What Is a Multiple Orgasm?

A multiple orgasm is not the same thing as re-stimulating yourself every few minutes to have another orgasm—which we will call sequential orgasms.

There often, as a woman, seems to be an unconscious rejection of the possibility of having more than one orgasm.

If men can only have one, perhaps it seems greedy, aggressive, or challenging to want more when with a man. That was a very 20th century perspective uncovered in the informative Hite Report by Shere Hite. Perhaps a woman who does desire more, is "unnatural" or a "nymphomaniac." More Mad Men era hyperbole started by men who probably didn't want to work too hard.

We are told, by inference, that one should satisfy us. One should be enough. Even during masturbation, some women (although less than during sex with a partner) felt guilty or self-conscious about wanting to have more than one.

"It's hard for me to indicate I want more than a single orgasm in lovemaking, and I almost always leave it to my lover to take the initiative. Continued caressing now satisfies me as much as another orgasm."
"I've never felt that I couldn't come again with pleasure, but am hesitant to pursue it." 

The Hite Report by Shere Hite

"A reproduction of the classic text, previously unavailable, with a new introduction by the author. The Hite Report, first published in 1976, was a sexual revolution in 600 pages. To answer sensitive questions dealing with the most intimate details of women's sexuality, Hite's innovation was simple: she asked women, a lot of them, everything—and published the results."

Some women didn't even know it was possible to have more than one, and confused the idea with multiple orgasm.

This made answers to the question "How many orgasms do you want?" even more confusing to interpret. Few women really seemed to know what a multiple orgasm is; and several wondered if each contraction was one orgasm, and four to five contractions "multiple orgasms":

"I am not sure whether I have one long orgasm or several shorter ones."

Sequential Orgasm

Multiple orgasm is not the same thing as re-stimulating yourself every few minutes to have another orgasmwhich we will call sequential orgasms. Multiple orgasms, which are much rarer, are several orgasms with no break in between (with the stimulation continuing, of course). 

Sequential orgasms can be continued indefinitely by many women. To have a sequence of orgasms, you must wait for a few minutes after each orgasm, until you feel the return of the focus of sensation, and desire for another orgasm. Then, when the feeling is centered again, stimulation of that spot should bring the second orgasm very quickly. Re-stimulating yourself too quickly, before sensation refocuses, could diffuse and dull the feeling and make another orgasm impossible. Sometimes subsequent orgasms increase arousal, and so you may feel the spot that is sensitive moving lower, deeper into your genitals.

Multiple Orgasm

Unfortunately, the whole concept of being able to have more than one orgasm, and multiple orgasms, has taken on a competitive ring, as in... 

"Am I a complete woman? If other women are having multiple orgasms, why can't I?" and so on. The Orgasm Olympics, as one woman called it.
"I have read that one woman had fifty orgasms within an hour—I struggle to have one mini one a week. How jealous I am."
"I can't believe this multi-orgasm business. I once had two about five minutes apart. It was a pretty grubby affair, and the second one was weak. By grubby I mean I had to work awfully hard, and had a desperate feeling. Afterwards I felt totally wasted. I only want one. Like the average man, I could get it up again, but why?"

Once again, merely discussing women's capacity for orgasms does not imply that we would necessarily always want many orgasms. The point is that we must become aware of and acquainted with our bodies' potential, so that we are in control of defining ourselves and making our own choices—not the people around us, or our lack of information. And, after all, many orgasms can feel very good. Many women mentioned that one orgasm (or none) could be emotionally satisfying.

"Yes, one—but as I've described it, with its aftershocks. I don't know how many I'm capable of. I haven't experimented. It seems to me, though I may be wrong, that there is an emotional quality to the experience and that immediate repetitions of that aspect of it probably aren't possible. At least not for me."

Also many women felt that their arousal was physically diffused and "satisfied" by intercourse. Some women stated that they could not have more than one orgasm because their clitoris became too sensitive to touch after orgasm.

"I've often wondered about multiple orgasms, but I never go on, for being so sensitive—sensitive is a better word than hurt."

"Afterwards I can't bear to be touched directly. Usually I feel a return to gentle lapping accompanied by the pleasurable sensations that precede orgasm, but I just can't do anything about it."

It is possible that in many cases this problem is caused by "too direct" stimulation of the clitoris, perhaps in combination with a buildup of something appealingly called "smegma" under the clitoral hood. It is important every so often to pull back the foreskin or hood of the clitoris, and using you fingertip or fingernail, remove the partially hardened (harmless) whitish deposits that tend to collect there. This can be slightly painful to do, but these deposits can lessen the flexibility of your clitoris. In any case, these deposits would probably not interfere with your capacity to enjoy renewed stimulation unless you stimulate your clitoris very directly, more directly than most women do. Other women did prefer more than one orgasm.

"The first orgasm is just the beginning. I find that I become more aroused generally (not just in the genital area) after the first couple of orgasms. I arouse slowly, but, once aroused, the feeling grows larger and more intense and sweet, engulfing me."

"I prefer half a dozen smaller ones, building into a crescendo."

Do subsequent orgasms feel different?

"Each subsequent orgasm is stronger than the preceding." 
"Orgasm is a sharp explosive feeling followed by a series of contractions. After several consecutive orgasms, the feeling becomes more like a melting sensation."

"When highly aroused for a long period of time, my feet tingle, and my clitoris responds readily. After several orgasms, it is very sweet to be still and allow the sensation of heightened sexuality to suffuse the body."

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What Is a Multiple Orgasm?