"It's a pulsing from between my legs up through the rest of my body...."

Jenna Birch
March 28, 2018

If someone asked you to explain how a woman knows she's had an orgasm, you might struggle for the right words before summing it up with an all purpose, “You just know.” 

But since every woman experiences orgasm in her own unique way, the fact is, not all of us will "just know." And because there's more than one type of orgasm (clitoral orgasms can feel different than a G-spot orgasm or multiple orgasms, for example), the variation in what hitting that high note feels like is huge.

RELATED: These Are the Moves That Really Make Women Orgasm, According to Science

So in the interest of sex-positive research and to give women who aren't 100% sure that what they feel during sex qualifies as an orgasm, we posed the question: What exactly do you experience as you're heading toward O-town, and what kind of moves and strokes get you there? Here's what eight very descriptive women told us.

"Something washes over my body"

“I have only orgasmed with my close sexual partners, and even then, it's not something that is guaranteed in any way. I only have one orgasm typically per sexual activity, while some girls I know get multiple orgasms. I would describe it as something that washes over my entire body. Almost like chills throughout, but my body is heating up instead.” —Vanessa*, 25

"It's like fantastical energy"

“It feels to me like some fantastical energy being pent up and unable to be realized, and all of a sudden, you let go, and that energy is suddenly very real. The other analogy and more how I feel emotionally, so deeply connected, as if a river of consciousness connects me to him in the present moment. And then, in the exact split second of orgasm, there is no separation. It’s beautiful.” —Sara, 32

RELATED: Yes, There Are 11 Different Types of Orgasms. Here's How to Have Each

"I get a pulsing between my legs"

“Penetrative sex doesn’t do it for me; clitoral stimulation is the only way I orgasm. It’s like an adrenaline rush to the head, like a pulsing from between my legs up through the rest of my body, and concludes in some sort of physical relief, like squeezing or yelling. The more yelling allowed, the better! Then, after it’s done, all my body wants to do is snuggle.” —Taylor, 25

"I'm on the tallest drop of a rollercoaster"

“I would explain it like a ticklish, hot wave . . . starting from the center of my vagina and moving out toward my fingertips and toes, a building energy. At the same time, when my clit is stimulated just right, the sensitivity there causes me to get a lightheaded rush that feels kind of like I’m on the tallest drop of a rollercoaster.”  —Lana, 26

"There's nothing like it—the best feeling in the world"

“When I achieve orgasm, it’s the best feeling in the world; there really is nothing like it. Mine only lasts a few seconds, and it is very hard for me to achieve another orgasm after the first, but when I feel the walls of my vagina contract, oh my, the pleasure is so intense.” —Cassandra, 20

RELATED: 3 Things We Can Learn From Women Who Orgasm Every Time

"It's an overwhelming warmth"

“For me, an orgasm feels like overwhelming warmth to start. I can suddenly feel every nerve ending, and everything below the belt is emphasized. Then, when the orgasm finally happens, it’s just these waves of pleasure throughout my body, and a physical release.”  —Carly, 30

"I'm consumed completely"

“The sexual energy ebbs and flows slowly, and then builds until it is in control of every energy center in my body. It’s as if the energy creates a whirlpool with all the sacred waters in my being. It starts off as a gentle current, but builds to such a powerful force that I’m consumed completely. And then spit out on the other end, in an parallel universe of which I’m not even sure of how I got to, but where the waters are perfectly still, comforting, and protective.” —Mila, 28

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"Electricity surges through my whole body"

“With a G-spot orgasm, through traditional intercourse, this glorious sensation is like electricity surging through my whole body. I know instantly when my husband has hit that G-spot. I tighten myself around him and ride this wave, shivers of euphoria. The perfect tickle, the perfect kiss, the perfect massage all rolled into one glorious moment where I lose all control of my senses.” —Sam, 44

*Names have been changed