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For other uses, see Orgasm (disambiguation).
Frenzy of Exultations (1894), by Władysław Podkowiński
Orgasm (from Greek ὀργασμός orgasmos "excitement, swelling"; 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 sexual 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, as well as endorphins (or "endogenous morphine").
Human orgasms usually result from physical sexual stimulation of the penis in males (typically accompanying ejaculation), and the clitoris in females. Sexual stimulation can be by self-practice (masturbation) or with a sex partner (penetrative sex, non-penetrative sex, or other sexual activity).