“It Feels So Good It Almost Hurts”: Young Adults' Experiences of Orgasm and Sexual Pleasure

  title={“It Feels So Good It Almost Hurts”: Young Adults' Experiences of Orgasm and Sexual Pleasure},
  author={Emily A. Opperman and Virginia Braun and Victoria Clarke and C Rogers},
  journal={The Journal of Sex Research},
  pages={503 - 515}
Orgasm is a “goal” of much sexual activity, and a source of potentially intense pleasure and fulfillment, yet can be fraught with difficulty or distress. Relatively little social science research has explored people's experiences around, and their meanings related to, orgasm, and indeed other sexual pleasures, especially with young adults. This study aimed to provide a rich exploration of the meanings associated with orgasm and sexual pleasure during sex with a partner, to understand the social… 

When Orgasms Do Not Equal Pleasure: Accounts of “Bad” Orgasm Experiences During Consensual Sexual Encounters

Orgasms during consensual sex are often assumed to be wholly positive experiences. This assumption overshadows the possibility that orgasm experiences during consensual sex could be “bad” (i.e.,

When, If, and How: Young Women Contend With Orgasmic Absence

Examining how women described this absence of orgasm in their sexual experiences with male partners found that young women’s explanations allowed them to reduce feelings of abnormality and enabled them to distance themselves from sexual expectations regarding the perceived value of orgasm.

On ‘good sex’ and other dangerous ideas: women narrate their joyous and happy sexual encounters

Abstract Existing studies of women’s sexual happiness and pleasure most often centre on sexual satisfaction, orgasm, and sexual dysfunction, largely failing to allow women to narrate their own

Unpacking the “Pleasures” and “Pains” of Heterosexual Casual Sex: Beyond Singular Understandings

It is concluded that casual sex research must always consider the broader sociocultural context, as well as the interpersonal context, within which any sexual relating is situated.

“I’m Not Gonna Fake It”

Women faking orgasm has been identified as a common and widespread practice, particularly in the context of heterosexual sex. While feigning pleasure has been the subject of extensive scholarly

Coming to power: women's fake orgasms and best orgasm experiences illuminate the failures of (hetero)sex and the pleasures of connection

Implications for the relative failures of (hetero)sex, particularly in the context of gendered power imbalances, along with the importance of deconstructing the sexually ‘ functional’ or ‘dysfunctional’ woman are explored.

Roles of Genital Self-Image, Distraction, and Anxiety in Women’s Sexual Pleasure: A Preregistered Study

In a sample of 1,619 women who had sex in the previous four weeks, women with negative genital self-image were more likely to be distracted by self-critical concerns during sex, and in turn, experienced less sexual pleasure and worse sexual function.

Pleasure During Adolescents’ Most Recent Partnered Sexual Experience: Findings from a U.S. Probability Survey

The diversity of perceived sexual pleasure and its associations with intimacy and desire suggest that, during adolescence, partnered sexual experiences are not primarily motivated by anticipated physical pleasure.

"Now Thinking About It, It's Freedom": Conceptualizing Sexual Pleasure for Fat, Queer Women

OF DISSERTATION “NOW THINKING ABOUT IT, IT’S FREEDOM”: CONCEPTUALIZING SEXUAL PLEASURE FOR FAT, QUEER WOMEN Research considering the positive aspects of sexuality, such as pleasure, within a cultural

The Other Third Shift?: Women’s Emotion Work in Their Sexual Relationships

Sociological theories of gendered “emotional labor” have often been examined in relation to domestic work, sex work, and jobs that demand emotional caretaking and physical “pampering” of clients



“I Don’t feel like melting butter”: An interpretative phenomenological analysis of the experience of ‘inorgasmia’

Inorgasmia is under-studied in the domain of sexual health psychology. This study explores women's experiences of inorgasmia and the meanings giving to this experience. Interviews with six inorgasmic

Enhancing relationships: understanding the feminine mystique of pretending orgasm.

The findings indicate that those females who have ever pretended orgasm became sexually active at a younger age and have been more sexually explorative than those Females who have not pretended orgasm.

Men's and Women's Reports of Pretending Orgasm

A sexual script in which women should orgasm before men, and men are responsible for women's orgasms is suggested.

What is 'normal' about women's (hetero)sexual desire and orgasm?: a report of an in-depth interview study.

Pretending orgasm during sexual intercourse: correlates in a sample of young adult women.

Although popular media have addressed the issue of women pretending orgasm during sexual intercourse, the research literature on the phenomenon is sparse. In the current study, 161 young adult women

Social Representations of Female Orgasm

The results indicate that orgasm is deemed the goal of sex with emphasis on its physiological dimension, however, the women and the magazines graft onto this scientifically driven representation the importance of relational and emotive aspects of orgasm.

The association between developmental assets and sexual enjoyment among emerging adults.

  • Adena M. GalinskyF. Sonenstein
  • Psychology, Medicine
    The Journal of adolescent health : official publication of the Society for Adolescent Medicine
  • 2011

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This study uses cognitive interviewing to examine individuals’ interpretations of sexuality-related questions and meanings of sex and sexuality. The sample includes 20 adults (12 women and 8 men) who

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It is increasingly taken for granted that `successful heterosexuality' is contingent upon having a `normal' and `healthy' sex life. The recent popularity of the diagnostic label `Female Sexual

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