The female orgasm is like a snowflake. No two are the same. Some females achieve orgasmic delight through genital stimulation, while others orgasm by having their hair washed at the salon. There are even known cases of females who experience orgasm when they brush their teeth or when their eyebrows are massaged.
But not every female is quite so lucky. In fact, nearly 20 percent of females are considered pre-orgasmic, i.e., they have never experienced an orgasm. But that does not mean they cannot experience orgasm. For this group, the path to orgasm may require a bit more patience, effort and alone time.
Here are six reasons why your orgasm may remain elusive and some suggestions for positive change:
Too performance focused
If you are focused too much on what you are doing and how well you are doing it, and not on how you are feeling then, chances are, your mind is getting in the way of experiencing sexual satisfaction. If you are immersed in analysing your “performance” or how your partner may be viewing you, then the focus is not sensation based – which can create a barrier to achieving orgasm.
Unsure of what you like
If you struggle to find words to describe your sexual likes and dislikes, you may not actually know what feels good for you. If the question “Tell me what you would like me to do to you” causes panic instead of delight, you might be in this group. But fear not! The solution is focusing on solo fun. Spend some time learning about your body and pleasuring yourself. Discovering where you like to be touched and how you like to be touched is a crucial first step in obtaining an orgasm. If you never masturbate, or you have only dabbled, then you may not have been able to unearth your body’s secrets. It is also important to remember that only a small fraction of females experience an orgasm through penetration alone. Therefore, focusing all your attention on achieving an orgasm during intercourse or vaginal stimulation can have discouraging results for some.
Trouble communicating what feels good
If you are not being touched in a way that brings you pleasure, then reaching orgasmic delight with a partner is going to be difficult. If your partner(s) are not quite sure where your clitoris is, or how to touch it in a way that brings you pleasure, then learning how to communicate this effectively is important. Having good communication both in and out the bedroom is crucial for fostering good intimacy and pleasure-filled orgasms. If you are struggling to communicate, seeking the help and guidance of a counsellor or Sex Therapist may be a good first step.
Thinking too much
If your mind is wandering and you find yourself thinking about your body, work, or what you have to do after sex, then you are not staying present in the moment. Internal dialogue – that does not feed a fantasy or directly pertain to what you are doing or how you are feeling – is a distraction and can get in the way of an orgasm. Try to focus on how your body feels instead of what is running through your mind.
Past trauma or relationship concerns
Physical, psychological and emotional trauma can greatly affect your sex life. Seeking help from a counsellor or therapist in order to process through the trauma may be a crucial part of your path to orgasms. How happy you are in your relationship can also play an important role in your sexual satisfaction. If there is anger or resentment towards your partner, or don’t feel safe (emotionally or physically) in the relationship, chances are you may find it hard to have an orgasm.
Stress, depression and anxiety
Overwhelming feelings of stress, depression or anxiety can also hamper your ability to be present during sex. If you are struggling to stay afloat from day to day then spending the mental and emotional energy needed to reach climax may be quite difficult. Reaching out to a counsellor or therapist may be a helpful first step in relieving these negative emotions and creating the kind of psychological wellbeing needed to relax and be present in your skin.
Underlying medical issue
Urinary tract infections, overactive bladder, yeast infections, clitoral adhesions, obesity, fatigue, constipation, STI’s (formerly known as STD’s), menopause, painful intercourse, birth control and other medications (such as antidepressants) are just a handful of things that can have a detrimental effect on a woman’s ability to experience orgasm. If you feel as though the first few issues mentioned are not a problem for you, then perhaps there is a medical reason for why you are having difficulty reaching orgasm. The best thing to do in this situation is to contact your doctor and discuss your options.
Ultimately know that you’re not alone and there is nothing “wrong” with you. Everyone experiences their sexuality and orgasms differently. If you’re not happy with your sex life, reach out for support.
Sexology International, like all of our work, is for people of all sexual preferences and all forms of gender expression, including people whose identity is something other than male or female. As such, we like to use gender-neutral pronouns. More recently accepted alternatives include words like “ze” and “hir” or the universal pronoun “they.” Throughout our work, we will be doing our best to use alternative pronouns, such as “they,” whenever gender or plurality is unimportant. In doing so we hope it helps everyone to feel included in the discussion and that it inspires you to think outside of traditional sex and gender binaries.