Whether your new to sex or have been doing it for years, it's not crazy to wonder if you're experiencing the type of payout you're due. With so many sensations and feelings happening during a romp, understanding how to tell if you've had an orgasm can get a little murky. Maybe certain places felt good for a long time, but they didn't create the giant firework explosions you wanted. Or perhaps you're not certain exactly what you're feeling downtown at all. When it comes to the Big O, it's not one size fits all, but there are some ways to tell if you're hitting the bullseye or missing the boat.
As Cosmopolitan explained, "an orgasm is an intensely pleasurable physical response that results from the release of tension built up during sexual stimulation." Although you must have that giant release in order to orgasm, it's going to feel different for everyone — and can even feel different for you each time you climax. However, a surefire way to measure your pleasure is by looking out for a strong squeezing feeling. According to the website for Planned Parenthood, the muscles in your uterus, vagina, and even anus rapidly contract about once per second during orgasm, which means you've reached your peak if you experience this intense tightening sensation.
It's also important to consider the fact that different types of stimulation can result in different orgasmic experiences. As Psychology Today pointed out, "women report very different feelings of arousal and satisfaction from clitoral stimulation in contrast to vaginal stimulation." Because of this, some women may define an orgasm as just one sensation in particular, when in fact, both forms of arousal may lead her to an O. Tuning into your body and learning what feels best will better clue you into your orgasms.
Additionally, it's important to consider some factors that may affect your ability to climax. As Healthy Women, a website from National Women's Health Resource Center, explained, taking certain medications, experiencing relationship problems, and a handful of medical conditions can make it challenging for women to reach orgasm. Fortunately, working with your doctor to manage these obstacles can help you enjoy a fulfilling sex life.
Since orgasms aren't all the same, even after tons of trying you may still be left wondering if you've experienced one. As incredible as they can be, try to not put so much pressure on having an O. Keep in mind that pleasure, intimacy, and fun are all parts of sex to be enjoyed as well. Reaching climax is just some icing on top.