(Glamour) Usually I’m content with one orgasm. More than content. Thrilled! But I’d always heard of women who could could climax multiple times and wondered whether I was missing something. Yes, I’d had more than one orgasm before, but it usually happened randomly and alone. I wanted to learn how to do it on command, damn it! And I’d heard there were techniques I could use to make that happen, so I consulted some experts.

Turns out, training yourself to become multi-orgasmic is totally doable—in theory. “Sexual-health medical doctors report that most, if not all, women can achieve multiple orgasms, from a biological standpoint,” says sex therapist Denise Renye, Psy.D.. That’s because people with vaginas have a shorter “refractory” period than people with penises, meaning that it’s easier to have more than one orgasm in sequence without a necessary cool-down period. That settled it: I was going on a month-long quest to train myself to be reliably multi-orgasmic.

Will being able to have multiple orgasms pretty much whenever I wanted make sex with myself and others even better? I mean, I assumed so. But there was also a moralistic reason for the journey I was about to undertake. In an era where the news keeps us up at night and our social media timelines are endlessly scrolling pits of horror, it’s crucial to find healthy ways of coping. Some scientists suggest that female orgasms incentivize procreation, but I’d like to posit that they’re also a survival mechanism. They exist to remind us of the things we have to look forward to, and of the good in the world. Which is why, in times like these, being able to have multiple orgasms seemed especially called for.

Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., author of Becoming Cliterate: Why Orgasm Equality Matters—And How To Get It, defines multiple orgasms as the ability to have more than one orgasm without losing your arousal completely in between (though she notes that people should be able to use whatever definition of the term suits them). I decided to adopt that definition myself for the sake of this exercise, and for a month I tried every technique I could find for theoretically inducing multiple orgasms.

Here’s how it went:

Week One: Vibrators and Porn

“A vibrator is a good plan of action during solo sex,” said somatic sex therapistHolly Richmond, Ph.D., when I asked her how best I could become multi-orgasmic. “Or have your partner use it on you.”

And since I’m both single and a vibrator enthusiast, I figured this was the best way to go. I firmly believe that enjoying porn does not make you a bad feminist, so I turned on the hottest consensual gangbang video I could find and used my pink Doc Johnson warming iWand vibrator.

Once I had an orgasm, though, rather than quickly shutting my laptop and pretending the whole thing never happened, I continued to watch this delightful film and maintain the warm vibrating pressure on my clitoris. Like a wave, my first orgasm gave way to a second. Mission accomplished! Maybe the key for me was that, in the future, I just had to keep going rather than tucker out after one like I usually did. Easy peasy.

But still, I had to go further.

Week Two: Relax and Breathe

I’m prone to anxiety, so it takes an effort to clear my mind. Meds calm me down, but I know they can be habit-forming, so I turn to meditation and masturbation when I can instead. Tantric sex and relationship expert Tatiana Dellepiane told me about a technique she calls the Bliss Breath. “You want to inhale, constricting the back of your throat [to create] a whispering sound, then exhale and release that sound again,” she said. Repeat as necessary.

While masturbating with a different vibrator, the Satisfyer Pro 2—a toy that moves air around the clitoris rather than vibrating directly on it—I had one orgasm. This round, rather than porn, I tried simply fantasizing about sex with someone I care about. Once again I continued to use the toy, but this time I combined it with the Bliss Breath technique, releasing any tension with my exhale. “The Bliss Breath helps ground you in your body and keep you out of your head,” says Dellepiane. “If you focus on the whispering sound, it takes you away from thinking. It also helps spread this orgasmic energy throughout your body.”

This time, during my second orgasm, the wave was real: I ended up squirting, which is rare for me! And there was no thinking necessary.

Week Three: Weed Lube and No Toys

I’m down with any excuse to incorporate weed into my sex life, so I asked Ashley Manta, the “CannaSexual” cannabis and sex educator, if she thought marijuana could help me achieve multiple orgasms. She told me that she is personally multi-orgasmic and that weed lube—typically coconut oil infused with cannabis—helped her get there. “My clit was historically a ‘one or two orgasms and done’ situation,” she said. “With the addition of cannabis oil, [I’m] down to take more stimulation.” (Damn, and I thought having two made me multi-orgasmic.)

I decided to give some Foria Pleasure Spray a try. Since I was already using my hands to spray it on, I decided to go manual for this round. Typically, I really like using products like Foria in my masturbation routine, since adding cannabis oil to solo sex makes it more of a ritual, and it feels quite glam to have a stoned vagina (though THC topicals will only get you high if you ingest them orally). Plus, I’ve had insanely dope Foria-induced orgasms before.

This time, however, I did not fully climax. I blamed my exhausting day for ruining the mood. Plus, I was starting to worry that I had ruined my clitoris with vibrators. Fortunately, Dr. Richmond says that while it can’t hurt to shake up your masturbation routine, vibrators will not permanently ruin your ability to orgasm. Maybe this week I just needed sleep and cuddles.

Week Four: Exercise and Horror Films

According to Dr. Mintz, while taking your heart rate down a notch through relaxation exercises like bubble baths or deep breathing can help some people increase their climaxes, others actually need to take it up a notch: “For some women, the opposite of relaxing is what’s helpful,” she said. “It’s getting more blood flow, like going for a run, or watching a scary movie even.”

So after I finished work, I decided to put on one of my personal favorite horror movies of all time, The Shining. What I didn’t really think about, though, is how this particular flick is more slow-burn than jump-scare. Also, Jack Nicholson comes after his wife with an axe and shit—not content that makes me want to masturbate.

When that was failing, I turned off the television and walked up the street to my gym. I did a hard 30 minutes of cardio while listening to music, and the exercise endorphins coupled with the dulcet tones of Rihanna made me feel really good about myself. Still sweaty, I ran back to my apartment, put on some David Bowie to keep the good feelings, washed my hands, and went to town on myself. After I orgasmed, I kept going, just as I learned in week one. Sure enough, the fabulousness I was feeling about myself resulted in another climax. Exercise FTW.

The Results

So my mission was an overall success. By making a concerted effort to continue trying to orgasm after I already have—and by utilizing the Bliss Breath technique—it turns out I could be multi-orgasmic on the reg. But what I realized in attempting to become an orgasm machine is that maybe, at this point in my life, orgasms shouldn’t be the overarching goal of my sexual experiences. Sure, multiple orgasms are amazing, but the ending isn’t the only thing worth pursuing—even people with anorgasmia, or the inability to have an orgasm, can still have totally fulfilling sex lives.

“The bottom line is there is no wrong way to orgasm,” says Dr. Renye. “Having a goal in sex is not the point. The journey is where it’s at.”

From that perspective, my journey was a very pleasurable one indeed.

By Sophie Saint Thomas

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