A clitoral orgasm is a series of muscular contractions that happen when a woman’s clitoris is stimulated to the point of sexual excitement and climax. The clitoris is a small organ filled with nerve endings that sits just above the vaginal opening, and orgasm happens when it is stimulated, usually by touching or rubbing. The result is usually intense feelings of release, pleasure, and satisfaction, though the degree to which these emotions are felt, as well as their intensity, tends to vary from person to person. In most cases these sorts of orgasms release a hormone called oxytocin, which is often credited with being calming, and some scientists believe that this sort of stimulation can improve a woman’s chances of conceiving if it happens in conjunction with sexual intercourse. Some experts may draw a distinction between clitoral and vaginal orgasms, which usually happen when the entire vagina is stimulated, though there is some dispute when it comes to pinning down the exact source of either.
The clitoris is a woman’s primary source of sexual feeling and pleasure. It can vary in size and shape from person to person, but it normally about the size of a pea and is usually situated just beneath the labia minora near the top of the vaginal opening. Most of a woman’s sexual nerves terminate here, which typically means that it is highly sensitive to touch. Orgasm happens when this organ is stroked, rubbed, or otherwise stimulated in such a way that sexual pressure builds to a climax and is then released. This release usually causes muscular contractions not just in the area surrounding the clitoris itself, but frequently also in the legs and abdomen.
Orgasm is sometimes accompanied by a clear fluid that comes from the urethra. The urethra is where urine comes from, but this fluid usually does not contain urine; rather, it is usually a natural lubricant secreted to help make sexual intercourse or penetration easier. Clitoral orgasms don’t always happen during sexual intercourse, and they don’t always lead to it, either. Just the same, the body often releases lubricant as an evolutionary sexual response.
Types of Stimulation
There are a number of ways to stimulate the organ to achieve climax and release. Manual stimulation is one of the most common, and usually involves touching or petting with the fingers. This can be direct, which is to say skin-on-skin, or indirect, such as through clothing or a light cloth. Some women are so sensitive in this area that direct stimulation is uncomfortable. Sometimes oral stimulation, usually with the tongue or mouth, will also lead to orgasm, and some women also prefer external touch through objects. “Sex toys” and vibrators are some of the most common, but many firm objects can lead to orgasm if applied with the right sort of pressure.
In some cases stimulation can also happen as a natural part of the sex act. A lot of this depends on the anatomy of the couple as well as their sexual position. Basically any friction against the nerve endings can lead to orgasm.
Clitoral orgasms usually trigger a release of oxytocin, a hormone widely associated with intimacy and bonding. It is usually most prolific after giving birth and is believed to help mothers bond with their babies, but some researchers also think that, after orgasm, it can help women form bonds with their sexual partners. It generally produces happiness and triggers feelings of elation.
Possible Role in Fertility
Some scientists argue that clitoral orgasms can actually help women become pregnant, both by triggering the right release or hormones and by contracting the pelvic muscles in such as way as to actually “suck” sperm into the uterus. Pregnancy happens when a sperm meets an egg, and the chances of this happening may be better the longer the sperm stays within the vaginal cavity. Actual evidence for this theory is scant, though there are many women and medical professionals who say it can get good results. Of course, in order for fertility to be impacted, the orgasm must happen shortly after sperm have entered the woman’s body; an orgasm without intercourse will not usually impact fertility at all.
Compared to Vaginal Orgasms
People often refer to two different types of female orgasm: clitoral and vaginal. Vaginal orgasms typically happen when some place other than the clitoris is stimulated, but still leads to the same feelings of elation and muscular contraction. There is some debate when it comes to drawing a firm distinction, though, and some people believe that the differences are either exaggerated or false.
The argument usually revolves around the concept that an orgasm is an orgasm, and it does not matter what part of a woman’s body was stimulated in the process. The neurologist Sigmund Freud is often credited with inventing the concept of two types of female orgasms. Freud theorized that women who experience orgasm through clitoral stimulation are not as mature as women who experience vaginal orgasm, but this concept has been largely discredited by modern thinkers and researchers.