Written by Dr. Petra Zebroff, Relationship and Sex Therapy


Orgasms from fantasy alone, without touching the genitals?  If you are like most, orgasm through fantasy seems surreal, or even impossible.

Not so, say orgasm researchers Beverly Whipple and Barry Komisaruk, who found that men and women could reach orgasm with their brains alone. This led these researchers to reach the conclusion that our brains are our most important and central parts of orgasm.

So, how is it possible? How can you do it yourself?

First of all, only 2% of women are reported to be able to reach orgasm through thought alone.  These women describe their orgasms as “erotic”, “pastoral”  or even as an “energy flow”.   Although this small percentage may be due to the fact that not many women have tried to have orgasms this way.

Anatomy & Physiology of Orgasm through Fantasy

Orgasm without touch requires that all of your stimulation come through the mind — through fantasy and sexy thoughts.

When hooked up to the correct monitoring equipment, women who reported that they could have orgasm from only their self-induced imagery were indeed found to experience the same sexual responses (heart rate, blood pressure, pupil dilation) and subjective orgasmic release as someone who was having an orgasm through vaginal / cervical stimulation.

The parts of the brain that are activated during this type of self-induced imagery are the same parts that are activated through touching the vagina and cervix — the nucleus accumbens, PVN, hippocampus and anterior cingulate.

Here’s How

Setting the Scene: Preparation

Know what turns you on (your erotic map). Understanding what turns you on is crucial because you will be relying on these thoughts to drive your pleasure. People who don’t fantasize may have more trouble reaching orgasm this way alone. To learn about Your Arousal Type, click here

Getting Started

Go solo to start

This type of pleasure is difficult to share. As soon as we start to include a second person, the more likely you will become distracted by them instead of focusing on your own ideal sexual scenario.

Keep focused

This type of pleasure takes extreme focus. Don’t allow your mind to wander to less sexy thoughts. Stay on the thoughts themselves and don’t push yourself to reach orgasm. The goal is pleasure. Relax into the pleasure and the orgasm will eventually come.

Dedication to pleasure

The ability to reach orgasm happens mostly in the mind. It is difficult to reach orgasm if you are feeling pressured to orgasm, or are experiencing guilt or shame about sex. Having an orgasm requires “letting go” into the pleasure. If you are worried about what your mother might think or what a priest said about shame, then an orgasm may be difficult to achieve. You need to give yourself permission to have an orgasm in order to have one.

Mental Stimulation

Know your erotic triggers

Which sexy thoughts should you focus on? Arousal thoughts are particular to you. They could be past experiences or future desires. But whatever you choose, the key to exploring this realm is imagination and detail. Take the time to imagine all of the sights, smells, ideas that you would in real life.

Beware of trying too hard. If you are focusing on your difficulty you will be distracted from your fantasy and focus on the fantasy is crucial to arousal and eventual orgasm

Some people know exactly what sexual thought will get them going. Others are not so sure. Get to know yours by leisurely letting your thoughts go to the most exciting places they want to go. Don’t restrict your thoughts.

Thinking about a sexual act, or getting aroused by something, does NOT mean you want it to come to life in reality. In fact, most or our sexual thoughts or fantasies are just that, tools to help arousal. They are not real, nor do you necessarily want them to be real. They never have to be disclosed to anybody at any time.

Note that some fantasies that arouse you may go against your belief system or what you were taught was “proper”, and know that some of the most common fantasies include taboo topics. For example force fantasies are the most popular fantasies for men and women, gay or straight.

Ideas to increase arousal

Past or imagined ideal sexual situations

Think back to the last sexual experience that you had that was “hot”. Replay it in your mind. Turn it around, add detail and extras that work to drive your arousal.

Use erotica to discover your sexual triggers

Go on a mission to find what turns you one. Read a book that has turned you on in the past. Or rewatch a movie that worked to get you aroused before. Think about what aspect of that scene turned you on. Was it a person, an act, an interaction, or a sensation? Now look for those triggers as you move through the next book or movie. Porn is a wonderful tool. Visit sites that women have reported liking. Find out your arousal type. Fill out a survey and find out which type you gravitate to mostly.

Tools to Help

Since there are no direct tools to stimulate your brain, like there are for your body, the tools we are recommending are meant to help you identify your sexual triggers – your erotic map.


50 Shades of Gray has been responsible for stimulating the sexual imaginations of millions of women. But that is not the only novel. If power play is not your thing, 50 Shades of Gray will be uninspiring to you. Explore other types of erotica on the market for women – search online where you can often read samples of the text to give you a feel for the stories within.


Surf around and find a clip or movie that you find arousing. After you’ve watched it a few times, continue to think about it. Pay attention to the aspects that are crucial for your arousal. Change it around in your head to be even more arousing.

Know your Arousal Type

If you are stumped as to where to start, fill out Your Arousal Type questionnaire and find out where to focus your sexual energy.

Toys to help with Fantasy driven orgasm

Find inspiration for your sexual imagination here!

Anything that fosters sensory enhancement or deprivation can be a wonderful way to play with sexual fantasies. Consider blindfolds, feathers, restraints, and warm massage oil dripped on tingling skin. Role playing can also be lots of fun and a great way to act out your fantasies with a partner or even on your own.