Think The Female Orgasm Is Elusive? Let These 6 Women Explain

For decades, society has marveled over the elusive female orgasm, mostly in the form of questions. How does it work? Why does it happen? Does it even exist?

Thankfully, it does. That's why we asked the women* in the Refinery29 community to tell us, in graphic detail, what their orgasms feel like, and then collaborated with artist Sam Cannon to turn their experiences into evocative GIFs. Of course, orgasms aren't the be-all and end-all of good sex — sex can still be hot, intimate, or otherwise pleasurable without a grand finale — but putting these decidedly female orgasmic experiences into words can be a powerful way for women to send the message: My pleasure matters.

And by putting a visual image to those words? Well, hopefully that message will be loud and clear. Ahead, read how six women describe their orgasms, and take in the, um, explosive GIFs that accompany them.

*All of our respondents were cisgender women, but we want to hear from people of all gender identities. However you identify, please take our quick survey at the end of this story.

Photographed by Sam Cannon.
"It's just a blast of ecstasy inside my body, a bomb of flowers in my vagina."

"For me, it's all about the build-up all the way to the climax. Just when I'm about to have it, I feel like I'm going to explode, every pore of my body and mind is dedicated to this powerful and amazing feeling of ultimate pleasure. And when I actually reach the orgasm, it feels as if I am literally exploding. I can't control my body. It's just a blast of ecstasy inside my body, a bomb of flowers in my vagina. It's like the feeling you get after drinking an enormous gulp of water when you're extremely thirsty."
Photographed by Sam Cannon.
"They roll in like waves of electricity."

"They roll in like waves of electricity until the waves all crash and my body spasms. It feels different depending on how it's done, but a good one can make my teeth feel tingly and uncomfortable. I occasionally lose feeling in my fingers."
Photographed by Sam Cannon.
"The dam is opened and all the water rushes out."

"Often, it feels like a dam of water that is being built up in all of my erogenous zones, and then the dam is opened and all the water rushes out. And then, just a nice flushed feeling and tingling in all of the places I feel sensitivity."
Photographed by Sam Cannon.
"The surges shoot through my core."

"It begins as an earthquake, deep within me. The surges shoot through my core, and reach out to my fingertips, my mouth, my nipples. With every wave of pleasure, I shudder. Should I choose to continue, the orgasms come quicker and are more intense. God bless multiple female orgasms."
Photographed by Sam Cannon.
"Kind of like a tea kettle."

"I'd have to say it feels like all of your energy coming together and blasting out of you. Kind of like a tea kettle."
Photographed by Sam Cannon.
"[It's] as if my insides have been lit up by the sun."

"It feels like heat; my entire body gradually warms as if my insides have been lit up by the sun."
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