It is an incredibly difficult and personal experience to describe the sensations of what does an orgasm feel like?
Some of us might have always had orgasms and perhaps never even thought about what they really were or why our bodies did it. From my own point of view, orgasms were something nice that gave me comfort and helped me sleep, and this has been the case for as long as I can remember. Nobody ever talked about them or masturbation, so I just kept it to myself. I assumed everyone had their own version of this. I was too little to associate this with anything sexual, it was just a nice wave of peace. When I got older, the sensations became much more associated with excitement. My heartbeat would increase, and a nice bubbly feeling would radiate from my genitals. Usually, when someone I fancied was nearby or watching Madonna music videos on MTV…
Still, even on the cusp of adulthood, nobody talked about what these were, so if nobody mentions something, you either have to assume either everybody does it or *nobody* does it.
Sex, sexuality and sexual pleasure have always fascinated me, and I love reading about and consuming it—watching erotic movies or ethical porn, listening to audio erotica, and reading erotica. I especially love how erotica writers describe the climaxes of their characters. It varies wildly from one author to the next, and I often wonder if the description that turns you on the most is similar to your own experience of orgasm. You can imagine your bodily responses. Your arousal and build-up might follow a likewise rhythm.
Not only do fictional orgasms vary wildly, but so do actual orgasms that people experience. I feel very lucky indeed that I’ve always known about this side of me. Some people are unable to orgasm, and some can do it at will. Some may have never tried. It is an extraordinary part of our human existence, and we still rarely talk about it, so we want to explore, what does an orgasm feel like?
As a sex toy inventor, I get contacted by people who would like advice on how they can achieve an orgasm or please their lover. One of my customers is in his 80s, and if we think sex education is lacking now, well, he was shocked to realise that his wife didn’t really experience much in the way of pleasure when they made love. However, he wanted to bring orgasmic joy into his marriage and helped his wife slowly but surely blossom into her pleasure zone by buying different toys and erotic materials and giving her the time and space to try things out and see what suited her.
If only women were encouraged to talk about their desires and feelings, perhaps she would have felt able to explore these things before. After all, if you have no idea that something even exists, how would you ever think to seek it out.
And then there are people who do know all about orgasms and climaxes. They’ve read about them and fallen down a rabbit hole but have no idea how to achieve one with their body. Maybe they don’t know what responses to look for. Have they had an orgasm without knowing? Is the hype just that—hype?
We wanted to explore different experiences of orgasms and asked some of our FrolicMe writers if they would give us an insight and tell us: what does an orgasm feel like?
This is a hugely personal question, and we are extremely grateful for their openness.
Writing fictionally about ‘orgasm’ is a very different thing to describing *your* orgasm.
For me, an orgasm can range from a quick, concentrated pulse of pleasure right on my clitoris at my pubis without much pomp and ceremony to fractalling off into a different plane of existence, with rushing pleasure sensations cascading through my entire being. The former is almost there to ‘itch a scratch’ and is satisfying enough to take the edge off if I’m feeling a bit horny but don’t really have time or even the inclination to do anything grand about it.
Other times, the craving to come is absolutely overwhelming, and the quest to reach that sweet spot becomes unbearable. The build-up, frustration, trying and trying… in the end, I find these orgasms, the one you chase hard, are never quite satisfying enough. Usually ending in a feeling of bloody hell, is that it?
I almost never explore these types of orgasms in my stories. My fiction is filled with my best ones. The ones where I give myself over to sensation completely and allow them to blast me into the stratosphere.
One of the things that creep into my thoughts is the image of walking a tightrope—sometimes, I know I’m definitely going to climax. There’s no question. Other times, orgasm is a fickle beast… and I have to ‘walk the line’ and concentrate fully. There is darkness all around, and I’m putting one foot in front of the other, pleasure building, and I have to try not to catch myself recognising that I’m nearing the point. If I think about it, it scatters, and I’m back to the beginning… walking that dark line again.
And then there’s the one where I can surrender, secure in the knowledge I’m going to come. This is when I can enjoy the experience of edging. Edging is when you almost get to the tipping point, the crest of the wave… you’re about to freefall into your climax, but you hold off. You stop whatever motion you’re doing and let the sensations retreat, but just for a little while… then you build it all back up again. When I’m having an experience like this, I visualise fractals, fragments of myself flying out into space, visiting infinity. It is much more of a physical and spiritual combination. The infinite visuals make my body feel at once as big as the universe. Then I collapse in on myself until I’m just a pinprick. A nothing.
This all sounds a bit bonkers and kind of unsexy, so when I describe it in my stories, I add much more description of the physical sensations. The things that help to tip you over the edge sounds-moaning, squelching. Fingers pumping, squeezing, spasming—it all helps to build a full experience, combining all the feels.
Writer and sex educator Sherryl Blu once mentioned that she has synaesthesia, and it can shape the way her orgasms manifest. We asked her to elaborate:
“I love that I often experience orgasms in colour. I say often because it is not every single time. However, if I am mentally turned on and I am being massively stimulated, it’s almost a given that I will have an orgasm so powerful that just at the point of climax, it feels as though I have been transported into another dimension, one that is just colours. I’m talking, swirls and ripples of colours, ranging in shades, hues and intensities, forming unexplainable patterns backed up by a euphoric feel that surges through my whole body, engulfing me, leaving my body fizzing with ecstasy. I’d see orange and amber blends melt into a pool of pink and into a plethora of purples, often ending in a variety of violets and an explosion of blues, like literally… an explosion!”
I mean… come on! How incredible does that sound? While I don’t experience the full colour overwhelm that Sherryl does, I can identify with the ‘other dimension’ aspect. And with the rich and immersive descriptions that Sherryl provides, I really feel like I can imagine this colourful place. It is hugely thrilling and definitely illustrates just how the physical really does marry up with the spiritual or visual imagination.
Oli Lipski is a sensual intimacy coach empowering people to live more passionately. She feels that talking about your own sensual experiences normalises sex and breaks down taboos.
“For me, a ‘satisfying’ orgasm (because some can feel like a disappointing sneeze) feels like a build-up of pleasurable tension where my body gets tighter and tighter, and my breath gets quicker and quicker until I become quite light headed and it feels like I’m on the edge of a cliff… Until I’m tipped over the edge with a release. An explosion of warmth floods my brain and ripples through my entire body. My muscles convulse, and my back arches for as long as I let it, while my brain is totally quiet.”
Again, I find it so fascinating that the brain and body are in synch in Oli’s experience. And what a line: “my back arches for as long as I let it,” pass the smelling salts I am gone! I’m very interested in the comment about Oli’s brain being ‘totally quiet’. I have long used orgasms to find that point of absolute calm and stillness. Where there is nothing you can do but just be. Where your brain is so completely overtaken by bodily sensations that the active thoughts are silenced, if only for a moment. I can sometimes rely on these moments to ease my mind if I’m feeling anxious. You can read more about my thoughts in this article on sex and mental health.
Our sex article writer, Topher Taylor, who is a sexual health ambassador and educator, lets us in on his experience of what does an orgasm feel like?
“My orgasms intensely build from two spots, inside of my pelvis down to my perineum—alongside the penis head. When the actual cum comes out, the orgasm tingles around the urethra, feeling like the pleasure is moving around like liquid or electricity. If I have stimulated my prostate, it tingles inside and makes me feel like I’m going to urinate, but then this paranoid sensation turns into tingling pleasure. If I could describe it to ‘look at’, I’d compare it to an explosion of liquid that never explodes the same way each time.
As I’ve gotten more experienced with pleasure, toys, and penis orgasms etc, I’ve noticed that when I am horny, my perineum feels tender—and my body has an urge to touch it. Doing so gives my orgasms a fully ‘all over’ sensation around the groin/hips/pelvis/buttocks.”
I love this description which manages to convey the sensations as well as what is actually happening in Topher’s body. By focussing on each step of the process, I could really visualise this moment and imagine the sensations. It is quite a different read from our writers describing clitoral orgasms, where the anatomical experience of the genitals is almost absent.
Posy Churchgate, a long-time author with FrolicMe, gives us a scene of the lead-up and full experience of her orgasm during sex.
“He began to tease my entrance with his tip, frustratingly gentle and slow. A bubble of joy expanded in my chest while lust thrilled my insides. My pussy flooded with liquid excitement and swelled in readiness to receive him. My head spun with the stretching sensation when he drove in, to the hilt, claiming me. A pressure kept building, an approaching thunderstorm, as his motion picked up speed until he was rhythmically thrusting.
While he ploughed into me, my slippery fingers teased my clit, fragmenting bursts of pleasure from my pussy to every extremity. It felt so good. With writhes and undulations, I pursued my orgasm with the urgency of a pack of hounds. I thrust my hips against him and opened wider to his penetration. Flutters of pleasure awoke in my pelvis while our motions drove throbs of heat to my core.
He urged me to come, to let myself go. At his permission, I chased harder, a building climax almost within my grasp. As I bucked my pelvis, I drew up my muscles, fucking myself on his hard cock. I thrashed my hips and then groaned with euphoric relief when I experienced that starburst sensation. Warm pleasure clutched inside me, like I’d screwed myself into a ball, then was gradually smoothing out again. I gloried in the throbs that washed over me, once the tight spasms that had rippled in my pussy, ebbed away.”
How incredible is this description? You can see why we ask Posy to write for us again and again. It is amazing just how much she conveys with these words. We have a full physical description that ties in explosively with the experience in her mind.
We couldn’t be more grateful to our writers for being open enough to share their experiences when asked, “what does an orgasm feel like?” Here’s to talking about sex and pleasure and finding more space in our lives to orgasm more!