Why can’t I orgasm through penetrative sex?

I'm not able to relax at all during sex. Basically I've never reached an orgasm with penetration, only through oral sex. Is there something wrong with me?

It’s not uncommon for women to experience difficulties having an orgasm and then worry about it. There can be a lot of pressure on girls and women, and the media often leads people to believe that women reach orgasm every time they have penetrative sex. This is a sexual myth and it can be very confusing!

According to research, a large majority of women (75%) will need clitoral stimulation in order to reach orgasm. The clitoris is about the size of a pea and it is at the front and towards the top of the vulva (the outside of a woman’s sex organs). It is a very sensitive part of a woman’s body and when stimulated it can lead to orgasm, but it is important to remember that everyone is different in what brings them to orgasm.

If a woman finds it difficult to climax it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is something wrong with her. It could simply mean that she hasn’t yet learnt how to have an orgasm.

It can take some women a while to learn how to have an orgasm. Masturbation helps some women to learn about their own bodies and how to pleasure themselves. Once a woman has learned to experience pleasure at her own touch, and to feel better about her body, she can share what she has learned with her partner.

Talking and sharing your concerns with your partner is important. Communication can be an important part of solving difficulties. If you don’t feel able to talk to your partner straight away you could, initially speak to an adviser at the Sexual Advice Association Helpline 0207 486 7262. You can also visit your local Brook Centre and have a chat with a counsellor about anything to do with sex and relationships, or visit their digital tool, Ask Brook.

Answered by Brook on 12-Jul-2012

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