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There are a lot of perks to being a woman. We smell better than men, our clothes are way cuter, and, of course, we have the potential to have multiple orgasms. At least, that’s what we’re told. The truth is, for most women, multiple orgasms are more of a myth than a reality.
But, according to doctors, there’s no scientific reason that all women can’t achieve that coveted double O. “By the nature of the female anatomy, all women should have the capability of having them. But, to experience it depends very much on the situation,” says Michael Krychman, MD, certified sexual counselor and sexual-medicine gynecologist.
Be that as it may, some studies show that only about 15% of women have actually succeeded in doubling their pleasure. “Quite frankly, there’s not a whole lot of data on multiple orgasms since it’s difficult to study,” says gynecologist Lauren Streicher, MD, author of forthcoming book Love Sex Again. “With a guy, an orgasm is an all or none phenomenon. He either has one or he doesn’t. But, for women, it’s more subjective. An orgasm can be anywhere from fireworks to a flicker of a candle, depending on how strong the pelvic contraction is and how long it lasts.”
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So, what actually qualifies as a multiple orgasm? Dr. Krychman describes it as “two orgasms without the stage of relaxation between them. Women are aroused and stay aroused while having multiple releases.”
Relationship and sex therapist Kimberly Sharky, LMFT, CST adds that you shouldn’t expect to have two orgasms of the same intensity: “They each won’t necessarily be at the same magnitude,” she says. “Sometimes the second one feels like a little aftershock.”
And, remember, since orgasms are a subjective phenomenon, many women who claim to be having multiple orgasms might be exaggerating. “Some people may think they’re having six orgasms, but they’re not having full-out orgasms — five of those might just be small pelvic floor contractions,” Dr. Streicher says.
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Even with the knowledge that only a small number of women are doing it, there’s something so enticing about multiplying your orgasmic potential. So, if multiple orgasms are something you're after, what can you do to get there? First, stop trying so hard.
You’ve heard that the watched pot never boils. Now think of your double orgasm as that pot. If you focus on waiting for the big moment, it will never come. “The more you want a multiple orgasm, the less likely it is that you’re going to have one,” Dr. Krychman says. “Stress, fatigue, and monitoring all factor into the orgasmic experience.”
Dr. Streicher adds: “Don’t be too busy counting how many orgasms you’re having. You’ll have a much better experience if you just stay in the moment.” Instead of praying for that double miracle, focus on prolonging your pleasure. Once that first orgasm happens, keep it going by circling back to what made you orgasm the first time.
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Dr. Kyrchman recommends adding external stimulation, like a clitoral vibrator, to your bedroom repertoire. “There are many types of orgasms — clitoral, vaginal, uterine — and the orgasm is generally a blended concept,” he says. “External stimulators will really help widen the response.”
If you feel yourself coming down from an orgasm instead of building back up to a second one, all hope isn’t lost. More often than having multiple orgasms, women will experience two orgasms within one sexual experience. While this isn’t technically the same thing, it’s a big bonus for women; just because we’ve already “finished” doesn’t necessarily mean we’re finished. “Physiologically, guys have a much longer refractory period than women, but women can have an orgasm and then have another one fairly quickly, within the next couple minutes,” Dr. Streicher says.
In the end, the more you’re open to exploring in the bedroom, whatever the outcome may be, the more likely you are to have a multi-orgasmic experience. “In general, I believe that most of us don’t have any idea about our erotic potential,” says Sharky. “I think we’re all capable of having multiple orgasms, but a better goal is to find your own version of what feels like to max out on pleasure.”