Why Can't I Orgasm?

Why Can't I Orgasm?

Last update: 29 November, 2016

Wanting to orgasm but not being able to is a sensation that many women experience during sex. In fact, many people are unable to achieve orgasm or experience decreased pleasure.

Orgasm has an indisputable importance in romantic relationships. It’s the top of the mountain of pleasure, and although enjoying the journey is just as important as the end, it’s pleasing and satisfying to be able to finish the ascent and enjoy the view from the mountain.

Not being able to achieve orgasm can be very distressing. People who experience this often feel embarrassed, avoid talking about it, and refuse to ask for help. But this only causes the problem to persist.

I’ve never had an orgasm

Never having experienced this explosive sensation is more common than you’d think. In fact, around 10% of women haven’t had an orgasm in their whole lives, and between 10% and 42% experience problems getting there. Anorgasmia, or difficulty achieving orgasm, is the most common sexual dysfunction among women.

watercolor woman

With this dysfunction, the person experiences a delay or absence of orgasm, as well as decreased feelings of pleasure. This causes the person to feel anxiety and distress.

“Anorgasmia is known as the absence or delay of orgasm, after normal arousal, during a sexual activity that’s considered adequate in terms of type, intensity, and duration of stimulation.”

-Manual of Psychopathology, by Belloch-

Do I have a problem?

The differences between women, or even within one person, are always significant. There can be days where arousal is much easier, while on others it might be impossible due to pressure, stress, and other factors.

It’s also common to not achieve orgasm through vaginal penetration. Most women require manual stimulation of the clitoris to be able to finish satisfactorily. Very few can have an orgasm through vaginal stimulation alone.

Not always having an orgasm, or not having one during intercourse, is not enough of a reason to diagnose anorgasmia. This term is reserved for more general difficulties in which the person can’t finish despite appropriate stimulation.

Not reaching the top doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the journey

Suffering from an orgasm disorder doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy sex. Many women who can’t climax enjoy their sexual relations and feel satisfied with them. They enjoy the moment and the contact that it offers.

man and woman kissing

We tend to simplify sexuality, to reduce sex to penetration, and to measure its success in the quantity and intensity of orgasms achieved. In reality, sexuality is a much wider world where various practices and personal characteristics come into play.

Orgasms and intercourse are only a part of sexuality. Feeling like a woman, thinking that the man doesn’t have to be the one to take initiative, sexual preferences, rights and freedoms, emotional relationships, and one’s own life plan are all aspects that fall under the idea of sexuality.

A problem, and a solution

Most of the causes of anorgasmia, specifically about 95%, are psychological. A restrictive upbringing, bad sexual experiences, the culture in which you grew up, fear of losing control, improper stimulation, and stress can influence and aggravate the problem.

This means that what you do and what you think play a fundamental role in how you experience pleasure. Therefore, you can improve simply by changing how you perceive or act towards the other person, or yourself, in situations that involve pleasure.

upside down woman

The shoring technique, which involves stimulating the clitoris manually during sex, and masturbatory training are specific techniques that can help solve this problem. Sometimes, sex therapy or partners therapy might be necessary for improvement.

If you suffer from this problem, and you’ve tried and been unable to solve it in your own way, remember that a qualified psychologist or sexologist can help you improve as far as your sexual relations are concerned, and can help you enjoy your sexuality more completely.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.