If you’re having trouble orgasming, don’t give up. Although porn tries to tell us otherwise, not everyone has an orgasm every time they have sex. However, knowing it’s a common occurrence doesn’t make it feel any better when you’re the one dealing with the fallout.
Everyone deserves a satisfying sex life, and we’re here to help you find even more sexual pleasure in the bedroom (or wherever you may choose to be intimate).
What Causes Orgasmic Dysfunction (Anorgasmia)?
Orgasmic dysfunction, known medically as anorgasmia, can show up in various ways—delayed orgasms, delayed ejaculation, infrequent orgasms, subpar orgasms, or even inability to reach orgasm.
Unfortunately, there’s not a single cause to point your finger at if you’re having trouble orgasming. In most cases, the source of orgasmic sexual dysfunction is a combination of physical and emotional factors.
For example, struggles with intimacy in your relationship like mismatched sex drives can contribute to not being able to reach orgasm, as can the side effects of certain medications (such as antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, aka SSRIs) or health conditions. That’s why approaching treatment needs to include both the physical and the emotional, like seeking marital therapy or sex therapy.
Some people may have trouble orgasming because they haven’t taken the time to explore their bodies or gotten to know their sexual response. We’ll get more into that in a moment.
Find More Pleasure Through Your Erogenous Zones
One of the best ways to approach learning more about what you like and what brings you pleasure is to explore yourself physically. The entire body has potential erogenous zones, so don’t be afraid to take the time to be thorough.
You may find an unconventional spot that drives you wild, like the back of your neck or ear lobes! Here are a few more common erogenous zones to start your journey.
The obvious place to start is with your clitoris. The clitoris is much larger and more impressive than you may know, and the magic button you can see on the outside is only the tip of the iceberg. The internal portion of the clitoris may be up to five inches long and is similar in shape to a wishbone.
Experiment with different ways of touching your clitoris with your fingers. Use gentle pressure, then try a firmer touch. Vary the pattern of clitoral stimulation and how you’re lying (try positioning yourself on your back, stomach, or side) and see what feels the best.
If you’re feeling a little more adventurous, try exploring to see if you can find your G-spot. You’ll need a little flexibility and a lot of lube, as it’s located a few inches inside your vagina (toward the front of your body).
It may be difficult to feel with just your fingers, so don’t be afraid to explore with your partner or try a toy specifically designed for G-spot stimulation. If you're interested in trying, the G-spot is also the key to female ejaculation, but that’s not likely to happen the first time you try it—practice makes perfect, after all.
Although not nearly as common as clitoral orgasms, some people can reach climax through nipple stimulation alone. However, even though you may not be able to have an orgasm by just stimulating your nipples, nipple play can help increase your arousal enough that other forms of stimulation will be more effective. Try gently brushing your fingertips against them and then pinching them harder.
Masturbate With Toys and Vibrators
While we strongly urge you to explore your body with your hands first, sex toys (like dildos and vibrators) can also help you reach orgasm during masturbation. You don’t want to rely on them every time, but using them to find out what type of stimulation arouses you the most is super beneficial.
Try toys one at a time, externally or internally, to supplement exploring your other erogenous zones by hand. If it’s your first time using sex toys, just make sure you don’t use silicone sex toys with silicone-based lube. You’ll also want to clean them thoroughly before putting them away. There are many toys to choose from, including oral sex simulators with a sucking function!
Try an Arousal Oil or Lube
An arousal oil like Awaken Arousal Oil can help increase your sensation, making it easier for you to get off. When you massage the oil into the inner labia, clitoris, and the entrance to the vagina and wait a few minutes (usually anywhere from five to 30 minutes), you’ll notice that everything starts to feel heightened. Start small and see how your body responds.
It can also take time to get there, especially if you’re putting pressure on yourself. Don’t let your natural lubrication dictate the time you spend exploring yourself. Help supplement your solo sex time by using a long-lasting lube like Foria Intimacy Sex Oil so that you can keep going for as long as it takes.
Does Mental Health Affect Orgasm?
Dealing with trouble orgasming can’t leave out the mental component, as your brain is your largest erogenous zone. It doesn’t matter how turned on you are if your mind isn’t in it. Let’s look at how mental health can impact your ability to reach orgasm regularly.
Is Your Anxiety High?
Anxiety can impact you both physically and mentally. Even people with a diagnosed anxiety disorder can struggle with stress, putting the body immediately into a fight-or-flight response. When you’re living in fight-or-flight, your body focuses on keeping you alive, leaving very little energy for things like sexual arousal.
If you’re experiencing a lot of anxiety, you may want to take a step back to evaluate what you can do to reduce it. Are you struggling with body image or feel stuck in your head? Are you noticing any triggers while being sexual?
See a doctor, schedule an appointment with a sex therapist, or talk to your partner about what’s bothering you—get it off your chest so you can find a way to get back to being intimate with your partner.
Are You Censoring Your Sound?
It’s impossible to get rid of all the sounds while trying to have sex with your partner. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t minimize at least some of them before getting naked. If you find it impossible to stop paying attention to sounds like your kids or pets, find a babysitter or pet sitter and consider booking a night at a local hotel.
If you find yourself censoring your own moans of pleasure, unpack it. What’s keeping you from using your voice? Vocally letting your pleasure out can heighten your senses and keep you present in the moment. Plus, it will indicate to your partner (if you’re playing with one) what is and isn’t working.
Are You Engaging in Foreplay?
Foreplay isn’t just physically helpful; it also mentally gets you in the game. If you skip over it to get down to business, you miss out on an essential step in the journey toward orgasm. Foreplay also reminds you that your partner cares enough about you to ensure you’re all the way turned on.
Spend plenty of time checking in on your arousal cycle and if your mind is in the right place before moving on to penetration—or just stick with oral! Sex doesn’t always have to mean penetration—and that bears repeating.
If you’re having trouble orgasming, please know that you’re not alone. Everyone struggles with orgasming from time to time, but don’t give up. When you know more about what physical and emotional hurdles you need to overcome, you can take the necessary steps to get back to getting off as often as possible.
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