This week our columnist Sharon Gordon explores orgasm or rather the lack of orgasm and the possible reasons for its evasion. We have been raised to believe that orgasm is the be all of the sexual response. Gordon discusses ways to explore why your response may be waning and if you’ve never experienced an orgasm how you can go about exploring and establishing a cause. This article first appeared in the Saturday Star #SexColumn
Chasing the Orgasms.
In a recent discussion I discovered than many of us are battling to reach orgasm. Some aren’t sure what an orgasm is, or whether they have ever had an orgasm.
Orgasm is a wonderful release and makes sex pleasurable but it’s not the only game in town! You don’t HAVE to orgasm every time you have sex.
The intimacy of the act can be enough.
There are many reasons why someone may feel like they can’t orgasm. Some believe that they will never have an orgasm but I believe with a bit of work you can change this.
I also want to stress that there are a lot of great sexual acts and levels of intimacy that don’t involve orgasms but we have been conditioned to think that sex equals orgasm.
You need to answer a few questions to establish the cause.
- Have you ever had an orgasm (and yes, this includes an orgasm from masturbation)?
- Do you masturbate regularly or at all?
- Do you think you’d know an orgasm if you had one?
Many who have never had an orgasm simply need the right information to know how to have one. If you’ve already had orgasms and you can’t orgasm now, it’s probably not something as straightforward as knowing where to touch yourself and how.
The masturbation question is important because if you aren’t having orgasms, it can be so much easier to learn to orgasm through masturbation than through sex with a partner.
Once you’ve answered these questions we know where to investigate further.
Having an orgasm is divided into 3 parts – Desire, arousal and tipping.
First, consider where the problems may be happening:
- Are you not feeling any desire for sex, this can lead to you not wanting or enjoying sex a bit barrier to orgasm.
- Do you want to have sex (the desire part) but find that once you start having sex you don’t get very turned on (the arousal part)?
- Do you want to have sex, get turned on, but find you can never quite make it over the top to have an orgasm (the actual orgasm or tipping part)?
There are a couple of parts to sex you have to think about – It is the body part, mind, relationship, medication, technique or upbringing that is getting in your way?
Because orgasm is an event that involves so many systems in your body (neurological, anatomical, muscular, hormonal, respiratory, the list goes on) there may be physical reasons you aren’t having orgasms.
If you can’t orgasm a good first step is to talk to your sex friendly doctor to either rule out, or discover, potential physical causes and then prescribe a course of action.
Orgasms are both a mental and physical experience.
Your mental state, both how we feel and how we think, can get in the way of our ability to orgasm. In order to orgasm you need to be able to relax, focus, and concentrate enough to take in the pleasurable feelings.
Mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD can all make it difficult to orgasm.
It’s not uncommon for someone to be able to orgasm during masturbation but have difficulty with a partner.
If you’re consistently able to have an orgasm when masturbating but never do with a partner, there may be one of few things getting in the way.
The easiest one to fix is one of sexual technique. You may just have to change your position or increase foreplay. Even think of adding an adult toy.
If you’re in a relationship that doesn’t feel safe, or where there isn’t enough trust, orgasms may not come. These are bigger problems that may need third party intervention.
Many different medications can get in the way of you having an orgasm. If you can’t orgasm and you are taking any medication, check with the doctor who prescribes the medication.
The right sexual technique won’t guarantee an orgasm, but without it the chances of having one go way down. What’s needed is the right amount of stimulation, in the right area, and of the right kind.
Take your lead from what works for you during masturbation and teach your partner. You may want to include an sex toy.
What was taught to you about sex can have a profound effect on how you feel about and enjoy sex.
Remember I talked about how sex changes with age?
Society influences our thought processes, these include:
- Quality and amount of sex education you receive.
- Messages you received about your body.
- Values and beliefs about sexual health and sexual pleasure.
- Values and beliefs about sexuality and gender.
- Your belief around masturbation.
While we know that these teachings were outdated and harmful, they sit with us on a cellular level and require many hours of deprogramming to change. I would urge you to get help because if sex is a pleasure the intimacy levels in your relationship will increase and this makes everything better!