June 16, 2011

Q&A: I Don’t Get Wet And I Have Never Experienced Orgasm

Vaginal lubrication is influenced by a number of factors, including characteristics of the woman herself as well as characteristics of the sexual event.

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Question: Thirteen years ago, I stopped getting wet during foreplay and during sexual intercourse. I barely even get wet. I honestly don’t know what an orgasm would feel like. No one had ever explained this kind of stuff to me except my husband, and he doesn’t count because he’s a man. Is there something wrong with me?

What Does Age Have To Do With It?

A woman’s vaginal lubrication is influenced by a number of factors, including characteristics of the woman herself – such as her age and hormones – as well as characteristics of sexual event, such as time spent in foreplay, how arousing it feels to the woman, how long it lasts as well as other factors.

As a woman ages and approaches menopause, vaginal dryness becomes more of a problem for many women.

However, data from my research team’s recent National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, which examined the sex lives of women and men ages 14 to 94, found that even young women experience difficulties with vaginal dryness. For example, about 1/3 of women – even college-aged women – experienced difficulties with vaginal lubrication during the most recent time that they had sex.

Finding Your Wetness

I would encourage you to mention your difficulties with vaginal lubrication to a healthcare provider.

Sometimes medications – such as low-dose estrogen birth control pills – are thought to contribute to difficulties with vaginal lubrication. Other times, certain medical conditions may play a role. Depending on the situation, a healthcare provider may recommend the use of a vaginal moisturizer to help maintain a sense of vaginal wetness and comfort.

You might also try spending at least 15 or 20 minutes in foreplay, doing things that you find sexually exciting, to enhance your body’s natural ability to lubricate.

Also, baths and showers can dry the vagina, so you may want to wait to have sex until after you have been out of the bath or shower for a while, so that your vagina has a chance to become more wet again.

Nearly All Women Can Do It

As for orgasm, every woman’s experience of orgasm is different. While some women experience powerful orgasms that feel like clear “events”, other women experience orgasm that is quite mild.

And you’re correct to sense that, although there are some similarities in men’s and women’s orgasm, there are also some key differences. Nearly all women appear to be capable of experiencing orgasm, but it can take some time, practice and exploration – alone and/or with a partner – to develop some ease with orgasm.

More Information

If you are interested in learning more about orgasm, and how you might explore your sexual response in ways that make orgasm easier to experience, you might consider reading Becoming Orgasmic or Because It Feels Good.

Next Question: Clitoral Stimulation – Pain, Tickling And Discomfort

Whenever I try to stimulate my girlfriend’s clitoris whether orally or with my hand she says it tickles or hurts. I have never experienced anything like this with past relationships. Any suggestions to help her become comfortable with clitoral stimulation?

Read Dr. Debby Herbenick’s response.

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