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What is an orgasm?

An orgasm is usually a sudden, strong feeling or rush of pleasure during sexual activity that often ends in ejaculation, otherwise known as ‘cumming’ or ‘finishing’.

During an orgasm, muscles around your genitals might tighten and relax, you might feel hot and your skin might get flushed or rosy. This typically lasts somewhere from a few seconds up to a minute or two!

Orgasms are different for everyone and can look and feel different depending on the person. You may orgasm sometimes and not other times. You may orgasm multiple times or not at all. That is okay!  

What is an orgasm like if you have a penis
What is an orgasm like if you have a vulva

Good to know! Sometimes sex can lead to an orgasm, but not always. It can depend on a number of different factors. Not everyone will orgasm during PIV sex, for example. They may instead find that oral sex, fingering, or masturbation helps them to orgasm. Remember that sex doesn’t need to result in orgasm to be enjoyable.


If you have concerns relating to your own experiences with orgasm, it’s a good idea to speak with your GP or local sexual health clinic.

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