5 Unbelievable Ways You Can Have An Orgasm
Who knew thumbgasms were a thing?

July 5, 2016

In the 2002 movie 40 Days and 40 Nights, Josh Hartnett plays a guy who pledges to abstain from having sex for that long. It’s a truly forgettable flick in every way, except for one scene: Hartnett’s character gives his girlfriend an orgasm using nothing but a flower.

Because we occasionally think about awful movies from the early 2000s, the scene got us wondering: How else can you achieve (and give her) an orgasm without actually having sex or masturbating? Let’s count the crazy ways.


“Sex is often pigeon-holed into a physical act involving genitals, but the reality is that the hottest sex happens between our ears,” says Jessica O’Reilly, Ph.D., author of The New Sex Bible: The New Guide to Sexual Love.

That’s true for just about everybody—arousal is physical and mental—but if you try hard enough, your thoughts really are all you need to get off.

“Some people can actually ‘think’ themselves off through fantasy and breath work,” says O’Reilly.

These are sometimes called “energy orgasms,” because the method requires serious mental concentration and a special type of breathing, but those who practice it claim that anyone can learn.

Barry Komisaruk, Ph.D., studied this phenomenon at his brain-researching lab at Rutgers University, and found that in an MRI, orgasms from “thinking off” showed up in the same spot of the brain as orgasms from genital contact.


Researchers have found that stimulating a woman’s nipples activates the same part of her brain as triggering her clitoris.

“Scientists hypothesize that these shared neurons release oxytocin, which induces pleasure, relaxation, and spikes to peak levels just before orgasm,” explains O’Reilly.

In one study, sex researcher Herbert Otto, Ph.D., found that about 29 percent of women had experienced a breast orgasm at one time or another.

Interestingly, O’Reilly says that “the nipples are not the only sensitive part of the breast. Many women actually pinpoint the area right above the areola as the most responsive to sexual touch.”

Belly Button Orgasms

Believe it or not, some people can be incredibly aroused by their belly buttons. It’s called “naval fetishization,” and it’s intense enough to induce an orgasm.

While there isn’t much research on the subject, it’s theorized that belly button stimulation can hit the vagus nerve, a branchlike structure that connects the brain to the cervix via the belly.

For men, it’s the vagus nerve that causes that stomach-turning, nauseatingly painful feeling when you’re kicked in the balls.

But for certain women, stimulating that nerve via the belly button can take them straight to Pleasuretown.


Although it sounds like Pilates propaganda, women can actually achieve orgasm through core exercises.

In one study, about 45 percent of women who said they’d had an exercise-induced orgasm experienced it during abdominal moves, while 26 percent felt it during weight lifting, 20 percent during yoga, and 15 percent while biking.


Sucking on your thumb as a grown man is really weird, but it’s even weirder if it can make you come.

A quadriplegic man named Rafe Briggs made news in 2013 when he discovered that he could have orgasms through thumb stimulation.

Sex therapists called it a “transfer orgasm,” since gently massaging or sucking on his thumb—as if it were his penis—seemed to have transferred erotic sensations to the finger.