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April 4, 2024

Look, no hands!

Our resident sexologist Jamie Bucirde answers your questions each fortnight.

Adelaide sex advice
  • Words: Jamie Bucirde
  • Picture: Morgan Sette
  • This article was produced in collaboration with Adult Bliss Erotica.

Hey CityMaggers,

I’m back and ready to jump back into answering all of your sex, love and relationship questions. A friendly reminder, all of your questions will remain anonymous and I’ll always do my best to answer you with sex-positive, evidence-based intentions and knowledge. Life is in session, so let’s get down to it.

Q: My sister says she can have an orgasm without being touched / touching herself. Is it possible?

A: To answer your question directly, yes! Women can indeed experience orgasm without physical touch. However, this phenomenon warrants a nuanced exploration with multiple answers.

The female orgasm is an incredibly complex mechanism. Controlled by the largest sex organ (the brain).

Reaching orgasm without physical touch is also called the top-down approach. Basically, the top-down approach means that brain activation and patterns of electrical activity in the cortex release dopamine neurons into the bloodstream, creating more blood flow in the genital area creating an orgasm.

There has been documentation of people experiencing orgasms whilst sleeping, exercising or simply by engaging in imagery or fantasy.

What’s cool is that paraplegic women and men have also reported experiencing “phantom” orgasms, which suggests the top-down approach of orgasm can be activated depending on circumstances.


Have you got sexual health, sex, love or relationship questions? Send them to to have them answered.

Let me break it down even further

Mental Stimulation: Our mind serves as a gateway to pleasure. Through fantasies, erotic thoughts, or profound emotional connections, women (and all other genders!) can traverse the landscape of arousal and attain orgasmic release sans touch. The intricacies of individual desire and imagination intertwine to create a unique sequence of sexual experiences. Imagination serves as a strong candidate for ways to achieve orgasm without touch. Engaging in elaborate fantasy or roleplay scenarios can act as a pathway of heightened arousal and orgasmic release too.

Dream Orgasms: Sex dreams, aka “wet dreams” demonstrate the mind’s capacity to have sexual and orgasmic responses during sleep. Have you ever had a sex dream and woken up feeling horny? These dreams manifest as purely mental experiences, without any tactile stimulation, yet are capable of creating profound sensations of pleasure and release. That’s not gendered either – anyone can have a so-called ‘wet dream.’

Meditation and tantra: Practices rooted in mindfulness and spiritual connection such as mediation and tantra, emphasise the integration of mind, body and spirit. By harnessing breathwork, visualisation and energy manipulation, women can access states of heightened arousal and achieve orgasmic bliss without physical contact.

ASMR and audiovisual stimulation: ASMR (Autonomous sensory meridian response) shows how auditory and visual stimulation can create pleasurable sensations in us. For women, certain sounds, images or erotic content can trigger intense arousal leading to orgasm, highlighting the profound interplay between sensory perception and sexual response. If you haven’t tried audio erotica/porn before, I 100 per cent recommend it.

Mindfulness: Deep mindfulness can unlock subconscious desires and bypass conscious inhibitions. Through suggestive prompts and guided relaxation, women can tap into dormant reservoirs of arousal, leading to orgasmic states without direct physical stimulation.

Energy orgasms: In spiritual practices such as yoga or tantra, the concept of energy orgasms explains the belief in subtle energetic pathways within the body. By cultivating and directing these energies, you can experience orgasmic release independent of conventional physical touch.

Exercise & physical non touch: Women have been known to reach orgasms through exercise by hitting a certain sustained intensity until climax. This, however, most frequently occurs after long and intense exercise sessions like running or playing sports, as opposed to low-impact exercise like walking or yoga.


Read the entire back catalogue of On the Cusp here.

That being said, a 2022 study followed a 33-year-old who suffered from vaginal pain and vaginismus, who developed the ability to attain and control an orgasmic state for long periods of time through 10 years of yoga training and tantra practice. She said it involved her “learning body postures, breathing techniques, body locks aimed at learning how to awaken and sense energy then learning to guide it and move it upwards”.

She also did kegels and breast massage practice. Over time, her capacity for whole-body orgasm became so heightened that she not only conquered her vaginismus but also achieved the ability to swiftly enter a prolonged state of continuous orgasmic bliss with ease.

To finish this off (pun intended), the human orgasm is an intricate and complex system that we have a lot more control of than we may have been originally taught. Tapping into practices such as mindfulness, playing with fantasies and audiovisual porn can help you explore your sexuality in different ways.

I’d love to know your stories, so if anyone has an experience with  reaching orgasm without touch, send me an email to

I’ll be back in two weeks, so until then stay safe and stay sexy, Adelaide.

Jamie Bucirde has a postgraduate degree in sexology from Curtin University. Her advice is of a general nature and should be taken in the spirit of the column.

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