Real Women Reveal: Can You Orgasm From Intercourse Alone?

Real Women Reveal: Can You Orgasm From Intercourse Alone?

Real Women Reveal: Can You Orgasm From Intercourse Alone?

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Most women can orgasm from masturbation, but not everyone comes during sex. YourTango investigates.
Most women can orgasm through masturbation. The clitoris is sensitive enough that many ladies can get off by playing with it.
 
But what about the poor g-spot? It's the hot-button question among friends brave enough to ask: Can you orgasm from intercourse alone?
 
 

In this age of frank talk about getting it on, suddenly everyone's a sexpert. It's not only accepted, but expected that we dissect our love lives over brunch. And it's rare that any racy inquiry has conversation-stopping powers.

With one exception.

Now, we've moved beyond the yes-or-no question of whether friends orgasm to the new dishy issue du jour: how, exactly, we all get there. His hands? Yours? A little help from a vibrator? Is intercourse a sure-fire autobahn to ecstasy for everyone? Is an orgasm from penetration alone somehow better? And if it doesn't work for you, does that mean something's wrong?

 

Your Orgasm, Explained

Facts first: "80 percent of women cannot orgasm from intercourse alone," says Ian Kerner, PhD, author of She Comes First. Still, "many women are socially wired to expect to orgasm via penetration," he says.

The good news? An orgasm achieved through penetration isn't a better, more intense, or a more "real" sexual experience than any other. To understand why requires clearing up a common misconception: "There's no such thing as a pure vaginal orgasm," says Kerner. "The path to consistent, satisfying female orgasms is through clitoral stimulation."

Now, here's the rub: you may be stimulating your clitoris without knowing it. "Many people think of the clitoris as the little nub that's hidden by the clitoral hood and juts out of the body," says Carolyn Riccardi, education coordinator at Babeland, a female-friendly sex shop in New York City. "But that's not the case. The clitoris is actually shaped like a wishbone. The clitoral 'legs' extend back into the body, so when a woman is penetrated, the clitoris is responding to sensation."

The bottom line: "All orgasms are created equal," says Riccardi.

Reassuring, but aren't you still curious? If only one in five women orgasms from intercourse alone, how do the rest get off — one-handed, no-handed, go-to sex toy? In the spirit of full disclosure, I asked friends and strangers alike to share their secrets.

The Haves and The Have-Nots

So, who can do it no-handed-and who can't?

"My first orgasm was from penetration," confesses Julie, 27. "I've always been able to get off, no hands needed. My friends get jealous when I tell them that, but I'm actually jealous of them!" Julie had to learn how to have an orgasm from oral sex and self-stimulation. "I thought something was wrong with me!" she laments.

Firmly entrenched on the other side of the fence is Paige, 36. "It's my biggest goal in life to orgasm during sex without manual manipulation," she says. "I always feel like I'm getting close, and then I just can't peak." (To get her there, her boyfriend usually stages a manual intervention.)

While she has no critiques regarding their technique, Riccardi suggests Paige try to enjoy the process rather than focus on the end goal. "Sometimes, when you have goal-oriented sex, you miss out on the pleasure," she says.

A common phenomenon, actually. Only Lauren, 32, started fretting about her orgasms after the fact. "I was never able to get off without manual reinforcement, until I started sleeping with a guy I called 'four-minute man,'" she laughs. "When he was on top, I would have an orgasm in four minutes flat." Lauren got busy trying to figure out why: "He wasn't someone I was in love with or even totally attracted to," she says. Her surprising discovery? "I finally determined it was because he had a bit of a Buddha belly. The extra pressure was assisting me in the orgasm!"

There's one reason to embrace his beer gut. But there are other ways to reach the hallowed O, whether your partner is thick or thin:

"We often forget that stimulating the pubic bone, thighs and belly can really add up to the ability to orgasm," says Riccardi. Which may explain the lucky position on which Katrina, 25, has come to rely. She gets on top, "putting my legs straight behind me so they are lying on top of his," she says. "The angle works every time."

It might, concedes Riccardi. "There's not one secret position that offers the greatest orgasmic possibility for everyone. We often discover which position works for us and stick with it."

Which brings us full circle: The secret to satisfying sex? Not being afraid to talk about, or experiment with, what works best for you.

Colleen Oakley is a writer in Atlanta. Polling her friends for this piece taught her the true meaning of "too much information."

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