Orgasms, whether they’re the solo kind or they happen with a partner, are pretty awesome. Not only do they feel great, but they can also alleviate stress, boost your immune system and help you sleep, among other potential benefits.
Sharing all that awesomeness with a sexual partner in the form of a simultaneous orgasm ― i.e., both partners orgasming at the same time ― can be an intimate experience that leaves the two of you feeling extra connected.
But before you embark on this sexual quest, know that the simultaneous orgasm can be difficult to attain. So if you haven’t had one yet (or ever), don’t sweat it.
“Most people think that they’re supposed to orgasm at the same time because that’s the only way we see orgasm on TV and in the movies,” sex therapist Vanessa Marin told HuffPost. “But orgasm is such a personal process, and we all have unique timelines. If you try to orgasm at the same time, you’re always going to have one person who is trying to hurry up and one person who is trying to slow down. Both partners feel like they’re doing something wrong.”
That said, if the simultaneous orgasm is something you and your partner want to try, go for it. But it might help if you’re equipped with some practical advice first. We asked sex therapists and sex educators to share their tips below:
1. First, figure out what really turns you on. Then embrace it.
We all have different sexual preferences and desires: One person’s turn-off is another person’s turn-on. If you want a satisfying sex life, you first need to determine what helps bring you closer to the Big O ― a certain sex toy, dirty talk, watching porn ― so you can relay that information to your partner.
“By knowing yourself sexually and not being shy about what you are into and comfortable with, you are more likely to feel confident communicating your sexual needs to your partner,” psychologist and sex therapist Janet Brito said. “Being sexually confident will help you feel more courageous to experiment with various positions, too, ones that could help you align your and your partner’s erogenous zones.”
One easy way to increase your sexual self-knowledge? Experiment with masturbation, said sex educator Chris Maxwell Rose.
“It helps if both of you have a fluency in your own pleasure,” she said. “Many of us are far from fluent, so get masturbating and pay attention to how your body builds arousal.”
2. Communicate what you need to your partner before, during and after sex.
Expecting your partner to read your mind is a recipe for lackluster sex. You should feel empowered to share with your partner what specific things help you orgasm and vice versa. Then, in the heat of the moment, you can let each other know how close (or far) you are from getting there, so you can try to sync up.
“If you want to orgasm together, communicating where you are in relation to your orgasm can definitely help,” said Jesse Kahn, director and sex therapist at the Gender & Sexuality Therapy Collective. “If you’re close, but your partner isn’t, maybe slow down stimulation on your body for a bit while focusing on stimulating your partner’s body, and then return to whatever activities you enjoy that stimulate both of your bodies.”
3. Take turns warming each other up.
No one likes a selfish lover. The best sexual experiences are enjoyable for both partners because each one is committed to the other’s pleasure.
“Once you have mapped your own arousal, you have a lot to learn about any new partner’s body and how they work,” Maxwell Rose said. “Communication is key, of course, but so is lots of time paying attention to one another, taking turns giving and receiving lots of massage, touch, oral sex, hand sex and toy play.”
Taking turns is necessary for mutually gratifying sexual relationships, Brito said.
“Focus on knowing each other’s pleasure zones and focus on mindfully touching each other,” she said. “Once you both are on the same page, let each other know what you both need to let go and have an orgasm together.”
4. Make eye contact.
Eye contact during sex is a form of non-verbal communication that can keep the two of you on the same page. You don’t need to stare unblinkingly into each other’s eyes the entire time (that would be scary); just locking eyes on and off can help you stay connected.
“Eye gazing is highly erotic and can also sync up your breathing for more arousal and a stronger release,” psychologist and sex therapist Shannon Chavez said.
5. Pace yourselves using slow and steady stimulation.
If one partner usually orgasms first, try to take things slowly so they don’t get overstimulated too soon.
“If you find that you are likely to have an orgasm before your partner, slow down and communicate to your partner that you need to take a breather or change positions,” Brito said. “Switch gears and concentrate on your partner. Relish in the moment, and once your partner is about to reach an orgasm, join them again, and help each other to satisfactorily finish.”
Remember that you don’t need to race to the finish line. Just take your time and enjoy the buildup.
“Slow buildups of erotic energy from pleasuring each other are going to lead to orgasm,” Chavez added.
6. Throw in some sex toys.
Get in touch with your playful side by incorporating sex toys into the mix. If you enjoy clitoral stimulation ― something 37 percent of women can’t orgasm without ― a vibrator can be a very handy erotic tool.
“Using a vibrator or your hands while being penetrated can help you orgasm at the same time as your partner during penetrative sex,” Kahn said. “You can momentarily stop penetration to get your vibrator or have your vibrator right by you.”
Sex toys aren’t just for women (or people possessing genitalia traditionally understood as female); there are options for every kind of body. Take the cock ring, for example.
“A cock ring can delay orgasm by constricting blood flow to the genitals so you can get closer to orgasming with a partner who needs more time than you,” said Andrea Glik, a psychotherapist at The Gender & Sexuality Therapy Collective.
7. Try not to overthink it.
Focusing on the singular goal of having a simultaneous orgasm can actually be counterproductive because it takes you out of the moment, adding undue pressure and stress to what should be a fun experience.
“Often when a person is unable to orgasm, it’s because there’s some sort of inhibitor getting in the way: feeling anxious, feeling hopeless, thinking too much about whether or not it’s going to happen,” sex therapist Ian Kerner told HuffPost.
Try to breathe deeply so you can find pleasure in the experience, whether your orgasms happen in sync or not.
“Don’t make it a goal or think about it too much. Focus on relaxing your body and feeling comfortable with your partner,” Chavez said. “Have fun and don’t make it feel like work. Let go of expectations and focus on being present and engaged with your pleasure and your partner’s experience of pleasure.”