We hear a lot about what “orgasm feels like.” It’s often described in grandiose terms. It is this this life-altering, earth-shattering, next-level experience that will take our sexuality to new heights. How much information we’re actually given in order to have an orgasm is lacking, but hey, when you live in a society that shrouds sex in shame, it’s bound to happen.
Orgasm is not the same for all people. Let’s get that straight. It doesn’t feel identical for every woman, man, or human. When we’re given these overarching, far-reaching expectations, it’s no wonder many of us wind up … disappointed or confused.
If you expect your clitoris to explode from all the good feelings of orgasm and that isn’t what happens, how could it be anything less than a let down?
Orgasms can be pleasurable, but by definition they are simply the involuntary release of tension at the height of sexual activity. Yes, they feel incredible for many of us. For others, they’re alright, but nothing to freak out about. For others, they’re barely noticeable.
The point is, experiences vary. Here are 13 real women on what orgasm feels like for them.
It’s a MOMENT
"I've recently found the perfect angle with my partner where the 'magic' happens. I'd had sex many times before but never had that MOMENT. It feels like an intense buildup is finally released. It's like an internal massage that makes my back arch and ends with euphoria. It doesn't happen every time, but when it does I momentarily have no control over my body—in the best way possible." —Lyndsey, 24
I want to cry
"Usually really awesome and sometimes satisfying and sometimes as a build up to more. Sometimes like a release of tension and an indescribable feeling and then I want to cry. Those are rare, but brilliant." —Nicole, 24
"I’ve always found orgasm and sexual activity in general to be a bit overrated. Maybe I’m just not doing it right." —Barbara, 32
Pulsating to a finish
"Building to a pulsating finish. Strength of pulses depend on type or orgasm (clitoral/g-spot)." —Gabrielle, 28
A sex toy to change it all
"The orgasms I have that are the most intense are the ones that come from clitoral stimulation with my hand, or with the Satisfyer Pro. As I’m getting good and warmed up, I feel a slow, smooth, light, yet mildly electrical wave of energy from all the extremities of my body drawn in like a vortex to my clitoris. Then, at the moment of orgasm, all that energy explodes out from my entire genital region and returns back to its origin." —Lanae, 49
"Orgasm feels like a release, but in this uniquely blissful way. Sometimes it’s so blissful it can be overwhelming. It’s like hot water running all over my body. Even if I come really hard, I’m usually so primed up that I want to orgasm again right away. It’s incredible." —Nadia, 28
An ocean wave of serotonin
"Orgasms are the ultimate feeling of happiness in the body. It is pure delight. When I near orgasm, I sometimes have to concentrate really hard to peak because I’m so excited and nervous that it begins to run away from me. It’s like being hit by an ocean wave made of serotonin." —Jana, 35
A rush of love and abundance
"Orgasm to me is bliss. It's a rush of love, creativity, abundance, and passion. It's a sticky, sweet glorious mess that invites us to be present, enjoy each moment, and savor life. It's quick pulses of energy and rhythmic pleasure that causes my body to convulse and release. It's an invitation and longing for more." —Melissa, 47
A satisfying sneeze
"I once heard someone referring to orgasm as feeling like really having to sneeze then letting that sneeze out slowly until you're fully satisfied. Never heard something more accurate." —Candice, 24
Eh, kind of lackluster
"I’m still waiting to get that big 'O.' I’ve had small orgasms all my life and have recently been devoted to finding a bigger orgasm. When I come, it’s like a tiny shock or release. It isn’t enough to fully release all my sexual feelings. I enjoy it, but not being able to get everything out of me is frustrating." —Danielle*, 32
Letting go of something
"Orgasm has always felt like letting go of something for me. I fool around with my partner and there is a big buildup on tension or energy inside me. And then, I release it all when I come. It’s warm and inviting. Like letting go of something profound. That’s all I can think of when I wan’t to put it to words." —Brianna, 29
"Like a sudden onslaught of rain on an increasingly unbearably hot day. Refreshing and sudden joy." —Kiki, 28
"The best, most fun, most sensational release of tension imaginable. The relief is joy." —MJ, 44
"Like taking a first bite of a pancake with extra syrup. Delightful!" —Leah, 27