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Orgasm – the big 'o'

When a person is masturbating, or when they are having sex with another person, they become more and more sexually excited. They may reach a peak of sexual excitement, which is called an orgasm or 'cumming'. At this moment, all the tension and excitement that has built up in the body is suddenly released. During orgasm, your heart may race, your breathing may quicken, your blood pressure increases and muscles throughout the body spasm.

Physiologically, orgasms produce fast muscle contractions in the genital and anal area, and around the whole body. At the point of climax, guys will ejaculate fluid from the penis, called semen. Ejaculation of fluid also occurs in some girls. During orgasm, chemicals called endorphins are released into the bloodstream. Pleasant sensations ripple through the body and afterwards you may feel warm, flushed, happy or sleepy.

How do I have an orgasm?

There are many kinds of sexual activity that can result in orgasm. For most girls, orgasm is reached through clitoral, rather than vaginal, stimulation. Guys tend to reach orgasm more quickly than girls, and they also become sexually aroused, or turned on, more quickly than girls. Also, girls are more likely to have more than one orgasm during sexual activity. But many people have trouble reaching orgasm when having sex with someone or when they are masturbating. This is perfectly normal. It takes time to learn about your own body and what makes it feel good. The cause is probably the brain (being nervous, anticipating the moment) rather than the body.

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