The bad news is: Most women aren’t reaching orgasm every time they have sex or foreplay. The good news? There’s a solution for that.
If you have never, ever experienced an orgasm — either with a partner or alone — take comfort in the fact that you’re not alone — not by a long shot. Only one-third of women achieve orgasm regularly during sexual intercourse. A third reach orgasm during oral or manual sex but never via intercourse and another third can orgasm during sex, but need a little manual stimulation on the clitoris to kick things into overdrive.
It doesn’t matter how we orgasm — the important thing is that we simply orgasm — for no other reason than because it feels insanely good and can bring us closer to our partners. Since it’s impossible to solve a problem without knowing what is causing it, relationship and sex experts weighed in with seven reasons women are having trouble achieving orgasm.
1. We’re not learning on our own and we expect our partners to “just figure it out”
A lot of women feel uncomfortable with masturbation, according to sex therapist Vanessa Marin, but if you haven’t figured out for yourself what works for you, how can anyone else be expected to magically please you? “Some have been socialized to believe that masturbation is ‘gross’ or ‘wrong.’ Others wish their partners could just figure it out. When I work with a new client, my first step is to help her recognize that learning how to masturbate can be a ton of fun! It’s sexy, it’s empowering, and it feels wonderful. I usually recommend trying to masturbate twice a week, for about 20-30 minutes.”
2. We’re not giving ourselves enough time
“Women take 20 minutes on average to reach orgasm, but most women give up if they haven’t orgasmed in one or two minutes,” Marin said. “A lot of women have a hard time allowing themselves to be the center of attention and take up time. A great way to help yourself get more comfortable is to come up with a way to remind yourself in the moment that it’s okay to take your time. It might be a statement as simple as, ‘I want to give my body what it needs.'”
3. We don’t feel good about our bodies
Studies have directly tied a woman’s level of comfort with her body with her ability to orgasm. “I like to tell my clients that learning how to orgasm can be amazing motivation for improving your relationship with your body,” Marin said.
4. Our minds wander
Women’s minds often begin analyzing whether or not they will achieve orgasm when the intensity of sensations in the vagina start building, said Sex Technique Modifier Jacqui Olliver, which we all know only prevents us from achieving orgasm. “Because the mind can only focus on one task at a time (and is easily distracted) ask your partner to file their fingernails, shower and clean their teeth,” Olliver said. “You want to be able to relax and enjoy your partner’s actions to be able to achieve orgasm.”
5. Our partners suffer from sex problems
Our inability to achieve orgasm is not 100 percent our fault. Over 33 percent of the adult male population suffer from problems like pre-ejaculation and/or erectile dysfunction, Olliver said. “Tell your man how important sex is to you and how much you want both of you to be able to enjoy intercourse. You can also tell him that it’s a deal breaker for you. Many men procrastinate about getting help for these problems and may not seek help without a good push from you.”
6. Our partners watch too many pornos
Not, literally, though that may be part of the problem, as well. “Many men get their sex education from watching porn and therefore change positions too frequently to allow a woman to get into a good rhythm mentally and physically,” Olliver said. “Tell your man you prefer to use only two positions during intercourse so you can build a good rhythm to orgasm. Achieving orgasm isn’t about your sexual position, it’s about how you focus your attention mentally and physically during sex.”
7. We feel stressed out
Never underestimate the power of stress to drag your sex life six feet under. “Stress is a mental distraction,” said sexpert Taylor Stokes of Free Your V. “It is hard to focus on pleasure when you’re worried about your morning meeting! But stress also causes a physical response: stress hormones tend to take priority in the body, so if a woman is particularly stressed she may be unable to become aroused. Stress cannot be cured overnight. But your partner can try giving you an erotic massage during foreplay to help release endorphins and combat the body’s stress response.”
Here’s to better sex — and more (more, more) orgasms.