A huge amount of knowledge, experience and expertise was poured into one of our latest pleasure products, the LUNA Smart Bead™. We caught up with renowned sexual authority and educator Ian Kerner to get his thoughts on the issues and problems that can affect the ability to – or quality of – an orgasm, and how orgasms can be made more pleasurable.
V: What is an orgasm? What’s happening in our bodies at the moment of climax?
IK: The orgasm is an amazing thing, and what’s actually happening inside your body at orgasm is a lot more complex than what you’re feeling. To put it simply, an orgasm is the culmination of sexual stimulation, the peak of personal, intimate pleasure in which your heart rate rises, your breath quickens, your muscles contract and your brain rewards you by flooding your body with oxytocin, prolactin and those warming endorphins we love so much.
To put it another way, the orgasm is nature’s biochemical reward for passing on genetic information. And nature can be tricked into thinking we’ve just had sex, thanks to masturbation and foreplay.
Of course, orgasms themselves are reported differently on a person-by-person basis. There’s no standard way to measure an orgasm; we have to rely on the subjective and anecdotal reports and the way people describe their orgasms varies wildly. Some report an all-over tingling sensation, some report a slow build and a quick release, and some report a short build and a long release. Everyone orgasms differently: there are as many types of orgasm as there are people on the planet.
V: What factors can affect a woman’s ability to have a satisfying climax?
IK: Unfortunately, there are multiple different reasons that can affect a woman’s ability to orgasm. It’s loosely referred to as ‘anorgasmia’, which is an umbrella term that covers a wide range of maladies preventing orgasm. That can be anything from diabetes, MS and pelvic injury to anti-depressant drugs and heart disease. This kind of inability to orgasm is far more common in women than it is in men.
But the complete inability to climax is not the whole of the issue – there are many, many more situational circumstances that challenge the ability to easily reach orgasm, that make climaxes possible but very hard to achieve. These are easier to treat, and can include stress and anxiety disorders, but also things as common as frustration, stress and insomnia.
Often, the ability to climax simply disappears for a while, without any obvious reason whatsoever. It just… happens sometimes. We bundle these factors under the title ‘primary anorgasmia’. That said, you should always consult your GP if you’re struggling to reach orgasm with no obvious symptoms.
And as far as a ‘satisfying’ orgasm goes, that’s up to the judgment of the orgasmee.
V: Are there any exercises a woman can undertake to enhance her ability to orgasm?
IK: Plenty! And they can be a lot of fun too. Your intimate muscles are like any other muscle: their power and efficiency improve with a regular work out. It doesn’t need to be a long, tiring, training regiment, it doesn’t need to be hard work, you don’t need to go to the gym. You can begin right now, wherever you are: just squeeze your Kegel muscles for 10 seconds and release, then start again as many times as you want throughout the day.
LELO has a pleasure product designed specifically to help with this: the LUNA Smart Bead™. When it vibrates, you squeeze, when it stops, you relax. It measures your orgasmic potential from the first time you squeeze it, and then guides you through 5 exercise levels to enhance and develop your orgasmic power. By the end of the program, you should start noticing that your orgasms are easier, longer and stronger.