Q: Why do some women have orgasms, and other women do not?
A. Most women experience orgasm at some point in their lives, though the way that women orgasm can vary quite a bit. Some women find that they can orgasm during vaginal intercourse whereas others, as much as they may try, do not – or, if they do, they may not find it particularly easy to do so.
In addition, some women may experience orgasm by receiving oral sex – also called cunnilingus. Again, some women find it relatively easy to orgasm from cunnilingus whereas others find it fairly difficult to do so or can only orgasm from certain styles of cunnilingus.
It’s the same with masturbation with a woman’s hands or with a sex toy such as a dildo – some women orgasm from using a sex toy, some do not. That said, there’s something about the power of vibrating products that can make it easier for many women to orgasm. We don’t fully understand why vibrators are so effective at easing some women’s orgasms, but they can be – not for all women, of course, but for some portion of women.
Mechanics Aren’t Everything
But that’s just the mechanism of women’s orgasm and it’s still only a small piece of the puzzle. Women may also orgasm from stimulating themselves with water from a bath tub faucet, water from a massaging or pulsating shower head, by rubbing themselves against a bed or pillow or – in very uncommon cases – by sexual fantasy alone or by breast stimulation.
So what makes it easier for some women to orgasm? Or to orgasm from certain types of stimulation? Well, to be honest, scientists don’t fully understand these differences yet. Some research suggests that there may be anatomical characteristics that influence a woman’s ease of orgasm. For example, a woman whose glans clitoris is situated quite close to her vaginal entrance may find it easier to orgasm during intercourse.
There also appear to be psychological influences on women’s orgasm. Women may find it easier to learn to orgasm if they can first learn to relax during sex, to focus on their physical sensations of pleasure or to focus in on their emotional experience of sex, assuming it’s a positive one, of course.
Women’s relationships can also influence their orgasmic ease. Some research suggests, for example, that couples who find it easier to communicate about types of sex that involve clitoral stimulation tend to be couples in which the woman finds it easier to orgasm. Also, when a couple argues a lot or feels troubled, those difficulties can make their way into the bedroom and make orgasm more challenging.
Some of my own research has found that the way a woman feels about her body, and her genitals in particular, can affect her orgasmic ease. Women who feel more positively about the way their genitals look, smell or taste, for example, may find it easier to orgasm. Other research has found that certain personality traits, such as being open to new experiences, are linked to women’s ease of orgasm.
To learn more about how to enhance your own ease of orgasm, of your female partner’s ease of orgasm, check out Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction. To learn more about research related to male and female orgasm, you may find The Science of Orgasm to be of interest.