By Sophie Saint Thomas
You know Venus, the Roman goddess of love, beauty, sex, and abundance? She’s a personal favorite of mine, and I realized the best way to pay homage to her would be to not only have orgasms, but have multiple orgasms. (Abundance, after all.) Though it seems practically mythological, experts I spoke with explained that it’s possible to actually train yourself to become multi-orgasmic. And guess what? When I followed their advice, I was able to achieve orgasm after orgasm—and I’m pretty sure that anyone with a clitoris can get there, too.
It turns out that, although penises tend to have a “refractory period” (or, time necessary between orgasms), vaginas are uniquely suited to coming more than once. “Because there is more surface area on a vulva and inside a vagina, there’s more ability for multiple orgasms,” says clinical psychologist and certified sexologist Denise Renye, Ph.D. “Once the first orgasm is enjoyed, switching up pressure and exact location [of stimulation] can allow for more orgasms to follow. For people with penises, there’s less availability for more than one orgasm in a pleasure session.”
Of course, there are also a variety of common reasons—from medications to past sexual trauma to health conditions—that make it difficult for some people with vaginas to achieve orgasm. If this applies to you (and I’ve certainly gone through periods in which it applied to me), fear not: You’re not broken and there’s nothing wrong with you. In fact, you can still enjoy touch and pleasure even if you don’t come, because getting to know your body through self-touch can be a beautiful and healing experience.
With that in mind, here’s everything you need to know about how to tap into your own multi-orgasmic power. It’s what Venus would want.
Find out what orgasms feel like to you.
As stated above, vaginas don’t require “cool-down” time between sessions the way penises do: Not only can they enjoy sexual touch sooner, they can have one orgasm right after another. But what exactly counts as having multiple orgasms? Is it more like three orgasms a day or one super long one?
“Multiple orgasms can be understood as each time the body builds up pleasure and builds up pleasure to then have a grand finale of pleasure,” says Dr. Renye. “Though the level of pleasure as an orgasm goes on may vary from person to person.”
Personally, I consider an experience to be multi-orgasmic if I climax, and then with continued stimulation, climax again without a long break in between. However, much like the words you use to describe your identity, gender, and sexuality, you ultimately choose what it means for your body to be multi-orgasmic. To my knowledge, there’s no official definition of “multiple orgasms,” it’s just what it feels like to you.
“If you’re looking at your watch, you’re doing it wrong,” says somatic psychologist and certified sex therapist Holly Richmond, Ph.D. “I want everyone to have orgasms, but as soon as that becomes the goal we’re almost taking away from the concept of pleasure, right?”
Yes, multiple orgasms are about the journey, not the destination—although I shall not downplay how dope that destination is.
Try to have multiple orgasms through masturbation before you try with a partner.
Regardless of your relationship status, masturbation tends to be the best way to learn what kind of stimulation you need in order to achieve multiple orgasms. “It’s essential,” Dr. Richmond says. It makes sense: With masturbation, you get to control the experience, free of expectation and with only your own pleasure in mind. Though your partner probably means well, nothing tends to kill a building orgasm like your someone popping up between your legs and asking, “Did you come yet?” (Bless their hearts.)
Plus, in my experience, my vibrator and my hands are better at making me come than a partner’s touch, simply because I know my body the best.
The first step to becoming multi-orgasmic—and how I eventually achieved it—is to masturbate as much as possible.
Practice, practice, practice.
This is the simplest recipe for multiple orgasms: Apply continued physical stimulation—such as by hand or vibrator—coupled with continued arousal.
For me, that meant watching porn (here’s a list of some great feminist porn sites) while using my Hitachi wand. After I came once, I kept the porn on and the wand against my clitoris until I came again. When I finally finished, I allowed myself to rejoice in my post-orgasmic afterglow.
Since then, I’ve had multiple orgasms through other means, including my hands and various sex toys. Sometimes, rather than watch porn, I’ll just imagine my filthiest fantasies. The thing is, once you find what works for you, multiple orgasms can become a normal part of your sex life. That’s because, as Dr. Richmond says, your body learns from the first experience. “The pelvic floor is trainable just like biceps are trainable,” she says. “There’s muscle memory. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.”
Introduce your training into partner play.
If you’re in a relationship or enjoying casual partnered sex with someone, try communicating openly and honestly about what it would take to get you to achieve multiple orgasms with them. Better yet? Give them a hot demo about how you give them to yourself, so that they may learn from your masterful techniques. It’s totally normal if they can’t make it happen for you right away, but even just showing a partner how you give yourself multiple orgasms can be erotic and intimate.
But first, spend some time alone and learn what works for you. You come first.