Help! I’m having trouble orgasming

A gorgeous inspiring individual writes:

I am 38. I was only with men and then left my husband of nine years at the age of 32 to be with women. I’ve never really had a problem reaching orgasm, and have always been a very sexual creature with a high sex drive.

Lately, it’s becoming more and more difficult…even on my own. I don’t know if it’s physical (hormonal, etc) or emotional/psychological (heartbreak/financial stress etc). I had a reunion with an ex last weekend and despite everything feeling amazing and feeling as if the orgasm was just.right.there. but I could not seem to release or relax enough to get there. I think this was pretty frustrating for both of us. Any feedback is appreciated.

Orgasms. The pinnacle of the sexual experience. The moment we are at our most glorious and vulnerable, when we transcend space and time to exist in the embrace of pure, unadulterated pleasure.

It’s no wonder we’re always in search of them, pushing for the finish line. For many of us, orgasm is the goal of our sexual encounters, the way we determine success.

But what happens when the orgasms stop? And how in the world do we get them back?


1. Orgasms are psychological.

Speaking from personal experience, if I’m stressed out, burnt out, overwhelmed, exhausted, or dealing with serious emotional crap, orgasms aren’t easy to come (cum?) by.

An orgasm represents the ultimate release. It’s a moment when your body reaches a fevered peak, and then spills into something incredible. But getting over that final point means losing yourself to an extent. Letting go. Surrendering.

If I’ve been in my head a lot, if I’m tense or exhausted, if I feel self-conscious, or if I’m focused on that orgasm that keeps eluding me, then it’s not going to happen.

Instead, try to find a way to clear your mind.

Some people use impact play to settle into their bodies (spanking or flogging), others dance or wrestle with a partner. One of my favorite tools for getting out of my own way? Set the scene leading up to the actual act – days before I play, the sexy texts and emails start. The day of play, ramp it up and send each other sexy pictures. Tease each other through dinner. Act like teenagers and make-out against a wall or in the car.

Give yourself the freedom to stop over-thinking and start enjoying.

2. Orgasms are fun, not mandatory.

A friend of mine isn’t the most orgasmic of women. It takes a lot of time and a great deal of clit stimulation to get her off. She’s learned that sometimes an orgasm just isn’t in the cards. And you know what? She still has amazing sex.

Because sex doesn’t always have to be about the orgasm. Sometimes sex is about connecting. Sometimes it’s just hot and teasing and flirty without time to finish. Other times it starts hot and heavy, and then something ridiculous happens (a fart, a child, a phone call, unexpected fluids…). Instead of explosive sex, you end in giggles and cuddles. But doesn’t that still feel incredible?

Heck, some people even have a fetish of NOT orgasming (called edging), where you bring yourself or a partner as close to that edge as you can and then keep it there as long as you can. The denial, the tease, makes everything so much more erotic and tantalizing.

Sometimes when we let go of the outcome, amazing things unfold. That’s true of sex and life.

3. Self-talk impacts orgasms.

Here’s a trick I learned along the way.

Sometimes when I’m on the edge and I feel like that orgasm is right there, about to happen, and it starts to slip out of my grasp, I tell myself to relax. When I feel the orgasm change it’s mind, I tense up because I don’t want it to go away, I want it to crash into me and carry me away on waves of ecstasy. But that tensing up is exactly what I shouldn’t do – I’ve moved from being fully present in my body to kicking around fears and thoughts in my head. Nope. A release isn’t going to happen that way, is it?

These words work for me – whether I say them to myself or a lover whispers them in my ear: Relax. Surrender. Let go.

It’s as if I give myself permission to stop worrying and to allow the moment to unfold. Sometimes the orgasm does take a few steps back and I have to work back up to it, but when I relax and allow the pleasure to build organically, the orgasm almost always finds its way back.

When all else fails…

When heartbreak is coursing through us, or when busy lives consume us, or when the cards simply fall a certain way, orgasms can hitchhike right on out of your life for awhile.

This can be infuriating.

What if we reframe the lack of orgasms as something else entirely? What if instead we see it as an opportunity to connect with our bodies in a new way? Use it as an excuse to find new paths to pleasure without the pressure of expecting something out of ourselves?

Perhaps it’s a chance to take a step back and be patient. It’s also an opportunity to have an intimate conversation with a lover. If they understand where you are, they can adjust their own expectations and just blow you away with endless hours of worship. Doesn’t that sound yummy?

More than anything, it’s important to realize that elusive orgasms are probably temporary. Use this as a springboard into a new sexual relationship with yourself. Change things up and surprise your body. Now might be the perfect time to sample that super kinky fantasy you’ve been kicking around for years.

Realize that hot sex isn’t as much about the orgasm as all the stuff that happens BEFORE the orgasm.

And remember, above all else, to just have fun.

It’s important to note that changes in medication or health can impact orgasms and libido. Anti-depressants, extreme stress, high blood pressure, and the onset of certain conditions can all have an effect on your body’s sexual response. If sexual issues continue, seek medical advice from a sex-positive medical professional.

  • Dawn
  • February 9, 2014