Why can’t I orgasm?

From sex-ed to self-care, there are plenty reasons why

Find yourself faking orgasms because you can’t seem to reach that famous mind-blowing moment? You’re not alone. Multiple studies have found that roughly 80 per cent of women can’t orgasm through penetrative sex – at least not without a toy, finger or tongue. First things first: stimulate your clit in every which way to try and release that magical feeling.

If you’re not sure where to start, read our last blog gal pal’s guide to mind blowing masturbation for some great tips on how to achieve orgasm.. Getting to know yourself and your body is key to learning how to enjoy yourself during masturbation and sex – so it’s definitely worth a read.

However, if you already know that clit-stimulation doesn’t work, you could be one of the 10 to 15 per cent of women who can’t climax at all. And while orgasms shouldn’t always be the sole focus of sex – enjoyment comes in all kinds of forms, from human closeness to pleasurable touch – it’s super-frustrating when you’re struggling to find an end game at all.

So how come some women live in an orgasm-less void? Here, we explore a few of the reasons why it can be pretty damn hard to climax.

Body

Ever heard of orgasmic dysfunction? It affects about one in three women to some extent. It means you are either having less frequent or less satisfying orgasms despite being ~in the mood~, or you aren’t having any orgasms at all. There are tons of things that can cause it, from hormones and illness to anxiety, which makes it tricky to treat. A study found that 24 per cent of the women suffering from orgasmic dysfunction have something called anorgasmia – difficulty achieving climax after ample sexual stimulation. So if you can’t reach the big O, it’s worth booking in some time with your GP to speak about why this might be.

Mind

Find it difficult to focus? Becoming distracted during sex and masturbation is another common reason why some women struggle to come. It could be that you’re self-conscious of your body, uninterested in your partner or just tuning out of the whole encounter because you believe it will bring you zero pleasure. The fact is, if your mind isn’t in it, your erogenous zones certainly won’t be. Your brain is a crucial part of sexual experience as it releases feel-good chemicals into the body, plus it actually catalogues your sensations. Not being tuned in to someone else’s touch lessens your pleasure, stat. Try meditation tactics to re-centre yourself such as focusing on being present in the moment and taking deep breaths from the pit of your stomach.

Foreplay

Don’t let your sex-mate skip the foreplay, not matter how keen they are to pleasure themselves. Remember: you are equal partners in this experience so don’t sacrifice your own O because you’re not sure it’s even possible. Sexoligists claim that most women need approx. 20 minutes of arousal time to reach that sweet point in which it’s even viable to climax. If there’s two of you, that’s 40 minutes of foreplay, no orgasms guaranteed. Turns out it’s all about time, care and attention, so demand it, because you deserve it. And if it doesn’t happen, at least you’ve gained some sexual balance.

Lube

You know the saying, ‘the wetter, the better’? Turns out it’s all kinds of true because roughly 40 per cent of women don’t produce enough of their own natural lube to find sex pleasurable. In fact the wrong combo of condoms, emotions and hormones can snatch your juice and leave you even dryer than when you started. It’s definitely worth giving lube a serious go – it could be the key to your first ever O! We stock Yes Lube – a silky water or oil-based lubricant that’s good for your body as well as your orgasm count (it’s vegan-friendly and organic, too). The wetter you are down below, the more sensitive you feel. It also helps toys and fingers glide over your hotspots with no uncomfortable friction.

Meds

It’s important to note that some medications – particularly those used to treat depression and anxiety (SSRIs) – can lesson arousal as they impact sex hormones. This could be why you’re suddenly having a dry spell or finding yourself unable to orgasm when it wasn’t a problem before. The best thing to do? Speak to your doctor. They can run through the side effects and, if the meds are affecting your orgasms, suggest some other avenues that might not crush your climax ability completely.

Written by Claire Blackmore, @cla_ireb