The Four Types of Orgasms

I was married for 15 years and am now divorced. I didn't experience an orgasm during sex until late in my marriage. Now I am in a very loving relationship with someone else. I enjoy our sex very much, but I have yet to have an orgasm. Sex with my new partner is very good from start to finish, but no matter how relaxed I feel or how good he feels, I don't have the type of orgasms where your body shakes. Is there such a thing as just plain enjoying the lovemaking and staying extremely moist without having an orgasm? Are there different types of orgasms? --iVillager ''J''

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Dear J:

Great question! And one that has stumped sexologists and sexual bliss-seekers alike. I recently talked with DJ Lydia of iVillage's Music Network about this very topic. In my clinical work and research, I have found that there appear to be four anatomically specific orgasms: clitoral, G-spot, vaginal and anal. Yes, each of these sexual areas seems to produce a unique sensation and type of orgasm. And naturally, each one is stimulated by a finger or hand, mouth, penis, vibrator, dildo or some other object or mechanism. That is not to say that all orgasms must occur in or from those four regions. In fact, some sex research shows that women can experience that full-body orgasm or even feel their orgasmic peak from simply kissing or being in the moment (using their bodies and minds) during sex.

There are four books that I recommend for learning more about female orgasm and your potential responses to your new lover. For Yourself by Lonnie Barbach is one of the earlier self-help books on women's sexuality. Another of my favorites is Sex for One by Betty Dodson, my mentor and a pioneer in women's sexuality and sexual empowerment. Both authors use their own experience as women's workshop leaders and their insights about the intricacies of female sexual pleasure (and orgasm in particular). In her book Women Who Love Sex, Gena Ogden discusses her research on the uniqueness of how women perceive and experience their sexuality. A book by Carol Ellison, Women's Sexualities, is the newest contribution to our understanding about women and sex. In it, she moves us away from the male-directed performance model to a view in which women find their self-esteem and worth from the journey of their own pleasure.

Perhaps with this man in your life now, the energy flows in different ways. You will never repeat the performance you had with your ex, as your two bodies connected in a unique way that is not based on just the mechanical act of sex. I suggest that you and your new beau experiment to find ways that work best for the two of you so that you can better enjoy what you now have together. By loosening your expectations of this relationship, relaxing into what gives you sexual happiness and expanding your sex play with this man, you may once again feel that whole body explosion.

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