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Many of us are happy with one trip to the O-zone.
But traveling there two (or three… or four… or more?!) times in one day? It sounds like a too-good-to-be-true randy rumor.
But it’s not.
“Multiple orgasms is indeed a real thing that people of all genders are capable of enjoying,” says sexologist Jess O’Reilly, PhD, We-Vibe sex and relationship expert.
Here’s what you need to know.
“Multiple orgasms generally refers to more than one orgasm in a single session,” O’Reilly says.
They can be s p a c e d out. Or, they can occur in quick succession, one after the other after the other after the… you get the point.
Edging ≠ multiple orgasms. In fact, they’re basically the exact opposite.
“Edging refers to bringing yourself (or your partner) right to the brink of orgasms several times without actually allowing an orgasm to take place for a long while,” O’Reilly explains.
The idea is that by denying the orgasm over and over again, it’s bigger, better, and stronger when it finally happens.
So, while edging is about having one really intense orgasm, multiple orgasms is about, well, having many orgasms.
One way to think about it: quality (edging) vs. quantity (multiple orgasms).
To be honest, it varies from person to person. It depends on things like:
- your anatomy
- your sexual preferences and tastes
- how well you know your body (aka knowing when to back off on your bits for a bit)
Most vulva owners can have up to five orgasms per romp.
Though, according to sex educator Cassandra Corrado, “the highest number of orgasms a vulva owner has ever been recorded having per session is 140.” Wowza!
What about penis-having people? They may also be able to climax up to five times per session.
But that doesn’t mean people with penises are able to have five ejaculatory orgasms back-to-back.
As O’Reilly explains, a penis-having person can only ejaculate so much because, uhh, biology. But if they’re open to prostate or nipple stimulation, then different types of O’s are on the table.
While they can happen at the same time, orgasming and ejaculating are two distinct processes, she says.
“When you have an orgasm where you don’t ejaculate, it’s called a dry orgasm,” O’Reilly says. “You still enjoy the feelings of pleasure, release, and orgasmic contractions.”
After reviewing the available scholarly literature — their results turned up 15 relevant publications — the researchers found that less than 10 percent of men in their 20s are multiorgasmic, followed by fewer than 7 percent of men ages 30 and up.
That said, they noted that the subject “has received surprisingly little scientific assessment,” so more research is needed.
A refractory period is the time after a Big O when your body recovers.
In the case of multiple orgasms, it’s the waiting time between two orgasms when erection, orgasms, and other sexual responses are inhibited.
“Some vulva owners experience multiple orgasms as ongoing rolling orgasms versus distinct individual orgasms that are separate from one another,” Corrado says.
She adds that for these vulva owners, there’s no refractory period.
But most people do need a little breather. How long it lasts depends on things like:
- overall health
- diet and hydration
The refractory period can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.
Whether it’s your first or your 15th foray into multiple orgasms, it’s OK if you’re feeling a little lost. Consider the below your road map.
“Orgasms require energy, so if you’re exhausted, distracted, or stressed out, you’re unlikely to have the energy or presence to reach orgasm, let alone enjoy multiples,” O’Reilly says.
Setting some time aside for yourself — both generally speaking and before the specific sex session — can help you have multiple orgasms.
And even if not, she says, “this practice will improve your sex life more than any technique, position, or sex move.”
Be conscious about how you’re framing it
Having multiple orgasms isn’t something you’re setting out to “achieve.” It’s something you’re exploring as a way to increase your (or your partner’s) pleasure. K?
If you have a partner, talk about boundaries
Chances are, if you’re exploring multiple orgasms, you’re going to try things you’ve never tried before.
That’s why talking about what types of touch, body parts, and positions are OK or off-limits ahead of time is a good idea.
Learn about your pelvic floor
The pelvic floor muscles play a big role in orgasms. In fact, an orgasm is basically a series of fast and fluttery pubococcygeus (PC) muscle contractions.
That’s why O’Reilly says, “Get to know your pelvic floor muscles. Can you contract and release them?”
If you have a vulva, think about drawing your vaginal opening up your body, toward your belly button.
Then, try contracting these muscles between each orgasm-induced contraction.
“Some vulva owners find that squeezing these muscles prolongs the orgasm and can generate a second or third climax,” O’Reilly says.
If you have a penis, “try bouncing your penis (contracting) when you’re semi-erect or erect, and then relax (release),” O’Reilly suggests. “Once you recognize the sensation, you can try it while you’re flaccid.”
“Once you’re familiar with the sensations associated with contracting and releasing, you can experiment with doing it when you feel an orgasm coming on,” she adds.
Some exercises to try:
- Contract and hold to see if you experience the pleasure of orgasm without ejaculating.
- Quickly contract several times right when you feel the first orgasmic contraction.
If you want to have an orgasm — let alone multiple — being turned on is key.
But experimenting with multiple orgasms is a marathon, not a sprint.
Rather than jumping right to your go-to turn-on method, start with something a little headier, such as:
- listening to audio erotica, like Dipsea
- watching porn, like FrolicMe or Bellesa
- following along an orgasmic breathing audio, like this one
- reading erotica aloud, like SugarButchChronicles or Aurore
- recalling the first time you had sex
- sharing a dirty dream
Touch each other
Try something new
After your first orgasm, try a new kind of orgasm.
“Different nerve pathways can produce different ‘types’ of orgasms, so awakening multiple pathways can increase your potential for multiple orgasms,” O’Reilly says.
For instance, if you have a penis and you just had an ejaculatory penis orgasm, try pleasuring the prostate or nipples for a prostate or nipple orgasm.
If you can’t differentiate between the type of orgasm you had, no big. Just focus your, ahem, attention on another part of the body.
Exaggerate your breathing!
When your arousal levels peak and you feel yourself start to take quick, huffy-puffy breaths, fight against that natural inclination, O’Reilly says.
“Instead, continue to breathe slowly, inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth, to enhance the sensation,” she explains.
For an erotic twist: Try breathing in sync with your partner.
Nope! There isn’t one sex position that’s “known” for helping you have multiple orgasms.
The key isn’t to pick just one position, but to switch positions after each orgasm.
“Switching up the angle, type, and intensity of the stimulation after each orgasm can help multiple orgasms,” Corrado says.
Sex toys can also be a nice way to completely switch up the sensation.
Case and point: A vibrator on your nipples or butt plug in your bum both feel wayyyy different than a tongue on your bits.
Again, this kind of switcheroo is a real win when it comes (wink) to multiple orgasms.
Some toys and arousal aids, all available to buy online, that you might try:
Everybody has a different body, so (spoiler alert!) things like where, how, and at what intensity may be different for you and your partner.
If you’re pleasuring your partner, the goal is to, well, make it pleasurable.
If your partner is flinching, twisting away from your touch, or isn’t making their usual pleasure sounds, read the room! Do something else.
And if you’re on the receiving end? Don’t make your partner guess. Tell ’em when something feels good and when it feels like too much.
“While some people will experience pleasurable tingles, others will experience a little bit of pain or discomfort if they try to have another orgasm,” O’Reilly says.
There’s pain as pleasure and then there’s Pain! And pain is your body’s way of telling you something isn’t right. So, if you’re experiencing discomfort, take a breather.
If your partner’s still good to go, take this time to refocus your efforts on them.
That’s fine! The point isn’t to tally up as many points (read: orgasms) as possible. The point is pleasure.
As O’Reilly says, “Experimenting with new techniques and approaches can be fun, but don’t get hung up on counting your orgasms!”
The process of learning whether you or a partner can have — and potentially having! — multiple orgasms can be incredibly pleasure-filled.
Even if you don’t have an orgasm — or “only” have one — chances are you’ll be making some “oohs” and “ahhs” and “oh-so-goods” along the way.
Who knows, your exploration may introduce you to new types of touch you’d never to think to try otherwise.
Gabrielle Kassel (she/her) is a queer sex educator and wellness journalist who is committed to helping people feel the best they can in their bodies. In addition to Healthline, her work has appeared in publications such as Shape, Cosmopolitan, Well+Good, Health, Self, Women’s Health, Greatist, and more! In her free time, Gabrielle can be found coaching CrossFit, reviewing pleasure products, hiking with her border collie, or recording episodes of the podcast she co-hosts called Bad In Bed. Follow her on Instagram @Gabriellekassel.