photo of a woman's head above the bed covers with a look of having an orgasm

Everyone likes it when their partner has an orgasm. It makes you feel like you’re a good lover, and that your partner is happy with your sex life.

The thing is, we’re sometimes left with a little doubt in the back of our minds. Did she really climax that loudly, or was she faking it?

The classic joke is that if you have to ask them, then they probably didn’t. But I don’t think that’s quite true – not everyone has a noisy orgasm, and it can vary in intensity from one day to the next anyway.

But if you don’t want to ask your partner directly, how can you be sure? Let’s take a look at some of the signs that might help put your mind at ease. Just remember – this isn’t an exact science though!

1. The classic sign

Before we get into what are, in my opinion, the best signs (i.e. hard to fake!), it’s worth addressing the classic sign.

Firstly, if you think loud screaming or moaning is a 100% reliable sign, it’s not always the case. I think there’s a better way of working out if it’s a sign or orgasm or not.

Does she scream or moan loudly, then roll over and move onto something else? Not great.

Or does she start making noises that she wasn’t making before, and then suddenly become much quieter and hold you close, perhaps shaking or breathing unusually deeply for a while? I’d say that’s a more likely sign of orgasm.

There’s still a problem with this, however. Women sometimes fake orgasms. So although the above could mean she’s climaxed, it might also mean that she wants you to think she’s climaxed.

See the conundrum? That’s why I recommend looking a little deeper than noise levels alone.

a woman's facial expression during orgasm

2. The best signs

For me, there are two excellent signs that a woman has climaxed, and they are both pretty simple:

  • She has a ‘tell’. Some women just have a thing they do when they orgasm. It could be shaking, laughing, tensing her stomach up. But if you know her well enough, you’ll know.
  • She tells you. If your partner is a good communicator and you have an honest sexual relationship, she’ll outright tell you that she has or hasn’t climaxed.

Of course, both these signs will depend on your relationship and how long you’ve been together. So let’s look at a few subtler signs to look out for.

3. Subtle biological signs

There are a few biological signs that a woman is aroused and has orgasmed. But these are a bit complicated, for reasons that will become clear:

  • Her pupils dilate: a great sign, but not the easiest to keep an eye out for!
  • Her face and chest flush: okay, except she might just be hot after all that exercise.
  • Her vagina becomes more lubricated: slightly more helpful, though she’s probably already quite lubricated. And it can be difficult to tell if you’re wearing a condom.
  • Her brain activity changes: yeah, you’re not going to be able to see that!

So these biological signs might work in the lab, but they’re not so practical in real life.

4. More practical signs

Here are a few of my personal observations that may help you (but there’s no 100% guarantee):

  • Her vaginal muscles contract and spasm: not true of all women, and not true of all women all the time. But if it does happen, it’s a strong signal that there’s an orgasm going on. This is also an easier one to tell if you’re giving her oral sex.
  • Her nipples get hard: again, not true of all women every time. But if her nipples suddenly become harder, it’s possible she’s about to orgasm.
  • Her breathing changes: it gets faster, deeper, then stops for a second until she begins to orgasm.
  • Her voice changes: a tricky one, but if she suddenly cries out in a primal scream (or uses language she normally doesn’t), then this could mean she’s climaxed.

5. You may never know

All of these clues, whether obvious or subtle, are fun to look out for. But they ignore one simple truth: you can’t expect to always be sure if your partner has climaxed.

The perhaps frustrating reality is that even after you’ve read everything there is to know about sex and women and orgasms, you might have to accept the fact that there will always be a little mystery – and that’s ok.

And not knowing might not be as big a deal as you think. Should you constantly worry about your partner’s climax tally? Perhaps not.

Sex isn’t just about orgasms

As a caring and good lover, you’ll want your partner to have an amazing time in bed. But it’s important to understand that orgasm isn’t the be all and end all of sex (for women or for men).

Sex in itself breeds intimacy, which is important to a successful relationship. Basically, sex is its own reward.

In fact, there’s a whole method of sex without orgasm that’s called Karezza. Practitioners of Karezza say that sex is more fulfilling without orgasm, that relationships are better, and that intimacy is improved.

Not only that, but female orgasm is a strange and unpredictable thing. According to research, only around 8% of women regularly experience orgasm from penetrative sex.

That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to make your partner orgasm in other ways, such as with great oral sex. But it does mean that for regular sex the odds are stacked against you.

Most women have had sex without climaxing at least once in their lives (and probably much more often), and realize that it happens.

Now, I’m not saying that women are used to not reaching orgasm or that it doesn’t matter if they don’t. I’m just saying that they understand it won’t happen all the time, and won’t hate you for it – as long as you have good sex that you both enjoy.

The orgasm balance

The real take-home is that when it comes to orgasms you need to strike a balance. Your partner has the right to orgasm if that’s what she wants; but she equally has the right not to feel pressured into having an orgasm.

That might sound complicated, but with good communication, it shouldn’t be. Partners should both feel comfortable enough to make their wishes known.

And as a good partner, you should be able to place her wishes over your own (don’t feel the need to make her orgasm if she doesn’t want to or can’t).

It’s also important to work together to find out what gets her there. Penetration doesn’t work? Be willing to go down or use your hands in the way she likes. And if you finish first, don’t be shy to use your hands or tongue to get her there.

What are your thoughts?

Does your partner have a ‘tell’ that they’ve reached orgasm? What are the signs of climax that you usually notice, and does it worry you if your partner does or doesn’t have an orgasm during sex? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.

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You might find it helpful to read more about how the female libido works. And you might also like to see some tips for satisfying a woman in bed.

36 thoughts on “Signs That A Woman Has Climaxed: How To Tell If She Orgasms”

  1. My fiance is 10 years younger than me and not very experienced in the sex department. He also suffers from ED. I rarely have an orgasm when we have sex and it’s frustrating. I don’t want to hurt his feelings because he’s already self-conscious about suffering from ED at 26 years old. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Mia
      Tricky one. Have you spoken to him about it at all? There are plenty of treatments available for ED, so it might be worth seeing if you can talk to him about trying one. If not, you could try to help ensure he’s as relaxed as possible when you have sex. Being stressed or anxious can make ED worse, and generally sex I think.

    2. Anonymous

      Dear Mia,
      Unless he suffers from alcoholism, I don’t see why he would lose the ability to get aroused…. but it might be related to hormone imbalance. Check a doctor specializing in hormones.

  2. No man has ever given me an orgasm through penetration or oral sex.

    Only just recently have I received an orgasm from my boyfriend and I’m 24 years old. He will never stop trying until he gets me off.

    My boyfriend has given me an orgasm through oral sex. He has learned where the main points are on my clit. Sadly, he can be down there longer than 30 minutes.

    Before I orgasm I am tilting my hips and start telling him I’m coming. My body is tense the entire time of the build up and orgasm. During the time my entire body feels flushed. I feel this massive power in my lower body and g-spot in my vagina. I become aggressive and pull him towards me. I start moaning and screaming. When my orgasm is finished I have to tell him to stop touching my clit because it is extra sensitive.

    1. Hi Zhane
      Thanks for sharing this. I hope now you’ve had your first, there are many, many more waiting for you! I’m sure your boyfriend will get that 30 mins down – just communicate with him and tell him exactly what works or not.

  3. Destinee

    Well i am new to having sex. My boyfriend asked me if i had orgasmed and i didn’t know what to tell him. Reading through all these comments, i think i may have. My clit became very sensitive, i was breathing very hard to the point of me being light headed, my legs and thighs were shaking.

  4. Ethan Green

    Hi Logan
    So, to answer your two main questions. First, not all women respond like that, but I’m sure some do. There’s nothing wrong with it though. Second, no she’s not peeing, technically.

  5. Ashley

    Rhythm guys! Just like y’all like rhythm so do we!! My husband can tell when I orgasm. He says he can feel my vagina “squeeze” his penis and I become extremely wet afterwards. Also our clit becomes sooo sensitive it tickles. I can’t help but sign/laugh a little after an orgasm. If my husband wants to continue playing with my clit after an orgasm to build another he has to hold me down at times because the “tickle” is too much!! But what I love the most is riding his dick with a silver bullet (vibrator) ring around his cock – I get off every. Single. Time. And that’s just the clitoris orgasm. Once he checks mark that off then he hit it’s hard and I get the G-sport orgasm. Two complete different feelings! Remember hitting it hard right after a clit orgasm will always lead to g spot orgasm – for me anyway. ?

    1. Hi Ashley
      Thanks for sharing your experience and ideas! I’m sure there will be some men reading it thinking about your last technique!

  6. Usually what happens right before I orgasm or when I’m orgasming, is I’ll start to shake really bad, I’ll moan really loud, many squeal and scream, and breath really fast, my face, chest, and arms flush, and I’ll get really wet. Then afterward I moan slightly cuz that’s how I express my pleasure. And to help, I or him will play around with my clit, and boobs. The for sure sign for when I’m at the climax and starting the orgasm is I run my hands through my hair, over my face, throat and chest. To help I squeeze my boobs and press on my BFs hands to give more pressure when playing around with my clit.

    1. Hi Rachel
      Thaks for sharing your experience! That’s actually a good point – how some women will themselves get more involved in stimulating themself when close to climax – and put more pressure on their partner to encourage them to give you more stimulation.

  7. Usually what happens with me, is I start to breath faster, then I start to squeal a little bit and I might scream. Then my clit usually is a bit swollen and it’s really sensitive. Also, usually my face will be flushed. What really gets me going is playing around with my boobs, and making it ruff down there, but I like it gentle as well. Either way I reach an orgasm.

  8. Jessica

    My clit usually feels very tender to the touch after I masturbate. Is this a sign that I orgasmed?

    1. Hi Jessica
      Well, it could be one sign. But it might feel tender just from the constant touching. But yes, generally it will feel particularly tender for a while after orgasm.

  9. My question is if a woman is trembling in her legs. And every time you run your fingers up and down her legs she tremble more does this mean she is having an orgasm? Most my partners seem to do the same thing. Some more than others. But I had the same thing happened and my partner say she didn’t come.

    1. Hi there
      Well, I guess you answered the question already! If someone told you they didn’t, then they very likely didn’t, and so it’s not always a sign. However, some women will tremble when they orgasm. So it’s down to working out if it’s a sign for that particular partner or not.

  10. My clit does get sensitive, I grab a hold of my partner as I’m about to reach my climax, I also tense up, my face gets flush. Sometimes I let out an audible “oh” and usually after a powerful climax i lay there catching my breath and enjoying my release of energy.

  11. I get very quiet because I end up holding my breath. It’s not something I can help personally because I can’t climax while breathing for some reason. It’s almost as if I’m pushing the orgasm through. I’m sure I’m a strange case but I’ve faked tons of orgasms by getting louder bc I knew I just want going to and I’m not gonna make someone go down on me for an entire hour while I’m enjoying myself but not getting there either. A lover has to be very skilled or my body just won’t. And by skilled I mean he has to have some basic understanding of what keeping a solid rhythm means, how to kiss properly, and how to stimulate my nipples well. A man who rushes beyond the time it takes me to be ready enough to ask for it, is not going to please me.

    1. Hi Alisa
      Thanks for sharing your particular signs. I don’t think you’re a strange case; I’m sure there are many others who hold their breath too! It’s a shame you felt the need to fake it, as so many of us do at times! But yes, if it’s going to go on forever and he’s not doing it quite right, you need to make some kind of change. Perhaps a little gentle education and pointing in the right direction would be good!

  12. Anonymous

    My eyes rolls up like The exorcist. I almost have a panic attack. My breathing is uncontrollable, I quiver all over,I’m vocal loudly.and my back arches, my toes curl also. Can’t fake it to my partner though

    1. Hey there
      Thanks for sharing! It would be great if more women commented with a description of what happens for them.
      With reactions like yours, I’m not surprised it’s not so easy to fake. Sounds like you have some powerful orgasms – lucky you!

  13. Austin Jas

    I cant seem to find the thig that pushes her over the edge and makes her climax is the any advice on that?

    1. Hi Austin
      Probably the best thing is to ask her straight up what she likes most. There’s also probable a good chance she needs more/better clitoral stimulation to reach climax. Most women need the clitoris to be properly stimulated, not just penetration.

    2. The key is to focus on her and connect with her. If you love her, let it show. Be fully present, be free in yourself, which will allow her to be free in herself. This, beyond all other things, will make a woman cum, 100% guaranteed. (But if it’s technical advice you seek: Foreplay is a very good thing; and a kiss her on the neck drives most women wild).

  14. Just curious, my partner squirts either from oral or penetration does not happen the same all the time. My question is, by squirting is a full proof assurance that she’s having an orgasm or is it just a form of release.

    1. Hi Ron
      I’d say it’s probably a fairly good sign of orgasm, yes! But just because it doesn’t happen every time, doesn’t mean she didn’t orgasm that time too. So I wouldn’t rely on it solely to judge.

  15. Nice article, thanks! And I always thought that when my missus was screaming, it was a sure sign she came. And when she’s kind of just a bit moany, I don’t really know if she just had a small orgasm or is faking it to make me happy or whatever. Any thoughts?

    1. Hi Terry
      You’re welcome! If you suspect she might be faking it sometimes, she might be. But you know women do have different types and intensity of orgasm from one day to the next. So it’s possible she does climax in both situations you mention.

  16. After a woman orgasms, her clitoris often gets very sensitive. If you touch it gently and she reacts like you touched her with a hot fireplace poker, she probably orgasmed. If not, either she didn’t or she’s prone to multiple orgasms and might want another.

    1. Hi Gigi
      It’s true, it can feel extremely sensitive. After they climax, if you want to continue, it’s good to either give a minute to rest or only stimulate her very gently to test how she’s feeling.

      1. Anonymous

        My girl usually tells me if she doesnt.. but she says she orgasms at least some every single time.. a lot of times she will say… “you didnt leave me hanging but we’ll finish this up tomorrow nite”.. or something 2 that extent… and 9 times outa 10.. it seems as if it only takes her like 5 mins or so and then after she orgasms.. or at least acts as if she does shell start begging me to cum…. am i getting lied to.. or does she know that its not gonna happen for her so she just concentrates on me???

        1. Hi there
          To be honest, I don’t know if she’s faking it sometimes or not. But your comment is confusing anyway – you say she tells you if she doesn’t. But then also say she orgasms every single time.

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