During an orgasm, breathing gets faster, the heart beats more quickly, and there are involuntary muscle contractions (ones that can’t be controlled) in the genitals and the rest of the body. These contractions can give a person a feeling of release. While muscles are contracting, the brain releases endorphins and other chemicals that can cause an intense feeling of pleasure. It is easiest for a person to have an orgasm when they feel relaxed, are enjoying themselves, and are not distracted. Sometimes thinking hard about having an orgasm will make it less likely to happen.
People can have orgasms after they have been touched in a way that feels good to them sexually, often on the penis, scrotum, clitoris, breasts, nipples, vulva, or in the vagina or anus. Not everyone likes to have the same areas touched.
Some people may notice that the prostate and penis spasm and push semen (sperm) out of the tip of the penis during an orgasm. This is called ejaculation. Sometimes, people will ejaculate without having the pleasure of an orgasm. Ejaculation is a reflex and is very difficult to control. Rarely, folks might have an orgasm and not ejaculate (release any semen). A short time after ejaculation, the penis will usually get soft (loss of erection). After an orgasm, most people need a rest before they can have another erection.
Some people may notice that the vulva ejaculates or squirts a slippery fluid during an orgasm, but this doesn’t happen for everyone. Some people with vulvas can stay aroused after an orgasm and have more than one orgasm over the span of several minutes. This is what people mean when they talk about someone having “multiple orgasms”.
There can be a lot of pressure to perform when it comes to sex. This pressure can make it hard to relax and enjoy sex. The truth is that some people have orgasms quite regularly or easily and others don’t. While it feels good to have an orgasm, it is not the only point of having sex. As American author Greg Anderson says, “Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.”
We often receive questions about how to sexually please a partner. The answer is that there are as many ways to please a partner as there are people in the world. Being a good lover means more than knowing what buttons to push. Being a good lover is about feeling good about your own sexuality and sincerely wanting to bring pleasure to your partner. It can help to ask what your partner likes, listen to their body language, and take the lead by letting your partner know what you like, too.