Orgasms have many benefits, which include, according to Web MD, better sleep, improved self confidence, a stronger immune system, lower blood pressure and even better bladder control. For most people, the fact that they feel good is enough of a benefit.
How a woman climaxes changes over the course of her life, and DESTINY spoke to two sexologists to get the details.
Early to mid-childhood: The accidental orgasm
Masturbation is very common in small kids, according to sexologist Dr Elna McIntosh. From as young as two or three, girls can have orgasms from playing with their genitals, much to the chagrin and mortification of their parents.
“A little girl can discover her clitoris, and as nursery school teachers will tell you, the child will rub up against furniture, and her favourite toy. It feels good so they rub it,” she says.
After this discovery, young girls explore their bodies and learn what feels good, explains Dr McIntosh. “They orgasm by chance.”
Adolescence: Orgasm from outercourse
At this age, hormones are raging and young people are experimenting with dry humping, and what Dr McIntosh calls “outercourse”, where there is no penetration involved. Young girls will get pleasure from rubbing up against their partners fully clothed. They can even achieve orgasm this way.
“A lot of girls are orgasmic without actually realising, it just feels good,” she explains.
Dr McIntosh says this is because, despite the focus on penetration, very few women are able to achieve orgasms from penetrative sex alone, and need some clitoral stimulation.
Early twenties to mid-forties: The learnt orgasm:
In their twenties, women are starting to work, live alone and get into long-term relationships. They’re also learning more about their bodies.
“A lot of the younger women are still learning, and are starting to discover more about their bodies, getting to know and understand what makes them feel good. Some of them are very open to things like self pleasure and masturbation, as well as using sex toys,” says reproductive health doctor Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng.
Most people have heard that women reach their sexual peak in their thirties. After all, they are not called the ‘flirty thirties’ for nothing. Research by British sex toy company Lovehoney found that, on average, women have the best sex of their lives 13 years after losing their virginity. The wait for great sex is longer for men, at 15 years.
Unfortunately, this is also the time when women are dealing with a lot of things that may prevent them from being orgasmic. The pill, sexual abuse, work pressures and medication for depression and diabetes can decrease a woman’s libido and thus her chances of achieving orgasm,” says Dr Mofokeng.
women have the best sex of their lives 13 years after losing their virginity
Peri-menopausal and menopausal women: The liberated orgasm
At this stage, many women are done raising their children. They are more settled in their bodies and are more confident about articulating what they like. Dr McIntosh says that once the fear of falling pregnant is removed, women are more relaxed about having sex, and no longer avoid it.
“Many older women will tell you: ‘I love sex because the fear of falling pregnant is completely removed,” she says.
However, biological factors can play a role in whether or not women are able to orgasm at this age. One of the most common problems is vaginal dryness, which can cause vaginal tears and enough discomfort to discourage women from having sex.
“In menopause, the oestrogen levels go down and the vaginal walls are dryer because you start losing your natural lubricant,” explains Dr Mofokeng, adding that this can easily be remedied with the use of lubricants.