Being unable to orgasm is given the scary medical term of Anorgasmia, but we prefer to use “pre-orgasmic” instead – a more proper definition and much more positive! Anorgasmia may sound like something our of a Woody Allen film, but the inability (or seeming inability) to orgasm effects millions of women.
The most important thing is to know you are not alone. From magazines and movies, it may seem like everyone else is multi-orgasmic and having super-easy, wall to wall orgasms, but this honestly isn’t the case.
There’s all sorts of statistics bandied. 10% of women say they’ve never had an orgasm, from any kind of stimulation. We’d probably put this higher.
Around 70-80% of women don’t orgasm through intercourse alone.
The second thing to note is that whilst we have a word for it, it’s actually really difficult to describe what an orgasm feels like and it is certainly not a universal shared sensation- far from it! We’re all unique and that goes for the kind of stimulation we like and how our body responds to it. Orgasm can vary from little peaks to crashing crescendos to a warm envelopment of satisfaction.
Satisfaction is the key word here.
However hard it maybe, it is best to take the focus off orgasm and put it onto pleasure, because pursuing orgasm as if it is the Holy Grail actually creates further problems, as disappointment is followed by frustration, lack of self esteem, lack of enthusiasm for sex and tension.
All these feelings that won’t help you to feel aroused and in that ready-to-orgasm state of relaxation in the first place!
The reality is that however much you may feel like you cannot reach climax, for the vast majority of women, learning to orgasm will be possible. But how?
Every year we advise 100’s of women who’ve told us they’ve never had an orgasm…
(And often they’ve come back to the store, beaming or written to us to tell us they now have!)
Masturbation is the key, because the full definition of Anorgasmia is the ‘inability to orgasm without adequate stimulation‘
We will always recommend pre-orgasmic women to get a vibrator. The intense stimulation that a vibrator delivers has helped thousands of women “get off” for the first time. We will talk through the different options and discuss how to choose a vibrator that suits them.
It can take a long time to get the ‘adequate’ stimulation to orgasm. and again every women is different. The average is said to be somewhere between 15-40 minutes – a wide window that’s only an an average, which means a lots of women take a lot longer!
Hands can tire (and minds can wander…) which is why the sustained stimulation of a vibrator can help.
Stressing about ‘taking too long’ is one of the most common barriers to orgasm. Over stimulation, where your clitoris either becomes too sensitive to be touched or actually feels numb is another.
Physical/practical pre-orgasmic questions to ask yourself:
- Do I know where my erogenous zones like the clitoris and my G-Spot are? Do I know which bits of myself do I most like being stimulated, which what kind of intensity and for how long…?
- Am I worried about letting go in case I pee? Many women stop themselves orgasming because of this. As you become aroused , but it could be the onset of female ejaculation.
- Have I ever tried exercising my PC Muscle? Learning to rhythmically squeeze this muscle can help women learn to orgasm
- Do I tense up when near orgasm? – Many women do, but learning to breath deeply, rather than taking shallow breaths can help.
- What would make me feel more relaxed when I’m masturbating or having sex?
We will also recommend a bottle of lube. 9/10 women say lube makes sex better. Making everything super wet downstairs feels incredibly sensual, as well as heightening sensations and ensuring it stays that way for as long as you need…
Along with lots of unpressured ‘me-time’ with their lube and vibrator ( ensuring no chance of interruptions and with the shower or music on, if worried about neighbours or family hearing…) the other thing we’ll recommend is to fantasise.
Learning to ‘be in the moment’ is key to female orgasm and fantasising is a great way making your mind be on sex ( rather than worries or distractions) which can help tip you over the edge.
My Secret Garden is a ground-breaking collection of women’s fantasies and we’ll often recommend this book also because it covers every kind of fantasy your could ever thing of, plus a lot more, so it’s a great resource for fantasy-material.
Reading other women’s deepest desires and wild imaginings can also be incredibly liberating.
Note: If you’ve suffered any sexual assault. it does contain fantasies that could be triggers. In this instance, we’d always urge women to get help by contacting rape support.
In a world that teaches women to be the ‘givers’ rather than the ‘receivers’, that has been ignorant of female pleasure and anatomy for so long and where the taboo of female masturbation is still rife, our focus and expertise is on the physicality of learning to orgasm.
And physically giving yourself a break from a single-minded quest for orgasm, whilst putting yourself on a dedicated journey of self-pleasure is the best first step, which has worked for the many many women we’ve advised…
But there could also be environmental, psychological or medical factors that play a part, so…
Other questions to explore if you’re unable to orgasm;
- Do I feel guilty about sex or have any negative feelings or attitudes towards sex?
- Do I have a problem with my relationship – unresolved issues or dissatisfaction? Do I like the kind of sex I’m having with my partner? Do I feel embarrassed or nervous about what I’d like in case of rejection?
- Have I got unresolved issues stemming from abuse or trauma?
- Am I taking medication, using recreational drugs or perhaps drinking too much? These may make lubrication more difficult or may interfere with arousal and ability to orgasm.
- Have I been affected by any surgery, trauma or illness that may have altered my physical responses?
- Am I the sort of person who always needs to be in control? Am I afraid of losing control?
If you think any of these issues maybe at the core of being unable to orgasm, it maybe time to consult your doctor or get professional counseling.
Check out Net Doctor: Who to Contact for Sex Therapy.
Another good post from Net Doctor is: Are You Having Trouble Reaching Orgasm; A Guide for Women