Q&A: Is it Possible To Delay Female Orgasm?

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QUESTION: My girlfriend achieves orgasm very quickly - within 30 seconds. Is it possible to delay the orgasm with pills or any other techniques?

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Men, far more often than women, find that they orgasm more quickly than they would like; as a result, we have more research and anecdotes related to techniques and medications that work to help men delay their ejaculation, and little science-based information about effective techniques for helping women to delay their experience of orgasm.

Anti-Depressants of Other Medications

Although some medications (such as certain anti-depressants) are occasionally prescribed for men to delay their ejaculation they are not really considered a “first line” treatment for men as, often, couples would like to find non-medical means of improving their sexuality (and anti-depressants, like most medications, can cause negative side effects).

It is unclear if women would be helped by using anti-depressants or other medications in this way, though a common side effect of antidepressants (especially those impacting the serotonin neurotransmitters), is delayed orgasm.

Explore Other Sexual Behaviors

If your girlfriend wants to be sexual for some time without having an orgasm, you two might consider exploring a range of sexual behaviors that typically don’t make her orgasm quickly.

For example, you might spend more time kissing, touching her breasts or performing oral sex on her, having her perform it on you, or doing it mutually in ways that are enjoyable but are perhaps not likely to cause her to orgasm right away.

Talk About Your Experiences

Do consider talking to your girlfriend about your sexual experiences together. Is an early orgasm a problem for her? What bothers her about having an orgasm soon after beginning sex? Does she become too sensitive to continue with sex, does she feel too tired to go on, does it hurt or does she get a headache after she has an orgasm?

If you two can talk more about this and find out what it is that troubles her (if anything), then perhaps you can work around it.

On the other hand, if it is you that is troubled by her early orgasm, then that too is something to pay attention to. Why does her orgasm speed bother you? Does is have to?

Perhaps you can learn to appreciate the responsiveness of your girlfriend’s body and to explore each other’s bodies in ways that are about pleasure, and not just timing of orgasm.

You may find that you like and enjoy her sexual response, and you two may come to enjoy exploring a wider range of ways of being sexual together.

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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