Is There a Difference between Vaginal and Clitoral Orgasms?

The female orgasm is almost as mysterious today as it was a century ago. And that's not just for men, but also for most women who experience it. The whole concept remains twisted perhaps because of a claim made by Sigmund Freud in 1905 that women can have two types of orgasms - clitoral and vaginal.

The debate has raged bitterly since Freud made that first claim. Many women have tried to dismiss what Freud called 'the two-orgasm theory' because:

  1. Freud was not a woman.
  2. He did not lay down any scientific facts to support his claim.
  3. He did not put his explanation in a way that was satisfying to women.

female orgasmFreud claimed that clitoral orgasm was related more to an adolescent pleasure which graduated into vaginal orgasm as women grew older. While the claim may or may not have a basis, it has led to a series of studies in a bid to understand women's sexual climax.

What do the two types of orgasm mean?

The clitoral orgasm is defined as an orgasm that arises purely from the external stimulation of the clitoris. It is a climax achieved through activities that focus on the visible part of the clitoris - the glans itself, its hood and the surrounding labia. Oral sex (cunnilingus) or petting would lead to this type of climax.

The vaginal type is one that occurs as a result of stimulation of both the external and internal parts of the female genitals. This is possible in the event of actual intercourse which requires penetration.

So, are there really two types of female orgasms?

The answer can be ‘yes’ or ‘no’, depending on how you look at it. If you approach the question from the viewpoint of the area being stimulated, then - yes, there are two different orgasms. However, if you consider that the clitoris extends a lot further than just the visible external part, going all the way to the urethra and close to the rectum, then - no, there is just one orgasm.

Orgasms are largely specific to the persons experiencing them and can differ a lot from person to person. Some will achieve the clitoral type faster while others will reach the vaginal one more easily. Different women achieve and experience orgasms in different ways. What appears universal, however, is that few women (just up to 25%) seem to achieve orgasms purely from penetration without clitoral stimulation.

There is a belief that clitoral orgasms are easier to achieve and more likely to occur sequentially (several orgasms but minutes apart). Vaginal orgasms, on the other hand, are shorter but often more intense. Also, a vaginal orgasm is more likely to cause (or rather be transformed into) so-called multiple orgasms.

In conclusion, there is no right or wrong ways of achieving orgasms. Women just need to know what works for them and pursue it. In fact, there is only one type of orgasm to avoid - the fake orgasm.