What is an Orgasm?

what is an orgasm What is an Orgasm?

An orgasm is the sensation of intense sexual pleasure. It is often considered the climax or peak of sexual activities and is sometimes referred to as “cumming” or “climaxing”. Anyone can have an orgasm if they are feeling properly sexually stimulated. At this time there is no agreed upon, overarching explanation of orgasms.

Health experts have only recently started looking at the benefits of orgasms in the last 50 years or so. Acknowledging the idea of the female orgasm only really started around the 1970s. Historically it was believed that it was normal for women to never experience an orgasm. We know a lot about the human body but we actually don’t know as much about orgasms. It’s still an area that we are continuing to expand our knowledge but we have learned some things

Stages of an Orgasm

An orgasm doesn’t just happen. There are actually a few different stages to the changes that happen in our bodies. There are some different ideas on what these stages are, depending on the model.

Most researchers accept the Master & Johnson Four-Phase Model. This model holds that it happens in four stages. People first feel excitement and then progress to a small plateau. The orgasm follows the plateau and then moves into the resolution stage.

Kaplan has a different theory of the stages of an orgasm. The Kaplan model holds that there are three stages: desire, excitement, and orgasm. This model is usually less commonly accepted because most researchers tend to avoid non-genital changes. Desire can be difficult to predict and definitively observe. It’s also important to note that desire is not always a part of sexual activity.

Orgasms & Our Brains

When we orgasm, our brain is flooded with dopamine. This is a feel-good chemical in our brain. It makes us feel good and creates a desire, or craving, to have it again. When we have dopamine in our system, a number of other hormones are also released into the body that contributes to our feelings of pleasure and satisfaction.

Research using PET scans has found that brain activity during an orgasm is the same regardless of gender. Everyone’s brain activity is the same no matter the other differences in experience or duration.

The lateral orbitofrontal cortex turns off which allows us to let go of reason, control, and self-evaluation. This is what creates the feeling of loss of control during the orgasm. It shuts down our anxiety and fears which is essential to a satisfactory climax.

People with vulvas will also experience a trance-like state that is caused by relaxation in the amygdala and hippocampus. For those who have penises, the relaxation in these brain areas reduces aggressiveness and increases a state of tranquility.

Orgasm Benefits To Our Health

We are still studying the health effects of having orgasms but we have identified several hormones that are released during an orgasm. These hormones, such as oxytocin and DHEA, cause our muscles to relax and reduces the amount of the stress hormone in our system.

There are also some studies that suggest that these hormones have some protective qualities that reduce our chances of heart disease and cancers. Some research has found that the risk for prostate cancer is 20% lower in people who had ejaculated at least 21 times in a month compared to those who had only ejaculated 4-7 times in a month.

Don’t Short Yourself on Orgasms

Historically people believed that having an orgasm cost you life and vitality. People thought it weakened your body and spirit. We now know that this really isn’t true. There are a lot of good reasons to make sure you are having a good time with your partner. Not only can it protect your health but it can increase the sense of intimacy and closeness in a relationship. For more knowledge and tips to improve your sex life and relationships, join our mailing list. You should also stop by our online shop to pick up something unique for that special someone in your life.

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Explore Sex Talk wants to connect you with the important information you need to know about sex, sex education, and relationships. We seek to make it easy for you to ask questions about an area of life that people are usually embarrassed by. Sex is fun, why shouldn’t talking about it be? Get over your discomfort and join the open conversation now!

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