Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 40, Issue 5, pp 865–875 | Cite as

Are There Different Types of Female Orgasm?

  • Robert King
  • Jay Belsky
  • Kenneth Mah
  • Yitzchak Binik
Original Paper


In attempt to identify and validate different types of orgasms which females have during sex with a partner, data collected by Mah and Binik (2002) on the dimensional phenomenology of female orgasm were subjected to a typological analysis. A total of 503 women provided adjectival descriptions of orgasms experienced either with a partner (n = 276) or while alone (n = 227). Latent-class analysis revealed four orgasm types which varied systematically in terms of pleasure and sensations engendered. Two types, collectively labelled “good-sex orgasms,” received higher pleasure and sensation ratings than solitary-masturbatory ones, whereas two other types, collectively labelled “not-as-good-sex orgasms,” received lower ratings. These two higher-order groupings differed on a number of psychological, physical and relationship factors examined for purposes of validating the typology. Evolutionary thinking regarding the function of female orgasm informed discussion of the findings. Future research directions were outlined, especially the need to examine whether the same individual experiences different types of orgasms with partners with different characteristics, as evolutionary theorizing predicts should be the case.


Female orgasm Evolution 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert King
    • 1
  • Jay Belsky
    • 1
  • Kenneth Mah
    • 2
  • Yitzchak Binik
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for the Study of ChildrenBirkbeck University of LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Behavioural Sciences Research DivisionToronto General Hospital, University Health NetworkTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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