20 new ways to hit the spot


Everyone wants to feel good. But not everyone agrees on what it means to “feel good”. With orgasm, we usually know what brain chemicals are involved, but the scope of orgasm is still a mystery, surrounded by archaic thoughts and standards.

For most of its history, the science of sex has been a male-ruled field, subject to the prejudices, privileges, taboos, and heterocentric norms that modern sex therapists must get rid of. We still don’t know everything about orgasm for humans with vaginas and clitoris, which are described in countless different ways by those who have them. People with a penis are made to believe their orgasms are simple – build up, ejaculation and you’re done – and as a person with a penis, I don’t agree.

When I was little I didn’t know how to masturbate, so for years I just rubbed against the bed. I’ve never achieved ejaculation, or the “standard” orgasm for cisgender men, but I’ve always loved the feeling. Later, I was taught to “jerk off”, but it never became an important thing to me. As an adult, I don’t masturbate every day, and in sex I never have to come. Other types of orgasms are more powerful for me.

We need to redefine “orgasm” to include a range of non-normative sensations – that don’t fit a playbook, that require specific body parts, or that require movements that only able-bodied people can perform. Many people cannot enjoy the “traditional” way – they have physical, medical, or psychological barriers to doing so – and often feel left out of discussions about sex. There are no limited people, just limited understandings.

Here are 20 alternative orgasms you should be exploring right now.

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