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Why Don’t I Have An Orgasm?

By Em Allen on January 30, 2014 in

Picture: Felicity Bean

Picture: Felicity Bean

Until I started my practice as a sex therapist, I did not realise that there are many women who have never been able to have an orgasm. They are mostly older women who grew up in a time where the word orgasm was only whispered, or not talked about at all. It was most certainly not like today, where the media, especially women’s magazines, keep writing articles about mind-blowing orgasms and how to achieve them.

One of my clients, now in her forties and newly divorced, felt that it was time to find out what the fuss is all about and gain some more knowledge before she starts dating again. Experiencing an orgasm is not always easy for a woman, unlike most men who can usually climax without difficulty at all.

Most young females learn how to reach an orgasm for the first time through masturbation. Like my client, there are many women who don’t have an orgasm until later in life, often because they were inexperienced and/or received little sex education. Masturbation is important to help a woman discover her body and find out what she likes. She is responsible for her own orgasm and by knowing her body and what excites her, she will be better equipped to communicate that to her partner.

There are big, strong ‘wow’ climaxes, barely noticeable ones, and everything else in between. Women often describe feelings of ecstasy, euphoria and intense pleasure for several minutes afterward. However, in most cases an orgasm feels like a definite ‘event’, and that’s why I tell my clients: “When you have one, you know it”.

Another client who came to see me was a woman in her twenties who had no problem achieving an orgasm on her own. She met a guy she really liked and had a great relationship with him, but he claimed she was the only girlfriend he’d ever had sex with who did not ‘come’ when they had intercourse. Was something wrong with her?

Some men believe they are great lovers and they see it as a personal challenge to make their lovers climax, then they’re left very disappointed if they don’t. The problem is that most people don’t know that only to 20 to 25 percent of women can achieve an orgasm by penetrative sex alone. It’s no surprise then that many women believe that ‘faking it’ is an easy way to keep their partner happy.

So what makes it easier for women to have an orgasm with a partner? A woman who is comfortable touching her own body is more likely to know what feels good for her. The majority of women need clitoral stimulation to climax, which can be achieved by the touching, rubbing, caressing or pressing of the clitoris by their partner’s fingers or their own. Use of a vibrator or oral sex is another highly pleasurable way because of the direct focus on the clitoris.

And for couples that are searching for that elusive orgasm, the most important thing is to communicate and focus on each other’s pleasure and to appreciate that it is not always necessary for sex to end with an orgasm!