Seven Types of Female Orgasm - or - Annie Sprinkle's Models of Orgasm
We need to stop defining sex as merely physical function, and begin to acknowledge it's emotional and spiritual depth.
Mikaya Hart (1)
The use of medical language mystifies human experience, increasing dependence on professionals and experts. If sexuality becomes fundamentally a matter of vasocongestion and myotonia… personal experience requires expert interpretation and explanation.
Leonore Tiefer (2)
My body, heart and soul have been a laboratory for research on the female orgasm.
Freud, as brilliant as he was, defined just two types of female orgasm-- vaginal and clitoral. To me, that's like saying the world is flat! As groundbreaking and invaluable Alfred Kinsey's statistics on women's orgasms in America in the mid-twentieth century have been, we have come a long way baby, since then. Dr. Masters and Virginia Johnson studied thousands of women having orgasms in their laboratory. However they focused almost exclusively on the physiological aspects of the 'sexual response cycle'. As important as their research has been, that's like saying LIFE is about heartbeats, blood flow and sweat glands. A number of people have come up with a variety of models of the female orgasm. Here are mine. My methodology has been to experience as many kinds of female orgasm as I possibly could. My body, heart and soul have been a laboratory for research on the female orgasm. I have come—literally—to know that an excellent way to learn about the many kinds of female orgasm is to have many varieties of lovers, and have as many varieties of sexual experiences as possible. Every sex partner has different sexual skills, styles, and assets, and every sex partner no matter how gifted, has their limitations. From the age of eighteen to twenty-eight I had approximately 3,500 sex partners, and experienced sex in a huge variety of ways. (Since I became monogamous, the kinds of orgasms I have are far more limited.) I am not suggesting that sexologists researching orgasm go out and do what I did. I simply want to share some of my findings. Orgasms are like grains of sand; no two are exactly alike. Examine each grain of sand closely enough you can see huge differences in each one. You can put them into categories—brown grains, white grains, and pink grains…etc. Still within each sub-category is enormous variety. The same thing happens when you try to group types of orgasm. It is important to bare in mind that one grain of sand is not better or worse than another. And one kind of orgasm is not better or worse than another. They are simply different. Hopefully my way of categorizing the female orgasm will be helpful in some small way. Perhaps it will help stimulate further discussion, exploration, and research.
The infamous 'Kinsey Report' found that 37% of American females (in the fifties) had experienced dreams which led to orgasm by the age of forty five. (3) These require absolutely no genital stimulation. Sometimes we simply wake up and we are in orgasm. Sometimes we dream we are having orgasm and we have one at the same time. Sometimes we only dream of one but it is orgasmic in a non-physical or less physical way. Dream-gasms sometimes occur with strong vaginal and anal contractions, and sometimes not. They can feel like a clitoral orgasm, or an energy orgasm. They are extremely pleasurable. Sometimes a full bladder can trigger such orgasms.
These are quite small, extremely subtle orgasms that occur without any physical stimulation. They can take various forms. If we simply stop and focus on our erotic energy body, and visualize the orgasmic flow inside us, we can physically feel orgasmic waves pulse through our bodies and feel the "tension and release" on a very subtle level. It's similar to the idea that 'enlightenment is within us'. If we focus, we can bring about spiritual feelings. Orgasm is within us. If we focus, we can bring about orgasmic feelings. It's as if when we focus on our cells multiplying we can feel the cells having orgasms. 'Cellular-gasms.' Ray Stubbs calls them "sprit-body orgasms", and explains that they "could be easily missed if we are not looking for them." (4) Also if we focus on our autonomic nervous system we can feel bioenergetic reactions, where the body begins twitching on its own. This can be super orgasmic. If when we are sneezing we eroticise the sneeze, we can transmute it into an orgasm. When we get the "chills" we can eroticise the feelings and turn them into orgasms. Juliet Carr, who does sensual massage, calls the goosebumps that occur from this kind of orgasm, "orgabumps". Microgasms can also occur while doing various activities that are pleasurable—walking in the wind, laying in the sun, singing on stage, etc. There has been some scientific study on energy orgasms, but a very minimal amount, as far as I could ascertain. Beverly Whipple and Gina Ogden did a study on "thinking off" in their laboratory--to see if women could have orgasms without genital stimulation. They found that it did occur. They also found that "…there was our own laboratory evidence that some women achieved what they claimed were satisfying orgasms without the characteristic contractions of the orgasmic platform." (5) It is possible to simply lay down, do nothing but focus on erotic feelings in the body and begin to twitch and shake, with "kriyas" (a yogic term), and go into orgasmic ecstasy. I have known a number of people who can do this. These kinds of orgasms can easily be taught. I have taught many women how to have them in various workshops. They reside just below our surface. All we need to do is let them bubble up.
In this category I will lump together what are called vaginal orgasms, g-spot orgasms and cervical orgasms--any and all orgasms that happen inside the vagina with inter-vaginal stimulation (with fingers, fists, dildos, penises, etc.) Each of these kinds of orgasm feels slightly different, and sometimes they occur together. Some inter-vaginal orgasms are totally subtle and some are overwhelming. I believe that many women are having various kinds of inter-vaginal orgasms all the time, but don't acknowledge them as such, because they are looking for them to feel like clitoral orgasms, and they don't. There are many feminists who believe that clitoral orgasms are the superior orgasms. They want to set the record straight after Freud misled so many women (and men). Expert sex educator, Betty Dodson, for example, doesn't really consider g-spot or vaginal orgasms valad orgasms. G-spot orgasms can happen with or without ejaculation. (Ejaculation can also occur without orgasm). Cervical orgasms often occur with fisting. One can feel a huge tension release deep in the gut. They are almost like belly orgasms. Often vaginal orgasms can occur without a climax.
Breath and Energy Orgasms
The fact that our mainstream culture does not acknowledge or practice these kinds of orgasms is in my expert opinion a major oversight. Breath and energy orgasms are wonderful, satisfying and can be mind-blowing. They are easily learned. Sexologist Ray Stubbs calls this kind of orgasm 'an energy generation model', as opposed to a 'tension release model'.(6) Often these kinds of orgasms are taught and enjoyed by the 'New Age Tantric types' of people. Kutira teaches the "Wave" where one undulates erotically, thus "activating the cerebral spinal fluid and orgasmic reflex". Harley Swiftdeer teaches the Native American version, the Firebreath Orgasm (not to be confused with the yoga exercise the Breath of Fire) where one lays down and breathes up through the chakras. Barbara Carrellas and Kate Bornstein teach their version which they call the Gender-free Orgasm. Jwala and myself teach Breath and Energy Orgasm. Sunyata Saraswati teaches the Cobra Breath Orgasm. Some practicioners can generate at will what is perhaps the most intense kind of energy orgasm, the "Kundalini orgasm". They practice this for a lifetime(s) and achieve amazing feats. They also warn of the dangers of these extremely strong orgasms. When Ray Stubbs had one, he flew off his chair, fell and became paralyzed. One woman I know had one and had a nervous breakdown. People have hurt their backs. On the other hand, they can also be extremely healing, transformative, and enlightening. Breath and energy orgasms can occur (or be created) from conscious, rhythmic, deep breathing, or other ways of generating energy in the body such as swimming, running, risk taking, listening to a piece of music, etc. I have talked with several men who were in combat Viet Nam and they told me that when they were in combat, they had erections and had intense energy orgasms, sometimes even with ejaculation. I'd call these feargasms, or adrenalingasms. Basically a person learns how to build energy with thought, kegals, undulation, visualization, surrender, etc. Once the energy is built, it kicks into a release phase, which can be mild or extremely intense. Squeezing the PC muscles helps eroticize the energy and pump it the body for a more full-bodied effect. In this category I would include angergasms, laughgasms and crygasms—where an intense emotional release is 'orgasmicised' (like eroticised). Physiologically these can compare to clitoral and vaginal orgasms, with increased breath rates, with the 'sex flush', increased heart rate, sweaty palms and feet, etc. They can be very physically intense, with lots of tetney (a rebirthing term), and feelings like you are plugged into an electrical socket. There can be enormous tingly sensation in hands, feet and lips, eyeballs roll back into the head, back arches, and orgasm sounds occur.
Perhaps the only thing about female orgasm that is at this point in history widely agreed on is that women can have clitoral orgasms. The clitoris is stimulated, muscular tension builds, and there are vaginal contractions and a release of the energy. These can occur very localized just in the clitoris, or the feelings can spread up into the belly and groin and over the whole body. They can be teeny-tiny, or humongous. Clitoral orgasms can be 'extended'. Masters and Johnson found what they coined "status orgasmus", orgasms which lasted "20 to more than 60 seconds".(7) Masters and Johnson definitely didn't measure orgasms of the masters. I've known women that could have repeated clitoral orgasms lasting for many minutes in a row. A woman can have clitoral orgasms without a 'climax'. But a clitoral climax always comes with an orgasm. There are multiple clitoral orgasms, and also possible are multiple clitoral climaxes. There are very deep clitoral orgasms, and surface clitoral orgasms.
Sometimes a gal has just one kind of orgasm in one part of the body, in one way. But often two or more kinds of orgasm are combined in succession or in tandem. These can be in absolutely any combination. During a single sex session, one might experience all seven different kinds of orgasm, if one is very lucky. In fact energy orgasms are almost always connected with clitoral or vaginal orgasms. Although I have on some occasions experienced an orgasm that took place only in my clitoris, and had virtually no energy behind it at all.
These are the volcano of all orgasms, or the tsunami of all orgasms. A megagasm is an intense full body experience, a deeply emotional experience, and for some a deeply spiritual experience. It generally lasts an extended lengthy of time, from thirty seconds to in some cases up to an hour or two. Several megagasms have been documented on video, although they are extremely rare. Not that many women are capable of letting go that deeply or handling that much pleasure and ecstasy and orgasmic energy. In my video Sluts and Goddesses I have a five-minute long megagasm. Megagasms are usually brought about by very intense physical stimulation—with very hard fucking combined with a really strong vibrator on the clitoris, fist fucking, anal sex with vaginal and clitoral stimulation, etc. Sometimes some uncomfort or pain can trigger one. The stimulation goes way beyond normal love making, into surrendering to intense physical force and massive genital manipulation (which can also include kissing, nipple sucking, bondage, etc.). It helps to have an 'orgasm midwife', someone who is totally present that can manage and handle the incredible intensity of such orgasms. (Many people can be very scared of, and uncomfortable with the force of megagasms.) The person having the orgasm's face can severely contort like one is having a baby, there is a huge ego surrender. Megagasms can come with past life recalls, and intense visual imagery like with psychedelics. It can feel as if there is a lifetime of pent up energy and emotion bursting free. They are very primal. There can be a sensation of being 'breathed by the universe', like you are a channel for orgasmic energy, like you are open for the life force to pass through you. Often people will have empathetic orgasms when they are in the presence of someone having megagasm.
Much of the research about orgasm has been to focus in on, to magnify, and to define exactly what orgasm is. I believe we must widen our perceptions and expand our concepts of orgasm. Interview and test the orgasm experts--the women who have had extra-ordinary experience with orgasm. Many women think that if an orgasm doesn't feel like a clitoral orgasm, then it must not be an orgasm. They are limiting themselves. Expanding our concept of orgasm can open the mind and body to experiencing new things. With proper instruction and with practice they become more conscious and clear. Then we can enjoy living more ecstatic, healthy, orgasmic lives, filled with ecstasy, bliss.
1. Heart, Mikaya. When the Earth Moves—Women and Orgasm. P. 6. 2. Strong, Bryan and DeVault, Christine. Human Sexuality. P. 117. 3. Kinsey, Alfred, et al. Sexual Behavior in the Human Female. W.B. Saunders Company, Philadelphia/London. 1953—P. 196 4. Stubbs, Kenneth Ray. Sacred Orgasms. P. 67 5. Ladas, Alice Kahn, Whipple, Beverly, and Perry, John D. The G Spot P. 147 6. Stubbs, Kenneth Ray. Sacred Orgasms. P.70 7. Masters, William H. M.D. and Johnson, Virginia E. Human Sexual Response. P. 131-132
- When the Earth Moves—Women and Orgasm
- Heart, Mikaya
- Celestial Arts Berkeley, Ca. 1998
- The G Spot
- Ladas, Alice Kahn, Whipple, Beverly, and Perry, John D.
- Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York. 1982.
- Human Sexual Response
- Masters, William H. M.D. and Johnson, Virginia E.
- Little, Brown and Company, Boston. 1966.
- The One Hour Orgasm
- Schwartz, Bob.
- Breakthru Publishing, Houston, Texas. 1989.
- Human Sexuality
- Strong, Bryan and DeVault, Christine.
- Mayfield Publishing Co. Mountain View, Ca. 1994.
- Sacred Orgasms
- Stubbs, Kenneth Ray.
- Secret Gardens, Larkspur, Ca. 1992.
- Historical, Scientific, Clinical and Feminist Criticisms of "The Human Sexual Response Cycle" Model
- Tiefer, Leonore.
- Annual Review of Sex Research, Volume 2, 1991.
Workshops which I've taken where I gathered information about orgasm:
- Quodoska II
- Harley Swiftdeer
- Sky Dancing Tantra
- Margo Anand
- Love, Sex and Intimacy
- Alan Lowen
- Tantra l, ll, and lll
- Tantra. Cobra Breath
- Sunyata Saraswati
- Wings of Joy
- Dieter Jarzombec
- Tantric Group Rebirth
- Joseph Kramer
- Cosmic Orgasm Awareness Week, Erotic Massage.
- Body Electric
- Oceanic Tantra
- Kutira and Raphael
- Rosebud Massage
- Chester Mainard
- The One Hour Orgasm
- Bob Schwarz
- Sacred Sex
- Annie sprinkle, Barbara Carrellas, Linda Montano
- Sexual Energy Ecstasy
- David Ramsdate