But I Still Can’t Orgasm! What Next?

No matter how many tips on orgasm I give, there are likely to be wives out there who say, “But I still can’t orgasm!”

Some women feel they have tried every piece of advice they’d been offered or could seek out on their own, and the much-touted climax is still dangling out of reach. If this is you, perhaps there’s an underlying problem getting in the way of your ability to achieve the Big O. Let’s cover a few of the possibilities:

Woman with thought bubble and blog post title

Pain. How can you feel extreme pleasure when sex flat-out hurts? If you’ve been hoping that having an orgasm will deal with the pain you’ve been experiencing, that’s not likely to work. You need to address the pain itself, so you can enjoy sex with your husband. Then you’ll be able to feel the full pleasure of sexual intimacy and eventually reach climax.

If sex hurts, talk to your doctor about solutions. There is likely something that can be done to address your discomfort. You may also want to read my post on Pain & Pleasure and Sheila Gregoire’s excellent post on When Sex Hurts (Vaginismus).

Don’t settle for having pain during sex. It isn’t supposed to hurt, so treat it like any other pain in your body and look for answers and treatment.

Insensitivity. Some wives have reduced sensitivity. They feel pleasure, but it’s not quite enough to get them over the hump to orgasm. What are some possible reasons? Oftentimes, medications are at play. Certain medications, including some antidepressants and oral contraceptives, have been known to make it more difficult to achieve climax.

Talk to your doctor and consider other options. You might want to try another antidepressant or a different contraception method.

Of course, scarred tissue could be a factor for a few out there. Your gynecologist might have some suggestions for getting past that obstacle.

Psychological barriers. Even though you feel like you’ve done everything reasonable, you could still have psychological barriers keeping you from achieving orgasm. For instance, the wife who can’t surrender entirely because she was falsely taught that good girls don’t enjoy sex that much; the woman who was molested or raped and has buried memories of that horrible abuse; the wife who reconciled with a cheating husband and wants deep intimacy but struggles with trusting in the marriage bed.

Reaching the peak of sexual pleasure requires being able to surrender to the experience, and a bad sexual history can interfere with feeling comfortable and confident about letting go. If you believe something in your past is interfering with you getting the full pleasure God desires you to have in marital intimacy, then speak with your spouse, a friend, a mentor, your pastor, and/or a counselor. Start somewhere and don’t stop looking for answers and help until you’ve found it.

Fatigue. Too pooped to pop? It can happen. There is a certain amount of body energy required to reach climax. If you are super-low on sleep, not eating well, stressed beyond belief, depressed, or deficient in vitamins, you might find yourself struggling to march all the way up that hill of happiness to the peak of ecstasy.

My advice? Do what you know you should be doing. Sleep. Eat well. Rest. Get a checkup. And check out stay healthy tips from a blog I really like: Calm.Healthy.Sexy. Be good to yourself outside the bedroom, so you can feel good inside the bedroom.

Have you struggled to reach orgasm? What issues do you think you might be dealing with?

13 thoughts on “But I Still Can’t Orgasm! What Next?

  1. Me

    I hate to admit it, but I did masturbate a few times before getting married. Honestly, though, that’s what helped me find orgasm once I was married. (I didn’t sleep around, and it wasn’t that much, but enough to know a few key aspect of getting to orgasm). Not everyone will be comfortable with this idea, but it might take some time, with your hubby, of just feeling around and find out what kind of touch feels good and right.

    Also, the game ‘Bliss’ is a ton of fun, is a lot of just playing around (here: http://www.gamesforloving.com/), and that much foreplay makes orgasm amazing for me (and hubby). 😀

  2. Anonymous

    My wife had to learn to do it for herself, by herself before she could bring that knowledge to our lovemaking.

  3. Amy

    Now that I’ve learned what works for me and how to relax and let go I don’t struggle much anymore.
    But the issue I used to have (okay I admit, sometimes I still do) was being worried about taking too long and hubby getting tired of trying. Because of that concern I often would have hubby quit what he was doing to help me just so he could finish, which only left me feeling upset. When I finally admitted to him my concern he said something to me that I’ve clung to…he told me that I don’t take ‘too long’, I take just the right amount of time. 🙂
    Although there are still times where those feelings crop up I try to remember what he said to me and I allow myself to believe him even when I start thinking he was only saying it to be nice. 😉

    1. libl

      You are blessed. Trust your husband. Believe him. I’ve read comments from many husbands that they enjoy the journey of bringing their wife pleasure.

      Unfortunately, my husband told me I take too long. (5-20 minutes) He only once in a while brings me to O. Otherwise O’s are my responsibility….meaning masturbation.

      During those times when he does bring me to O, I have to remind myself that I deserve this. Hubby’s issue is his problem and his loss. I cannot worry about him. I can only leave his attitude in God’s hands.

      1. Amy

        I’m sorry that your husband feels the need to be selfish with your intimacy. I can only imagine the hurt and pain you feel over that as I can relate.
        I was in an abusive 20 year marriage and my ex never once even tried to bring me to orgasm, let alone ever give me OS. Although that was something he demanded from me, along with other things. Needless to say, I became what many refer to as a gatekeeper in our marriage bed because I wanted nothing to do with being intimate with someone who hurt me and took no interest in giving me pleasure.

        Fast forward to almost three years ago and I married a wonderful man who I have no doubt loves and cherishes me. Until I was with him I didn’t know what it was to orgasm and it’s wonderful to be with a man who cares about my pleasure too.
        Now if only I could get him to be more interested in lovemaking, but he’s pretty content with once a week. But then, that’s whole ‘nother subject! LOL

        I pray that you can communicate your needs with your husband and he will be open to hearing you.

  4. Newly Wed Gal

    I’ve been married for just 4 months now and my husband and I were both virgins when we got married. I enjoy sex, I just wish I could get to orgasm (more often.) I put that in parenthesis because I’m not entirely sure if i’ve had one. Can’t say I got a full description from my mother on that one. 🙂 I’d say 3 times I either got close or actually had a short one. but again, it’s hard to tell. Am I supposed to feel a “release” of some kind? Are sort of contractions a good sign leading up to it? I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like.
    He manually stimulates me often which is enjoyable whether I have one or not, but it sure would be fun to experience orgasm. If anyone has helpful thoughts, I’d appreciate it. 🙂

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  6. Emily

    My husband and I have been married three months. We both waited to have sex until we were married. Sex hurts for me. We went to the Dr and she prescribed something that really helps but it still hurts. We just recently have been able to reach full penetration although I was crying in pain (not giving up though!) I have not had an orgasm yet either. I have been so close several times but it goes from intense pleasure to intense pain very quickly. It’s quite the struggle emotionally for me but I know we’ll get there one day. My husband is so amazing and doesn’t pressure me at all. We have a wonderful relationship. Do you have any insight why it would go from pleasure to pain and sore so quickly? Thank you for your blog…it is so encouraging to me!

    1. J Post author

      First times and early-on sex should feel more like stretching and soreness that you’d experience from using muscles you haven’t used before. Like how I’d feel if I ran a couple of miles (which will happen as soon as an angry grizzly bear decides to chase me). It should not make you scream in pain. I strongly suggest that you return to your doctor and tell her what you’re going through. Be specific, be persistent, be determined to get answers and help. You could be experiencing a severe lack of estrogen, vaginismus, or other obstacles to complete entry. If no physical issues can be found — and I really cannot overstate how important it is to insist on answers from your physician on this part — then you could have psychological barriers, which could be dealt with in quality Christian counseling. Sometimes a painful sexual history or bad teaching or simply intense worry can cause a woman to tense up, and sex becomes painful…and she may not even know why. Yet again, find someone who can help you work through the causes of what’s happening and give you concrete recommendations on how to get past the issues. I am not a licensed professional counselor, but as an example, I understand that meditative techniques or biofeedback can help some relax in moments of intense stress.

      In addition, while intercourse is currently difficult, you could approach achieving orgasm through outside clitoral stimulation alone. Since your husband is so attentive to your needs — go, hubby! — perhaps he’d be willing to focus attention on you and helping you feel that peak of pleasure through manual touch. That is, let his fingers do the talking. Just so you know, many wives also report oral sex being a primary way they can achieve orgasm.

      And I simply want to add here at the end that I really feel you’re going to work this out. When a wife is intent on figuring out the issue, and the husband is supportive like this, odds are truly fabulous that with a little more effort or information, you will find answers, apply solutions, and go on to a beautiful life of sexual intimacy. Many blessings to you both!

      1. Emily

        Thank you for your imput! It was most encouraging! We have tried manual and oral stimulation but we will keep going. I’m just so confused why the clitoris would turn so quickly to being sore. I thank the Lord for the amazing husband I have. No sexual history for either of us. Happy new years to you!

        1. Anon

          Thanks for sharing. This is something I am going through as well. After getting checked out at the gynecologist, nothing is physically wrong – however, how do you address mental blocks when you’re not sure what they are? I mostly enjoy having sex with my husband, but I do feel a little let down and sometimes very far from him emotionally when he has an orgasm, and I don’t feel anything. How can we be having such separate experiences?

    2. Ashley

      Hi Emily!

      I just want to encourage you to keep trying. I have been married for almost 7 years now, and from our wedding night until *about* our 5th year, I experienced the same disappointment and frustration of painful sex. I, too, had a husband that was so great and didn’t make me feel bad about our infrequency as a result, but I felt awful. I felt like a failure to my husband. Sex literally felt like a knife was being jabbed into me… and I would cry. Then the emotional anxiety of expecting pain would make the pain of penetration even worse. We would go upwards of 5-6 months without having sex as (fairly) newlyweds in our early 20’s, which was rough. I always felt like a horrible wife and no doctor could “fix” me. It wasn’t until about a year ago that one night, when my husband initiated sex, I just told myself not to clench AT ALL. I made the decision to give myself over to him completely… to be vulnerable. After YEARS of hearing my sweet husband whisper “just relax baby, relax. It’s ok, I’ve got you”, I finally understood why he was telling me that. You see, I was taught growing up that sex was naughty and that promiscuous people (like my older sister) should just “close their legs”. No one ever told me that God created sex for our pleasure. Nobody ever told me that it’s ok for a Christian woman to enjoy her sex life within the bounds of marriage. So…. I would internally feel like a whore if I opened my legs to my husband. And to add to it all, I have always had low self-esteem and was always very self-conscious of my body (also due to emotional abuses in my childhood). But when I finally made the decision to open my legs freely, stop tensing, and give myself over to my husband completely, I was finally able to have sex without pain. I was finally able to enjoy that time of intimacy and connection with my husband. We are still striving to get me to the point of intense pleasure and orgasm (no, I’ve never had one), but we’ve come a LONG way from where we were.

      I would just encourage you to first see a physician to make sure it’s not a physical problem, and then to RELAX and keep trying. Focus on how much you love your husband. If he’s anything like mine, he thinks you are gorgeous and wants nothing more than for you to open yourself to him and be vulnerable with him. You might not have the same exact issues I had, but it never hurts to do those things anyways. 🙂 Be blessed! And enjoy!

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