Q&A: I don’t orgasm during penetration – what can I do?

Hi Sh!
I would like some advice if you can.
I do not have orgasm by penetration, but I  do by clitoral stimulation. The strength and pleasure of the orgasm is vastly increased by penetration. Is there anything I can do to improve vaginal sex? Can you help me?
Hello there,
Many thanks for your email – and we’ll certainly try! 🙂
This is one of the most common questions we get asked, and the good news is that there are several ways to increase pleasure and orgasm-potential during penetrative sex.
Around 75% of women need clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm. This means most of us need our magic beans rubbed in just the right way, or the climax won’t happen.
Having orgasms during penetration is absolutely possible, but takes a bit of work. It makes sense that your orgasms are more intense when the vagina has something to clench around – this is often the case.


Try positions that offer more clitoral contact. This could be the woman-on-top position, which lets your bump and grind in ways that feel good for you.


Another great position for this is the CAT-aligned, which is sensual and sexy. Your partner positions themselves on top (missionary position) but lifts themselves a bit higher on your body, making sure that they pubic bone grinds against your clitoris. Instead of thrusting, they then go on to treat you to a grinding, rubbing rollercoaster of pleasure, and you might find this takes you all the way to orgasm.


A small, non-intrusive vibrator can make all the difference.  A small bullet or finger tip vibe can be a fun addition, but if you prefer something hands-free, we recommend giving Satisfyer Partner a go.


This clever vibe has been designed to fit against the G-spot and the clitoris, whilst still allowing space for a penis or dildo to slip in too. It’s a bestseller in our shop, and we can see why: Satisfyer Partnet won the Red Dot Design Award last year!
At only £45, it won’t break the bank and as it’s fully waterproof, you can enjoy it in the bath or shower too.
Satisfyer Pro Partner

Pelvic Floor

A strong pelvic floor helps increase both the number and intensity of orgasms so make sure to practice your kegel exercises regularly.  If (like us) you find kegels too boring or you forget to do them, we have a great idea for making it more fun: do them whilst you masturbate!
Doing your squeezes whilst playing with your clit at the same time will likely result in an orgasm (win!) and a stronger pelvic floor too (double win!).
Using a pair of love balls adds to your exercise regime as well as adding pleasure for your G-spot. Which brings us neatly to…

G-spot Stimulation

The G-spot often plays a big part for those who enjoy vaginal orgasms. Located at the front wall of the inside of the vagina, it’s a rough-feeling area that grows in tandem with arousal.


By stimulating the clitoris and the G-spot simultaneously, you can go on to enjoy what is known as ‘blended orgasms’.  Rabbit vibrators do this job marvellously, but you can use fingers too. Or fingers on the clitoris, and a penis or dildo internally – there are many variations, so pick whichever suits you best.


Over time, you cut down on the clitoral stimulation, a couple of seconds at a time.  As you are about to climax, you stop stimulating the clitoris earlier and earlier but still carry on stimulating the G-spot firmly. Over time, you’ll learn how to have G-spot orgasms, or vaginal orgasms this way.


Enjoy your ‘homework’! 😉


Best Wishes,
Team Sh! xx



Ask Sarah: Sex, Orgasms and MS

Dear Sh!

I wanted to ask about orgasms please. I have multiple sclerosis – I’ve had it for 30 years and have been fine until maybe 2 years ago, when I started having problems with fatigue. It’s then I started having problems with (no) orgasms. I’m not asking for medical advice!

I tried to get NHS advice (they don’t want to talk / don’t have any useful ideas if they will talk). And I think your specialist knowledge might help me with orgasms. Hopefully!

Myself, I think the biggest problem is that I lost confidence. I was very tired (MS-related fatigue), lost a lot of weight (so muscle), and had MS-related problems with urinary and gastro-intestinal symptoms. And I was having my menopause!
I’ve sorted lots of this out myself: with breathing exercises for hot flushes; increased weight and aerobic exercise (so I’m not just bones now); and some – but I think probably not enough – pelvic floor exercises.
That leaves me with the lack of confidence. And no orgasms!
My (male) partner is keen for me to have orgasms.  I feel under pressure from him, as well as me.
Of course, I’ve bought lots of your lovely vibrators (and lube). And your shop staff are lovely.
But … I’m stuck. Having no orgasms.
Can you help?
I don’t take any special MS medicines (or anything else except some vitamins)
Yours hopefully,


Dear Amy,

From your letter it does sound like you have a good idea of what’s happened to your orgasm.

Any body changes can interrupt the way we orgasm, meaning we need to relearn what once may have felt natural.

Fatigue, loss of confidence and pressure to orgasm (both from yourself and your partner) will all impact your ability to climax.

You don’t say in your letter where you are with enjoying intimacy, sex or masturbation, aside from not being able to orgasm. Do you feeling a connection with your partner? Do you have fun, flirting and affection outside the bedroom? Do you feel desire for him? During sex do you feel arousal? Do you experience an increase of pleasure that maybe reaches a plateau? Thinking about these questions can help you identify blocks.

Regarding menopause, a fall in oestrogen and testosterone can mean your vagina loses some of its elasticity and ability to lubricate plus your sex drive can lower. You could talk to your GP about pills and cream that could help with this. And as you’ve already said you’re using lube.

You recognise in your email, mood and wellbeing can play a big part in your enjoyment of sex. If you are feeling low, exhausted, despondent or disconnected from your body this will affect you.

Orgasms are often about being able to let go, be in the moment and enjoy sensual stimulation.

Are there other stresses in your life? Are you able to enjoy time alone and with your boyfriend? Do you do activities where you’re able to laugh? Express yourself? All these can help.

When people get stuck at the plateau phase of arousal, where they feel a rise of pleasure that evens out and doesn’t end in climax, they try push on to towards orgasm. They stop when they feel too sensitive, lose arousal or feel frustrated because it’s taking too long.

I understand that not being able to climax can feel frustrating. Yet expecting it every time you are intimate with someone or masturbate can add pressure and chase it away. It’s important to not keep doing the same masturbation or sex routine because it can leave you feeling more helpless and disconnected from your body. As can throwing a random medley of toys at potions at the matter in the hope it will right itself.

When masturbating, taking time to explore and enjoy your body, thinking of fantasies – maybe reading erotica or watching something sexy, listing to music or mindfully concentrating on the sensations can help you reconnect with it. This is not to be goal oriented. Try and stay in the moment enjoying the sensations and experimenting with different strokes. You may like to experiment with toys but these should be bought in the spirit of fun and hope rather than feelings of sadness or desperation.

In time, if you feel a bit more connected, or if you find this exercise unhelpful, try and role-play an orgasm. Bit the pillow, thrash about, moan loudly and do your kegel exercises (our kegels spasm during orgasm). This will train your body and mind to know it’s OK to let go.

Becoming Orgasmic Book CoverI wonder why your partner is keen for you to have orgasms. Is it because he feels that your orgasm is proof he can perform? Is he concerned about your enjoyment? Does he feel sex isn’t sex without an orgasm? Whatever the reason, discussing together how you both feel about sex, empathising with what is said and coming up with ways to enjoy each other can help you to both feel closer. When you are being intimate with each other, try both communicating about what feels good – maybe with compliments or moans. Rather than carrying on until you have the punctuation of orgasm, indicate when stopping is ok.

A helpful book for both you and your partner is Becoming Orgasmic by Julia R Heiman and Joseph LoPiccolo. Please send any further questions to

Do let us know how you get on.

Best of luck,

SarahAsk Sarah - Sh! Sex & Relationship Therapist

All names have been changed for the purposes of anonymity.