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Let’s Talk About the Big O

The female orgasm is equally mystifying to both men and women, mainly because of one major question: How does one achieve it?

First things first: are you pushing the right buttons? As J.D. Salinger once wrote, “a woman’s body is like a violin; it takes a terrific musician to play it right”. Clearly, Salinger was a wise man. Speed and intensity play a big role when it comes to the female orgasm: too soft, nothing happens; too hard, a woman is left feeling frustrated and sore (and not the good kind). Get it right, however, and the whole world ceases to exist. That’s all there is to it, right?

Not quite. The female orgasm entails a lot more than just pushing the right buttons. While most women are launched into ecstasy by clitoral stimulation, having an orgasm during sex is another story. Studies show that only 25 percent of women always climax during sex with a partner (Lloyd, 2006). This may explain why women often prefer engaging in foreplay or even reaching for the trusty toys in their nightstands over having sex.

Time and time again, women lament the fact that they have never had an orgasm from sex. Solo? Sure. During foreplay? Yep. But during sex? …Nope. Why does this problem affect so many women?

One of the major reasons women can’t O during sex is because the vagina is linked to the brain. This means that for women, orgasms are both physical and mental. Ever heard that sex is better when you’re in a relationship? There is some truth behind that. Typically, a woman in a relationship has more orgasms because she is more relaxed, calm, and comfortable with her partner. By contrast, in short term relationships, like hook-ups and booty calls, orgasms rarely occur. Focusing on enjoying the other person and the experience, as well as not letting your mind wander (Do I look fat from this angle? Did I lock the door?) will heighten your pleasure, whomever the partner.

Biologically speaking, it is not necessary for a woman to orgasm in order for her to become pregnant. However, some studies demonstrate that women who achieve orgasm during sex have a greater likelihood of conception (Diep, 2013). When a woman reaches orgasm, she will feel muscle contractions in her vagina and uterus. These contractions actually suck semen higher into the vagina, facilitating chances that the sperm will reach the egg. From an evolutionary standpoint, a woman wants to have children by someone with good genes. She also wants someone who is willing to commit to her and her offspring only. A one-night-stand, hook-up, or booty call is not likely to indicate such a commitment. On a subconscious level, failing to orgasm from sex with a short-term partner could be your body rejecting an unfit mate.

The orgasm is also a form of mate guarding. Women are more likely to orgasm with a partner who other women also find attractive (Sela et al., 2015). When a woman orgasms, she releases oxytocin, a chemical that bonds couples together. Therefore, by reaching that O, a woman can keep her attractive partner closer: if other women find her man attractive and she doesn’t orgasm, he could develop a wandering eye.

Certainly, the orgasm is pretty powerful. Even though it may not always be achieved, when it is, it’s worth it. Collegiettes, you are responsible for your own orgasms. Own it. And if you are still having difficulty achieving the big O, remember that practice makes perfect.  

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