Is cumming and having an orgasm the same thing? I’m a virgin. So I’ve never had sex. I just masturbate often. When I rub my clit for a while I get this amazing feeling and I can tell I squirt something out. After that, I get tired and stop. I can make myself do this multiple times and I consider that cumming. Is it an orgasm though? Is that how it’s going to feel when I have sex?Robin Mandell replies:
First and foremost, no matter what we call it, if masturbation (or any other activity, for that matter) feels pleasurable, that’s the most important thing. Regardless of the names we give things to put them in categories, our bodies are so unique in the way they work that these tidy little categories sometimes end up being more confusing than useful.
I suspect you want an answer that’s more concrete than that, though.
With all the slang and scientific terms for sexual activities, experiences, and body parts there are, it’s not surprising to have trouble defining things, or sorting out what words refer to what experiences. I’ll give you the best and clearest answer I can, stating at the outset that other people might have different perspectives, or ways of expressing this, which likely aren’t any more right or wrong than what I’m going to tell you.
Cumming, or coming, and orgasm are different terms people use for a sexual experience that is often seen—though is not always—a climactic or resolution experience during a sexual activity. Come is slang and tends to mean different things based on who you talk to. Orgasm is a term used by sex educators, healthcare providers, researchers, and the like, as well as by people talking about their own sexual experience. Ejaculation is another term sex educators and medical professionals use, as well as people who aren’t sex educators or medical professionals.
While coming is used as slang for orgasm, it’s also used to refer to ejaculation. I suspect that coming was a term coined to describe the experience of ejaculation and orgasm, in people who experience both ejaculation and orgasm, which is something people usually associate only with, and which happens most often for, people who have penises. A lot of our sexual terms and slang were — and often still are — based mostly on how men experience sex and sexual response.
Many people don’t realize, or forget, that ejaculation and orgasm are two different physical processes, even though for some people, sometimes — and quite commonly, for most people who have a penis — they happen so close to the same time, or at the same time, they can feel like they’re the same thing. Unfortunately, that way of understanding things leaves many people out of the loop. So, while some people may mean the same thing when they say coming versus when they say orgasm, I’m going to, for clarity’s sake, avoid using the term “come” here, and talk about ejaculation or orgasm when I mean either one. Other terms that people use instead of orgasm or come include getting off, climaxing, nutting, and so on.
Cumming is a diminutive of coming, primarily coined by the adult entertainment industry a few decades ago. I can’t tell you why they decided that a word already in the English language needed to be respelled. perhaps it was to distinguish the sexy sort of coming from the more mundane coming over to someone’s house to visit. Perhaps some marketing professional had a “great” idea, and the word “cum” was born and has remained with us ever since.
What we choose to call our own orgasm is entirely individual and can often be — and usually is, over time — very personal. Words for sexual activities and experiences have different meanings for different people, based on how they were raised, the cultural environment they inhabit, and their own sexual history and experiences. One person’s pet name for their orgasm, or for their body parts, or for a particular sexual activity could be another person’s turn-off. Some people may have different words to describe different orgasmic or sexual experiences they’ve had over time. And a word or term that means one thing to one person can mean something radically different to someone else.
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