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In case you missed it, Aug. 8 was National Orgasm Day, but we think it deserves a full week (or month?) because just like orgasms, this day of observance is over way too soon.

Did you know that, according to the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, barely 19 percent of women are having orgasms from vaginal sex? Or that the book The Case of the Female Orgasm found that five to 10 percent of women have never had an orgasm? Now, that just doesn’t sit right. In honor of the recent National Orgasm Day, let’s take a moment to look at what exactly the big magical O is, and why you’d be doing yourself a favor to have more of them. Some benefits of orgasms might surprise you.


What Exactly Is An Orgasm?

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A great orgasm can make you scream at the top of your lungs and make promises you never intend to keep. In many ways, they seem other-worldly and indescribable. But, they actually have a very scientific explanation. MADAMENOIRE took a look at the science pulled from the Textbook of Endocrinology, and will break down the essentials.

Physically, an orgasm involves a set of contractions that take place not only in the vagina but also the pelvic floor and the uterus. These are triggered by stimulation – that stimulation can be of the vagina, clitoris, nipples or even other parts of the body.

The reason stimulation of various parts of the body might trigger orgasm is because scientists say that an orgasm is, ultimately, all in your head. In other words, it’s a very subjective experience and while it feels incredibly physical, it’s the result of certain parts of the brain deactivating (like those associated with control) and others activating (like the ones associated with “hedonic experience.”) It all culminates in a total sense of loss of control, that feels really good, both for the body and the brain.


The Benefits Of Orgasms

A Better Immune System

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A satisfying sex life could be just the thing that helps you get through cold and flu season. According to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, orgasms release certain neurotransmitters that are part of a system in the body that regulates the immune system.


Increase Fidelity

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Yep, you read that right. If your partner needs convincing that your orgasm matters, just tell them about this little stat. A study detailed in Psychology Today showed that, not only do the hormones released during orgasms make a couple feel closer, but they also make a person less attracted to people outside of the relationship. That’s one of the benefits of orgasms that benefits both you and your partner.


A Mood Boost

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You might have experienced this firsthand but didn’t know what was at play. Post orgasm, you can feel really happy and relaxed. And it’s not just because you loved that thing your partner did with their thumb. An orgasm triggers the release of several feel-good hormones including dopamine, oxytocin and endorphins. So if you’re struggling to shake off a bad mood, grab your partner or your vibrator.


Love Your Body Even More

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There have been several studies that have explored the relationship between a woman’s body image and her ability to reach orgasm, including one from the journal Sexual Medicine that found women who love their bodies tend to have better sex. While it’s not fully clear which influences which, all research points to the same thing: women who have regular orgasms have a better self-image.


Menstrual Cramp Relief

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If your partner is down for some period sex, that could be just the thing to relieve cramps when painkillers aren’t doing the trick. Some women have found that an orgasm can reduce pain from period cramps. Experts state the oxytocin and endorphins released during orgasm are to thank for that.

It’s worth noting that some women find that sex can make period cramps worse so take things slowly and see how your body reacts.


Sleep Deeper

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Have you noticed that you (or your partner) pass out right after climaxing? An orgasm sends a surge of relaxing hormones through the body that can leave you ready for a nice, deep sleep after sex. If you’ve been having a difficult time sleeping, maybe sleeping pills aren’t the answer – maybe a great sex toy is. MN lists some to try here.

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