As my high school cross country coach always said, "Life is not a sprint, it's a marathon." Though he was talking about running literal marathons and cross country practice made me cry every day, slowing your speed to go the extra mile is actually pretty good advice. It even applies to a different kind of workout, one that takes place between the sheets. Wink. Though everyone is different, it's natural to wonder how to make your orgasms last longer. Whether you're getting it on by yourself or with a partner, knowing how to make the big "O" a little bit bigger can really come in handy.
"Women [/AFAB people] achieve sexual pleasure primarily from the stimulation of the clitoris, a highly sensitive part of a woman’s anatomy composed of millions of nerve endings," Dr. Sherry A. Ross, Women’s Health Expert and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women’s Intimate Health. Period., tells Elite Daily. "Over 75% of women [/AFAB people] need some sort of clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm."
Although orgasm can be achieved through various types of sexual contact, Dr. Ross shares that longer and more intense orgasms are often a product of going slow and steady. "Foreplay becomes the key ingredient to success and allowing yourself to have a more intense and prolonged orgasm," Dr. Ross says. "This is an important statistic that I wish everyone understood so no one felt pressured to come together or quickly."
According to Gigi Engle, certified sex coach, sexologist, and author of All The F*cking Mistakes: A Guide to Sex, Love, and Life, though everyone may want a longer orgasm, there's really no standard time an orgasm should last. "How long an orgasm lasts will depend on your body, individual preferences for sexual touch, and the particular situation in which you're having the orgasm," Engle tells Elite Daily. "If you feel really comfortable with a partner, they may last longer. Again, this isn't a universal thing." Engle attests that though orgasms are long and pleasurable for a lot of people, they aren't defined as being long and pleasurable. "Some people have really big, long powerful orgasms, some people have tepid orgasms that are more subdued, and others have what are called 'micro orgasms,' which are so small, they are sometimes imperceptible," Engle says. "You may also experience a combination of types of orgasms due to hormones, different times in your cycle, the way you're being touched, etc."
While you may be on the hunt for a longer or more intense orgasm, Engle and Dr. Ross both attest the first step is building patience with your body and experimenting on your own time. "When you pressure yourself into making your body do a certain thing, it only makes it harder to make it happen," Engle says. "You wind up in a negative feedback loop. You need to learn what brings you pleasure to be able to communicate what you want to a partner." Dr. Ross echoes that getting comfortable with your own body is imperative for longer orgasms. "Be the mechanic of your own body in order to achieve orgasmic success," Dr. Ross says "Become more knowledgeable about sexual skills. Find your sweet spot. Experiment and have fun!"
After getting comfortable in your body, Dr. Shares that another way to prolong your orgasm is to focus solely on sexual desire, rather than climaxing, or even your relationship. "Focus more on intimacy and less on an orgasm," Dr. Ross says. "Make time for sexual activity and focus less on sexual intercourse." Whether you and your partner like to take a steamy bath together before getting it on, or you like to lie together naked before having sex — increasing the intimacy between you can make your orgasms more intense.
As Dr. Ross shares, though the sensation is physical, orgasms are largely impacted by your mental state. Whether you meditate before having sex or try to focus on what turns you on, spending a few moments making sure you're in tune with your body can have some major payoffs. "If you get really into your body using breath-work and concentration, that can help make orgasms more intense, full-bodied, and perhaps even last longer," Engle says. If you're annoyed that your partner never takes out the trash or wondering if they were hitting on the bartender, you may not be able to fully live in the moment. Dr. Ross also attests that addressing and resolving your general relationship conflicts, outside of the bedroom — like your boo not Instagramming you enough or how you want to meet your partner's mom — can turn up the heat between the sheets.
If you're looking to increase your orgasm when having sex with someone else, Engle suggests talking about your fantasies or speaking positivity, but directly to your partner. "For instance, you could say, 'Babe, I really love it when you go down on me. I'd love it if you could stay down there a bit longer so I could try to have a second orgasm.' You can't get what you want if you don't ask for it," Engle says.
Though partner sex can be an exciting way to climax, Engle also shares the importance of masturbating and self-exploration. "Get a sex toy and experiment," Engle says. "Try different speeds, pressures, and motions. Do you like internal stimulation combined with clitoral? Do you like G-spot stimulation? Are you a clitoral only person? You can only figure this stuff out by exploring and getting to know your own body." Engle express that no matter how hot they are, no one you sleep with is going to be a mind-reader. Clearly expressing what feels good and being able to ask your partner directly for what you want is another way to make your orgasms longer and more intense.
"Communication and self-control are so important in allowing yourself to have a prolonged and enjoyable orgasm," Dr. Ross says. "If you are not having an orgasm with clitoral stimulation with your partner may need to give this important organ more attention."
If you feel a little sheepish or awkward about stating your needs, it may be helpful to journal or meditate on what you want to say before opening the conversation with your partner. Additionally, incorporating lubricants or sex toys during partner sex can be a game-changer. Though sex can be a mutually pleasurable experience, Engle expresses that you are responsible for your own orgasm. There is no shame in asking for exactly what you want. And if everyone involved is consenting, there's no wrong way to get it on.
From meditating to deep breathing to focusing on what turns you on, the key to longer and more intense orgasms is getting in the right mindset. Though experimenting with your body and learning what feels good is completely important, being able to directly express your needs is crucial as well. If you're trying to make your orgasms last longer, be patient. A long orgasm will be worth the wait, and unlike cross country, you'll probably be looking forward to practice.