2500 women describe how they “get over the edge” to orgasm

Too many women are having trouble reaching orgasm, but only when with a partner. Women only orgasm one time for every three times men orgasm. When women are on their own it is a different story. This discrepancy prompted us to find out more about the women who have frequent orgasms with a partner. How they do it, how they get over the edge to orgasm? What are their orgasm techniques?

Popular orgasm techniques

Our bodies learn our individual and unique way to orgasm earlier in life. That ‘style’ gets imprinted on our brains and is difficult to change. But good sexual experiences and high arousal can expand our repertoire of how to orgasm.

What orgasm techniques work for women?

Below is a list of the techniques that inspired the most frequent and satisfying orgasm in women. Keep in mind that this is just what the numbers say are associated with orgasm. Every women will have her own style and preferences. Below are the techniques that tend to be most effective in terms of frequency and satisfaction:

  1. Stimulating my clitoris (with oral sex, hand or sex toy)”.
    This one may seem obvious. And it should be, as the clitoris is women’s main sexual organ and the most direct route to orgasm. But women often try to orgasm without getting the right stimulation. This may account for the orgasm gap between men and women. Touch the clitoris!!
  2. “’Letting go’ into the experience”
    ‘Letting go’ is not surprising as ‘great sex’ is associated with the ability to be in the here and now. Mindfulness anyone?
  3. Being encouraged to have an orgasm”
    Interestingly this one was not found for men. And it speaks to how many women feel like their orgasm is not prioritized (aka the orgasm gap). Their partner prioritizing their orgasm is important. The key word here is to ‘encourage’, and not ‘pressure’. Pressure to orgasm will only add more distracting thoughts. Both men and women need to elevate the woman’s orgasm as important.
  4. Dominating or directing a submissive lover”
    This was interesting since many women are often aroused by the opposite role, “submitting,” which is associated with fewer orgasms. My best guess is that “submitting” may build arousal, whereas “dominating,” (or being able to dictate what happens right before orgasm) helps to get over the edge to orgasm.
  5. Looking at or thinking at my lover’s body (or part)”
    This one was unexpected because we are told that men are more visual than women in bed. But, as it turns out, imagining your partner’s body was effective for women for both more frequent orgasms and orgasm satisfaction.
  1. Anal touching or play (eg. fingering, rimming, intercourse, pegging, etc.)”
    Anal play was associated with greater frequency and orgasm satisfaction for women, but for men it was the opposite. This may be because women are not held back by the same social stigma against anal stimulation that men experience. The anal area offers intensely pleasurable sensation in the human body. Women have figured this one out!
  2. Doing something ‘new’ that we don’t normally do”
    Newness came up a few times for women. This is not unknown as several studies have found that women need a certain amount of newness to stay interested in sex in long-term relationships. Surprisingly, more so than for men. Newness is important for women’s arousal (). When women imagine new acts and new people they have more orgasms, however this was opposite for men. A possible explanation may be that imagining a new partner inspires performance anxiety.

More orgasm techniques associated with:

… orgasm satisfaction:

  • “Watching what we are doing”
  • “Making eye-contact with my lover”
  • “Holding tighter, pulling closer or pushing into my lover”

… orgasm frequency:

  • “Imagining being with a new or another person”
  • “Focusing on what my lover and I are sharing together”
  • “Focusing on my sensation of pleasure”
  • “Keeping going, doing the same thing we are doing”
  • “Watching my lover’s pleasure/orgasm”

Techniques NOT associated with orgasm:

A few of the techniques did not work well to inspire orgasm. Keep in mind that every women will have her own style and preferences. Do whatever works for you. But do not be surprised if you try the following and they don’t work well. You will not be alone.

  • “Focusing on how close (emotionally) I feel to my lover”
  • “Caressing, touching or feeling skin-on-skin”
  • “Teasing my lover (or being teased)”
  • “Submitting or surrendering to a dominant lover”
  • “Stopping thinking, letting my mind going blank”
  • “Mentally picturing something that turns me on — fantasizing”
  • “Thinking about how well my lover treats me or how committed they are”

While these worked for some women, the take-away is to think of something in the here and now. Watch your partner or what you are doing instead of disappearing into a fantasy.

Orgasm techniques that work for Men

Men have less trouble with orgasm when with a partner, but we wanted to look at everyone. Here are techniques used by men that were associated with orgasm:

  1. Watching my lover’s pleasure/orgasm
  2. Keeping going, doing the same thing we are doing
  3. Dominating or directing a submissive lover
  4. Stimulate genitals
  5. “Letting go” into the experience

Contribute your orgasm techniques or find the best for you in the Cues for Orgasm quiz.