December 11, 2008

Q&A: Girlfriend Has No Feeling During Sex

Dr. Debby answers questions about why a woman might have lessened sensation during vaginal intercourse.

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Question: My girlfriend says that she can’t feel anything when I’m in her. I never had this problem with women before, and am pretty sure it’s not a size issue as I’m at least average size. What are the reasons why a woman wouldn’t feel anything during sex?

Women sometimes say that they don’t feel anything during vaginal intercourse when what they mean is that they don’t feel anything pleasurable or stimulating during sex.

Talk To Your Girlfriend

These are two different issues and I would encourage you to talk with your girlfriend about your sexual experiences together at a time when you are not having sex or about to have sex.

Try to find some time alone when you are both feeling relaxed and unlikely to be interrupted. Since she has already identified this as an issue that needs attention, you might say that you’ve given some thought to what she’s said, that it’s important to you as well and that you’d like to talk about it together.

When you talk, try to clarify what she means when she says she can’t feel anything at all during sex. If she cannot even feel that your penis is inside her vagina, then it may be helpful to keep a small towel near the bed and then dab some of the wetness from each of your genitals during breaks from sex. That’s because as a woman becomes sexually aroused, her vagina lubricates naturally which can make sex more comfortable and pleasurable, as the lubrication decreases friction during sex.

That said, if there is a large amount of lubrication, it can result in a woman not feeling her partner’s penis inside her vagina. It isn’t her fault or you fault; this just happens sometimes during sexual excitement. The same process of vaginal lubrication that serves to protect women’s bodies by reducing friction can sometimes lessen sensation.

Dabbing the outside part of her vaginal entrance and your penis with a towel, during little “breaks” from sex, can help to dry off some of the lubrication and heighten sensation for you both. If she gets extremely wet, she might even try inserting a small tampon for 10 or 20 seconds to soak up some of the lubrication, and she throw it out before resuming intercourse with you.

Different Stimulation or Positions

If she can feel your penis inside her vagina but feels as though she wants to feel more focused stimulation on certain parts of her vagina, then you two might benefit from talking about the types of thrusts or stimulation she desires. For example, would she like more stimulation on the front wall of her vagina, or closer to her cervix? Does she prefer sex that is more gentle or vigorous?

Talking about each other’s sexual preferences can be helpful and enhancing. She might even find that trying a woman-on-top position gives her the opportunity to rub against your body in ways that allow her to explore types of stimulation that feel most pleasurable to her.

Try Sex Therapy

If, however, addressing these issues related to lubrication, communication and techniques leave you both feeling as though the issue is not yet resolved, you might find it helpful to meet together with a sex therapist (find one at or for her to check in with her healthcare provider to rule out any medical issues.