris moves inward under the clitoral hood, and the labia minora become darker. As orgasm becomes imminent, the vagina decreases in size by about 30%. Beside this, the vagina also becomes congested from engorged soft tissue. The uterus then experiences muscular contractions where the woman experiences full orgasm as her uterus, vagina and pelvic muscles undergo a series of rhythmic contractions. The majority of women consider these contractions to be very pleasurable. However, not all sexually active women experience this. [5,6]

After the orgasm is over, the clitoris re-emerges from under the clitoral hood, and returns to its normal size. It happens in less than 10 minutes. Unlike men, women either do not have a refractory period or have a very short one, thus they can experience a second orgasm soon after the first. Some women can even follow this with additional consecutive orgasms. This is known as multiple orgasms. After the initial orgasm, subsequent climaxes may be stronger or more pleasurable as the stimulation accumulates and research shows that about 13% of women experience multiple orgasms. A larger number may be able to experience this with the proper stimulation, such as a vibrator and the right frame of mind. However, some women’s clitorises are very sensitive after orgasm, making additional stimulation initially painful, so it is possible to engage in deep, rapid breaths while continuing stimulation and making a conscious intention to release the pain and tension. Doing this can allow for the intense stimulation to be interpreted not as painful but as intensely pleasurable for a woman. [7]

Achieving Multiple Orgasms

Some women can achieve a series of orgasms, one after another with possibly increased intensity after the first. The great exertion involved can be blissfully debilitating for quite some time. This kind of orgasm would normally involve stimulation of the woman’s clitoris rather than the vagina. Some women can do this manually using their fingers and taking a pause of two or three seconds between each. When using their hands, women can insert fingers up the vagina, wriggling their fingers to stimulate the G-spot. Besides this, women may also massage the clitoris repeatedly. A vibrator applied directly to the clitoris can help women who are not practiced in using their fingertips; a vibrator used this way can be applied almost continuously to bring about orgasms that seem less separated. A battery-powered toothbrush that vibrates with an oscillatory rotational motion is preferred by some, for whom it is even more effective than a vibrator.

Vaginal Versus Clitoral Orgasms

A distinction is sometimes made between clitoral and vaginal orgasms that occur in women. An orgasm that results from combined clitoral and vaginal stimulation is called a blended orgasm although many doctors have claimed that vaginal orgasms do not exist. They claim that female orgasms are obtained only from clitoral arousal. Recent discoveries about the size of the clitoris that extends inside the body, around the vagina would seem to support this theory. Other sources argue that vaginal orgasms are dominant or more mature, but these arguments are frequently criticized. This latter viewpoint was first promulgated by Sigmund Freud who argued that clitoral orgasm was an adolescent phenomenon, and upon reaching puberty the proper response of mature women changes to vaginal orgasms. While Freud did not provide any evidence supporting this basic assumption, the consequences of the theory were greatly elaborated thereafter.

A study proved that clitorally stimulated orgasms compared with vaginally stimulated orgasms are associated with better control of sexual desire, and are in not in connection with mental health in relation to depression or anxiety. [8