Yes, yes, yes! How women have three kinds of orgasm… and they are categorised as a wave, an avalanche and a volcano
- Women experience one of three types of orgasm, a new study has claimed
- Pelvic floor muscles typically show one of three patterns, say researchers
- The three different orgasms are the ‘wave’, the ‘volcano’ and the ‘avalanche’
It was never mentioned during that memorable restaurant scene in the film When Harry Met Sally. But women typically experience one of three types of orgasm, a study has suggested.
Researchers found that when their female volunteers climaxed, their pelvic floor muscles predominantly showed one of three patterns: A ‘wave’, a ‘volcano’ or an ‘avalanche’.
Lead researcher James Pfaus, professor of neuroscience at Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic, said the names refer to the way the ‘pelvic floor movements appeared during the build-up to orgasm and the release of tension at orgasm’.
‘The wave looks like undulations or successive contractions of tension and release at orgasm,’ Professor Pfaus said.
‘The avalanche rides on a higher pelvic floor tension with contractions that lower the tension downward during orgasm.
Women typically experience one of three types of orgasm, a study has suggested
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Undulations or successive contractions of tension and release at orgasm
Rides on a higher pelvic floor tension with contractions that lower the tension downward during orgasm
Rides on a lower pelvic floor tension but then explodes into tension and release during orgasm
‘The volcano rides on a lower pelvic floor tension but then explodes into tension and release during orgasm.’
For the study, 54 women used a Bluetooth-connected vibrator, called the Lioness, which detects the force of pelvic floor contractions in two sensors on its sides and sends the data to a secure internet server.
The women, who performed the tasks at home, were instructed to self-stimulate to one orgasm and then turn the device off two minutes after orgasm was achieved.
This was then repeated over several days.
The women were also asked to perform a control test, in which they inserted the vibrator but did not stimulate themselves.
The data were then analysed. They showed that nearly 50 per cent of the women (26) had ‘wave’ orgasms, while 17 had ‘avalanches’ and 11 had ‘volcanoes’.
Professor Pfaus’s team, whose findings were published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, have now turned their attentions to the way the three orgasm styles are experienced by women.
‘We are doing a long-term study of women using the Lioness to see how these different patterns are experienced subjectively as orgasms, as levels of pleasure, where the stimulation that induces them largely comes from,’ said Professor Pfaus.
Referring to William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the researchers who pioneered the study of the human sexual response in the 1950s, he added: ‘We are not yet finished doing data collection, but one thing that has become apparent is that Masters and Johnson’s observations that women had a “predominant” sexual response style is being borne out with the orgasm responses we are seeing with the Lioness.
‘In a way, this makes sense. These are adult women who have experienced orgasms many times before and, like riding a bike or swimming, there are motor patterns that have become crystallised through experience to be associated with it.’
Researchers found that when their female volunteers climaxed, their pelvic floor muscles predominantly showed one of three patterns: A ‘wave’, a ‘volcano’ or an ‘avalanche’ (stock)
It is hoped the Lioness could be used ‘like a Fitbit’ to help women who are receiving treatment for orgasm disorders, or simply for self-exploration.
‘It is essentially a pelvic floor biofeedback instrument that, because of its shape and intended purpose, can be used to give women instant feedback on the pelvic floor movements that accompany orgasm,’ Pfaus said.
In the 1989 romcom When Harry Met Sally, Meg Ryan’s character noisily fakes an orgasm in a deli.
The new research comes a month after a separate study revealed that missionary is the best position for reaching female orgasm – as long as you use a pillow.
Experts from private gynaecology clinic New H Medical in New York assessed blood flow to the clitoris during popular poses including missionary, sitting face-to-face and rear entry.
Their findings show that blood flow to the clitoris – a key step towards the ‘big O’ – is greatest when the man is on top during missionary, with a pillow placed beneath the woman’s pelvis.
Moaning is NOT a good measure of the female orgasm, study claims
They’re often considered the peak of pleasure, yet until now, there hasn’t been an official definition of the female orgasm.
While males usually ejaculate when reaching orgasm, females have very different bodily sensations when they climax.
Now, scientists from the University of Ottawa have set out to measure the female orgasm for the first time.
Their findings suggest that female orgasms should be defined as ‘pleasurable satisfaction’ – while moaning should be removed as a measure entirely.
They hope the findings could be used to improve interventions for women who are unsatisfied with their orgasm experiences.