In many ways, the female orgasm is still kind of a mystery. Not that we doubt it exists —it definitely does. But scientists are still curiously looking at the hows, whys and wherefores of the female orgasm, and often stumble on insights that can help us have bigger and better ones.
Here are five science-backed ways to improve yours.
1. Have more sex
It seems obvious, but think about it: if you have more sex (and more orgasms), your orgasms will get better with time. This is what a 2014 study published in Evolutionary Psychology discovered: "Orgasm frequency was highly correlated ... with orgasm intensity." The study also found that "women who began having sexual intercourse at earlier ages had more sex partners, experienced more orgasms, and were more sexually satisfied with their partners."
So, the more sex you have, the better your orgasms are. And the better your orgasms are, the more you want to have sex. I don't see a problem with that.
2. Avoid alcohol
I know this from personal experience, but clinical sexologists also agree that alcohol inhibits your ability to have a good orgasm. Alcohol stops the blood from flowing to your vagina, which decreases both sensation and lubrication. Personally, whenever I have tried to have an orgasm while drunk, I've found it difficult to focus, and the pleasure was definitely muted.
Although booze might help reduce your shyness and make you want to initiate sex more, the sex itself might not be terribly good. So if you're planning on having sex tonight, maybe you should lay off the bottle, and have water instead. Your liver will thank you, and so will your clitoris.
3. Masturbate more
According to a study, only 7.9% of women between the ages of 24 and 29 masturbate at least 2 to 3 times a week (compared to 23.4% of men of the same age). That's really sad, because masturbation for women has plenty of health benefits, including easing menstrual cramps, reducing anxiety and stress, and, of course, helping you have better sex.
It doesn't take a scientist to figure out that women who masturbate regularly probably have better orgasms than those who don't. It's all bout knowing your body, understanding what makes you feel good and what doesn't, and being able to teach it to a partner.
4. Try edging
Edging, or orgasm control, is a technique where someone is stimulated (either by a partner or by masturbating) until they are very close to orgasm, and then stop for a little while, and start again, all with the goal of remaining "on the edge" (therefore "edging"). People who practice edging report experiences of very intense orgasms.
This experienced edger suggests retreating 3 to 5 times, but some people like to extend that to hours. The secret is in allowing yourself to build more and more tension, instead of releasing the orgasm right away.
5. Stimulate oxytocin
This one is really interesting: in a study published in Hormones and Behavior, participants who received oxytocin (the love hormone) in a nasal spray reported higher sexual satisfaction (and thus better orgasms) than those who had received a placebo.
Oxytocin is a hormone that's released in a lot of situations. It's the hormone that makes people feel close and loved. So if you want better orgasms, you should focus on oxytocin-releasing activities before having sex: hugging, movies that make you cry, dancing, singing karaoke with friends, or doing something thrilling like a roller-coaster or bungee jumping. Even simply saying "I love you" releases that wonderful, stress-busting and pleasure-enhancing hormone.
When it comes to orgasms, a lot of it is mental work: feeling comfortable and happy with your body and your sexuality, feeling intimate and connected to your partner, and letting go of fears and worries about performance or appearance. Once you've got that down, you can start working on having bigger, better orgasms using some (or all!) of the ideas mentioned here.