Waiting for the big O

Waiting for the big O


your avatar   Frustrated (33 year-old woman)

I've been married for 10 years now and my husband is the only man I've been and am intimate with. He can't bring me to orgasm. I masturbate quite a lot and it's only when I do that that I reach orgasm. My husband really tries to get me off but it just won't work. Help please!


    Robert W. Birch, Ph.D., ACS Certified Sexologist

About 30 years ago, as many as 25% of all women had never experienced an orgasm, and another 25% could only reach orgasm through self-masturbation. Those percentages have dropped significantly over the years, due in small part to an increase in sexuality research and to large part in women beginning to talk and write openly about their sexuality. Although the number of women who are now having problems reaching orgasm is relatively small, to be one of them can be very frustrating. There are multiple reasons why a woman has difficulty climaxing, and there are probably other reasons that have not been discovered. However, we know that anxiety can get in the way and that trying too hard can disrupt the flow. We know that women who need to stay in control in all aspects of their lives have trouble letting go. It is also true that a woman's inability to give her own personal directions handicaps the partner, but also a partner's inability to follow directions spells failure.

I'll start with some obvious comments, so bear with me. The clitoris is the part of a woman's genitals that specializes in pleasure. Vaginal stimulation might feel good, but without clitoral involvement, sensations within the vagina alone will typically be ineffective in triggering a climax. (There are always exceptions.) Many men and women assume that women should orgasm easily during penile-vaginal intercourse, but in most positions the clitoris is not being stimulated. Without this, an orgasm is unlikely. Current estimates suggest that up at least 65% of all women have never experienced an orgasm with vaginal stimulation alone. Of those who do, most have found ways to get their clitoris into the act. So, it is more common for women to orgasm with manual or oral stimulation than during intercourse.

Another obvious point must be made. As most women approach orgasm, their bodies begin to tense. This might be most apparent in the woman's pelvis and in her legs, but for some, it involves their total body. This "hypertonicity" as it is called is a normal and natural step in reaching the orgasmic conclusion. Some women do not understand this and stop themselves because they mistakenly believe that they are getting too tense. Some men do not understand and will stop, erroneously lecturing the woman on how she must relax in order to come. This hypertonicity is a good sign and, in most cases, the stimulation that has produced with will, if continued, lead the woman to orgasm.

Many women first learned about their orgasm through masturbation. This is the easiest way for many women to climax because they know exactly where and how to touch themselves and need not try to give directions. Also, during self-pleasuring there are no spectators, no expectation, no pressure and no fear of disappointing another person. Women who have never reached orgasm are encouraged to learn to masturbate so that they might begin to know their own sexual response and be in a better position, as a result, to instruct a lover. Some women have even been comfortable showing their partners how they bring themselves to orgasm.

It is not uncommon for a woman to first experience her full orgasmic potential with the use of a vibrator applied to her clitoris. This intense localized stimulation might be necessary for some women, but often once they begin having orgasms with a vibrator, the ability transfers to having orgasms in other ways. In addition, vibrators can be toys that are played with during foreplay with a partner and, in fact, can be used clitorally during intercourse.

Oral stimulation (cunnilingus) is often quite effective, but requires that the receiver be comfortable receiving and that the giver be enthusiastic in their giving. It is also best when the partners take turns, rather than using the "69" position. Sometimes it is hard to pat your head and rub your stomach at the same time! When it is the woman's turn to receive, she should be able to specialize in receiving the sensual pleasure of this oral gift. Oral stimulation accompanied by digital stimulation of the G-Spot works for a lot of women.

A woman must learn to experiment with how she tenses her body, how she breaths, and how she moves. Try fantasies to help staying focused or to push you over the top. Each woman is unique and one suggestion does not fit all. Magazine articles should be helpful, and most attempt to give women permission to be creative and to explore all of her options. There are also several books on the market, as well as a couple self-help videos for women wishing to learn how to orgasm.

My last general suggestions are to stay playful with or without an orgasm and to focus on the process of bonding with your partner and not on the goal of "getting off." Stay in your physical body and experience all the sensations without getting up into your head and worrying about coming. Finally, discover what you want and need and communicate it as clearly as possible to your partner.

Best wishes on your ultimate success.

Bob Birch

Robert W. Birch, Ph.D., is a retired sex therapist, now identifying himself as a sexologist and adult sexuality educator. He now devotes his time to writing educational and self-help books for adults.For more information visit: http://www.oralcaress.com/

For every negative thought you think, replace it with something positive.
"In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on."
Robert Frost
Remember, negative expectations create self-fulfilling prophecies.