Is your orgasm an avalanche, wave or volcano?
A new study suggests that there are three different types of vaginal orgasm...which one is yours?
words Megan Wallace
Given that summer is horny af, let’s talk about what’s on all our minds: sex. While there are loads of amazing sex toys and sexual wellness products out there (it’s 2022 after all) a major pleasure gap still exists: with men substantially more likely to orgasm than women during sex and one in 20 woman never orgasming with a sexual partner.
Part of the reason for these gendered sexual disparities may well be a lack of information and advice regarding female sexuality. Anyone who remembers sexual education in school will know that the the curriculum does a shoddy job of preparing us for the realities of sex and anyone that has opened PornHub will no doubt know that what we see in mainstream pornography doesn’t do such a good job on that front either.
That’s why it’s particularly encouraging to see research breakthroughs in the field of female sexuality currently being pushed forward by scientists. Most recently, a study by James Pfaus, a professor of neuroscience at Prague’s Charles University, has discovered that the pelvic floor muscles involved in an orgasm for women and people with vaginas tends to move in three different ways. He has labelled them as an avalanche, a volcano, or a wave.
Stumped? The study summarised the different movements as follows:
Avalanche: your pelvic floor has higher tension, which releases as the orgasm comes to an end. Volcano: the muscles are at a steady, lower level of tension and then “explode” at the end of climax. Wave: pelvic floor tension comes and goes in waves.
In order to come to these findings, Pfaus asked the 54 individuals participating in his study to use a Bluetooth sex toy called The Lioness while they masturbated at home. The vibrator uses two sensors on its sides to detect the muscle movements and their pattern or rhythm.
Overall, 11 participants experienced the volcano orgasm, 17 had the avalanche and 26 enjoyed the wave — making it the most popular of the three orgasm types.
“We are doing a long-term study of women using the Lioness to see how these different patterns are experienced subjectively as orgasms, as levels of pleasure, where the stimulation that induces them largely comes from,” said the study’s authors.