Myths about Orgasm

In order to understand what orgasms are and how you can best enjoy them, it is useful to understand what they are not. Chances are you have been exposed to all kinds of myths about sex and orgasm since you were a child. These myths have caused a lot of pain and confusion for some people.

When asked about myths pertaining to orgasm, one survey respondent shared one of the most common misperceptions about sex: “I was told as a child not to touch my genitals, that they were dirty. I didn't stop touching myself, but I always felt ashamed about it and I was afraid of getting caught. The myths that my genitals were dirty and that masturbation was shameful have taken me awhile to overcome.”

Common Myths

Ridding yourself of any limiting or false beliefs or attitudes about orgasms is truly the first step on your path to enriched orgasmic experiences. If a belief is engrained or embedded into your psyche, it may take some time and experience to undo it, but it is a worthwhile journey. Here are some more common myths that may be limiting your enjoyment of orgasm in some way.

Vaginal intercourse or penetration is the only real route to orgasm.

One survey respondent noted, “I used to be really upset when I couldn't make my partner reach orgasm with just vaginal intercourse. I thought that if my penis was in and doing the right thing that I should make her orgasm and if I didn't I failed. I thought that if I had to use my hands to stimulate the clitoris while I was having sex that I was cheating or something. I have long lost this notion and currently use my hands all the time, no matter where my penis is.”

The truth is that there are very clearly many routes to orgasm. Men and women both can enjoy orgasms by engaging in numerous kinds of sexual behavior. There is no proven better or more appropriate way to achieve orgasm.

“I thought that vaginal penetration was the ticket to orgasm, but this has turned out to be a myth,” one survey respondent said. “I do not feel like this had any effect my experience of orgasm because I still orgasm without penetration. I thought phalluses had to be involved (silicone or otherwise), but it turns out I like hands and mouths better.”

Orgasms can only last a few seconds.

There are many different kinds of orgasms and orgasmic experiences that vary in intensity and duration. Some orgasmic states and experiences can last much longer than a few seconds.

Orgasms should all be “earth shaking.”

Every orgasm has the potential to be meaningful and pleasurable, regardless of its intensity. Some are mellow, some are quiet, some are short, some are profound, some are loud, and some are long. Great or small, each one should be considered a gift.

Women can't orgasm as much as men.

It is true that women often have a more difficult time finding their way to orgasm, at least initially; however, once they do, their access to multiple orgasms is much greater than men's. In fact, women on the whole are capable of being much more orgasmic than men.

Clitoral orgasms are immature and inferior to vaginal orgasms.

There is no such thing as an immature or inferior orgasm! The quality of your orgasm is not solely a factor of what is being stimulated. In fact, the intensity of orgasm is much more a factor of how open you are to receiving pleasure in whatever form it is administered.

Orgasms are the goal of sex.

As amazing as orgasms are, there is no reason why sex has to include orgasmic release. Sex can be very pleasurable, ecstatic, and meaningful without culminating in an orgasm.

Orgasm in men is always accompanied by ejaculation.

Men are capable of having an orgasm without ejaculation. Some men learn by chance to separate orgasm and ejaculation. Others can learn with practice.

If you are a man, orgasms that include ejaculation will deplete your energy.

There are some belief systems that purport that a man's life energy is depleted when he ejaculates. Some men may find this to be true, but there are many men who ejaculate frequently who do not find that it depletes their energy in any way. In fact, some men find that it keeps them vital.

If you self-pleasure you will lose desire or interest in being with a lover.

Just because you are capable of providing yourself with orgasms does not mean you will lose interest in being with a lover. The need for intimacy and connection with another cannot be met by being alone. Also the experience of orgasm with a lover can be a very different experience than what you experience when you are by yourself.

A man is responsible for helping a woman achieve orgasm.

Some men feel like they are failures if they do not provide their female lover with an orgasm. Because women's orgasmic responses are so unique and complex, it is important that they ultimately take responsibility for their own orgasm. Your desire and willingness to learn how to help provide an orgasm should be appreciated but not expected.

You shouldn't have to use your hands to achieve or provide an orgasm.

The idea that using your hands to assist in or achieve an orgasm is somehow cheating or wrong should definitely be thrown out the window. All that matters is whatever feels good and whatever works.


Don't believe everything you hear or read, especially when it pertains to sex and orgasm. Many myths are generated and perpetuated by people with limited experience or knowledge about orgasms. Other myths spring from the culture's mores about sex and what appropriate sexual behaviors are.

If you want to liberate your sexuality, you must first free your mind from these limiting and false beliefs. Many myths survive partly due to the great discomfort people have with talking about sex in a frank and open manner. Therefore, the more you can open your mind and speak freely about your experiences, the more myths pertaining to sex and orgasm you will put to rest.

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