Can all women have multiple orgasms? This is one of the most commonly asked questions that sex therapists and sex educators receive. Read on to separate fact from fiction and learn the truth about female orgasms and multiples.
Let’s start at the beginning:
What are multiple orgasms and what’s so good about them?
Quite simply, multiple orgasms happen when you have more than one orgasm in a row. But there are different definitions about what constitutes a multiple orgasm. For some, multiple orgasms happen right after each other, with only a short gap in between. For others, multiple orgasms can happen with a longer resting period before climaxing a few minutes later.
Many people find that multiple orgasms are more intense and pleasurable because of accumulated genital stimulation, increased blood flow to the area and heightened sensitivity. Having said that, all bodies are different so others find subsequent orgasms to be less intense. But that doesn’t mean that they’re any less pleasurable.
While in theory we can all experience multiples, women are more likely to experience multiple orgasms than men.
Wait, can men have multiple orgasms too?
It’s often believed that men are unable to experience multiple orgasms because their bodies go through a resting period after ejaculating where they can’t get an erection again. This refractory period can last just a few minutes for some, but for most the recovery period lasts a lot longer.
Although for women we might consider multiple orgasms to include those orgasms which come up to 10 minutes after the initial orgasm, this isn’t the case for men. Men are only considered to experience multiple orgasms when they don’t have a refractory period. This allows them to orgasm and ejaculate again soon after the first orgasm. So while in theory men can experience multiple orgasms, there are only a very small number of men without a refractory period.
Why are women more likely to experience multiple orgasms?
Unlike the vast majority of men who experience a refractory period, the clitoris can maintain an erection or get erect again quickly, and it’s ready to go pretty much all the time.
This is because after reaching orgasm, a woman's body relaxes more slowly than a man’s and blood flow to the vulvo-vaginal area remains increased for a longer time. This is where multiples come in, and the reason why they happen. The body needs to be turned on in order to reach an orgasm, the blood has to be in all the right spots and of course, the body needs all the right stimulation. So the way female bodies work sets up the conditions for multi-orgasmic sex. Pretty cool, right?
Can all women have multiple orgasms?
There are so many myths about female orgasm that it’s difficult to get a straight answer. Multiple orgasms haven’t been studied extensively and much of what we know comes from women’s subjective experiences. But from what we currently know, it seems that, yes, all women have the capacity to experience multiple orgasms.
However, there's an important caveat. While in theory we can all enjoy multiple orgasms, putting this into practice is a different story. According to studies, only about 15% of women experience multiple orgasms.
There are a number of possible reasons for this: Some women don’t know they’re capable of multiple orgasms, so they never try. Some don’t know their body very well. Others don’t get the stimulation they need. Others have ultra-sensitive clitorises which prevent them from enjoying further stimulation following climax. Others get orgasm anxiety…
But whether you’ve experienced multiple orgasms or not, it’s okay. Some women think they aren’t normal because they don’t experience multiple orgasms, and some women think they aren’t normal because they do! But the truth is, there is no normal. There are a million different ways to enjoy your sexuality. Multiple orgasms is just one of many.
How can you increase your chances of experiencing multiple orgasms?
As we’ve just said, it’s totally okay if you don’t have multiple orgasms. There are so many things which can give you pleasure besides multi-orgasmic experiences. But if you do want to increase your chances of experiencing them, the first step is to experiment with how to touch yourself again after your first orgasm.
Every body is unique, so dedicate some time to solo sex to discover what feels good in your body, and what kind of sensations and body parts give you pleasure. For some women, stimulation immediately after orgasm can be so sensitive it’s painful, and so they have to wait at least a few seconds. And if you don’t like to be touched at all just after an orgasm, that is also totally ok. Others can continue with exactly the same stimulation. So find what works best for you by dedicating some time to self-exploration. Not only is it a lot of fun, masturbation is a form of self-care with tons of health benefits.
As far as we know, all women have the capacity to enjoy multiple orgasms. Having said that, there are many reasons why you might not achieve them in practice. If you’d like to experience them, take some time to discover your body and experiment with different ways of having pleasure. But take your time and don’t put pressure on yourself. We don’t need to tick off a sexual checklist where we feel we have to be able to achieve blended orgasms, multiple orgasms, squirt…
After all, sexuality is a place for pleasure and freedom, not some kind of stressful or anxiety-inducing mission. Your priority should always be your pleasure. To accompany you on this journey of self-discovery and exploration, we invite you to listen to Emjoy’s Discover Your Body collection. It's jam-packed with techniques to help you get to know yourself and discover what turns you on.