6 Things You Need to Know About Female Orgasms—From a Sex Therapist

female orgasm

Some women spend their sex lives chasing that climax, while others are able to orgasm easily–but no matter which category you fall into, there’s still a lot we can all learn from a sex expert about the female O.

Logan Levkoff has a Ph.D. in Human Sexuality, Marriage, and Family Life Education and her work has been recognized everywhere from the New York Times to talk shows and beyond. In short, she’s a certified sex educator with a knack for explaining exactly what the average woman needs to know about sex. We sat down with Levkoff to find out the six things she wishes every woman knew about the female orgasm.

1. Yes, there are different “types” or orgasms, but one isn’t better than another.

We read a lot in women’s magazines about the different “types” of orgasms women should be achieving–but Levkoff says that’s not really an accurate way of looking at things: “There’s a great deal of debate regarding how many types of orgasm exist for women,” she said.  “The truth is, ‘how many types’ isn’t really the right question–even though women constantly ask it. We hear about clitoral, vaginal, g-spot, etc. but it’s not really about the name, it is about what part is being directly stimulated. However, one is not better than the other. There is no orgasm hierarchy.”

MORE: 20 Things You Never Knew About Orgasms

2. There’s more to the clitoris than you can see.

According to statistics from Planned Parenthood, a whopping one third of women struggle reaching an orgasm when having sex–which is why Levkoff says external and clitoral stimulation can be so important. “Most women have orgasms from direct stimulation of the clitoris. But the clitoris is more than just the glans (the part you can see.) The clitoris has legs (similar to a wishbone) that extend down the sides of the vulva, too,” she said, encouraging women to also stimulate the vulva during sex.

3. Women can feel turned off for emotional and medical reasons.

“Female sexuality and desire is composed of many factors, the majority of desire issues can be attributed to body shame, socialization, lack of education, poor relationship health,  and so on; but there are biomedical factors that can impact pleasure and desire, too,” Levkoff explained, suggesting that a trip to your doctor or a sex therapist can help if your sex drive plummets unexpectedly.

4. Masturbation isn’t a dirty word.

As a professional sex therapist, Levokoff often encourages women to go solo to work out what they enjoy, explaining that it can be both empowering and help make sex with a partner more enjoyable. “No one is going to magically know what feels good for you,” she explained, adding, “Exploring your own body (yes, masturbation), is one way to know what feels good to you and also empowers you by proving that a partner doesn’t make us sexual. Our bodies are capable of pleasure regardless of our relationship status.”

5. It’s normal not to climax through just vaginal sex–experiment accordingly.

“Many women don’t realize that they are not meant to respond the way we do in TV, movies, or pornography, where it seems like women are climaxing easily and frequently. Most women need more than vaginal penetration in order to achieve orgasm. If we don’t know this, we may start to believe that there is something wrong with us–or our partners.”

6. You should consider introducing a vibrator to sex. 

In many cases, Levkoff says vibrators can enhance sex with a partner: “Vibrators are one of the greatest inventions. They are not meant to replace a partner, but they are meant to enhance your pleasure and in many cases, level the playing field during intercourse,” she explained.

“There are vibrators designed for all different types of stimulation. Some are internal, to stimulate the g-spot directly; others can be used for partnered sex,” encouraging women to try different types. 

StyleCaster’s Second Annual Summer of Sex brings you scintillating content about—you guessed it—all things related to our favorite three-letter word. A few things to expect: Answers to pressing questions you always wanted to know but were too afraid to ask, ways to boost your own sex appeal, what being sexy means to various people, and lots and lots of eye candy. And that’s just the beginning.