Orgasm difficulties

There are two common ways in which some people struggle with orgasms. Either they orgasm very quickly or they struggle to reach orgasm at all. Both are very common.

First of all an important question to ask is whether orgasms are all that important. It is one of our common myths of sex that successful sex always involves one or all people having an orgasm (or ‘cumming’). Actually sex can be very satisfying when only one person has an orgasm, or nobody does, or somebody has several. It is often a very good idea to take the focus of sex away from orgasms and explore all the other things that you might enjoy sexually. It is also useful to ask sexual partners how important orgasms are for them.

Orgasming too soon

Some people find it frustrating that they seem to be so sexually sensitive that they orgasm very quickly, perhaps before sex has even begun. This can feel embarrassing and awkward, perhaps particularly for men where it is physically obvious that they have orgasmed (due to the liquid that is released and common loss of erection afterwards). Perhaps this is why there is a term for this problem in men: ‘premature ejaculation. However, women can struggle with the problem too.

The first thing to remember is that one person’s orgasm does not need to mean the end of sex. If you have had an orgasm quickly then you might focus on your partner’s pleasure for some time, touching them or giving oral sex for example. Most sexual partners will not complain about becoming the focus of your sexual attention! Also the process may well make you excited again and often a second orgasm takes longer to achieve. Remember also that people take different lengths of time to orgasm, and on different occasions. Anything is okay.

There are some sex therapy techniques to help people who want to take longer before orgasming. In the ‘start/stop’ technique, you can stimulate yourself (or get a partner to stimulate you) orally or with a hand or toy until you feel you are close to orgasm. Then stop all stimulation until that pre-orgasm feelings goes away. Repeat the process several times before allowing orgasm. You could do this once a day for 15-30 minutes. After a while, if you like penetration, you can do the same process while penetrating someone, lying still at first, then slow movements, then faster ones.

Not orgasming at all

Some people find it very difficult to orgasm at all. First of all it is worth asking yourself whether you can orgasm on your own or whether it never happens alone or with a partner.

If it never happens alone or with a partner then it is worth checking your level of desire and excitement and tuning in to what you find exciting. There are also books for people who struggle to orgasm but want to, particularly for women. Unlike most men, many women never touch their genitals when they are small because they don’t need to do so in order to go to the toilet. Because of this they often never accidentally discover how pleasurable it can be and might find it is something they want to learn in later life if they want to experience sexual pleasure alone or with a partner.

Quite a number of people can orgasm alone but really struggle when they are with somebody else. That is quite understandable. Orgasming involves letting go of control to some extent of our muscles, our facial expressions, our emotions, and so on. It can feel like quite a vulnerable thing to do in front of somebody else. Also it can be difficult to let somebody else know how we like to be touched in order to have an orgasm.

Finally, many people find that thoughts run through their head about non-sexual things which seem to get in the way of them having an orgasm. Relaxation exercises can help with this as can taking the pressure off having an orgasm by taking orgasms off the menu for a while. Paradoxically, the thing that makes it most difficult to get an orgasm is trying to have an orgasm, just as many people with insomnia find that trying to get to sleep is exactly the thing that stops them from sleeping.

If you can feel comfortable then the best thing is often to teach your partner how you like to be touched, by showing them yourself, by telling them, or by holding their hand or body whilst they touch you. If your aim is to have an orgasm whilst having genital sex with the other person, then you could start by touching yourself to orgasm, then get them to do it, then get close to orgasm by touching and then have penetration, and finally, after trying all of these for a time, you might be able to have an orgasm through genital contact.

Remember that the majority of women need their clitoris externally stimulated in order to have an orgasm (e.g. by hands or a vibrator). Also that there are many different sexual positions and activities which can make orgasm more or less easy.

Also check out the sex tips, elsewhere on the website, which are useful more generally.

Advertisements