Q: My boyfriend and I have been together for almost a year. Every time we have sex I can’t climax. Is it physical or mental? PLEASE HELP.
A: Great question! First thing we always recommend is ruling out any medical reasons why this could be happening. For example, medication side effects can cause problems with achieving an orgasm. After ruling out any medical reasons, next question is can you have an orgasm through masturbation? It’s common for women to be able to achieve an orgasm through masturbation but not through vaginal intercourse or through stimulation by their partner. This makes sense since we know how to touch our body in ways that drive us wild. We know the right places, timing, pressure, sensation, etc. needed to reach an orgasm. However, our partners don’t have that same insight or feedback, thus they are often “in the dark”, so to speak.
Many women feel uncomfortable openly asserting their sexual needs and wants. However, this is critically important. You need to teach your partner how your body works and what it takes to reach an orgasm. Try physically showing your partner how you like to be touched and what you do when you masturbate. You can make this fun “education” part of foreplay since many men love to watch women masturbate. Or you can show him while you both are engaged in a sexual activity.
And remember, approximately 70% of women need some kind of clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm, even during penetrative intercourse! So, you can try using a toy or his or your hand to give you clitoral pleasure during intercourse. With this added stimulation, you may be able to reach orgasm during intercourse. Some women love both sensations.
There can be many other reasons why this could be happening. For example, some women have not really given themselves permission to receive pleasure and thus, they feel guilty when they do. Some women may feel an obligation or duty to have sex with their partner which makes having an orgasm difficult. Also, relationship conflicts or anger/resentment toward your partner can interfere with achieving an orgasm. Rushing into intercourse without taking the time to get fully aroused can be another reason. Being distracted by your thoughts or worrying about performance can create problems with achieving an orgasm. Taking medications such as antidepressants can inhibit the ability to have an orgasm. And lastly, feeling pressured to have an orgasm or “trying” too hard to achieve one can also create a problem.
So, as you can see there are many possible reasons why this could be happening. You may want to check out the book, Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women by Julia Heiman and Joseph LoPiccolo. This book provides a program designed to help women overcome the myriad obstacles to complete sexual satisfaction. If the problem persists after trying some of the things mentioned here, then we recommend consulting a sex therapist in your area. You can find a sex therapist at AASECT.org or The American Board of Sexology. Hope this helps!
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