"The O Project" Photo Series Shows Real Women Before, During, And After Orgasm

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Unlike movies and mainstream porn, not everyone's orgasm face is super cute. We like to think that when the moment comes we bite our lips, throw our hair back like we're in a a music video, and are the vision of sensuality and desire. But what do people actually look like? Enter photographer Marcos Alberti. You may remember him from the "3 Glasses" project, where he photographed subjects after one, two, and three glasses of wine. But this time, the subject matter was a little more intimate. OK, a lot more intimate. He took photos of over 20 women before, during, and after orgasm. They were given a selection of Smile Makers sex toys and allowed to go to town. And it's titled, fittingly, The "O" Project.

While most of us will have never seen our own orgasm faces, we've probably seen a few of our partner's faces when they climax. So we know that orgasm faces almost never look like they do in porn. In fact, they're far more likely to look like you're trying not to sneeze at the top of a roller coaster when you're scared of heights. Ah, ~romance~.

But these photos show the whole range. There are four photos — from before orgasm to basking in the afterglow. “It was very interesting for me how they all changed between photos," Alberti tells Bustle. "The fourth photo, for me, is always the best… They all look gorgeous in the fourth photo. Shoulders relaxed, eyes shining, red skin, and a big smile in their eyes.”

The project is so great, in part because it embraces and celebrates female masturbation. "Female sexuality is more often shrouded in shame and secrecy," Fan Yang, Global Brand Manager of Smile Makers, said in a press release. "Our partnership with Marcos allowed us to create this series to upend that social stigma around female sexuality, and encourage the normalization of female pleasure.... That final shot, of a strong female grinning into the camera, is exactly what we want people to see. We hope that everyone viewing this project will feel more confident about their bodies and sexuality. All it takes is one smile at a time.”

And there are certainly a lot of smiles. You can check out the whole project on his website, but here are some of my favorite

This Awkward Giggle

Courtesy of Marcos Alberti

I love the fact that she's obviously has a moment where she realizes she just agreed to masturbate on camera — but then just goes with it. Also, proof that some people actually do bite their fingers.

The Pleasure And Pain

Marcos Alberti

Been there. That sort of grimace face where something is amazing but also just kind of a lot. That smile at the end though — she's as happy as anything.

Jackpot

Courtesy of Marcos Alberti

That's what the third picture screams to me. Someone who is having an "Oh yeah! Jackpot!" moment and loving every second of it. Bonus points for the pushing the hair back at the end.

Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate how glowing all of these women are after they have an orgasm?

Singing With Joy

Courtesy of Marcos Alberti

It looks like she's singing up their with a church choir, ascending to heaven. And that smile at the end is 100 percent smug but in the best, happiest way possible. There's a lot going on.

Brooding To Smiling

Courtesy of Marcos Alberti

She may be smoldering at the beginning but that is an all out grin at the end. And I have to say, the red lipstick is a nice touch — like she's treating herself in a whole lot of ways at once.

Laugh Out Loud

Courtesy of Marcos Alberti

This is probably my favorite for the before and after shots. She goes from being so serious to a total smirking, smiling, laughing meltdown. It just shows the true power of an orgasm.

Did She Just Wink At Herself?

Courtesy of Marcos Alberti

I've heard of winking as flirting, but giving yourself a post-masturbation wink is a whole new level — and I'm all for it. Also, the head thrown back in this one actually makes it looks like something out of a porn, but in a great way. Turns out not everyone looks as constipated as I do.

It's lovely to see such a huge celebration of female masturbation. Removing the stigma around women's sexuality, especially when it comes to self-pleasure, is something that we need so much more of. So, well done with this series, because before, during, and after an orgasm, they all look fantastic.