Difficulties with Orgasm

Everyone has their own idea of what “good sex” is.  Everyone experiences sex and their own sexuality in unique ways.  How you think about “good sex” has a lot to do with what you’ve learned about it, how your society or culture sees it, and what value you place on it as a part of your life.

Orgasm is often seen as the goal to reach during a sexual encounter.  For some women this happens easily.  For other women, orgasm is more elusive.  It’s important to consider that this becomes a problem for a woman only if she truly sees it as a problem.

If it is a problem, there are many factors to consider – it’s not always just a “medical” issue.  Ask yourself if you need more information about your own sexual arousal.  Some women have learned to feel embarrassed or ashamed about exploring and touching their own bodies.  A woman can learn a lot about her own sexual pleasure (and explaining it to a partner) by exploring her own body and/or masturbating. 

Sexual, physical or emotional abuse (past or present) can cause problems with experiencing sexual pleasure and/or orgasm.  Sexual arousal may bring up memories of the abuse, feelings of fear, flashbacks, lack of sensations and/or sexual arousal.  Resolving these issues will likely require the help of a qualified counselor. 

If abuse is not an issue, consider that there are many things that affect a person’s interest in sex and their ability to become aroused and have an orgasm.  Things that can get in the way of orgasm during sex with a partner include:

  • We don’t notice or we misunderstand what is happening in our body as we get aroused.
  • We are too busy thinking about how to do it right, why it doesn’t go well for us, what our lover thinks of us, whether our lover is impatient, whether our lover can last …
  • We are afraid of asking too much and seeming too demanding.
  • We are afraid that if our lover thinks about our pleasure, we will feel pressure to come and we won’t be able to – and then we don’t.
  • We are trying to have our orgasm at the same time that our partner comes – doesn’t happen most of the time.
  • We are angry with our sexual partner.
  • We feel guilty about having sex and can’t let ourselves enjoy it.
  • We, or our partner, think that women should have an orgasm with penetration (intercourse – penis in the vagina) and it’s not working.
  • We have fallen into a pattern of “faking” orgasm to please a partner or to get it over with.

Difficulties with sex may also be a signal that something needs to change in another part of the relationship.  Media still promotes a romantic notion that sex should just “happen” without discussion or planning.  You might think there is something wrong when, in reality, you and your partner may just need to learn how to talk to each other about your sexual relationship.