Why Can’t I Orgasm During Sex?

February 15, 2016  |  

Corbis Images

Corbis Images

If you’ve ever questioned whether there’s something wrong with you because you struggle to orgasm during vaginal intercourse, we’re here to tell you that more than likely, it’s not. According to data collected in Cosmo’s 2015 Female Orgasm Survey, only 57 percent of women climax most or every time they have sex. There are many possible hurdles that may be holding you back from climaxing, and with the help or sex and relationship therapist Marissa Nelson, we’d like to help you overcome them.

To start, you should recognize that not every woman is wired to experience orgasms from vaginal intercourse alone.

“Women feel a lot of pressure to orgasm—especially intercourse-based orgasms. The facts are this: we have far more nerve endings in our anus and our clitoris than we do in our vagina,” Marissa explained. “So for most women, in order to receive an orgasm, they have to be manually stimulated or have the clitoris or G-spot stimulated in order to achieve orgasm.”

Does this mean you can’t have an orgasm during vaginal intercourse? Of course not! It just means that you or your partner are going to have to put forth a little more effort to get you across the finish line. First, if you don’t already masturbate, you should probably start.

“Women are going to have to take sexuality into their own hands,” encourages Marissa. “A lot of times, we believe that our partners are responsible for our sexual satisfaction—and that’s not true. They are a part of it, but they’re not responsible for it. We need to reclaim that and what that means is masturbation.”

Once you’ve given yourself enough time to masturbate and figure out what you like and how you want to be touched, it will make stimulating yourself (or having your partner stimulate you) during vaginal intercourse a lot easier.

“Discovering and knowing and being in touch with your sexual self, that is going to make it much easier to bring your partner in and tell them, ‘This is what I like. This is what I don’t like. This really feels great to me. This doesn’t.’ This helps your partner to be part of that experience with you. To understand your sexual self, you have to be able to play around with yourself and to know what feels right. A lot of women who talk about experiencing sexual issues with partners are actually able to have orgasms by themselves. There are things that feel good to them that they’re not doing during sex. I would recommend having your partner stimulate you as you’re having intercourse. As you’re being stimulated, you’re being more aroused, the walls of your vagina will then contract and for some people, that will trigger a vaginal orgasm. Some people will actually be able to have an orgasm while feeling their partner inside of them.”

Of course, there is a small percentage of women who can’t orgasm at all, but often times, underlying issues that can be overcome if adequately addressed cause this.

“There is about 10 or 15 percent of women who under no circumstance can orgasm. There are many issues related to that,” said Marissa. “It’s not just a blanket, ‘Oh, I can’t orgasm.’ There are layers underneath the research, which include vulnerability, whether or not this person feels she can be open with her sexual partner, trust, sexual trauma, stress levels, SSRIs; which are antidepressants, hormones, medication, and even birth control pills at times depending on which ones you’re taking. There are issues and layers that may inhibit sexual orgasms.”

If you happen to fall into this small percentage, don’t be discouraged. You should first speak to your gynecologist to rule out any medical issues. Once everything checks out medically, consulting with a sex therapist to get to the root of the problem is recommended.

About Marissa Nelson: After years of serving as one of Washington, D.C.’s premier couples and sex therapists, Marissa Nelson and her husband decided to pack their bags and move to the Bahamas. There, Nelson founded Intimacymoons Couples Retreats, which offers specialized training in emotionally focused couples therapy, relationship therapy, and sexual health. To learn more, visit www.intimacymoons.comwww.instagram.com/intimacymoons, or www.twitter.com/xoxotherapy.

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