Coming, climaxing, getting off; whatever you choose to call it, the female orgasm is up there with beach sunsets and cold pizza as one of life’s greatest simple pleasures. Not only does it feel amazing, orgasms release stress and bring you closer to your partner to boot.
But if you are struggling to orgasm or your love train is taking its time to reach a destination, you’re not alone. In a 2016 study, only 46 per cent of women reported nearly or always reaching orgasm when they had sex, so over half the women who took part in the study were in the same boat as you.
To help you uncover the mysteries of your own orgasmic bliss, sex and relationships educator and author Tracey Cox offers her best climax tips:
Can most females orgasm?
The female orgasm continues to be under intense scrutiny and the subject of extensive scientific interest. Experts endlessly puzzle over the myriad of ways women can orgasm, and the potential obstacles that could be preventing them for hitting the big O.
But while the mainstream media will have you believe it’s difficult to achieve, this is a misconception.
Having trouble hitting the high notes? ‘It depends on how you’re trying to have an orgasm,’ says Tracey. ‘If you’re using a vibrator, most women can orgasm in around two to three minutes – almost every time they use it.’
So, most women are capable of climaxing, but it’s a question of when and with whom. ‘The statistics for orgasms during solo sex are high,’ explains Tracey. ‘Sadly, not so once we’re with our partners. During intercourse – with no clitoral stimulation going on at all – around half of all heterosexual women orgasm sometimes and only 30 per cent orgasm regularly. Oral sex is way more effective because it’s clitoris focused.’
Is it easier for males to orgasm than for females?
Don’t believe the hype. ‘It’s not easier for men to reach orgasm than women if you include vibrators: in fact, most women can orgasm before a man using that method,’ says Tracey.
‘But sex with a partner is different,’ she adds. ‘Men’s orgasms are (way) more regular with a partner because the act of thrusting during intercourse easily triggers an orgasm by stimulating the highly sensitive head of the penis and the frenulum.
‘Our most sensitive sexual part – the clitoris – is outside the vagina so penetrative sex provides woefully ineffective stimulation. Despite this, intercourse remains the main event for most couple’s sex sessions – explaining why people naturally assume it’s easier for men to reach orgasm than women.’
Different types of female orgasm
‘There are many sex researchers who say women only orgasm via direct or indirect stimulation of the clitoris (remember the bit you see is only the tip),’ says Tracey.
‘But we do know that women can experience orgasm from different types of stimulation – commonly clitoral, the front anterior wall of the vagina (G-spot), the back wall of the vagina and the cervix.’
‘Whether that means the orgasm has originated from those areas or the activity somehow indirectly stimulated the erectile tissue of the internal clitoris isn’t clear,’ she adds.
How to orgasm
If you struggle to climax or have yet to experience an orgasm, now is not the time to stress out. ‘One study showed nearly a quarter of all American women struggled to have an orgasm for at least three months during the previous year,’ says Tracey.
‘The first piece of advice is – it happens! Don’t panic. Sometimes, you’ll go through a period where orgasms are elusive: it’s only when you relax about it that they return.’
So where should you start? ‘The first step is always to visit your doctor or gynaecologist to rule out any physical reasons, like medication, post-birth trauma etc,’ advises Tracey. ‘The next step is to try to orgasm using a vibrator.’
What if you can’t orgasm?
In the aforementioned 2016 study, researchers found that the key to more frequent orgasms lay in mental and relationship factors.
- Orgasm importance
- Sexual desire
- Sexual self-esteem
- Openness of sexual communication with partners
So if your inability to orgasm is getting you down, it might be worth working on your self-esteem and building trust in your relationship before you hit the sack. But if you can orgasm perfectly well on your own but not with a partner, then this is something you can work through together.
‘If you’re successful with a vibrator, you’re probably struggling to orgasm with a partner because of poor technique or a technique that just doesn’t work for you,’ says Tracey. ‘If you’re not, it might be worth seeing a sex therapist to talk through messages you got about sex from your childhood/parents or any sexual trauma you’ve experienced.’
Practice makes perfect
The key to successful orgasms, just like working out in the gym, is all about practice. If you're not sure where to start, try masturbating on your own and work out what feels best, before sharing your findings with your significant other.
‘Teach yourself to orgasm through a partner-friendly method (using your fingers, perhaps) or guide them on what feels good during oral sex,’ says Tracey. ‘Alternatively, invite your vibrator into bed with you. Some men are threatened by vibrators but most young men aren’t.’
Tip: try daily Kegal exercises to get your orgasmic muscles in tip-top shape.
Further help and support
For additional help and support with any sexual concern, try one of the following resources:
- NHS.UK to check for any medical issues or be referred to a therapist
- Brook for under 25
- Relate or Relationships Scotland
- College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT)
- Institute of Psychosexual Medicine
- Sexual Advice Association
Last updated: 01-09-20
You Might Also Like