Orgasm (from Greek οργασμός orgasmos, from organ to mature, swell, also sexual climax) is the sudden discharge of accumulated sexual tension during the sexual response cycle, resulting in rhythmic muscular contractions in the pelvic region characterized by an intense sensation of pleasure. Experienced by males and females, orgasms are controlled by the involuntary or autonomic nervous system. They are often associated with other involuntary actions, including muscular spasms in multiple areas of the body, a general euphoric sensation and, frequently, body movements and vocalizations are expressed. The period after orgasm (known as a refractory period) is often a relaxing experience, attributed to the release of the neurohormones oxytocin and prolactin.
Human orgasms usually result from the stimulation of the penis in males, typically accompanying ejaculation, and the clitoris in females. Stimulation can be by self-practice (masturbation) or by a partner (penetrative sexual intercourse, non-penetrative sex, and other erotic sexual activities). In addition, partners simultaneously stimulating each other's sex organs by mutual masturbation, penetrative intercourse, or other rhythmic inter-genital contact may experience simultaneous orgasms.