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Are there different types of orgasm?

Female orgasm is usually described as the ultimate pleasure accompanied with very intense sensations, often described as spasms in the pelvic area. However, a recent study sought to describe the experience of orgasm of 500 women and showed a different picture than the one we had until recently. The researchers gave each woman a number of adjectives describing feeling felt during orgasm, such as pulsating, spouted, good, relaxed, euphoria, excitement, tenderness, feeling spasms etc. Then, they asked them to evaluate the most recent experience of orgasm with their partner, indicating the intensity with which they felt such features. They were aslo asked to do the same for their most recent masturbation. According to the results, there were four categories of orgasm during sex with a partner and an additional category describing orgasm during masturbation.

The four categories were:

  • Orgasm with a great sense of pleasure and intense physical feelings, eg palpitations, convulsions etc.
  • Orgasm with a great sense of pleasure and moderate physical feelings.
  • Orgasm with moderate feeling of pleasure and low intensity physical feelings.
  • Orgasm with low feelings of pleasure and low intensity of physical feelings.

As to orgasm during masturbation, this was characterized by less intense physically sensations, but more pleasant.

It appears from the above that the feeling of orgasm is not always the same, nor is it always described as “ultimate pleasure”. Indeed, the feeling of orgasm during masturbation is some cases better than orgasm caused by the partner.

King R, Belsky J, Mah K et al. (2011) Are there different types of female orgasm? Arch Sex Behav 40: 865-875.


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