“I have never had an orgasm”.
Every day I hear these words from women sitting in my office. They range in age from 18-65. They’re married, single, professionals, mothers, educated, from a variety of cultural backgrounds and religions.
I have never heard these words from men.
And it’s not surprising.
Equality has come a long way, but it hasn’t bridged the orgasm gap in which men are still twice as likely to climax during sex as women.
According to the latest research, 30% of women struggle to reach orgasm on a regular basis, although therapists believe this number could be higher. 1 in 10 sexually active women have never had an orgasm.
*Stephanie is like many of my clients.
She’s 33 and has been with her partner for 10 years. She wants to start a family this year. But she feels like something is missing.
She no longer enjoys or wants to engage in sex.
While loss of desire is common for some women who’ve been in a relationship for a decade, a few enquires with Stephanie reveal why this is the case for her.
She has never had an orgasm.
She mentioned it to her partner once, but they haven’t discussed it again since.
She used to enjoy sex, but could never quite get herself ‘over the edge’ and over time, they both stopped trying. Foreplay seemed like a waste of time and had became non-existent. Sex became about her partner getting his needs met. She thought about getting a vibrator for herself once, but felt anxious, and feared it wouldn’t work anyway.
Orgasm isn’t necessarily the measurement of great sex. You can still have a magical sexual encounter without that kind of ‘ending’.
However, it can be incredibly frustrating for women who want to reach orgasm and can’t.
There are still many misunderstandings and preconceived notions about how women’s bodies work and how their needs are different to that of men. In Stephanie’s case, and with many other clients I’ve worked with, we begin with education - and then move onto practical tools and suggestions for her to practice.
With the right knowledge and tools, most women can learn to reach orgasm - leading to greater sexual satisfaction for them and their partners.
Here are 5 ways you can increase your chance of having an orgasm tonight.
1. Build anticipation throughout the day
Get your sexual energy flowing and cultivate sexual desire by building your anticipation of sex throughout the day.
Research shows that women who send their partners suggestive text messages throughout the day or wear sexy lingerie in anticipation of sex have an increased chance of reaching orgasm. Tease him or let him tease you with suggestive conversation.
2. Engage in longer foreplay
One of the most common reasons women fail to reach orgasm is that they don’t spend enough time in foreplay.
Women’s bodies go through complex changes to prepare for sex. These changes help us avoid pain during sex, increase our pleasure and our chance of reaching orgasm.
We need to lubricate, the erectile tissue in our genitals needs time to fill with blood and engorge so that we become more sensitive and the muscles that hold the uterus in place need to contract, deepening the vaginal canal.
These changes take about 15 minutes to fully occur. This means we need about 15 minutes of foreplay to be thoroughly prepared for sex.
Research shows that if oral sex, genital stimulation and deep kissing are included during foreplay, our chances of reaching orgasm are further increased.
3. Boost your relationship satisfaction
Higher relationship satisfaction is linked to higher sexual satisfaction and higher rates of orgasm. What better reason is there to work on your relationship and intimate connection?
Spend time together, bring back date night, talk about the important issues, do the things that show each other you care.
4. Open sexual communication with your partner
Good sexual communication increases our chance of reaching orgasm.
Every woman is unique and different and what we need to reach orgasm is different. What we want changes day to day. It’s important we communicate our needs.
Good sexual communication includes being able to ask for what we want, engaging in loving ‘pillow talk’ and also giving positive feedback to our partner on what they’re doing right.
5. Include direct clitoral stimulation
There is a common but incorrect belief that women should be able to reach orgasm through penetration sex alone. This just isn’t the case for many women.
Many women require direct clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm.
Freud’s concept of mature and immature orgasms just doesn’t stand up to scientific research. There is no better way or right way to orgasm - it’s just a matter of understanding what works for each woman.
Use your fingers, try a position that gets maximum pressure on the clitoris or use a vibrator for your clitoris during penetration sex to help take you over the edge.
Isiah McKimmie is a Couples Therapist, Sexologist and Sex Therapist who has been helping women and couples discover deeper pleasure, intimacy and desire for over a decade. Find out more and download her valuable free resources at www.isiah-mckimmie.com