Barry R. Komisaruk, PhDHealth Blog - Sexual Health

Do “non-genital orgasms” really exist?

Published on 2011-01-12 by Barry R. Komisaruk, PhD

Although orgasms characteristically result from genital stimulation, there are many accounts suggesting that non-genital stimuli also generate feelings that have been described by men and women as orgasms.  Here is a partial list: 

Woman's Brain During Orgasm

  • “Thinking off“ orgasm produced by mental imagery in the absence of physical stimulation (studies of women who were “thinking off” in the 1960s were corroborated by more scientific studies in the 1990s in which women were shown to have elevations in heart rate, blood pressure, pupil diameter, and pain thresholds typical of orgasm);
  • Orgasms experienced during meditation (popularized by Kenneth Ray Stubbs who provides detailed accounts of orgasmic experiences during many different types of meditation);
  • Orgasms experienced during prayer and meditation, as documented by William Stayton;
  • Orgasms produced in women and men by their loved one caressing hypersensitive non-genital skin zones near the site of spinal cord injury;
  • Epileptic seizures producing orgasmic auras;
  • “Phantom” orgasms: occurring in men and women who feel genital orgasms in their sleep after a spinal cord injury that blocks their conscious genital sensations;
  • Phantom limb orgasms: orgasms felt in an amputated foot;
  • Orgasms produced by stimulation of mouth, lip, breast, nipple, anus, shoulder, or toe;
  • Orgasms felt by stimulation of any part of the body by the “right” person in the “right” way;
  • Orgasms felt during childbirth;
  • Orgasms felt during defecation and “forceful urination;”
  • Orgasms felt during tooth brushing by a woman with epilepsy;
  • Orgasms produced by direct electrical or chemical stimulation of the brain reported during a brief period in the 1950s prior to restrictions imposed against such research
  • Orgasms produced unexpectedly by electrical stimulation of the spine, initially for pain control;
  • Orgasms produced by stimulation after male-to-female or female-to-male transsexual surgery;
  • Non-genital orgasms experienced under the influence of psychedelic drugs.


This article was written and based on the book "The Orgasm Answer Guide" by Barry R. Komisaruk, Beverly Whipple, Sara Nasserzadeh, and Carlos Beyer-Flores. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.  2010.

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