Q&A: I Have Never Experienced Orgasm. What Do You Suggest I Do?

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QUESTION: I’ve explored my body on my own, with partners and in multiple positions. I hold a prestigious position in medicine, so I’m not ignorant about medicine, anatomy, or mental health. Yet, I fail to orgasm. What can I do?

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Photo: final gather (flickr.com)

Some women are easily distracted during sex and this can make it difficult focus on one’s own arousal.

A Common Problem

Many women struggle with trying to learn to have an orgasm. Often, even very well educated women who feel comfortable with their own bodies, open to their experience, and positive about sex still find it difficult to orgasm. You’re certainly not alone in your experience.

With time, patience and practice, most women are able to learn to orgasm so the chances that you will, too, are certainly in your favor.

There are many different reasons why women take time to learn to orgasm. As much as you may have already learned about anatomy, you might find that there is more to learn that would be helpful.

Know Your Anatomy

Many medical texts, including their anatomical illustrations, do not accurately depict the clitoris. In fact, many don’t even show that the clitoris is larger than the ¼ to ½ an inch of tissue that can be seen from the outside of a woman’s body. The clitoris extends backward into the body in two branches that may be stimulated from vaginal sex or other types of stimulation.

This knowledge alone may give you different ideas for how to approach your body with stimulation.

Also, newer research suggests that the clitoris, vagina and urethra are more interconnected than previously thought. The movement or stimulation of one may change the way that other parts of a woman’s genital or urinary tract feel.

In addition, scientists are uncovering new information about different nerve pathways that may be linked to female orgasm and learning about these, such as from the book The Science of Orgasm, may be informative.

Playing the Brain Game

As helpful as information and education can be, so is the psychological process. You may find that spending time becoming highly aroused – such as through touch or fantasy – helps you to experience greater pleasure during sex and may eventually help you learn to orgasm.

Some women are easily distracted during sex – thinking about work, school, laundry, dinner, relationship issues or family – and these distractions can make it difficult to relax, to let go and to focus on one’s own arousal.

Other times women don’t feel the type of intimacy or psychological excitement in their relationship that they find best helps them to experience pleasure or orgasm. Then there are situations in which women put so much pressure on themselves to orgasm that the pressure, stress and anxiety make it more difficult to orgasm.

More Information

If you are interested in learning more about orgasm, you may find it helpful to read Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women or Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.

Dr. Debby Herbenick (M.P.H., Ph.D.)

is a sexual health educator at The Kinsey Institute, Associate Director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University and author of several books including Sex Made Easy and Because It Feels Good: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction.
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