Why Exactly Do Women Orgasm?

sex 18/10/2021

Considering that it’s happening everywhere, all the time – there’s a lot that science still can’t explain about the vaginal orgasm. Often treated as a taboo, the orgasms of vagina-owners are rarely addressed, even when they should be. Well NO MORE. We want answers, namely to the question - what is the evolutionary point of the vaginal orgasm?

A team of scientists at Yale University think that they’ve got an answer!

It has previously been assumed as fact that the female orgasm evolved as a trait to accompany the male orgasm, purely to enhance bonding between partners. But the researchers at Yale think differently, concluding that it was once a key biological trigger required for ovulation to take place.

When people with vaginas orgasm, they release two hormones: oxytocin and prolactin. In wild mammals (elephants, cats, sheep, dog etc), this type of hormonal discharge triggers the beginning of ovulation - and without it, pregnancy would not be possible.

It’s likely that the same mechanism initially evolved in humans for this same reason, and over time women developed the ability to ovulate on cycles independent of sexual activity. Basically, the orgasm as a hormonal function was rendered unnecessary - but has stuck around in our biology due to its secondary role as a pleasurable bonding mechanism.

A professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University, Gunter Wagner, explains “Prior studies have tended to focus on evidence from human biology and the modification of a trait, rather than its evolutionary origin.”

This explains why earlier studies had concluded that due to the fact that fertility was not dependent on sexual activity, that the vaginal orgasm never had a direct role to play in the reproductive process at all. The study from Yale suggests that the female orgasm was in fact, at some point, necessary for reproductive success.

Just because our orgasm is no longer considered reproductively useful, it doesn’t mean that we can’t enjoy it nonetheless! Surely pleasure is its primary function in the 21st century.

NOTE: Where possible, The Edge Confidential uses gender-inclusive terminology to talk about biological phenomena. That’s why you’ll see us referring to ‘vagina-owners’ and ‘vaginal orgasm’ in this article, as we acknowledge that not all people with vaginas are women, nor do all women have vaginas.