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J Sex Med. 2012 Apr;9(4):956-65. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02694.x.

Female orgasm(s): one, two, several.

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  • 1Course of Endocrinology and Medical Sexology, Department of Experimental Medicine, University of L'Aquila, Italy.



There is general agreement that it is possible to have an orgasm thru the direct simulation of the external clitoris. In contrast, the possibility of achieving climax during penetration has been controversial.


Six scientists with different experimental evidence debate the existence of the vaginally activated orgasm (VAO).


To give reader of The Journal of Sexual Medicine sufficient data to form her/his own opinion on an important topic of female sexuality.


Expert #1, the Controversy's section Editor, together with Expert #2, reviewed data from the literature demonstrating the anatomical possibility for the VAO. Expert #3 presents validating women's reports of pleasurable sexual responses and adaptive significance of the VAO. Echographic dynamic evidence induced Expert # 4 to describe one single orgasm, obtained from stimulation of either the external or internal clitoris, during penetration. Expert #5 reviewed his elegant experiments showing the uniquely different sensory responses to clitoral, vaginal, and cervical stimulation. Finally, the last Expert presented findings on the psychological scenario behind VAO.


The assumption that women may experience only the clitoral, external orgasm is not based on the best available scientific evidence.

© 2012 International Society for Sexual Medicine.

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