The orgasm is sometimes the final phase of sexual stimulation.

Orgasm is also a mental, emotional experience of pleasure and abandon, when your mind is focused solely (just for a moment) on you. Orgasms can help men and women feel more relaxed, connected or happy.

  • The Female Orgasm

Most women describe an orgasm as a warm, tingly sensation and possibly a swift contracting of the vagina. The main activity occurs in the vagina area, but the reverberations of an orgasm may be felt throughout a person’s body—in the arms, legs, even the toes.

There are typically five stages of female sexual response:

  • Desire: The internal emotional and physical attraction to a potential sex partner.
  • Arousal: The vaginal lips and clitoris enlarge in response to the sexual stimulation, and the vagina begins to extend and widen.
  • Increased excitement: Internally, the uterus begins to rise as the result of muscular tension. The clitoris becomes fully erect and the vagina begins to moisten.
  • Advanced arousal: Continuing arousal causes an extreme phase of excitement where the clitoris slips back under its hood of skin; the woman begins to feel the first spasms of the coming orgasm and she is very moist; the top of the vagina spreads out to become a receptacle for the possible arrival of semen.
  • Orgasm: The vaginal wall, cervix, uterus, and anal and urethral sphincter muscles contract rhythmically. On average, an orgasm lasts between 20 seconds and a minute, though the pleasurable sensations may last longer.

Some women can have multiple orgasms in a series, or over a short period of time, but there is really no single way to define an orgasm. It’s important to note that whatever type of climax you reach is perfectly wonderful, totally normal and uniquely yours.

  • The Male Orgasm

Many men describe an orgasm as beginning with the sensation of deep warmth or pressure followed by an unstoppable ejaculation of semen through a series of intensely pleasurable contractions of the abdominal muscles, anus, rectum, perineum and genitals.

There are three stages of male sexual response:

  • Desire: The internal emotional and physical attraction to a potential sex partner.
  • Arousal: The penis grows engorged with blood and becomes harder and harder in preparation for intercourse, the genital tract contracts and the prostate gland pumps seminal fluid into the upper region of the urethra.
  • Ejaculation: During the start of ejaculation, the sphincter at the opening of the bladder closes, preventing urine from mixing with the semen. Relaxation of the urethral sphincter below the prostate allows the seminal fluid to flow into the urethral bulb and penile urethra. The muscles in the perineal region push the fluid along the penile urethra.

Often, men cannot have more than one orgasm in a short period.