How To Have An Orgasm (in Five Stories)

One subject I am very familiar with is orgasm.

After all, I’m a doctor of human sexuality. However, my understanding of orgasm comes more from personal experience than anything I’ve studied. The orgasm, like many things in life, is experiential. It must be explored, felt, witnessed, and experienced in order to develop regular access to this most incredible of experiences. The orgasm is also something individual, and in the same way that no two people have the same fingerprint— no two people have the same network of nerves and fantasy that escalate their arousal to orgasm.

Everyone wants to experience orgasms, and yet many have never experienced one, or the ones they do experience are small, short, or lacking pleasure. I could lecture on orgasms from many perspectives, but since storytelling is one of the best teachers, let me share five sex stories that can lead you in the direction of, what is for many, the elusive orgasm. For those who haven’t experienced an orgasm, who find it difficult to achieve one, or who are interested in having greater variety and intensity, I think you will find some clues hidden here.


Story 1: Pure Sensation

When I was a girl, I often played sex games with two of my female friends. Our senses were heightened as we role-played all we knew about men, women, and sex. We didn’t know it at the time, but this was arousal. One time, I was straddling my friend who was lying on her back and grinding my genitals against hers “playing sex” when suddenly this uncontrollable wave of pleasure went cascading through my body. It scared her and she asked me to stop. That was my first orgasm. As an adult, I’ve found that pure sensation in the form of clitoral stimulation can regularly bring me to orgasm. Pure sensation can also come from a partner in the form of breast sucking, oral sex, and really good fingering, or by using a vibrator. If I’m relaxed and my headspace is ready to “play” with sex, I will find my way to orgasm with pure sensation.  


Story 2: Pure Fantasy

Every so often I am having sex with a partner and my first orgasm refuses to make an appearance. I’m grinding and enjoying and relaxed, but I can feel that there is a long divide between where I am and where I want to be. That’s when I dial up my fantasy. What is the most taboo thing I can imagine happening at that moment? Some of my personal fantasies are imagining that it’s my “job” to make my lover come, that I’m a sex worker or concubine, that I’m younger than I am, that my lover is going to come inside of me and make a baby, or that we’re being watched by others. Focusing on really erotic thoughts or taboo aspects of my relationship, along with focusing on physical sensation like how our genitals feel together or the sensation of my chest against theirs will almost always bring me to orgasm, and quickly!


Story 3: Pure Mind

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had orgasms in my dreams. In my dreams, I can be doing any number of sexual things with a man or a woman. Then when I start to orgasm, I wake up and either let the orgasm finish its wave on its own, or I reach for my vulva to rub and hold it to continue the orgasm for as long as possible. I’m not alone in this experience. Science has shown that we can bring ourselves to orgasms through thought alone. We also know that orgasms often happen during sleep as blood circulates and engorges the genitals in both men and women around three to four times per night. Basically, men aren’t the only ones waking up with an erection! One time I remember I was staying at my aunt’s house and sharing a bed with my mother when I woke up having an orgasm in my sleep. Luckily, I don’t think she heard me.


Story 4: Pure Intensity

The first time I experienced vaginal orgasm was after my normal clitoral orgasm on top of my boyfriend. I had come really quickly, so I got on my hands and knees afterward to feel him from behind me. He was standing and thrusting in and out of me when I started having these waves of orgasm. They were softer than my clitoral orgasms, but seemed to have no beginning and no end and they were clearly centered in my vagina. The more I breathed, relaxed, and vocalized, the more intense they became. My body and mind entered a trance-like state, and I didn’t want the sensation to end. In fact, I wanted it deeper and harder, and the longer it went on the better I felt. Now it made sense why someone would want to have penetrative sex for hours and hours! There was all this pleasure potential inside of me just waiting to be woken up.


Story 5: Pure Naughtiness

Sometimes no matter what I do, I cannot reach orgasm. Usually, it’s from fatigue or some mental distraction, or maybe my partner has ejaculated instantly and I am left to find an orgasm on my own. This is when pure naughtiness comes in. Focusing on anything forbidden is a rapid way of intensifying arousal that never fails to bring me to the pleasure I’m looking for. For me, having my partner looking at my genitals while I masturbate, spanking me, touching my anus or penetrating it, telling me what a bad girl I am or how slutty I’m being, or sharing a fantasy of something we’re doing together will take me to the doorstep of an orgasm every time. This is the one benefit of all the sexual taboos in our culture— we can use them to have even more fun!


Orgasms are unique and individual to everyone and always changing throughout our lives. I hope these stories throw some fuel on the fire of your orgasm and help you discover all the pleasure your body is designed for. Because you are designed for pleasure! It only keeps getting better the more time and love you give it. Shame, trauma, and lack of education can slow down the process, but your sexuality is always inside of you wanting to express itself. So make time and explore. The world is awaiting your orgasmic, sexy self. Your orgasm is beautiful.


Want to learn more about orgasm and female sexuality? Check out Lauren’s courses, books, and upcoming sexuality summit at Or read even more sex stories in my first book, “The New Rules of Sex” available on Amazon.

Why Your Heart Hurts After A Breakup

Ever wonder why a breakup is so f*ing painful? And why is it that some people suffer for years while others bounce back so quickly?

A 2010 study from the University of California found that taking acetaminophen (the main ingredient in Tylenol) can correlate with reduced pain after a breakup. Why might Tylenol help with emotional pain? Because pain, whether inflicted physically or emotionally, functions through the same neural pathways in the brain. Using acetaminophen reduces those neural responses that give us the experience of pain. So yes, figures of speech such as “heartache” and “heartbreak,” are more than melodramatic poeticism.

So, does that mean we just can just pop a Tylenol and wait for the pain to pass? Maybe talking to friends about your ex can help? Psychology Professor at Columbia University, Walter Mischel, would argue that discussing the breakup with friends will only increase depressive symptoms and should be kept to a minimum. So, where to turn next?

In a 2011 experiment, the brain activity of people who had recently experienced an unwanted breakup was monitored via MRI. When the subjects viewed a photograph of their ex-partner and thought about their rejection, the MRI revealed activation of the parts of the brain associated with social and physical pain.

But it also found that showing subjects pictures of someone with whom they were securely attached relieved the pain of their broken hearts! So now we must ask, how do we develop secure attachments so that we too can experience emotional tranquility in the face of a break up?

From the moment you were born you began bonding with the people closest to you. This infant-parent bonding and how well your parents responded to your needs was essential for the development of your physical and mental health. How well you attached during that early period determines how you respond in both relationships and breakups in the future, or basically how secure you are as a human being in and out of relationships with other humans.

People who are securely attached, whose needs were met by caregivers, have the healthiest response to breakups, turning to close friends and family for support, authentically grieving the loss, and being better able to empathize with their partner’s reason for the breakup and therefore responding in a less hostile way. They face the breakup with greater resilience and acceptance, and are less likely to blame themselves for the relationship ending.

People who have an anxious attachment style, whose needs were intermittently met by caregivers, are more likely to react to breakups with hyperactive emotional and physiological distress, feeling a loss of identity, turning to unhealthy coping strategies such as drugs or alcohol, being more prone to jealousy and preoccupation with the ex-partner, and are more likely to try to re-establish the relationship even if it wasn’t a healthy one. This type is more likely to stalk, threaten, or attempt to physically harm their previous partner, and they are more likely to ruminate on negative emotions, be in chronic mourning and prolonged protest and despair, and feel continued attachment to the lost partner, leading to depression, anxiety or other mental health issues.

Those with avoidant attachment style, whose emotional needs were likely not met by caregivers, tend to turn less to friends and family, are more likely to use drugs and alcohol as a means of coping, and may attempt to avoid the former partner so much they might change jobs or schools to suppress any reminders of their former relationship. They may show an absence of grief, little protest and despair, and a quick progression to reorganization and detachment, but it may also involve greater self-blame and use of drugs and alcohol to cope, lower motivation to replace the ex-partner with a new partner, and less interest in sex. They also show the poorest emotional adjustment and well-being compared to secure individuals.

But no matter your past or current attachment style, there is still hope! Attachment styles are not rigidly fixed as they incorporate subsequent life experiences and the responses of those close to us. A therapist can help us transform from an insecure to secure attachment through effective therapy, and focusing on and developing long-term friendships and other relationships can help create stability and foster feelings of security, acceptance and connection.

In John Bowlby’s 1980 book Attachment and Loss he reports that reactions to the loss of a relationship progress through three stages: protest, often involving crying, anger, disbelief and attempts to re-establish contact; despair and sadness; and eventually, the reorganization of one’s attachment hierarchy which includes upgrading new or existing partners and downgrading and detaching from ex-partners.

Breakups hurt a whole f*ing lot, but according to some scientists, focusing on people we have established healthy relationships with, not looking at an ex on social media, and popping some acetaminophen every now and then might help. If you’re not able to get past your breakup, are abusing drugs and alcohol, feel you’ve a lost sense of identity, or like you’re chronically mourning, finding a therapist to help you start working on how you attach can lead you to a full recovery.

Researchers Tashiro and Frazier found that after a romantic breakup, some people reported a lot of positive growth, such as greater self-confidence and independence, better relationship-maintenance behaviors such as improved communication, an improved ability to cultivate stronger relationships with friends and family, greater focus on school or work, and improved expectations of future romantic partners. Post breakup growth was greatest in those who attributed the cause of the breakup to external factors rather than to themselves. Let’s be those people.

So celebrate the relationships you have, surround yourself with photos of people who love you and are always there for you, dive into the meaning and personal growth that has come out of this breakup without over-talking about it, and know that the pain you feel is real, and it really sucks, but it will come to an end. Don’t dwell on who lies at fault for the breakup, get your butt to therapy if you need it, and if you can’t bear the temporary pain of rejection in your heart, keep some Tylenol handy just in case!


Lauren Brim, author of The New Rules of Sex, and sex coach at