It’s a sad fact that female orgasms are way more complex than the average male’s ‘keep thrusting and something will happe… OH THERE I GO’ simplicity. Only 10% of the female population are clinically unable to come, so if you’re having trouble and it’s driving you up the (sex) wall, it’s probably down to one of these highly solvable reasons:
1. You’re not telling him what you want
A vagina isn’t just an inside-out penis. In fact, only 15-20% of women can come through P in V alone – while your G-spot is pretty sensitive, the clitoris is often the only surefire orgasm provider. Tragically, guys have grown up seeing porn stars explode at the mere sight of a penis, so don't lie back and hope he’ll figure it all out himself because, erm, he won’t. ‘Today, it feels like people are treating sex like going to the doctors – a sort of ‘OK so I don’t know what’s going on, but I hope you’ll be able to do something’ mentality,’ says Dr Gary Wood, clinical psychologist. ‘Communication is really important and, while it can be difficult, keep it flirty. Make it fun. Don’t sit them down and hand them an Excel spreadsheet of instructions.’ Yep, you’re going to have to guide him to the hotspot. No, really, take his hand and show him. Point at it. Stick a post-it note just above it. Literally, anything.
2. You’ve got no idea what YOU want
‘If you don’t know what you want, you’re not going to get there,’’ says Dr. Helen Nightingale, cognitive behavioural psychologist. ‘Masturbating to orgasm shows you what you’re capable of, and then you can start involving your partner.’ Google some techniques, read a hot book, watch some porn, fantasize about four gnomes ravishing you on a toadstool (whatever gets you going) but be prepared to give feedback to your sex partner the next time you’re both up for it (see above). Time to clear your calendar, turn off your iPhone and get busy.
3. You’re overthinking it
Whether being chased by a bear or stressing out about whether you’ll get an orgasm or not, all your body hears is ‘I’M STRESSED, TIME TO PANIC NOW’. ‘When your body’s in fight or flight mode, you’re not going to get a result. Your breathing will be shallower, your muscles more tense… you won’t be having great sex,’ explains Dr. Wood. ‘You need to take the emphasis off performance, stop the obsession with having an orgasm, and just enjoy exploring each other’s bodies.’ Next time you’re getting down to it, don’t aim to come, just aim to make each other feel good. The average woman needs 20 minutes of foreplay (emotional and physical: so, in the form of compliments, kissing, touching etc) followed by 20 minutes of constant sexual contact with the clitoris before there’s any hope of coming. See, you’re not weird,
you’re just all tense. Relaaaaax.
4. There’s pressure (and not the good kind)
If your shag-partner sees the big O as the be-all and end-all, this puts added pressure on you to come. Added pressure equals stress, and stress equals a reduced chance of climaxing. ‘You need to communicate and, rather than planning sex like some sort of military operation, decide to enjoy the moment rather than worrying about whether one of your is going to come,’ says Dr. Wood. Dr. Nightingale agrees: ‘I’d really urge anyone feeling the pressure to try tantric sex. It’s erotic, exciting and all about the anticipation, rather than the final result,’ she says.
There is loads of info online about tantric sex (and, erm, Sting wrote a book about it) to get you going.
5. You just don’t feel sexy
‘The term ‘low self esteem’ is bandied about quite a lot these days, but if you’re having negative thoughts and preoccupied with other things, then you’re not going to be having good sex,’ says Dr. Nightingale. In these cases, don’t opt for the amateur dramatics (i.e. faking it). ‘Women are still faking orgasms at a very high level because they want to be perceived as having a good time; if you don’t feel good, look outside the bedroom. Sexual achievement is about 75% head stuff and 25% physical!’ Ask yourself why you don’t feel sexy – if there’s life stuff going on, then get it sorted. If it’s your partner making you feel bad, then re-evaluate why you’re shagging them on the regular.
6. He isn’t the one.
Alright, that’s a bit OTT, but if there are relationship problems then you’re going to be less likely to climax. ‘Maybe you shouldn’t be shagging that guy tonight – sex for the sake of sex rarely ends well,’ says Dr. Nightingale. ‘It’s all about the intimacy levels of the individual couple. If the attachment isn’t there, then the orgasms probably won’t be there either.’ It’s all about getting you into the right mindset and if you don’t feel comfortable with the person you’re having sex with, then you’ll find it really difficult to let go. Letting go = YES YES YES.
7. You’re on SSRIs (antidepressants)
Yeah these little pills may help prevent anxiety and depression, but they can also make orgasms a distant memory. While it’s still physically possible for you to reach climax, it’s going to take way more than a bit of a fiddle around; probably time to call in the big guns. As in, vibrators, not actual guns. ‘The more you masturbate to orgasm, the more you’ll be able to come.
Sex toys are a great way to get the ball rolling,’ Dr. Nightingale says. Dr Wood agrees: ‘Depression in and of itself can lower a person’s sex drive, but it doesn’t mean you can’t have an orgasm – it’ll require patience and it’s important that you don’t focus on the end result. Enjoy the journey.’