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Oh yes (Picture: Getty)
The only thing better than one orgasm is three orgasms – and, while many of us might not experience all of them, a new study has reported that there are three ways women can climax.
Researchers from Charles University in Prague studied a group of women to classify the different types of orgasm – wave, volcano or avalanche – based on how pelvic floor muscles tend to move during the big finish.
A wave is pretty much what you’re imagining; waves of tension and release of the muscles.
A volcano is more of an explosion right at the end – the pelvic floor simmers on a lower tension, then explodes into a rapid tension and release.
An avalanche, meanwhile, has higher pelvic floor tension, which then lowers during orgasm.
The study, conducted by James Pfaus, a professor of neuroscience, got 54 women to use a Bluetooth-connected vibrator, the Lioness.
The Lioness works to detect the force of pelvic floor contractions in two sensors on its sides, so can quickly analyse the rhythm of these movements.
That’s well and good, but how can you achieve these at home?
We spoke to Stephanie Taylor, Founder of Kegel8, who tells Metro.co.uk how to tell which one you’ve had.
What is a pelvic floor and can you have all three orgasms?
Stephanie, founder of Kegel8, tells Metro.co.uk the pelvic floor is key to achieving all three types of orgasm.
She says: ‘The pelvic floor refers to the collection of muscles, fibres and ligaments that work together to support your pelvic organs (bladder, uterus and cervix, vagina, and rectum). They stretch from your pubic bone to your coccyx, acting like a hammock to hold your pelvic organs in place.
‘They also play a central role in sexual pleasure and orgasm. In the lead up to an orgasm, the pelvic floor is tensed. When it relaxes, the orgasm occurs through a series of “pleasure” cramps and twitches. If you have a stronger pelvic floor, more blood is sent to your pelvic region giving you a greater climax.
‘Scientists have recently found there are three distinct types of orgasm – the “wave”, “avalanche” and volcano. But before you get too excited and want to try to tick them all off, women generally have a predominant type of orgasm they experience every time.
‘That’s because the pelvic floor contractions follow the same pattern of tension and release. And it’s thought that an orgasm occurs in the same way no matter which type of stimulation you prefer.’
Stephanie says: ‘The wave orgasm is characterised by a short burst of pelvic contractions that’s caused by a synchronised rhythm of pelvic floor tension and release.
‘This is the most common type of orgasm for women, and while it requires a good level of pelvic floor strength to achieve a rhythmic cycle of tension and release, you may be unable to have other types of orgasm due to a level of weakness.’
Again with this, it’s all about the pelvic floor strength.
‘Women who experience the avalanche type of orgasm usually have higher tension in their pelvic floor which suddenly lowers when they climax,’ says Stephanie.
‘If you overwork your pelvic floor, regularly do high impact sport, or hold emotional tension there (this is more common than you think!), your muscles can be tighter than others who don’t.
‘This isn’t necessarily bad, but for some women pelvic floor tightness can become a hypertonic pelvic floor which can be painful, cause incontinence and impact their sex life.
‘So, while it may be the default orgasm for some women, don’t focus on overworking your pelvic floor to achieve it.’
Lastly, the volcano, which works similarly but there’s no ‘up and down’.
Stephanie explains: ‘The volcano orgasm sounds explosive and it is. Your pelvic floor muscles will tense, building and building until you orgasm. Unlike the wave, there are no peaks and troughs, but a gradual tightening of the pelvic floor until a big release.
‘For this type of orgasm, women who have a stronger pelvic floor (without being too tight) will have the best chances of achieving this slow build up of tension and control.
‘Putting the different types of orgasm aside, the stronger your pelvic floor muscles are, the stronger your orgasm will be. Your partner will notice this too during penetrative sex, upping their pleasure at the same time.’
While they all sound fun, remember that one type of orgasm isn’t better than the other.
Stephanie says: ‘Vaginal orgasms (as used in this study) can be really pleasurable for people who can have them. But the cultural belief that vaginal orgasms are better than any other kind of orgasm is completely wrong. There isn’t an orgasm hierarchy.’
Now you know it’s all about the pelvic floor, you might be wondering how you can strengthen it – and you won’t be surprised to learn that Stephanie recommends kegels.
She says: ‘No matter your age or life stage, adding kegel exercises into your everyday routine helps to strengthen and maintain your pelvic floor for years to come – and your orgasms!
‘Practice kegel exercises for about five minutes, three times a day, to improve your pelvic strength. And make sure to avoid these common mistakes.
‘For manual exercises, sit, stand, or lie with your knees slightly apart. Slowly tighten your pelvic floor muscles, starting with your anus (as if you are trying not to pass wind – the biggest part of your pelvic floor muscle is located here), then tighten around your vagina, squeeze both areas and lift (or ‘suck-up’ your muscles) as hard as you can. Hold for the count of five, then relax, and repeat five times.’
An invisible-to-onlookers exercise that you don’t need to go to the gym for and allows you to have stronger orgasms? That’s a workout we can all get behind.
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