Women and men achieve orgasm differently, but the pleasure remains the same. Get the scoop on the controversial G-spot from YOU: The Owner’s Manual for Teens: A Guide to a Healthy Body and Happy Life, by Michael F. Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D.
Male and female genitalia are both filled with tons of nerve endings, making the skin very sensitive and superprimed for arousal. On a woman, the clitoris, which lives under a hood of skin above the labia, has loads of nerve endings that feel good when touched or rubbed. But women can also be aroused simply by touching the skin elsewhere on the body (especially the breasts), through penetration into the vagina, or when the G-spot is stimulated. The G-spot, a fairly recent “discovery,” is a much-argued about, highly sensitive area of the female anatomy at the top, or ceiling, of the vaginal wall. Stimulating this area can induce powerful, room-spinning orgasms in some women.
Orgasms for men occur at ejaculation, but for women, it’s less clear. For women, orgasm happens when pleasurable, involuntary muscle contractions ripple throughout the body. Some women have multiple orgasms, or waves of pleasure, that can be more or less intense, last more than a few seconds, and heighten a sexual experience. Women can achieve orgasm through a variety of the methods described above, but for many, the emotional connection is the key ingredient. The brain and body are very interlinked here, with factors such as stress, fatigue, distraction, lack of trust, and tons of other brain messages potentially interfering with whether a woman achieves orgasm. On the flip side, many women do not need to have orgasms to get pleasure from sex.
Men are far simpler when everything is working well: stimulation, orgasm, done. Guys are hardwired differently, with testosterone causing great arousal prior to orgasm then a need for sleep or other recharging activity afterward.
For both guys and girls, orgasm can be intimately linked to mind-set. If your brain is saying, “Wrong time!” or “Wrong partner!” or “Wrong way!” or all of the above, then even though the plumbing is all attached correctly, there can be a disconnect, and orgasm (and for guys, erection) may not happen. Conversely, orgasm can happen even when you don’t want it to — meaning that the right nerves are being stimulated just the right way, even if your brain is saying, “Wait! Not now!” It just goes to show how complicated sex and orgasms can be.