by | September 21, 2020 | General | 3 comments

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What does an orgasm feel like?

An explosion? A tornado? A bursting balloon? Electricity short circuiting your body and brain?

A violent but welcome sneeze? A deluge? A little death?

It’s well nigh impossible to capture an orgasm in words. Part of the problem is the fact that different people probably experience coming in different ways. (I say “probably” because I can, ultimately, speak only for myself.) Indeed, climaxes for a single individual vary from one time to the next. Some are more intense and sharp, others fuller and more muted. (At least, that’s true for me.)

Then there’s the question of anatomical gender. I’m pretty sure that female orgasm feels somewhat different than male orgasm. It’s more “inside” than “outside”. Also, it’s often more difficult to achieve. For me, coming almost always includes a sense of strain, of reaching for something just out of reach. And even in these supposedly enlightened times, between 10 and 40% of women claim to have never experienced a climax. How can they know for sure, though, given that your account and mine might diverge a lot – and any attempt at description can do no more than approximate the reality?

The sensations involved in orgasm often get mixed up with the emotions. To describe coming, you need to consider both. Emotions may actually be easier, so it’s tempting to ignore the physical aspects – yet those can be overwhelming.

As authors of erotica, we’re expected to describe the indescribable. It’s tough. I find myself falling back on metaphors, often related to the natural world: tidal waves, earthquakes, storms, lightning and the like. Explosions and shattering glass, plunges over a precipice, whirlwinds and a temporary release from gravity: I find myself using these images again and again.

After a while this starts to feel hackneyed and stereotyped. I really hope my readers won’t notice, that they’ll be so aroused, they won’t be thinking about how often I utilize some words and comparisons.

Here are a few female orgasm snippets from my recent work:

The climax was like nothing Annie had ever known, sensation so raw and strong she wasn’t sure it could be called pleasure. It tore her open, ripped her apart, turned her inside out. The world turned black, edge with red flickers of bliss. Her spasming cunt was the only reality.

~ from Babes in Bondage

It all combined to push her into one more climax: the knowledge of her own depravity; the incredible sensation of being full to the point of bursting; her partners’ moans and cries, the swelling of the cocks plugging both her holes, and finally, the heat of their cum, simultaneously flooding her cunt and her ass.

Pleasure exploded in her depths, so sharp that it cut her loose from her body. She seemed to hover near the ceiling, looking down at the three bodies entangled on the bed. The ruddy-headed man drew back, his cock emerging from the woman’s anus with an audible pop. White streams of semen dribbled from the stretched opening. The man below rolled the woman off him, onto her back. More cum streaked her inner thighs. He gathered some of the milky fluid and smeared it on her breasts.

~ from The Slut Strikes Back

Then his beautiful brown eyes snapped open and snagged mine. His cock swelled in my depths. I felt the shudders that rippled down the shaft. He released a strangled cry as wet heat bloomed inside my pussy, and all at once I was there too, teetering on the edge of climax then tumbling over into bliss.

My clit thrummed; my nipples throbbed; my quivering channel clamped down on Dave’s cock, triggering moans and fresh floods of jism. Rich, ripe pleasure swirled up and spilled over, drenching me in sweet delight.

~ from Cherry Pie and Mistletoe

She opened to them both, riding the pleasure they conspired to bestow. Again and again, Archie buried his massive prick in her bowels. Though she was sure he’d been fully erect when they began, he seemed to grow larger each time he impaled her, until she feared she’d be torn apart by his monstrous organ. The fear only multiplied her lust. Meanwhile Ian plunged his fingers into her channel and sucked on her clitoris, setting up a circuit of bliss between her front and rear holes.

A sudden climax rose from her depths, seizing her and flinging her about like a leaf in a whirlwind. On and on it swirled, bearing her upwards, to a breathless, dizzying height where her body dropped away, leaving only bliss.

~ from The Pornographer’s Apprentice (WIP)

And here are a few excerpts describing male orgasms. The imagery is definitely different, more external, more concrete and focused more on the expulsion of cum.

“Wait—no, we can’t— Mrs. Thomas, please—oh!” He choked back a cry as the bouffant bombshell swallowed him to the root. Her agile tongue danced along his shaft, teasing, before she turned on the industrial-level suction. Jake didn’t have a chance. It took no more than thirty seconds for her to bring him to a boil. With a strangled yell, he let go, pouring his jizz into the lady’s eager mouth.

~ from More Brides in Vegas

My fingers tangled in her gorgeous coppery hair, I held her still so I could keep control as I ravaged her mouth. I couldn’t hold on much longer. I closed my eyes, savoring the building pressure. Yes, oh yes…

Skillful fingers tickled my balls, then gave them a gentle squeeze. Pleasure exploded, spiraling up and out from my taut groin. My cock shuddered and expelled a flood of cum into Jane’s welcoming mouth. Her muscles fluttered around my shaft as she swallowed, triggering another cataclysm. More jizz erupted from my rod. She turned up the suction. My cock produced another ecstatic spurt.

~ from Santa, Baby!

Without warning, or at least any that he recognized, yeasty fluid filled his mouth. He coughed and swallowed. Dylan’s cock convulsed, spitting out more gobs of warm liquid. Rafe gulped down as much as he could, the remnants leaking from the corners of his mouth. The odd taste, the unfamiliar sensations, and, most of all, the knowledge that he’d sucked his lover to climax, all combined to take him over the edge. With one last thrust, he let go.

The pleasure was round and full, different somehow from his usual wild, jagged orgasms. It surged up from his depths, powerful, irresistible, sweeping away every thought in a blissful tide of satisfaction. For what seemed like hours, the waves rolled through him, pleasure swirling up from his balls and out onto Dylan’s tongue.

~ from The H-Gene

Sometimes I feel so bored with my own descriptions that I’m tempted to get lazy, give up, and simply write “she came hard”. Indeed, that might be enough to evoke the experience of orgasm for some readers, but it doesn’t do justice to the myriad variations on the theme of climax.

Indeed, perhaps all erotic writing faces the problem of describing the indescribable. Orgasms are only one example. Our goal is to produce physical arousal, using only the most abstract of tools – language. We can sketch out the scene, paint pictures of the protagonists, their bodies and their facial expressions. We can invoke other senses, smell and taste and sound. Ultimately though, it is our readers who fill in the blanks based on their own experience or fantasies.

All literature, in fact, involves a collaboration between the reader and the author. In erotica, the connection is simply more – intimate.


Lisabet Sarai

Sex and writing. I think I've always been fascinated by both. Freud was right. I definitely remember feelings that I now recognize as sexual, long before I reached puberty. I was horny before I knew what that meant. My teens and twenties I spent in a hormone-induced haze, perpetually "in love" with someone (sometimes more than one someone). I still recall the moment of enlightenment, in high school, when I realized that I could say "yes" to sexual exploration, even though society told me to say no. Despite being a shy egghead with world-class myopia who thought she was fat, I had managed to accumulate a pretty wide range of sexual experience by the time I got married. And I'm happy to report that, thanks to my husband's open mind and naughty imagination, my sexual adventures didn't end at that point! Meanwhile, I was born writing. Okay, that's a bit of an exaggeration, though according to family apocrypha, I was talking at six months. Certainly, I started writing as soon as I learned how to form the letters. I penned my first poem when I was seven. While I was in elementary school I wrote more poetry, stories, at least two plays (one about the Beatles and one about the Goldwater-Johnson presidential contest, believe it or not), and a survival manual for Martians (really). I continued to write my way through high school, college, and grad school, mostly angst-ridden poems about love and desire, although I also remember working on a ghost story/romance novel (wish I could find that now). I've written song lyrics, meeting minutes, marketing copy, software manuals, research reports, a cookbook, a self-help book, and a five hundred page dissertation. For years, I wrote erotic stories and kinky fantasies for myself and for lovers' entertainment. I never considered trying to publish my work until I picked up a copy of Portia da Costa's Black Lace classic Gemini Heat while sojourning in Istanbul. My first reaction was "Wow!". It was possibly the most arousing thing I'd ever read, intelligent, articulate, diverse and wonderfully transgressive. My second reaction was, "I'll bet I could write a book like that." I wrote the first three chapters of Raw Silk and submitted a proposal to Black Lace, almost on a lark. I was astonished when they accepted it. The book was published in April 1999, and all at once, I was an official erotic author. A lot has changed since my Black Lace days. But I still get a thrill from writing erotica. It's a never-ending challenge, trying to capture the emotional complexities of a sexual encounter. I'm far less interested in what happens to my characters' bodies than in what goes on in their heads.


  1. larry archer

    You’ve hit on an interesting topic and I agree one that is difficult to describe from either gender’s perspective. I’ve known girls who should give out earplugs to their lovers as you can hear her screaming all over the house. I’ve often worried about the police showing up when she’s at a party that I’m at. If you can’t hear what she’s saying and only hear the screams as she climaxes, you would know that she’s the victim of an ax murderer. What’s funny is that she looks like a librarian, complete with glasses!

    For me, it’s an urge that is centered down there and when I climax is like an explosion, not as fast as popping a balloon, but a sudden release of energy as the cum bursts out. If I climax really hard, it’s almost painful.

    My wife is a case of her own. She can come by simply thinking about it. Once we were sitting at a fast-food restaurant with one of her girlfriends and got on the subject of where your climax comes from, clit or inside. I noticed a funny look on her face and asked, “What are you doing?” She answered that she was trying to figure out where her orgasms came from. She was climaxing over and over at the table in the restaurant.

    She has got to get her rocks off 20-30 times or more during sex. She even climaxes giving head. As I’m hard to get off, towards the end she will basically pass out from exhaustion between orgasms. Then she’ll wake up, climax, and then pass out again. I guess it feels like screwing a drunk college girl. LOL

  2. Lisabet Sarai

    And here I thought you were exaggerating in your books!

    That’s astonishing.

    • larry archer

      She’s the only one I’ve ever known that could do that.

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