There are plenty of ways to reach orgasm and lots of fun climax techniques. One of the most common in young women, though, is tension orgasms.
While tension orgasms can get you where you need to go, they can also have some adverse effects if used to the exclusion of all other types of orgasms.
This guide will introduce tension orgasms. We’ll then discuss how they vary from other types of orgasms and the potential dangers of using tension exclusively. We’ll show you how to reach a tension orgasm, but also how you can find other ways to pleasure yourself if you find that tension is the only thing that works.
What are Tension Orgasms?
A tension orgasm is an orgasm that occurs during high muscle tension.
If you know anything about the sexual response cycle, you know that muscular tension is an important part. It begins during Phase 1 (Excitement), peaks in Phase 2 (Plateau), and finally releases in Phase 3 (Orgasm).
The muscular tension in the above cycle, though, is a natural and almost involuntary response to sexual arousal. A tension orgasm differs in that tension is applied intentionally by the individual trying to reach climax.
Read our article on “climax signs” if you’re interested.
This is a common technique used by women, especially young women. That’s because high tension can make it easy to climax quickly from clitoral stimulation.
What Other Types of Orgasms Are There?
Aside from tension orgasms, other types of orgasms include pressure orgasms, relaxation orgasms, and combination orgasms. This is in addition to orgasms defined by location, such as vaginal orgasms and prostate orgasms.
So what are the other three types of orgasms and how do they differ from tension orgasms?
Pressure orgasms occur when pressure is applied to the clitoris until climax. For example, squeezing your legs together, grinding on a pillow, or using water pressure from a detachable shower head.
Relaxation orgasms are the opposite of tension orgasms. These orgasms occur when the body is in a full state of relaxation with no muscle tensing. This requires the help of someone else or a toy. Relaxation orgasms can take quite a while to achieve.
Combination orgasms use a combination of tension and relaxation (and usually vaginal penetration plus clitoral stimulation).
How to Have a Tension Orgasm
If you’re looking for a quick and easy type of orgasm, then the below technique is for you.
- Lie on your back with your legs flat. Your legs should be spread only wide enough to allow access to the clitoris.
- Squeeze your legs and buttocks muscles tightly as you rub the clitoris. The rest of your body will feel fairly rigid, though not as tensed as the lower half.
- Hold your breath as you continue to rub your clitoris vigorously.
- With the right amount of muscle tensing, an orgasm should explode fairly quickly.
While this technique is effective for a quick and dirty climax, it’s not the most pleasurable type of orgasm for most women. That’s okay if you’re just looking to release from sexual tension, but there are better techniques to use for longer-term satisfaction.
The “Danger” of Tension Orgasms
There is nothing wrong with using tension from time to time to achieve climax. But if that’s the only way you know how to orgasm, then there are some “dangers” to be aware of.
It Gets You Used to Less Pleasure
Tension orgasms are a good way to climax quickly. And if they’re the only type of orgasm you’ve ever experienced, you may feel like they’re the pique of pleasure.
However, high tension can actually diminish the pleasure as it means less blood flow can make it to the genitals.
Just clench your fist and notice as the skin whitens. This occurs because blood flow is cut off as you squeeze. The same occurs to the genitals when you squeeze your legs and buttocks.
It Makes It Difficult to Climax in Other Ways
If the only thing you’re used to is high-tension orgasms, it can make it difficult to climax in any other way. This can put a strain on your sex life and your relationships.
High muscle tension isn’t conducive to penetrative sex. Even if your partner is able to pry your legs open just enough for insertion, the strong tension may result in premature ejaculation for your partner while leaving you feeling used and unsatisfied.
Even without penetrative sex, mutual masturbation between partners can be difficult if they don’t do it in the exact way you’re used to.
All in all, limiting yourself to one way to orgasm can be detrimental to your sex life and satisfaction.
It Can Be Painful
If you’re a chronic tension orgasm-er, then you know the pain that is a charley horse when you’re just on the verge of climax. This is just one reason why tension orgasms should be used sparingly.
Charley horses and other types of muscle cramps occur due to overuse of a muscle, or when a muscle is held in one position for a prolonged period of time. With tension orgasms, muscle cramps are bound to happen due to the immense strain on the muscle.
It Can Cause Conflict With Your Partner
Just imagine that the shoe is on the other foot.
Your partner is used to climaxing in just one very specific way. If you do what they need to climax, you feel like your sex is very mechanical and non-intimate. If you ask your partner to do something different, then they aren’t left feeling satisfied.
High-tension orgasms can become addicting because they’re so quick and easy to achieve. But by allowing yourself to only experience orgasms in that way, you’re setting yourself and your partner up for conflict down the line.
It Doesn’t Allow for Intimacy
As mentioned in the previous section, high tension in the lower extremities can feel very mechanical and non-intimate for both you and your partner. After all, when fantasizing about sex with your partner you’re not imagining them lying stiff as a board on the bed while you do all the work.
How to Transition Away from Tension Orgasms
You don’t need to do away with tension orgasms altogether. But if you’re hoping to have greater pleasure and intimacy, either with yourself or your partner, it’s important to prepare yourself to orgasm in other ways.
Understand It Will Take Time
As mentioned in the section on “dangers,” tension orgasms can get you accustomed to one – and only one – way to climax. As you look to transition away from tension orgasms, understand that it will take time for your body to relax enough to orgasm in new ways.
You may not climax the first time, the fifth time, or even the fifteenth time that you try these new techniques. That’s okay. While the ultimate goal is to climax from different stimulation techniques, the goal for each session is to get you more comfortable with different techniques.
So sit back, relax, and enjoy your time as you explore your body.
For the greatest chances of success, it helps to start small with the changes you make. So make minor adjustments to your current setup and, over time, you’ll notice a big change.
What does this look like?
Work on just one area, such as opening your legs or focusing on breathing.
For example, if you usually have your legs parallel and tight, move your legs a few inches apart. Or perhaps you rub your clitoris vigorously until you climax. Why not vary the speed and rhythm of your stimulation?
As you make small changes to how you do things, you’ll soon realize you can climax in slightly different configurations. This will be necessary as you begin to explore more and more varying positions.
Find New Positions You Enjoy
As you become more comfortable with less tension, you can explore new positions.
Keep in mind that you may not climax initially when you start trying these new positions. But a climax isn’t the only way to experience pleasure.
Here are a few positions to pique your interest.
Position 1: On Your Side
Lie on your side with your bottom leg straight and your top leg bent at the knee. Use your top arm to reach down and stimulate your clitoris.
As you get more comfortable, you can add a vibrator or dildo to the mix. You can control it using your top arm, or you can place it in or at the entrance of your vagina and hold it in place with your thighs. Then use your top arm to stimulate your clit as usual.
Position 2: On Your Stomach
Lie on your stomach with your dominant hand placed beneath you on your mound. You can keep your legs straight, or keep one straight and bend the other at the knee. This will give you easier access to the clit.
Use your fingers to stimulate the clit. If you’re having trouble due to pressure on the hand, slightly lift your hips up. You can use your thighs and knees to support you.
Another option is to place a vibrator on the clitoris. Grind on the clitoris while focusing on breathing and relaxing your legs.
Position 3: In a Chair
If you’re having trouble with relaxing your legs while in the various laying positions above, then it’s time to put your body into a whole new position. Sitting in a chair will require you to use other muscles to support yourself so you’ll naturally have less tension in your legs.
Sit in a comfortable chair. You can do so in one with armrests or one without.
If sitting in a chair with armrests, lean your body toward the non-dominant side and use the armrest to prop yourself up. Then use your dominant hand to stimulate your clitoris and explore your vulva.
If sitting in a chair without armrests, slouch your torso down into a relaxed position. Use your dominant hand to stimulate your clit and explore your vulva. You can either prop yourself up on the seat of the chair with your non-dominant hand, or use your core to hold yourself up.
Position 4: On Your Knees
For those who are chronic leg tensers, this position can be quite challenging. I highly recommend it, though, if you’re really struggling with letting go of leg tension because it requires you to engage more complex muscles.
On a bed or other comfortable surface, get onto all fours. Use your dominant hand to touch your clitoris while your non-dominant hand and legs hold you up.
While touching your clitoris, try variations of this position by shifting your upper body. For example, keep your knees in contact with the surface while lowering your upper body so your shoulders are instead holding you up instead of your arm. You can also use props, like a pillow, to hold your upper body in various angles.
Try Sex Toys
When you initially work on relaxation as opposed to tension, you’ll likely find it takes much longer to climax. One way to overcome this obstacle, and to give your hand/fingers a break, is to add sex toys to the mix.
Vibrators and clit stimulators are a great way to learn how to climax without excessive tension in the legs. This is because you’ll only have to focus on two things – breathing and relaxation of the legs – without also having to stimulate the clit.
Sex toys are also a great way to introduce penetration. If you’ve never been penetrated before while climaxing, a dildo can help you to see why leg tension just won’t work.
What To Do If You Can’t Orgasm
So what happens if you’ve tried all of the techniques above but you still can’t orgasm without tension?
First, be patient. As is the case with many women who experience tension orgasms regularly, they have likely been having orgasms this way since puberty. That’s a lot of years of conditioning to undo. To this point, your body could only orgasm with tension, so it’ll take some time and patience to retrain it.
Second, consider working with a professional. You’d be surprised at how many options there are! You can speak with your primary care doctor or gynecologist first about your concerns. They may refer you to a pelvic floor physical therapist. You can also explore working with a certified sex therapist who can help with the mental and emotional elements you may need to overcome.
Tension orgasms aren’t a thing to be feared. They can actually be a pleasant addition to your self-care routine. However, you should use tension to reach climax in a limited manner so as to avoid causing problems in your sex life.
If you find yourself having trouble reaching climax without tension, then the above techniques and positions should help. Just remember to enjoy the journey and be patient with yourself during this process of sexual exploration.