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The big ‘O’, the climax also known as an orgasm. Sure you can have fun without one, but, let’s be honest, ut’s the part of sex we all want to experience, which is why we can’t stop talking about how we can get one, especially as women.
The female orgasm has been studied and researched for centuries, but now there’s new research that suggests there are actually three different types.
The study from Charles University in Prague, found that when women have an orgasm, their pelvic floor muscles tend to move in one of three patterns: a wave, a volcano, or an avalanche.
A ‘wave’ is everything you’d expect to feel – waves of tension and release of your pelvic floor muscles.
A ‘volcano’ feels like more of an explosion towards the end of the orgasm, as your pelvic floor explodes into a swift tension and release.
An ‘avalanche’ involves higher pelvic floor tensions in the build up, which drop when you orgasm.
James Pfaus, professor of neuroscience at Charles University in Prague led the study, which invited 54 women to use the ‘Lioness’, a Bluetooth-connected vibrator, to reach orgasm.
Volunteers were asked to masturbate at home using the device over a period of a few days. The vibrator was programmed to measure the force of their pelvic floor contractions via two sensors – which researchers analysed remotely to work out the rhythm and pattern of these movements in the participants.
‘Wave’ orgasms were most common – 26 out of 54 women experienced this type, whilst 17 had ‘avalanche’ orgasms and 11 had a ‘volcano’ orgasm.
Professor Pfaus said: “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, [and] where the stimulation that induces them largely comes from.”
Many women may have experienced more than one orgasm pattern, while others might say that even one orgasm is better than none, especially with recent studies pointing to a major gender-based orgasm gap.
For every sexual encounter, men orgasm on average 87% of the time, while women experience them 65%.
Orgasm rates also vary depending on your sexuality, with heterosexual men orgasming most regularly, followed by gay men, bisexual men, lesbians, bisexual women – and finally, at the bottom of the list, heterosexual women.
Lisa Williams, co-author of More Orgasms Please: Why Female Pleasure Matters, previously told HuffPost UK that this orgasm gap isn’t down to anatomy, as women are able to orgasm as quickly as men when they masturbate.
“It can take as little as four minutes for a woman, which is the same as men, but there is a perception it’s going to take about 40 minutes during sex,” she said.
No one should feel compelled to have an orgasm – many people have a fulfilling experience without reaching this point – and some people are anorgasmic (or unable to orgasm).
But Williams encourages women to become more familiar with their bodies and what they like. Then, when they get into a sexual situation with a partner, they can be less afraid to say what they do and don’t enjoy.
If this new research isn’t an excuse to start exploring, we don’t know what is. So, wave, volcano or avalanche? Which one will you be having next?
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.