The female body – and what turns you on – can change throughout your lifetime… and even from week to week. Sex ed specialist explains how.
You are not a statue. You are not made of stone. Your body is a wonderful, fascinating, complicated, intricate living thing, that changes, grows and develops all the time. How it feels and behaves is affected by millions of different interacting factors.
It makes perfect sense, then, that what turns you on might not be set in stone either. What feels good in bed or what brings women to orgasm can change through life, and even from one day to the next.
That’s why it’s important to keep experimenting, try new things, be self-aware, and view learning about your body and your sexual pleasure as an ongoing voyage of discovery.
Here are some of the influences that can affect women’s sexual urges and responses, that can be useful to be aware of so you can consider how they might affect you, as a woman, achieving orgasm.
The menstrual cycle
Several studies suggest women’s sex drives tend to increase just before and during ovulation when levels of estrogen and luteinizing hormone reach their peaks, so you may feel at your most frisky and interested in getting intimate midway between periods.
Some people find they’re more likely to orgasm around this time, too, or say their orgasms feel stronger. You might find it intriguing to keep a diary, noting down what you notice each day to help you understand (and make the most of!) your own personal patterns.
After ovulation, estrogen levels start to drop. Estrogen does many jobs in the body, including helping to keep the vaginal tissues moist, so at this stage, you might spot that you produce fewer natural secretions and your vagina feels drier. A few drops of lubricant, like Durex Play Feel, can help make your bits feel wetter and movement feels better during sex and self-pleasure.
When your period is due, PMS may put you off doing anything even vaguely X-rated. But other folks actually find that the way their genitals and pelvic area swell just before they come on make them feel intensely turned on: they feel more ‘plumped up’ and deliciously sensitive to even the most delicate touches.
During menstruation itself, having an orgasm can help relieve cramps. When you climax, the body produces two feel-good chemicals, the endorphins oxytocin and dopamine, which are natural painkillers. The uterus contracts during orgasm too, which can expel blood and uterine lining from the body faster, potentially making periods a touch shorter. Nifty!
Durex condoms help make play less messy when you’re on your period, as well as safer: the risk of contracting an infection can be higher at this time as the cervix is more open, so make sure you keep a box by your bedside.
And did you know you can use them to cover sex toys as well as penises? Not only do they make clean-up quicker after you’re done having fun, but varieties like Durex Intense can give your favourite battery-operated buddy a new, exciting boost: they’re ribbed, dotted, and coated with a stimulating gel to give tingling, warming or cooling sensations – slip one over a buzzing vibrator for a mind-blowingly multi-sensory experience!