I was watching the British series Sex Education and, in the second episode of season two, the main character uses the phrase "facilitated a crescendo". While I understand the definition of both words, I find it hard to understand how these words work together. Here is the dialogue in which this phrase is used:

Eric: Did you dot it?
Otis: uh-huh
Eric: I knew you had a freshly-fingered glow about you. Tell me everything!
Otis: So... I think I might have facilitated a crescendo.
Eric: The big-O? First time round?
Otis: Yeah.

  • to make it possible to happen, to occur Jan 20, 2020 at 20:19
  • to make it easier to reach "the highest point reached in a progressive increase of intensity". In other words, a climax.
    – Lambie
    Jan 20, 2020 at 20:21
  • 3
    Purists will say that you cannot "reach" a crescendo; that "the one thing crescendo does not mean, [...] and never has meant, is “climax.”" Jan 20, 2020 at 20:34
  • 2
    @Michael Harvey Quite right. There are a great many musicians in the world. To us, those who use crescendo to mean climax always sound a bit dim. Jul 7, 2020 at 1:25

3 Answers 3


crescendo noun
1 b : the peak of a gradual increase : climax
// ... complaints about stifling smog conditions reach a crescendo ...
— Down Beat


An orgasm is referred to as a sexual climax. Crescendo and big-O are euphemisms for orgasm. In other words, the speaker helped their partner reach an orgasm.

climax noun
1 c : orgasm

Big O
(the Big O) Orgasm.
‘there are ways that you can boost your chances of reaching the big O’


A crescendo can happen independently, by itself, or because of something causing it. In this case the person is saying that they 'facilitated' it. In other words, they were the cause. They made the crescendo happen.


It seems to me crescendo came into use because people were embarrassed by the accurate word, climax, and also because crescendo for journalists implies - more will be revealed.

  • I'm afraid this fails to answer the OP's question. Please either review or delete it. Feb 11, 2022 at 1:51

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