As vital as sexual health is to overall wellness, the female orgasm still remains one of our greatest mysteries. But one that we are very much determined to solve.
A new study, published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, sought to discover the secrets of the ever elusive climax. The researchers interviewed 1,055 women, ages ranging from 18 to 94, to get to the bottom of the puzzle, and simply asked: What feels good to you?
Turns out, it’s often not as much about intercourse as it is outercourse. Let us explain.
While 36 percent of respondents reported that they require clitoral stimulation to achieve climax, 36 percent noted that while it wasn’t vital to their climaxing, it sure did help.
Here’s proof that, once again, clitoral stimulation is the key to the big “O.”
“Our purpose was to understand more about women’s experiences with … the kinds of touch they find pleasurable and how clitoral and vaginal stimulation contribute to their orgasms,” says Debby Herbenick, director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University, who analyzed the study.
Study participants also went on to note that climaxes vary depending on many factors, and that some feel better — or more powerful — than others.
But the real secret to achieving climax, the study proves, is what we’ve known all along: It starts long before you enter the bedroom.
As several participants reported, emotional intimacy, the woman’s mood, her relationship with her partner, and stimulation all contribute to what happens during sex.
“This underscores how important it is to have conversations about sex and pleasure or even to show your partner what you like, since otherwise, the chances of just stumbling upon that one preference are pretty low,” Herbenick added. “Couples should be having conversations about what they like, what they don’t like, what feels good and leads to orgasm, as well as what feels good but doesn’t necessarily lead to orgasm.”