My boyfriend and I have been having sex for a few months. How do I know if I’ve had an orgasm?

Great question! First, you’re definitely not alone in wondering whether you’ve had an orgasm (or have come).

In technical terms, an orgasm is a series of rhythmic contractions where the muscles that were tightened during sexual arousal release. Everyone experiences orgasm differently, but some common experiences include: muscle spasms (shaking or vibrations in your hands, feet, legs or somewhere else), faster breathing, a feeling of warmth, or an urge to cry out. Many people feel a release of tension, or pleasurable sense of relief, during or immediately after. Sometimes an orgasm is called a “climax” because it’s often the peak of sexual pleasure.

It’s ok if you’ve never had an orgasm or if you’re unsure whether or not you’ve had one.

For many people with vaginas, it’s difficult to orgasm through penis in vagina sex alone–lots of people need additional stimulation of their clitoris from fingers, a toy, or a mouth.

If you want to have an orgasm with your partner, the best thing to do is to practice on your own first. Spend some time alone getting to know your body and what makes you tick. If you feel comfortable, you can then ask your partner to do that for you. Openly communicating with your boyfriend about what feels good and what you want in bed can also make a big difference.

It’s often easier to orgasm when you feel safe and comfortable. If you’re stressed or don’t totally trust your partner, it may be more difficult to orgasm.

In the meantime, remember that it’s about the journey, not the destination. Orgasm doesn’t have to be the “goal” of sex. Concentrate on enjoying yourself, having fun and finding pleasure in the whole experience.

In addition, remember to take care of your sexual health. To protect yourselves from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and prevent pregnancy, use condoms and a reliable method of birth control. If you haven’t already, make sure you both get tested for STIs and both understand the importance of consent.

If you’re 10-22 years old in NYC and have more questions about sex or your sexual health, you can come to the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center for free, confidential, comprehensive health care. No judgment, no charge.