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How Many Types of Orgasms Can a Woman Have? You May Be Surprised!

Scientific study reveals the answer to the vagina-clitoris million dollar climax question.

The elusive female orgasm has been the subject of much scientific debate over the last century.  Some researchers have argued that women can have two types of orgasms through external clitoral stimulation and vaginal penetration, while others believe both orgasms are the same type accessed through different parts of the female anatomy.

In a bid to settle the dispute once and for all, a recent study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine claims to have solved this age-old scientific mystery, revealing that there are indeed two types of female orgasms…well kind of. 

Two French gynecologists carried out ultrasound scans on three “healthy volunteers” by measuring variations in their blood flow patterns to decipher just how their sexual organs moved during different types of sex. 

These women were asked to arouse themselves through manual self-stimulation of the external clitoris and through vaginal penetration using a wet tampon. Say what? Both examinations measured the changes in blood flow patterns in the area to ascertain just how the clitoris and vaginal complex responded.

The outcome? The study discovered there is a “functional difference” in orgasms depending on the type of sexual contact.  Specifically, researchers found that only the top of the clitoris responds to external stimulation, while during vaginal penetration both the “root” of the clitoris and the whole clitoral and vaginal complex respond. This affected the flow of blood and therefore produced different sensations in the body. 

The study concluded: “Despite a common assumption that there is only one type of female orgasm, we may infer, on the basis of our findings, that the different reported perceptions from these two types of stimulation can be explained by the different parts of the clitoris (external and internal) and clitorourethrovaginal complex [the system of clitoral nerves] that are involved.”

In other words, as Jezebel explains, both types of orgasms are clitoral, but the parts of the clitoris that respond are different depending on the type of stimulation.  

Such findings semi-align with Sigmund Freud’s two-orgasm concept devised in 1905 in which he argued women experience both clitoral and vaginal orgasms.  Only Freud’s somewhat skewed theory claimed that the clitoral orgasm was a childish prelude to the “mature” vaginal sexual response. 

That theory was of course refuted by Dr. Alfred Kinsey in the ‘50s after his research showed that the vast majority of women did not have vaginal orgasms at all, only clitoral, concluding that the insistence on a vaginal orgasm was an expression of male dominance and could not be taken as the sole criterion to determine female sexual satisfaction. 

Similarly, feminist Anna Koedt echoed Kinsey’s sentiment in her monumental book, “ The Myth of the Vaginal Orgasm” in the 1970s in which she argued the vagina is not designed as a pleasure center and therefore “attributions of frigidity based on not reaching vaginal climax are merely a construction of patriarchal masculinity…The location of women’s pleasure in the vagina, rather than the clitoris, is an expression of the way in which sex has been organized solely in the interests of men." 

Further research into female sexuality over the years proved controversial.  Notable sexologists Masters and Johnson copped flack for attributing female psychological aspects such as anxiety, poor communication and low self-esteem to the inability of women to reach orgasm through intercourse.  Their findings were criticized on the basis that the volunteers used in the study were sex workers who arguably had more sexual experience and confidence than the average Jane Doe.    

Fast-forward to the present day where research concludes that only a third of women are actually able to have an orgasm through sexual intercourse.  In fact, a study last month claimed there is actually no such thing as the “ G-spot” - only a “C-spot,” finding that that when it comes to clitoral orgasms, size really does matter.  It seems women who have trouble reaching orgasm tend to have a smaller clitoris located further away from the vagina, suggesting that size and location of the clitoris are just as important as psychological and “psychosocial issues” in assessing women’s sexual function.   

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