MSP Sex Q&A: How long do women’s orgasms last?

Question: I’ve heard that women’s orgasms last for several minutes, but mine seem much shorter. How long do they really last?

Answer: Not long enough! Really, you will rarely ever (if ever) find a woman who says “ugh, my orgasm lasted way too long”. That’s because they really are fleeting events, lasting about 10 to 30 seconds depending on its intensity and the number of contractions involved in the orgasm.

Orgasms may feel more intense, and longer lasting, for women and men when they are in their 20s, 30s and 40s – with age, muscles all over the body lose some of their tone (which is why doing regular Kegel exercises to strengthen one’s pelvic floor muscles is so important).
 
Some women find that they can slightly extend the enormous pleasures of sex (but rarely ever can they extend their actual orgasm) in different ways. Women who enjoy using vibrators sometimes find that turning the vibrator down a notch or two (in terms of intensity) can prolong their experience of intense pleasure.

Other times women find that certain sex acts are more packed with prolonged pleasure than others – whether masturbation, oral sex, vibrator use or intercourse is your “longest pleasure” or “most intense orgasm” is highly individual. Women’s bodies work in different ways so try not to stick just to what your friend has said works for her. Branch out on your own, too. To learn ways to enhance your experience of orgasm, check out Becoming Orgasmic or For Yourself: The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality.

If you have a question about sex or relationships, send it to me! Your confidentiality will be respected.

[Image from this web site.]

About Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick

Dr. Debby Herbenick is a sex researcher at Indiana University, sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, columnist, and author of five books about sex and love. Learn more about her work at www.sexualhealth.indiana.edu.

  • M

    I have just recently started having sex, and have not yet reached the orgasm stage. I have had sex enough times, so it does not hurt anymore, but what do I need to do to have an orgasm? How do I know when I am close to reaching orgasm, and how can I hold onto that feeling so I can finally experience an orgasm?

  • M

    I have just recently started having sex, and have not yet reached the orgasm stage. I have had sex enough times, so it does not hurt anymore, but what do I need to do to have an orgasm? How do I know when I am close to reaching orgasm, and how can I hold onto that feeling so I can finally experience an orgasm?

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