Female orgasm - 11 facts that might surprise you

What you (and your partner!) need to know


Think you know all about the female big "O"? Think again! From the woman who can have 180 orgasms in two hours to the vagina weight-lifting guru who says her workout can supercharge your climax, we reveal the fascinating (and sometimes downright weird) world of the female orgasm.

How The Female Orgasm Works

1. A woman's orgasm lasts 10-20 seconds
The average female orgasm lasts around six to 10 seconds - although for some lucky women, the rhythmic contractions (that occur about every 0.08 seconds) can continue for up to 20 seconds.

See also: Men fake orgasms too

2. Women need foreplay
Studies show that 75% of men always orgasm during sex – yet less than 30% of women do. However, that figure went up to 90% for women whose partners spend more than 21 minutes on foreplay. In case you're wondering, it takes the average woman 10-20 minutes of stimulation to reach orgasm.

3. Most women need direct clitoral stimulation
The majority of women (70%) need direct clitoral stimulation in order to climax. The clitoris may be small but it has a huge amount of nerve endings – some 8,000 give or take.

Woman Can Have Up to 180 Orgasms in Two Hours

4. Persistent genital arousal disorder can cause women to climax 100 times a day
Persistent genital arousal disorder (PGAD) largely affects women and can leave sufferers feeling permanently on the verge of an orgasm they can't complete. Some women will experience prolonged genital congestion, while others can climax more than 100 times a day. It might sound like a blessing but the painful condition is debilitating and there is currently no cure.

5. Exercise can give you an orgasm
Some studies suggest that as many as 10% of women have had an orgasm through exercise at least once. "Coregasms" as they are known, can be brought all by all types of exercise, including running, biking, sit-ups, leg raises, and yoga. Time to get down the gym...

6. Nipple stimulation is enough for some
A few lucky women can achieve orgasm through stimulation of the breasts and nipples alone. Researchers have found that nipple stimulation activates the genital sensory cortex region of the brain in exactly the same way that stimulation of the clitoris, vagina and cervix does.

Scientists Invent Orgasm Machine for Women

7. Women can think themselves to orgasm
Some women can climax through the power of thought (popstar Lady Gaga being one of them). Scientists have even discovered a nerve pathway outside of the spinal cord, through the sensory vagus nerve, that will cause a woman to orgasm through sensations transmitted directly to the brain.

8. Some women orgasm during childbirth
A small percentage of women have had an orgasm during childbirth. As a woman's pain threshold can increase by up to 107% during climax, this has to be a good thing.

Vagina Weightlifting Will Improve Your Orgasms, End Incontinence

9. Vagina weight lifting is a thing
Yes, you read that right. Vagina weight lifting is a thing, and this woman claims it can help give you better orgasms. One for the brave!

10. Orgasms can cure a headache
Studies show that orgasms can relieve many different types of pain – from migraine to arthritis. It's all thanks to the feel-good chemical oxytocin which is released during climax. While the pain relief from orgasm is short-lived – generally lasting no more than 10 minutes – research suggests that just thinking about sex may help to alleviate pain.

11. Orgasms are easier solo
If you find it hard to climax with your partner but have no problem when you're flying solo, you're not alone. Researchers in Australia discovered that 56% of women climax every time through masturbation, while only 24% achieve the big 'O' every time with their partner.

Three books that might improve your pleasure in the bedroom:

The Elusive Orgasm: A Woman's Guide to Why She Can't and How She Can Orgasm, £9.99

Tantric Orgasm for Women, £12.99

How to Have an Orgasm ... as Often as You Want: Life Changing Secrets for Women and Their Partners, £8.99

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