8 Reasons Why You Can’t Have an Orgasm

can't have an orgasm

Mia was embarrassed and struggled to tell me what she was experiencing. After ensuring her that whatever she was feeling was okay and that I was there to support her she gave in. She told me that she can’t have an orgasm during sex with her partner any more and it’s been like that for the past 8 months. She had experienced orgasms at the beginning of their relationship, but it stopped happening. The problem was that she couldn’t figure out why she could have an orgasm when she masturbated, but not during sex. She could barely make eye contact and began to cry. She identified that she felt broken and her partner couldn’t understand what was wrong with her.

Mia’s story is a common experience for many women. The feeling of being inadequate, flawed, or worried that you aren’t normal because of having a difficult time reaching orgasm during penile-vaginal sex. An online search quickly shows topics including disorder and dysfunction. This is enough to make any woman upset and fearful. There are women who experience female orgasmic disorder, however, the majority have difficulty due to more common reasons. This is why it is important to understand a few possibilities of why you aren’t reaching orgasm. This will help you figure out how to work through the problem.

There are countless reasons that may be preventing you from reaching an orgasm. Most women don’t talk about this with their doctors, therapist, or even best friends because issues with sex seem off-limits. Here are a few reasons to consider and what you can do to fix the issue.

1. Your partner is not aware of what you like

Your partner may not be aware of what you like and this is common even with couples who have been together for a long time. Have you told and showed your partner what turns you on? Have you showed him how and where to touch you? Are you guiding him on what feels good and what doesn’t during sex? You need to be honest about what you want. Do not fake an orgasm to make him feel good. This about you and your pleasure. You don’t want him to think what he is doing works to turn you on when it doesn’t.

2. Your partner is not trying to pleasure you

He knows what you like but doesn’t do it, he forgets to follow your lead or refuses to spend time on pleasuring you. These are red flags that if left unaddressed, it will lead to major issues within the relationship. If you have tried to have this conversation with him and it doesn’t seem to be working, consider getting the help of a therapist. If you can find a certified sex therapist start there. Let them help the two of you learn to communicate about intimacy and sex within your relationship. They can give you tools, tips, and homework that can improve your sex life.

3. Not enough time spent on foreplay

Do not underestimate the power of foreplay. Tell your partner you want more kissing, touching, and build up before sex. Think of men as microwaves. You can press a button and they are ready to go. Women are like ovens, we require preheating before moving to either penile-vaginal or oral sex. Women like to be warmed up with foreplay before sex. Spending more time on this will increase your ability to achieve orgasm.

4. You are fixated on the end result

Be realistic and stop overthinking this issue. Don’t make it bigger than it is, if you stay focused on what you can’t do, you will feel less motivated to work on what you can do. Stop focusing on the end point of an orgasm. Enjoy the intimacy, foreplay, and being with your partner. Stop thinking about the end point. Enjoy it and let it happen naturally.

5. You don’t realise the difference between masturbation and sex

You don’t have trouble reaching orgasm through masturbation but it’s different with sex. That’s because when you fly solo, you know exactly how to touch yourself, where to touch yourself, what pressure feels good, and you don’t have to take anyone else’s needs into consideration. You probably even use the same position. This can’t be completely replicated with your partner during sex, but you can show him how you like to be touched. He has no idea about this until you show him.

6. You are not physically active during your day

Your body needs to move especially your legs, hips, and pelvic area. Ensure good blood flow by getting up every hour or so and walking around. Get active and have an exercise routine a few times per week. Incorporate squats, jumping jacks, and lunges into your routine. There are numerous benefits to regular exercise and improvements in libido and sensory stimulation are just two of them.

7. Side effects of medication

There are several medications for high blood pressure, antidepressants, allergies, and other health issues, that can lower your libido. These can also create changes in your body. For example, antihistamines dry out mucous membranes in your nose, but also your vagina. If you aren’t naturally lubricating due to a medication side effect, you will feel discomfort and possibly pain during play. You won’t be able to enjoy the experience and possibly not reach orgasm. Be sure to talk with your doctor about what you are experiencing and review your options. Do not make changes to your medications without consulting with your doctor.

8. You don’t realise the role of your brain

The brain is the most important sex organ you have. Your brain leads the orgasm experience. Yes, you feel an orgasm throughout your body, but those feelings originate from your brain. The brain becomes activated by stimulation. During foreplay, try to relax and disconnect from your surroundings and focus on what you are experiencing at the moment. Allow your mind to be present and enjoy the experience. If your mind starts wondering to your grocery list, take a deep breath, ground yourself, and refocus on the moment. Meditation, mindfulness, and yoga are helpful in learning how to be more present.

These are just a few of the many reasons why you can’t have an orgasm. Mia was able to realise that she was rushing through sex and stopped asking for foreplay due to her busy life. She was able to tell her partner what she desired. With time, the couple was able to regain a mutually pleasurable sex life.

Don’t be discouraged and think that the orgasm will never happen again because you will. You are not alone and you are not broken. Get positive support from a trained and certified sex therapist. Be sure that you consult with your doctor before making any medical changes. If your story is similar to Mia’s don’t give up hope. You can work through this, so give yourself a break, and get the right support.

Kristie is a clinical sexologist, psychotherapist, and author. She specializes in relationships, sex therapy, and gender identities. She helps people improve the relationship with themselves and others. When she isn’t working with clients, consulting, or writing she enjoys spending time outside. She loves surfing, running, yoga, traveling, and reading. You can find her at KristieOverstreet.com.


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