An orgasm is a powerful feeling of pleasure. Some people can experience multiple orgasms. Anecdotal evidence suggests those assigned female at birth can achieve as many as 20 orgasms in a row during sex.

According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, most females can achieve multiple orgasms, but estimates of the number who do vary.

A note about sex and gender

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms “male,” “female,” or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. Click here to learn more.

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Designing well-controlled studies of orgasms is difficult, and counting the number of orgasms people have is even more challenging. As a result, there is no scientifically accepted limit on the number of orgasms a female can have. However, in theory, there is no limit.

This article defines what multiple orgasms are, the different types of orgasms, and techniques to achieve multiple orgasms.

A person has multiple orgasms when they have several orgasms very close together. Some people who have multiple orgasms report having orgasms back-to-back, with just seconds between each.

Others have an orgasm, experience a decline in arousal, become aroused again within minutes, and have another orgasm soon after.

One study suggests that 12% of females in Finland reported multiple orgasms during their last sexual experience. These figures remained similar in multiple groups of females surveyed in 1999, 2007, and 2015.

Learn more about orgasms.

The refractory period is the time following orgasm when a person is no longer sexually responsive.

In those assigned male at birth, the refractory period makes it impossible to become physically aroused. However, although females may lose interest in sex, they are usually physically capable of engaging in sexual activity again.

An older 2009 study suggests that women may experience a physiological refractory period. Out of 174 females, 96% reported that the clitoris became too sensitive to continue sexual activity. So, while still physically possible, sex became less appealing and possibly painful.

The refractory period, particularly a long one, may affect a person’s ability to have multiple orgasms. However, most research into refractory periods focuses on males, so researchers need to conduct more studies into this from the female perspective.

Though many people report witnessing female ejaculation, researchers continue to debate the concept. Some insist that female ejaculate is urine, while others say it may be a different fluid that comes from an organ equivalent to the male prostate.

There is no scientific consensus on female ejaculation, its causes, and whether any specific factors increase its likelihood. One older online survey states that 40% of women reported ejaculating at least once.

Female ejaculation is not common, and most females do not ejaculate when they orgasm. In some cases, an individual may ejaculate without first having an orgasm.

Learn more about female ejaculation.

Multiple orgasms happen when a person orgasms, comes down from the orgasm, and returns to a less stimulated state before having another orgasm. Essentially, it means they have multiple separate orgasms a few minutes apart.

A stacked orgasm aims to prevent a person from fully climaxing so that they experience a wave of orgasms and remain in an orgasmic state for much longer.

No single technique works for all people. While anecdotal evidence may support specific strategies, the most important technique for achieving multiple orgasms is communication.

Talking about what feels good, what works, and how close a person is to orgasm can make each orgasm more pleasurable.

Some strategies to consider include:

  • Focus on clitoral stimulation: According to research, most females require clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm.
  • Slow down and have sex longer: This can accommodate a refractory period while increasing the chances of multiple orgasms. A 2016 study suggests that sex lasting longer than 15 minutes increases the chances of multiple orgasms.
  • Incorporate different types of sexual stimulation: Intercourse is not the only way to have sex and achieve orgasm.
  • Masturbation: Many females learn how to have multiple orgasms from masturbation.
  • Slow or change stimulation: This may help the orgasm last longer, resulting in a stacked orgasm.
  • Use sex toys: One study found that about half of women who incorporate toys into intercourse have multiple orgasms.

The main benefit of multiple orgasms is that they feel good. They can also promote intimacy in a relationship. A healthy sex life offers many health benefits, including:

Learn more about the health benefits of sex.

There are no risks associated with orgasms, nor with multiple orgasms. However, the specific techniques a person uses to reach orgasm may present some risks. People with certain health conditions may need to be cautious when having sex.

For example, aggressive stimulation may irritate the skin or even cause bruising and other injuries.

Some research notes that people with untreated heart disease may have a heart attack during exertion, such as having sex, but this is very rare.

However, people with a history of chest pain or feeling winded should see a doctor before having sex or trying to have multiple orgasms.

As with any sexual encounter, people should use birth control, have regular testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), and ensure they have consent.

Some people might feel pressure to have multiple orgasms, especially if they have had them before, which may make the experience uncomfortable.

Everyone is different, and so too is every sexual interaction and potential for orgasm. Currently, nobody knows how many orgasms a female can have during one sexual experience.

Most females can achieve multiple orgasms. Although those with a history of multiple orgasms may be more likely to continue having them, they are unpredictable.

Clear and compassionate communication with a partner about desires and what feels good is important for achieving multiple orgasms. This can increase the odds of orgasm and pleasure each time they have sex.

People can find the most effective way for them to achieve multiple orgasms by practicing different techniques and strategies.