Recently, Match.com published updates to its Singles in America survey, suggesting that of the 5,500 people surveyed, “single stoners are 109% more likely to have had multiple orgasms.” Does cannabis really help people have multiple orgasms? If so, how?

What, Exactly, is an Orgasm?

Sexuality resource site Scarleteen defines orgasm as “an event typically in response to physical or intellectual sexual stimulation, controlled by the involuntary nervous system. Orgasm often results in muscle contractions in and around the genitals, other muscular spasms throughout the body, and a feeling of sexual and/or tension release.”

So what’s the deal with multiple orgasms?

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My colleague Dr. Nadine Thornhill explains, “Different people experience multiple orgasms in different ways. For some folks it’s a rapid series of climaxes, occurring within a few seconds of one another. For others, there may be an individual orgasm, followed by a brief pause, followed by another individual orgasm. For some, it can mean getting aroused, stimulation, followed orgasm, total resolution (that’s M&J [Masters and Johnson] speak for your body going back to its pre-aroused state), followed by renewed arousal, more stimulation, and another orgasm.”

Dr. Thornhill makes some important points. Orgasms feel and manifest differently for different people. Selma Blair’s character in the movie Cruel Intentions, for example, describes her first orgasm by saying, “Then I started getting really hot, and then I started shaking, then I don’t know, it was weird, it just felt like an EXPLOSION…but a good one.” Some folks experience that explosive release of tension. Others feel rapid contracting and release in their pelvic region. Some may experience ejaculation at the point of orgasm, but others may ejaculate before or after the orgasm, or independently of orgasm. Sometimes feelings of intense release can occur without any physical stimulation at all.

How to Create an Orgasm-Friendly Environment

If you want to help create an environment that is conducive to pleasure and orgasm, no matter how many times it manifests (if at all!), here are some suggestions:

Eliminate distractions. Set aside time where you can focus on all the things that make your body feel good. Turn your phone on silent, go somewhere you won’t be interrupted, and enjoy yourself.

Consider orgasm a bonus, not a focus. As I’ve mentioned, focusing too much on orgasm during sex actually makes it more difficult to have an orgasm at all, much less multiple orgasms. Instead, focus on what brings you the most pleasure at any given moment.

Use (and don’t use) your muscles. You can activate your pelvic floor by clenching your core muscles along with the muscles in your butt, thighs, and calves. Many find that this tension makes it easier to orgasm, since an orgasm is simply an involuntary release of muscle tension. For instance, in order to have a stimulation-based orgasm, I need to be lying down with my legs straight out and clenched. I literally cannot get off if my legs are bent or not flexed. Conversely, some find the tension distracting or interfering with their pleasure due to muscle cramps or the position they need to be in to facilitate orgasm. Experiment with muscle use to find out what works best for you.

Breathe deeply. Seriously. You have to be able to breathe. Many find themselves holding their breath at various points during pleasurable sensation. Holding your breath or taking rapid, shallow breaths (just at the top of your chest) can actually induce a stress response, which is the antithesis of pleasure. Keep breathing down into your thoracic diaphragm. Pretend you’re sucking on a vape pen: inhale for four seconds, pause a second, and exhale for eight seconds. This will kick on your parasympathetic nervous system and get your body out of fight/flight/freeze mode.

Does Cannabis Impact Your Orgasms?

The Match.com survey didn’t give any explanation beyond the statistic, so I’m speculating here, but I suspect cannabis is useful because it facilitates relaxation and mindfulness, two key components of pleasurable sensation. If you know that you’re prone to getting stuck in your head, try a high CBD strain for anxiety. For those who want to amplify sensation, try a strain that makes you extra sensitive to tactile stimuli like Key Lime Pie.

How has cannabis impacted your experience of multiple orgasms?

By Ashley Manta

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