Orgasms don't always come easy, but thanks to the wildly subjective nature of human pleasure, there are so, so many ways to reach that "O."
While it’s true that those of us with vaginas have a lower orgasm rate than the penis-havers out there (can I get an "ugh?"), it’s also true that the erectile tissue in a female body is spread out over a larger area, meaning more erogenous zones for you to enjoy and more ways to reach climax (YAS!).
Now, "different orgasms," doesn't really mean different types of climax, so much as different ways to evoke the sensation. "Most researchers tend to believe that there’s really only one kind of orgasm that can be triggered by different parts of the body" says Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist and the creator of Finishing School, an online orgasm course for women.
Sheila Loanzon, M.D., a board-certified obstetrician and gynaecologist and a fellow of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, agrees. "Instead of thinking about kinds of orgasm, there are different ways that an orgasm can be reached," she tells WomensHealthMag.com. "There can be clitoral, vaginal, breast, inner thigh, toe sucking, oral, sensual massage, and mental orgasms and so many more!"
Now let's get started.
1. Clitoral orgasm
The clitoris is a small, nerve-dense structure seated at the top of the vaginal opening, and serves no function other than to provide sexual pleasure. "If you’ve never had an orgasm before, you want to start with the clitoris," Marin says.
How to have a clitoral orgasm: First things first, you need to figure out if you prefer direct or indirect stimulation, which is to say, touching the clitoris itself, or through the labia and clitoral hood. Marin suggests rubbing it with your fingers (rather than a sex toy) at first, "going in a spiral type of shape around your clitoris."
"Start pretty far from it and then spiral in closer to it until you’re finally spiralling over it, and then spiralling back out," she says. Note when and how your body responds: With that knowledge base, experiment with different types of touch until you find the one that works for you.
2. G-spot orgasm
"The G spot is a hypothesized highly erogenous area on the anterior (or front) vaginal wall of the urethral sponge that can be stimulated during sexual activity," Loanzon says. "It is the female equivalent to the prostate."
How to have a G-spot orgasm: "Pee first so you don’t hold yourself back from climax as G-spot stimulation can lead to a need-to-pee sensation and female ejaculation," says Amy Levine, sex coach and founder of Ignite Your Pleasure. "Insert your middle finger in the vagina, on the belly-button side of the body. You’ll feel an area that’s likely corrugated in texture. Stop there and use a come-hither motion to stimulate or a toy rubbing or vibrating in that area." Or, if you’re having penetrative sex, try a position that hits your G-spot—rear entry positions work well for this—and keep stimulating the area until you climax.
3. Blended orgasm
"Blended orgasms are combining clitoral stimulation with some kind of other stimulation, and that can actually be a great way—once you’ve mastered the clitoral orgasm—to figure out what other parts of your body feel like," Marin says. So, theoretically, you could achieve blended orgasm from stimulating your nipples and your G-spot simultaneously, but the most common combination is clitoris and G-spot.
How to have a blended orgasm: If you’ve got both the G-spot and the clitoral orgasm down, you’re in great shape—basically, just stimulate the G-spot at the same time you stimulate your clit.
Or, if nipple tweaking, earlobe biting, or the anus are what get you going, focus your attention there. But for most people who have clitorises, involving that area will up your odds of achieving a blended orgasm.
4. Anal orgasm
"There are shared nerves from the anterior wall of the rectum to the vagina," Loanzon previously told WomensHealth, "so for vagina owners, it may be possible for sexual arousal to occur from rectal stimulation." Plus the legs of the clitoris stretch all the way back to the anus, so backdoor stimulation can fire up the clit, too.
How to have an anal orgasm: Alicia Sinclair, a certified sex educator and the CEO of b-vibe recommends incorporating your tried-and-true orgasm manoeuvres into any anal adventure. She also suggests easing into anal play by inserting a finger first, "so that you can be the giver and receiver." Use lots of lube, too, and work your way in slowly.
"When you put something inside the anal canal," Sinclair explains, "push up in the same way toward the belly button, as you would in the vagina." That way, "you have that same possibility of stimulating that central nerve area."
5. A-spot orgasm
"Located toward the end of vaginal canal," the A-spot sits near the entrance to the uterus, says Damian Jacob Sendler, M.D., Ph.D., chief of sexology and clinical research programs at Felnett Health Research Foundation for North America.
"The tissue itself is very similar in physiological arousal pattern to the male prostate—in can engorge with blood, becoming slightly bigger during sex, so the penis massages it during copulation."
How to have an A-spot orgasm: Although some experts are sceptical as to the A-spot’s purported erogenous potential, believers say that if you insert a finger (or whatever other penetrative tool you’re using) up to the G-spot, and then keep moving deeper—toward the cervix—you can achieve a powerful climax by stimulating the area as you would your G-spot.
According to Sendler, the best way to activate the A-spot is through rear-entry, PIV sex. "Some patients can get pleasure from anal sex as well," he adds,
6. C-spot orgasm
The C-spot is your cervix, and involves nerve endings located in the cervix and around the uterus, Sendler says. Anatomical differences and surgical history—i.e., a hysterectomy that involves the cervix's removal—can affect a person's ability to achieve cervical orgasm, as can a partner's penis size (if your partner happens to have a penis). Heavy thrusting with a particularly well-endowed partner may hurt, so communicate about how cervical stimulation feels for you.
How to have a cervical orgasm: The key to a cervical orgasm is the build-up, Jessica O’Reilly, Ph.D., author of The New Sex Bible told Womens Health. You have a better chance of achieving one—and of enjoying pleasurable, rather than painful, C-spot sensations—if you’re very turned on. So, save deep penetration until you’re close to climax, and then have your partner thrust so that they hit your cervix. (Or, do the same with your sex toy or finger.)
7. U-spot orgasm
The U-spot surrounds the urethra—"you can think of it as the hat of the urethra, when looking directly at the urethral opening," Sendler says. To find it, find your urethra (just below the clitoris), and touch the surface immediately superior to it.
"The U-spot is composed of contractile tissue, mainly because it has a muscle responsible for closing the urethra after urinating. This muscle, like other clitoral structures, is sensitive to vibratory stimulation," Sendler says.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US.