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The Quickie
4 minutes

If you asked 100 people to describe how an orgasm feels, you’d get 100 different answers. No matter how you put words to it, this indescribable, pleasurable feeling is something that most of us desire during our sexual interactions. Yet unfortunately it’s still common for people to fake orgasms and/or experience the “orgasm gap”—a term used to describe the disparity in orgasm frequency between partners having heterosexual sex.

While the goal of sex doesn’t always have to be orgasm, you have the right to pursue the pleasure you desire!

Here are 10 tips to help you have better orgasms—and banish the orgasm gap for good:

1. Don’t Try To Orgasm

The only thing more annoying than having someone ask you repeatedly “Did you cum? Did you cum? Did you cum?” is getting stuck inside your head and pressuring yourself to orgasm. It’s understandable, however, why this happens; society has taught us all that sex starts with penetration and ends with an orgasm. But often this huge focus on orgasming takes us out of the moment and drives performance anxiety.

Remember that orgasms don’t have to be the goal of every sexual experience, so there’s no need to pressure yourself to have one. And learning to relax and feel all the pleasurable feelings your body is experiencing can make sex more deeply satisfying—orgasms or not.

Learning to relax and feel all the pleasurable feelings your body is experiencing can make sex more deeply satisfying.

2. Communicate!

Everyone’s body is different. It’s unfair to expect someone to know exactly how to navigate your body to help you have an orgasm if you’ve never talked about it. If you need someone to go faster, slower, harder, softer, switch positions, etc., it’s important that you let them know. Communicating during sex about what you desire ensures that everyone is being pleasured exactly as they want to be.

3. Masturbate

If you don’t know what you need to orgasm, masturbating is a great way to learn your body. During solo sex you can explore different speeds, positions, pressures, and kinks to identify what your body does and doesn’t enjoy. Learning how to bring yourself to orgasm means that you can share that information with your partner. And don’t be afraid to touch yourself during partner sex! If your own hand does the trick best, then use it! Play to your strengths.

If you don’t know what you need to orgasm, masturbating is a great way to learn your body.

4. Explore All Your Pleasure Zones

During sex we often only focus on what’s between our legs, but there are pleasure zones all over our bodies. Nipples, lips, toes, butts, hair, minds, necks can all be sources of immense pleasure—to the point where people have experienced nipplegasms or braingasms! Exploring all parts of your body allows you to discover different ways to optimize pleasure.

5. Play!

Despite all the intense, romantic, and steamy sex scenes we see in movies, sex can also be comical, aggressive, or fun. From roleplaying to naked play-fighting, playing prior or during sex can help build excitement and anticipation for what’s to come.

6. Use Lube

There’s a lot of misleading myths about lube and what it means if you use it. Some people believe that lube should only be used if you’re old. Some believe that lube is only needed for penis-in-vagina sex. Others believe that using lube means you’re frigid. But all of that is fake news. The truth is that using lube helps decrease friction during penetration, which increases the pleasurable sensations you experience.

Using lube helps decrease friction during penetration, which increases the pleasurable sensations you experience.

7. Add Sex Toys

Some people may find adding sex toys to their bedroom routines to be intimidating, but for many it’s a way to ensure maximum pleasure. Whether you’re excited to play with vibrators, anal beads, nipple clamps, strap-ons, blindfolds, etc., incorporating sex toys not only helps to spice up sexy time, but also increases opportunities for orgasms.

8. Tune In To Your Senses

So often when we’re having sex, we focus on only two of our five senses: sight and touch. But engaging in other senses can heighten arousal and pleasure. Making a playlist of your favorite sexy songs, using dirty talk, lighting candles, eating chocolate, and burning incense are all ways to engage your other senses and have a full-body sexual experience.

9. Try Edging

Edging is a technique that involves bringing yourself or your partners close to orgasm, then decreasing the stimulation, and slowly bringing them to the point of orgasm again. This process of delaying orgasms can continue for as long as you want and/or are able, and typically intensifies orgasms when you do get that final release.

Edging intensifies orgasms.

10. Check In With Your Partner After One Of You Comes

Too often, one person orgasms and rolls over, leaving the other person unsatisfied. Checking in with one another throughout the sexual experience allows for people to ask for what they want or need, even if one partner has already orgasmed. Having a sexual relationship where you’re invested in ensuring one another’s pleasure and orgasms is essential for decreasing the orgasm gap—and increasing the fun.

Related Articles:

I Want Sex! How To Get The Pleasure You Desire

Best Masturbation Techniques for Clitoral Orgasm

How To Use Lube

O.riginal: Orgasm Gap


Myths and facts

Setting the record straight.

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Did I Cum?

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Orgasm Anarchy

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Types Of Orgasm: Clit Orgasm Vs G Spot Orgasm

Pleasure Pro Louise Bourchier explains the difference between a G Spot and a Clitoral orgasm

Video transcript

- What is the best part about masturbation for you?

- Definitely over the years it has been the ability to have this conversation with other people. So I really feel like a masturbation advocate. So that's really fun. Another thing is to just explore the different purposes for masturbation, and just really thinking outside the box of the only purpose that it serves is to orgasm and just seeing what that feels like. And then honestly, I'm literally spending time with myself so it's just owning that moment, knowing that I'm worthy of the time and the pleasure.

- Yeah, oh I love that.

- What about you, what's the best part of masturbation?

- I think for me, number one is the orgasms. Right, for so long I just didn't know that I could bring myself that pleasure and so just feeling really empowered about, I want this, and I can do this on my own. And then I also love all the stuff that I learn about my body. So my body is constantly changing and there's different things that arouse me, that bring me pleasure, and it's a lot ... I'm just learning so much about me and there's a lot of playing that I get to do and exploring new sensations and new toys, and new positions and new temperatures and it's lots of fun. And I think the other thing that is my favorite thing about masturbation is just getting to teach other people how to bring me pleasure. And I really have encouraged lovers and partners to get to know me and my body better by joining me while I masturbate.

- Okay, that's what I'm talking about.

Sensual Sex: How To Use All Your Senses In The Bedroom

Bring more sensuality into your bedroom. Explore ways to engage all your senses in sex and erotic play.

Fact No. 1
Fact No. 2
Fact No. 3
Fact No. 4
The Quickie
5 minute read

From what we’re taught in sex-ed, to portrayals in porn and popular media, it’s easy to get the impression that sex means penetration—perhaps with stops along the way for making out and manual or oral stimulation. But sex can be so much more!

Tuning in to the sensual aspects of sex, can bring a new level of richness and intimacy to sex play. It can also be a creative way to take things slow, accommodate an injury or disability, or heal from trauma, allowing you to be sexual together in a context where intercourse isn’t necessarily the end-game.

Tuning in to the sensual aspects of sex, can bring a new level of richness and intimacy to sex play. 

Focusing on each of the five senses is a great way to bring more sensuality into the bedroom. If you’re ready to incorporate new ways of being intimate with a partner, read on for some simple suggestions.

Erotic Sounds

Talking dirty, putting on music to set the mood, encouraging our partner with moans, gasps, and screams—sound is something many of us already incorporate into our sex lives. Talking dirty can be a wonderful way to build tension and amp up arousal without ever laying a finger on your partner. 

Tell them what you love about their body, what you’re feeling, what you’d like to do to them or have them do to you. If you find yourself tongue-tied when it’s time to talk dirty, reading erotica to your partner can be a super-sexy way to incorporate aural pleasure—without the pressure of having to come up with something yourself!

Music is nearly universal in its appeal and power to evoke feeling. Check out a sexy playlist on Spotify, or make your own.

What it’s great for: Particularly for those in long-distance relationships, sound can be a great way to stay connected. For people who want to get to know their partner better, exchanging fantasies, reading to each other, or trading sexy playlists can be a wonderful way to get closer. 

Tantalizing Tastes

Eat together! Fruit—sweet and juicy, with many varieties resembling vulvas— is one of the sexiest foods there is. Slowly savoring a ripe peach while letting its juice drip down your chin—while your partner watches, of course—can be just as erotic as a strip-tease. 

Drizzle each other with honey or paint each other with chocolate, and revel in the combination of sweetness and the natural saltiness of their skin. Yum! Just remember, don’t put these on the genitals because they can cause yeast infections.

Talking dirty can be a wonderful way to build tension and amp up arousal without ever laying a finger on your partner. 

What it’s great for: If you want to experience something deeply sensual with your partner, but aren’t quite ready for genital play, taking pleasure in food and a variety of tastes together can be extremely sexy. For people who have experienced body dysphoria or struggled with their body image, enjoying food in a sexual context can be a liberating way to redefine their relationship with food and their bodies.

Sexy Sights

Watching porn together is a classic way to enhance a sexual experience and spark conversation around preferences, boundaries, and new things you might like to try. Beyond porn, though, there are numerous ways to have a sexy visual experience. 

An erotic coloring book can be a fun way to explore new sexual territory in a low-stakes, playful context. Playing dress-up, or experimenting with different makeup looks, can allow you and your partner to explore diverse roles, play with gender, and bring a sense of fun to your sexual expression.

What it’s great for: Like sound, sight can reach across distance: if you have a phone or webcam, you can put on a show for your partner, no matter how far away you are. For gender-diverse individuals, exploring different looks with your partner can be intimacy-building, and increase your confidence. Sexy coloring or drawing is a wonderful way to spark conversation around what turns you on and what you might like to try without the expectation of full-on intercourse.

Stimulating Smells

Scented candles, essential oils, and perfumes all have their place. But there are many ways to bring your sense of smell alive during sex play. 

Although many of us have been taught that natural body odors are offensive, in reality, the wealth of pheromones and other volatile compounds in your partner’s sweat, breath, and genital aromas can be among the most powerful aphrodisiacs in existence! Close your eyes and inhale your partner’s unique aroma - because smell is so closely tied to emotion and memory, you may be surprised by what it evokes.

What it’s great for: Reveling in the natural scents of your partner’s body, and witnessing them enjoying your own, can be a tremendously powerful way to unlearn body shame and unlock new horizons of sensual pleasure.

Arousing Touch

There are many ways to enjoy sexual touch—from massage to sensation play. Gentle stroking with fingertips or a toy, even playing with your partner’s hair can all be great ways to share pleasure and build intimacy. 

Sensual touch away from the genitals can be especially suitable for people who are uncomfortable with genital touch—because they’re experiencing body dysphoria, processing trauma, recovering from an injury, or simply aren’t interested—being touched in a caring, sensual way by a partner who isn’t expecting the encounter to end in intercourse can be tremendously healing. 

What it’s great for: Having a safe place in which to experience sensual touch without the pressure to have penetrative or oral sex can be affirming, healing, and intimacy-building. 

Close your eyes and inhale your partner’s unique aroma.

Even if you usually want sex to result in intercourse, exploring diverse ways to experience sexual pleasure can enhance your sex life and your bond with your partner (and yourself!). 

Related Articles:

What Is Sensation Play?

How To Flirt

How To Talk Dirty 

How To Make Out

The Best Sex Toys To Spice Up Your Long-Term Relationship

How To Talk To Your Partner About Watching Porn Together


Video transcript

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