Women

We've been doing it since the Immaculate Conception office closed its doors, and watching it since Harry met Sally, so you'd reckon we'd have the art of O-ing sussed.

But modern science has put everything you thought you knew about hitting the high note in an ice bath. Read it and scream.

This is a big one and it's going to give you a thrill. Just when we were starting to feel more than satisfied by the prospect of experiencing one type of the big O, science has gone and revealed that there may, in fact, be several forms of the female orgasm.

But hold onto your lady y-fronts, because the latest research now also shows that distinct types of orgasm may involve different neural pathways. This means that each form of orgasm may actually be perceived as a wildly different experience.

These sensational revelations (plus many more) have recently been reported in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

This means that each form of orgasm may actually be perceived as a wildly different experience.

This means that each form of orgasm may actually be perceived as a wildly different experience.

If you're among the 15 per cent of women who struggle to reach their peak, these findings could be your passport. But don't think being 'O-negative' is some land of leprosy. According to Dr. Marianne Brandon, a clinical psychologist and certified sex therapist, the more you worry about having an orgasm, the harder it is to, er, come by. That's a fail for getting fixated on any orgasm, let alone a specific type.

WTF? (What's the fuss)

From a medical standpoint, an orgasm is the sudden release of accumulated sexual tension. It involves a series of rhythmic muscular contractions within the sexual organs and lower pelvic muscles; and it is associated with the release of endorphins within the brain. It is accompanied by a rise in blood pressure, heart rate and respiratory rate.

But such a description is about as useful as bringing sand to the beach because an orgasm is so very much more. Orgasms produce feelings of unbelievable pleasure and explosive exhilaration. And they often leave us feeling intensely intimate with our partner (due to the release of oxytocin, also known as the 'love hormone').

V-gasms

It was Sigmund Freud (bless him!) who in 1905 came up with the notion that vaginal orgasms are distinct from clitoral ones.

But here's the problem: Freud theorized that the orgasm experienced by clitoral stimulation was an inferior, more pre-pubescent type; while the orgasm experienced by the vagina during intercourse heralded a much deeper, more satisfying and mature sexual response. This view (which was not actually supported by scientific evidence), caused many women in the early twentieth century to feel rather inadequate in the 'bedroom department' because they were unable to achieve a vaginal sexual climax.

But here's the problem: Freud theorized that the orgasm experienced by clitoral stimulation was an inferior

But here's the problem: Freud theorized that the orgasm experienced by clitoral stimulation was an inferior

However, over the past several decades, experts have deeply debated the issue of whether vaginal orgasms actually exist in the first place. Even today this overarching issue remains controversial.

In recent times, several key experts have argued that vaginal orgasms do not exist in their own right. They have contended that the vagina is a 'poorly responsive' organ, and that the orgasms experienced during sexual penetration are, in fact, clitoral ones. They assert that, because clitoral tissue surrounds the vagina and extends into the vaginal wall, it is pretty much impossible to stimulate the vagina without activating the clitoris as well.

However (you knew this was coming), the latest studies published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine offer some new insights into the matter.

For example, in one study, Dr. Barry Komisaruk at Rutgers University USA used brain imaging studies to investigate the impact of clitoral and vaginal stimulation on the brain. The research identified that when a woman climaxes from vaginal stimulation, a different area within the brain is activated than when climaxing from clitoral stimulation (although there was some overlap). This supports the idea that vaginal and clitoral orgasms are in fact separate phenomena and highlights that they may actually be perceived as very different sensations.

Further still, Beverly Whipple, Professor Emerita from Rutgers University, who is affectionately known as 'the inventor of the G-spot', has reported that the Gspot is an exceptionally sensitive area within the vagina. She contends that when it is stimulated, it swells, and that rhis contributes to a vaginal orgasm.

She contends that when it is stimulated, it swells, and that rhis contributes to a vaginal orgasm.

She contends that when it is stimulated, it swells, and that rhis contributes to a vaginal orgasm.

But wait, there's more! Further, multiple studies have shown that v-j-j orgasms are more likely to occur when the dude side of the deed has a longer- than-average penis. When it comes to crossing the finish line, size is like a tailwind in the Sydney to Hobart.

C-gasms

The naked truth is that the clitoris most certainly plays a major role in sexual arousal. In fact, current studies show that around 70 per cent of women require direct clitoral stimulation to reach an orgasm.

But any woman who has ever experienced a clitoral orgasm will let you know that there is nothing inferior about such an experience (sorry Freud!). The clitoris does, after all, contain more than 8,000 nerve endings (which is as many as and sometimes more than a penis). These nerve endings are generally connected to nerve fibers that run up the spinal cord to the brain. When the clitoris is stimulated, impulses are sent directly to the brain, which then interprets the signals as incredibly o-mazing sensations.

D-gasms

Lady Gaga famously declared that she could reach the top note through thought alone on command. And there is now evidence that orgasms can be achieved from mental arousal alone. In fact, Dr. Komisaruk and Professor Whipple have conducted studies on people with spinal cord injuries to show that it is possible for women to 'think' themselves all the way to a sexual peak, even without physical stimulation.

And there is now evidence that orgasms can be achieved from mental arousal alone.

And there is now evidence that orgasms can be achieved from mental arousal alone.

'Dream-gasms' are an additional form of psychological orgasm. According to Dr. Annie Sprinkle, the US-based renowned ex-porn star turned sexologist and author, dream-gasms are a form of fantasy orgasm that occur during sleep. Although they require absolutely no genital stimulation, Dr. Sprinkle likens their sensation to a clitoral type orgasm and explains that they are more likely to occur when there is a full bladder.

Core-gasms

Just when you thought that going to the gym was becoming a bit ho-hum, scientists from Indiana University have now revealed that a select number of women can actually experience exercise induced orgasms (colloquially known as core - gasms). These orgasms can occur without the involvement of sex or fantasy. More specifically, they tend to happen for some women when they are performing exercises that target the core abdominal muscles, including biking, spinning, and climbing poles or ropes.

B-gasms

In some women, fondling of the breasts or nipples can lead to a form of 'breast orgasm'. Some postulate that this sub-type of the big O may be due to the trigger of oxytocin production that occurs when the breasts or nipples are stimulated. Others believe that when the breasts are stimulated, there is activation of the same sensory areas within the brain that are involved with genital stimulation.

Iffy, but interesting... It's enough to make you spring for a trolley at bunnings: pressure on the pelvic nerve can throw neural wiring responsible for the big 0, says feminist writer Naomi Wolf in her book vagina, which tells how a back operation restored her O-JO

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