An explosive orgasm isn't necessary for a pleasurable sexual experience. However, orgasms are considered to be a defining factor in super-satisfying sex for women, according to a 2016 study1 about the female orgasm published in Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology.
Fortunately, there are specific tips and tricks you can keep in mind to help your partners with vulvas achieve that big O. This step-by-step guide will teach you exactly how to make a girl with a vulva orgasm:
Communicate about her needs
It'd be nice to have one go-to method to make every girl you ever sleep with have an orgasm, but the truth is, no two women are exactly alike in terms of how they want to be touched.
"Every single body is different and wants different things. Intimacy is built on learning your partner's turn-ons and their preferred methods of stimulation," sexologist and certified sex coach Gigi Engle tells mbg.
You're not a mind reader. Open, clear communication about consent, what feels good, and what doesn't is essential to pleasurable sex that leads to orgasm.
When asking your partner about her sexual desires and needs, make sure to really listen to the answers so you can create the ultimate experience for her.
Ease and stimulate her mind
"Female orgasms are closely tied to mental and relational factors," says Jenni Skyler, Ph.D., LMFT, CST, an AASECT-certified sex therapist, sexologist, and licensed marriage and family therapist for Adam & Eve. This means many women often need to be in the right mindset with a person who makes her feel comfortable to be able to surrender herself to an orgasm.
Establishing a strong connection, spending time nurturing your romantic connection, or even just sexting throughout the day can help to build excitement for what's to come—literally!
When you're together IRL and starting to transition into sex, be mindful and make sure she's really turned on, totally game, and ready to play.
If she's into the idea of having sex but still is having trouble relaxing and getting in the mood, AASECT-certified sexuality therapist Rose Hartzell, Ph.D., Ed.S., suggests reading erotica and lighting candles to help her get into that sexy mindset.
Build it up
Be careful to pace yourself and avoid rushing into penetration, no matter how turned on you are. "Time to orgasm is directly connected to the mindset and the arousal buildup," says Skyler. Take your time building anticipation by kissing, making out, and exploring her body and mind.
Stimulate other erogenous zones
Some women can orgasm through erogenous zone stimulation only. Spending 10 to 20 minutes on nongenital body parts will help a woman get more aroused and have a better chance at optimum pleasure, says Skyler.
Prior to direct genital contact, try kissing, teasing, and caressing her neck, ears, breasts, nipples, and inner thighs. Everybody has different preferences, though, so always be sure to ask your partner what she likes.
Don't make it all about penetration
"Only 25% of those with a vulva can have an orgasm with penetration alone," adds Skyler. If you have a penis, recognize that penetration might be what gets you to have an orgasm—but most likely, it's not how she's going to have one.
If you want women to enjoy having sex with you, you'll need to relinquish the idea that it's all about penetration and that everything else is "foreplay." Some 75% of vulva owners need clitoral stimulation to orgasm—so consider that her main act.
Focus on clitoral stimulation
Stimulating the clitoris is key to how to make a girl orgasm. The average woman needs this for about 20 minutes in order to climax, says Engle. Once clitoral contact is made, she recommends following the three S's—slow, subtle, soft—and letting your partner guide you faster and harder if/when she's ready.
Use your fingers, tongue, a vibrator, or pressure on her clit. This can be done while penetrating inside her vagina, but recognize that the external stimulation is more important.
During penetration, go for the right positions
According to Hartzell, woman on top is the best PiV sex position to maximize clitoral stimulation (especially if she touches herself while riding you), whereas deeper penetration via woman straddling or man penetrating while she's lying down with her legs in the air can promote a strong cervical orgasm.
Play with sex toys
Hartzell likes to refer to sex toys as the "hearing aid for the clitoris" because vibrators can help speed the process along and provide more intense orgasms that manual or oral stimulation may not offer. Experiment with different types of pleasure products and sensations before, during, or after penetrative sex to stimulate the clitoris and inspire maximum pleasure (and perhaps even multiple orgasms).
Use lots of lube
She may naturally lubricate when turned on to become "wet," but it's usually a good idea to use a high-quality intimate lubricant product as well, especially if you're going to be penetrating her.
If and when her natural lubricant wears off (which is normal, no matter how turned on someone is), lube will help avoid tears and reduce friction, allowing her to continue enjoying the experience.
Communication is another form of good lube, Engle reminds, so keep the conversation going during the experience to help guide her to orgasm as smoothly and comfortably as possible.
"Some women can obtain a very intense orgasm through edging, which includes almost bringing themselves to orgasm before backing off and bringing them back to orgasm again," adds Hartzell. "This type of teasing can be very stimulating."
Don't make it all about the orgasms
Orgasms are great, and it's great that you care about your partner having fun during sex! However, Skyler warns that when we overemphasize orgasm, we can actually put too much pressure on both the giver and receiver and ultimately sabotage the whole experience.
Rather than putting it front and center as the main goal, she suggests relaxing and focusing on pleasure instead. "When we do this, the orgasm emerges as a surprising and delightful byproduct," she says.
So when your partner finally gets from Point A to Destination O, the process will have been an enjoyable ride for everyone involved.
Morgan Mandriota is a freelance writer based in New York. Her articles on sex, relationships, health, and travel have been published at Cosmopolitan, SHAPE, Tinder, SheKnows, BuzzFeed, and elsewhere. She has a degree in English with minors in Psychology and Speech Communications from St. Joseph's College.
Mandriota has traveled to a clothing-optional resort in Jamaica, attended sex camp, visited cannabis cafes, tried a liquid vibrator, and spilled her personal dating experiences (read: struggles) on the internet, all in the name of journalism. When she's not writing, she devotes her time to her passion project Highly Untamed, scoping out the best taco spots, training Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and adventuring around seeking inspiration for new stories.