Orgasm Problem Treated by Earl Ledford, LCSW in Melbourne, Florida
Many women experience problems achieving an orgasm, some have never experienced orgasm, and some say they are not sure whether they have had an orgasm. The key to achieving orgasm is the brain. It must be immersed in sexy thoughts. While there are some men that experience orgasm problems most of the cases I see or hear about involve women. The focus of this writing is on the female orgasm.
What is an orgasm? Often women report they are not sure they have ever had an orgasm. An orgasm is the sudden discharge of accumulated sexual tension resulting in rhythmic muscular contractions in the pelvic region that produce intensely pleasurable sensations followed by rapid relaxation. It typically lasts for several seconds. It is also in part a psychological experience of pleasure and abandon, when the mind is focused solely on the personal experience. It is often referred to as a climax, coming, cumming, the big O, etc.
Orgasm, according to a model of the sexual response cycle developed by Helen Singer Kaplan, M.D., PhD., involves three stages: desire, excitement and orgasm. I use this model in my practice to address sexual problems instead of the original Master's and Johnson's model which includes arousal between excitement and orgasm and a resolution phase after orgasm.
Orgasms vary from woman to woman. Some women describe their orgasm to be like a sneeze and some to be like an earthquake. Some women describe different orgasm at different times. These differences can often be due to physical factors, such as fatigue and length of time since last orgasm, as well as to a wide range of psychosocial factors, including mood, relation to partner, activity, expectations, and feelings about the experience.
There are several physiological components of orgasm. First, orgasm is a total body response, not just a pelvic event. Brain wave patterns have shown distinct changes during orgasm, and muscles in many different areas of the body contract during this phase of sexual response. Some people experience the involuntary contraction of facial muscles resulting in what looks like a grimace or an expression of discomfort or displeasure, but it is actually an indication of high sexual arousal.
The most characteristic physical feature of orgasm is the sensation produced by the simultaneous rhythmic contractions of the pubococcygeus muscle (pc muscle). Along with contractions of the anal sphincter, rectum, the uterus and outer third of the vagina (the orgasmic platform) for women. The first few contractions are intense and close together, occurring at about 0.8-second intervals. As orgasm continues, the contractions diminish in intensity and duration and occur at less frequent intervals.
Women have described the sensations of orgasm as beginning with a sense of suspension, quickly followed by an intensely pleasurable feeling that usually begins at the clitoris and spreads throughout the pelvis. The genitals are often described as becoming warm, electric or tingly, and these physical sensations usually spread through some portion of the body. Most women also feel muscle contractions in their vagina or lower pelvis, often described as "pelvic throbbing".
A major difference between the female and the male orgasmic phase is that far more women than men have the physical capability to have one or more additional orgasms within a short time without dropping their sexual arousal too low. Being multi-orgasmic depends on both continued stimulation and sexual interest. Because neither of these is present every time for most women, multiple orgasms do not occur with every sexual encounter.
It is estimated that 15 to 20 percent of the adult female population have never experienced an orgasm. Many factors can cause or be influencing many women's ability to achieve an orgasm. Family religious and moral values often shape beliefs about sex. Feelings about self may be opposing efforts to feel good about feeling and enjoying the sexual self. Past trauma can be an overwhelming and uninvited bed partner. Feelings about a present partner or past relationships often form a dulling triangle. It has been estimated by some that 20 to 30 percent of college aged women are so uncomfortable with their bodies or their body images that they can not enjoy sex.
Overcoming barriers to achieving orgasm is highly successful in sex therapy. And today, there are some excellent self-help resources for those that have the discipline and commitment to explore their sexual feelings and learn to fly with the eagles.