You've probably only associated orgasms with sexual activity, and don't get us wrong, you can get some pretty awesome orgasms from sexual activity or masturbation. Yet, there are actually a few other non-traditional ways to have an orgasm, so there's no point in limiting yourself to just the sexual kind. It turns out, lots of other behaviours and activities can trigger the same responses associated with orgasms during sex, meaning you can get off just as well by doing something pretty unexpected. Here are a few ways non-sexual ways to have an orgasm.
Known as ASMR, which stands for autonomous sensory meridian response, whispering can lead to orgasm. "Many people are listening to artists on Youtube that whisper and give virtual experiences like having your hair or makeup done. These really aren't sexual experiences, but it can produce for some people a physical response that feels like a tingling up and down your spine," Dr. Jennifer Landa, MD, an OBGYN told POPSUGAR. "It tends to feel relaxing and peaceful. People refer to it as a head-gasm or brain orgasm, but it doesn't really feel sexual at all and most people don't seem to experience it in their genitals," she said. Not all people are as responsive to these whispering videos as others, and those who are tend to have a more intense response, she said.
You can totally have a sex dream, which is related to sexual thoughts, but doesn't involve any actual sexual activity. Plus, even if your dream isn't about sex, you can still have one, as the vagina becomes more lubricated and stimulated during sleep. "It's quite common to have strong sex dreams that give one the feeling of having an orgasm or many men and women have actual orgasms while sleeping. Sometimes they just cause people to get turned on, which leads to increased blood flow and lubrication for women," Landa said. Some women though report actual orgasms in sleep that feel just as good as the real thing, though, she said. "It's also totally normal though to never experience this type of orgasm," Landa noted.
"In yoga, there is a concept called Mula Bandha. This translates to the 'root lock.' It is a way of clenching ones muscles that is just like a kegel," said Landa. "If you don't know how to do it, you just clench your pelvic muscles like you would when you have to pee really badly and that is about it," she said. In yoga, Mula Bandha helps with stability and balance for certain poses, and all that clenching and releasing of muscles can cause a lot of sexual stimulation to the vaginal area, she said. "Ultimately if repeated a significant number of times, it can trigger an orgasm for some."
4. Giving Birth
Yup, you can have an orgasm when in labour, although it is rare. "It is said that this can happen in about 3/100 births. Despite having delivered thousands of babies, I have never seen this happen," Landa said. It is much less likely to happen in a hospital setting and much more likely in a home birth type experience, she added. "This isn't a traditional all-out orgasm experience but it's described as more of a total bliss and euphoria accompanying the birth of the child. There is a buildup of the 'love hormone,' oyxtocin, during the labour and delivery process and this hormone is more likely to help one relax and have an ecstatic type of experience," she explained.
5. During Exercise
You can also experience an orgasm when exercising, which is also known as a "coregasm." Basically, when doing certain moves, such as ab work, or intensity training, you can activate the same muscles associated with orgasms, leading to an orgasm during a workout. In fact, a 2011 study published in the Journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy, showed that among 51 percent of women experienced a coregasm when doing certain ab exercises. But it can also happen from different exercises, too. Around 27 percent had an orgasm from resistance training, and some other women experienced orgasms from running, hiking, and biking, as well.
You can actually have an orgasm just by connecting with your thoughts to your body's actions.
"Interestingly enough, it's also possible to 'think yourself off' — achieve orgasm through strictly non-touch activity," board certified sexologist, sex coach, and relationship counsellor, Lanae St. John told POPSUGAR. This can be accomplished through breathing exercises or fantasy. "One version of the 'thinking off' type is accomplished through long slow deep breaths, slowly moved down from chest, to belly, to pelvis/vulva/genitals. Some people incorporate kegel exercises where they contract and release," she said. Again, everyone is going to be different, but it sure can be fun to try. Relax and have fun. Explore your body. Remove any expectation of orgasm, and enjoy the ride.
7. During Self-Care Treatment
You can totally have an orgasm at the spa, whether from massages to foot or scalp rubs. People also experience orgasm while getting facials at a spa, for example. "Sometimes, during the extractions phase of the facial, while having someone work to extract whiteheads/blackheads out of the skin surface, the body tension builds and releases without a conscious intention — it just happens," said St. John. "I've personally experienced the orgasms while getting facial treatments. It has happened more than once but I am not able to 'make them happen."
Here's her personal encounter: "It's not the pain so much as the anticipation of pain. The whole body tenses up as the esthetician begins the extraction. It feels like a building (similar to the build up of an orgasm achieved by clitoral stimulation) that very unexpectedly throws you over the peak, so to speak," she said. "When it first happened I wasn't paying attention — it just happened and I tried to recall what was different about that facial. The next time I went in and they didn't do extractions so by process of elimination, figured it out. I wish I could say that I can force it to happen every time I go to the spa, but it doesn't," she said.
"Same can be described for the experience of experiencing orgasm while getting a massage," she said. To clarify: This isn't a massage with a "happy ending." This is a regular, non-sexual, professional masseuse giving a client a rubdown. "The same applies here — it's like an involuntary response to a stimulation intended to release muscle tension while not touching or being anywhere near the genitals. It seems counter-intuitive but it exists," St. John said.