The Everygirl Podcast

4 Secrets a Sex Therapist Wants You To Know About the Female Orgasm

written by EMMA GINSBERG
Source: Pexels | Alena Shekhovtcova
Source: Pexels | Alena Shekhovtcova

Welcome to The Everygirl Podcast. Whether you’re looking for insider secrets from successful women that have your dream job, are interested in expert advice to transform your health and feel your best, or just want to be entertained and laugh along with us on your commute, we’ve got you covered.

PSA: if you’ve ever heard someone say that the female orgasm is “just too mysterious,” you may be entitled to financial compensation. OK, maybe not financial compensation, but you absolutely deserve to hear some myth-busting truths about the female orgasm. The internet is full of misinformation about female-bodied individuals and how we experience pleasure, and certified sex therapist Dr. Holly Richmond is here to set the record straight. As this week’s guest on The Everygirl Podcast, Dr. Richmond has a wealth of knowledge about letting go of the culture of shame that has been created around sex.

Whether you have never experienced an orgasm, have felt shamed by the utter bewilderment of a sexual partner when they realize that squirting is a real thing (*raises hand*), or you simply want to know more about what your body is capable of, this episode is for you. Read on for four secrets Dr. Richmond wants you to know about the female orgasm, and check out this week’s episode of The Everygirl Podcast for more.


1. There are countless types of female orgasms

“I can’t even answer the whole list of how many kinds of orgasms there are, because I swear someone finds a new kind every single day,” Dr. Richmond said. Female-bodied people can orgasm from nipple stimulation to anal stimulation, or even from just the mind, which is referred to as spontaneous orgasms. For a long time, the female orgasm conversation centered around the g-spot, which is an area a few inches inside the vaginal canal that has been sensationalized as the most important focus for female-bodied orgasms. While it is absolutely possible to have super-intense orgasms from clitoral stimulation, there are literally countless ways to orgasm. 


2. …But the majority of female orgasms come from clitoral stimulation (not penetration)

According to Dr. Richmond, the majority of female orgasms come from clitoral stimulation, rather than penetration. You know, the clitoris? It has 10,000 nerve fibers (twice as many as the head of the penis, BTW). You may find that extra focus on clitoral stimulation, whether in a self-pleasure practice or with a partner, may result in more intense or more frequent orgasms. Films and TV often portray “sex” purely as penetration, but if penetration (whether by a partner or a toy) doesn’t do it for you, you’re not alone (and are actually in the majority!). If you are looking to increase pleasure in partnered sex, Dr. Richmond suggests that certain sex positions, like cowgirl, can capitalize on clitoral stimulation more than others. Whether solo or with a partner, you can also look for toys that aim to stimulate the clitoris. 


3. Body image can play a role in our ability to orgasm

Unfortunately, we live in a world where it’s incredibly difficult to let go of unrealistic standards of how our bodies should look. According to Dr. Richmond, self-confidence and body image is often a contributing factor when she’s working with clients–especially with female-bodied people who are concerned about libido or ability to orgasm. She says that our tendency to externalize control over our bodies means that we can get really wrapped up in how we look, smell, or taste, instead of being in the moment. “It’s really hard to take in pleasure if we aren’t present,” Dr. Richmond said. “Most often, people are just so happy to be in bed with another naked person, they’re not comparing anybody. They’re just celebrating your body.”


4. Giving “foreplay” more attention will increase your opportunity to orgasm

When we talk about the “orgasm gap,” we’re referring to the disparity that exists between the frequency with which male-bodied and female-bodied people reach climax during intercourse. Dr. Richmond emphasizes on The Everygirl Podcast that the main reason for the existence of the orgasm gap is that we live in a culture where penetrative, heteronormative sex is held up as the pinnacle of pleasurable sexual experience. “It’s OK to say, ‘Let’s get into the outercourse,’” Dr. Richmond says. “We want to call it foreplay, but it kind of connotes that anything that is not penetration is ‘fore,’ and that penetration is the end-all be-all, the destination. For so many women, it is not.” Having a conversation with a partner about prioritizing outercourse, or exploring non-penetrative sex yourself, might just make the female orgasm seem not so mysterious after all.