Tag Archives: difficulty reaching orgasm

Q&A with J: How Do You Know When Orgasm is Close?

Today’s question is a great one about orgasm. For many women, the building of an orgasm, the crossing of the line, and the characteristic spasms are fairly easy to detect. But for some women, it’s not so clear. And for pre-orgasmic women (a term Bonny Burns of OysterBed7 taught me!), it can be frustrating to feel that build and not know what it should feel like to get all the way to climax.

With that in mind, here’s this month’s reader question:

I wanted to ask how you know if you’re close to having an orgasm? There are times when my body tightens up in a way that seems similar to when my husband orgasms. However, it’s not followed by a sense of release or uterine contractions (which I thought is an orgasm?). Do you think this is on the way to orgasm?

Quick answer: Yes, I think you’re on the way to orgasm. Building tension is a key component of heading toward climax. But the arousal may not have increased enough to get you over the edge to release.

There are really two ways to look at orgasm: physiologically and experientially. Let’s look at each.

Physiology of an Orgasm

Medical professionals and scientific researchers define the buildup and orgasm through physical characteristics — that is, what’s actually happening in your body. Leading up to a climax, the blood vessels in the genitalia dilate, meaning that a woman’s vulva will swell. The inner vaginal lips will become 2-3 times their normal size. The blood flow can also cause flushing of the body, particularly on the neck and chest. Heart rate, breathing, and blood pressure increase.

Right against the edge orgasm, blood flow causes the lower area inside the vagina to become firm. A wife’s breasts may swell, the areola of her breasts (shaded part around the nipple) flatten, and the clitoris pulls back from the pubic bone. The climax, however, has not happened until rhythmic contractions occur.

That’s a lot going on, and you’re almost certainly not aware of all that as it’s happening. Your husband is likely not fully aware either, as you are both hopefully caught up in the passion of the moment — not eyeballing your parts to see what’s swelling or firming or flattening.

But biologically speaking, that’s what’s going on.

Experience of an Orgasm

Experientially, the female climax has certain features most wives recognize, but it can also be individual. One wife may flush a lot, and another not so much. One wife may feel her pulse strongly, and another isn’t all that aware. One wife may feel the contractions strongly, and another less strongly.

So how do you know when you are coming close? Or have arrived?

I asked the wives in my Hot, Holy & Humorous Facebook Community to describe their experience, and here’s what they wrote:

  • Increasing leg twitches, a feeling of warmth in the whole pelvic region, and a building tension similar to the buildup before a sneeze.
  • Like I am on a roller coaster heading up a big hill then the drop off the end for the orgasm
  • Shin cramp
  • Legs start twitching and my leg muscles automatically tense. The pelvic region in general will tense and … there’s a feeling of warmth or tingling. And then there’s the wave as the tide hits
  • My stomach drops like on a roller coaster, just before you go over the top, then I have the most peculiar feeling to hold perfectly still and not breathe
  • There is a very intense feeling in the clitoral area that builds. All my muscles tense up. This continues till I can’t take it anymore and then the release…ahhh
  • Much more vocal, focused on only on us and the moment. My inhibitions become waaay lower
  • The good feeling of what is happening intensifies and gets more and more concentrated almost until I can’t take it anymore, then it’s like an electric explosion
  • A lot of pressure, but it’s pleasurable. Warm and tense in the clitoral area. Sometimes my body shakes a little bit. Breath comes in gasps. Muscles tense up right before. 
  • This weird sensation that starts from the pelvic region and travels up my left side of my spine, to my brain — then, fireworks. … I also agree with the leg twitches, and the first time I heard “like a pelvic sneeze” I thought- YES! that is exactly what it is like.
  • I feel like I’m moving closer and closer to something amazing—good sensations everywhere and everything feels so good and much more intense. When it happens—the best way to describe it for me is fireworks exploding in my brain and all over my body
  • Tingling, tickling, spark-like sensations. I also feel a swelling in that area and stimulation at times feels like it’s too much to handle. I also cannot keep my hips still… then it feels like a run away train or fireworks that go every which way in the end
  • I can no longer focus on what I’m doing (like kissing or touching his back)
  • Mostly it seems like my toes just curl up and I feel just warm and fuzzy, nothing real intense, but my breathing stops and I just feel so close and connected with my hubby

My favorite description here might be the “pelvic sneeze.” But think of a big sneeze — like that one that makes your whole body tense, and you know it’s coming and you won’t be able to stop it, and the eventual sneeze is actually a relief. 

If you’re not sure you’ve had an orgasm, then you probably haven’t. (Not always true, but generally so.) The contractions are really the key, and you should be able to feel those, at least somewhat — and it should be followed by a release of muscle tension.

Achieving an Orgasm

So what factors can help a preorgasmic wife finally reach orgasm? I recently read an interesting study about what helps a woman climax, in which researchers said mattered most were:

  • How important orgasms were considered personally
  • How high was sexual desire
  • How high was sexual self-esteem (including how skillful and good in bed women considered themselves)
  • How open was sexual communication with the partner
  • Ability to concentrate on the moment
  • Mutual sexual initiations
  • Partner’s good sexual techniques

I actually address every one those in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design. So if you’re struggling, go get a copy! (Or get a copy anyway, to boost your lovemaking.)

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The vast majority of wives can, and definitely should, reach orgasm most times they have sexual intimacy with their husbands. If you’re not getting there, it’s time to consider the issues mentioned above. Though I would add relationship health and belief as a Christian that sexual intimacy is a God-approved and blessed activity in marriage.

Orgasm is an experience not quite like any other, and I hope and pray that each wife can lean into their sexual enjoyment and feel that special peak of pleasure.

Sources include Medical News Today: Everything you need to know about orgasms; NIH – Determinants of female sexual orgasms

Q&A with J: “How Can I Orgasm with Penetration?”

Today’s reader question reflects a common goal for many wives: reaching orgasm through intercourse. Here’s what she asks:

I’m not really sure how to ask this in a way that makes sense, but how can my husband and I achieve bringing me to orgasm with his penis or with vaginal penetration? We’ve been married for a few years and have a wonderful love life, but it frustrates me so badly that I can’t seem to orgasm easily unless he uses his hand or mouth. I’m starting to think there is something wrong with me.

It feels amazing when he’s inside, but it doesn’t take too long and I get so sore down there. (not because he isn’t gentle or patient, either.) Do some people just not work they are supposed to? We’ve tried the whole getting me almost there manually before he goes in but by then usually he’s so close it doesn’t take very long before he goes and then it’s really hard to finish me off, although the dear man makes sure we do. What can we try?

Blog post title + fireworks

Let me start with this question: “Do some people just not work [how] they are supposed to?” There’s a myth in there that women are supposed to orgasm through penetration. But studies have reported that 70% or more of women cannot orgasm through intercourse alone.

I recently wrote about the “golden trio” of deep kissing, manual play, and oral sex that seems to best help women achieve climax. Missing from that list of three is intercourse. Why? Because the engagement of our minds and direct stimulation of the clitoris are the two factors more important in getting us to the pleasure peak.

So if you have difficulty getting there through intercourse, please realize that your body might be working just fine. It’s just that we have unrealistic expectations about attaining orgasm with intercourse, based on what we’ve heard, read in romance novels, or seen in TV or movies.

Now let’s go over some questions to consider and some options to try. Because you likely can, one way or another, have a wonderful orgasm during intercourse.

What’s your C-V distance?

The ability to orgasm just with penis-in-vagina (PIV) intercourse seems to be a function of anatomy, specifically the distance between your clitoris and vagina (“C-V distance”). The “magic number,” according to researchers is 2.5 centimeters.

I suppose you can pull out your measuring tape, even enlist your husband to help, and measure to see what your C-V distance is. But one researcher suggests you can get a good sense of your C-V by simply using the “rule of thumb.” The distance from the tip of your thumb to your first knuckle is about 2.5 centimeters. If you’re around or under that distance, you should be able to achieve climax with intercourse.

However, if your C-V is higher, say 3 centimeters or a bit longer than that first thumb joint, then it’s unlikely you’ll climax through intercourse alone. That doesn’t mean you’re broken (see 70% stat above), but that you’ll have to add some additional stimulation.

What positions and angles are you using?

The traditional missionary position is among the worst for a woman to climax. Since an intercourse orgasm relies on indirect stimulation of the clitoris with his penis, the angle at which he penetrates and thrusts determines how much clitoral contact she feels.

If you’re lying in the missionary position, you can move your hips and legs to bring your clitoral head closer to the action, thus making it more likely that his penis will make contact there. I talk about this stuff in more detail in chapters on positions, what to do with your hips, and what to do with your legs in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design.

But other positions might work very well for you. Some women report PIV entry from behind as being more stimulating or woman on top allowing her to “grind” against him more. Test out different positions and angles and see which ones give you the most pleasure.

Do you have enough lubrication?

You say it feels amazing when he’s inside, but then you struggle with quickly getting sore. This could happen because you’re going at it for so long, chasing that elusive climax. But it could also be that your body runs out of lubrication. In which case, you should consider what you can do to remedy that.

Lack of lubrication is often a function of hormones, which is why it’s a struggle for many menopausal women. But it’s also a challenge at certain times in a woman’s cycle, meaning you might have an easier time climaxing through intercourse when you are ovulating. Also, if you’re taking oral contraception or on certain medications, they could affect your body’s ability to lubricate sufficiently.

If this is part of the issue, keep personal lubricant handy, apply it liberally, and add it as needed. He can always pull out, add some lubrication to his penis, and then thrust back in. Even if you do this a few times, it could help you go long enough to get to the climax without discomfort.

Why not add manual stimulation?

There is zero wrong with adding stimulation to get you over the edge. Likely, the best way to do this is to get you close to climax, or even have one climax already, and then have your husband penetrate. After that, he can add his hand, or you can add your own, to directly stimulate the clitoral head (the part of your clitoris that sticks out under the clitoral hood).

Get in a position that allows access to the clitoral head. Just a few choices include:

  • “Doggy style” (which fellow blogger Chris Taylor recently suggested we rename “stallion style,” a definite improvement), with your legs far enough apart for him to wrap his hand around or you to reach
  • Adapted missionary with your legs spread far apart, even like a butterfly yoga pose, so that your clitoral head is exposed for touching
  • “Cowgirl” (woman on top) with your hips tilted forward so he can view and reach your clitoral head

Christian Friendly Sex Positions even has an entire section on positions that allow access for manual clitoral stimulation you can check for ideas.

And those who are screaming at me right now, “A vibrator! You can use a vibrator!” Yes, you can use a bullet style vibrator as well to stimulate your clitoral head. I’m personally a fan of first seeing what magic you can work with your hands, but this is a good option for wives who have tried various options and still struggle to reach climax.

Is adding additional stimulation “cheating”? Or somehow less fulfilling than having a climax through intercourse alone? No. It’s engaging in sexual intimacy that is mutually arousing and satisfying to both of you.

You might be able to someday orgasm through intercourse alone … and you might not. Either way, you can orgasm with your husband inside you. And that produces the same wonderful sensations of your vagina spasming around his penis. That’s pretty great stuff, however it happens.

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Q&A with J: How Do I Express What I Want in Bed?

Last week, we talked some about difficulty reaching orgasm, and we’re back at it again today. But it’s a different issue with this wife, who needs some specific tips. Read on:

Do you have any tips for communicating with your husband during intercourse? Hubby and I have been married less than two years, and with most of that entailing some pretty serious physical issues, let’s just say orgasms for me have been hard to come by. We’re finally getting back on track, but still struggling with getting me “across the finish line.” I know we’re supposed to give our husbands in-the-moment feedback, but I literally can’t even figure out how to use words to describe what I want! And what words I can come up with, just the act of thinking and then speaking completely derails any momentum we had going, so end up either frustrated or bored trying to figure out how quickly I can wrap things up! I have tried guiding hubby’s hands but that ends up being more awkward and cumbersome than trying to speak! We talk outside of the bedroom, and I still have a hard time conveying specifically what I might want. And when I tell DH to try changing things up or experimenting a little, he seems to just go back to exactly what he’s used to doing! i love my husband dearly, but it’s like if I don’t give him point by point (by point by point by point) instructions he will always default to the same non-effective thing. Is it really completely my job to completely figure out and explain everything? (If you say yes I’ll believe you J 🙂 any tips for us?

Fessing up, I think communicating verbally during sex is one of the most awkward things I’ve done. Have you ever watched a lovemaking scene on-screen where someone said, “Hold on, I need you to move your hand a little to the left. Okay, there. Softer”? No. No, you have not. What do the scripts say? “I love you,” “You’re beautiful,” “You’re my soul mate,” etc.

And that’s all great. But sometimes you’re right in the throes of passion and intensity is building, and you know — just know — that if he could touch you differently, just a bit, you’d plunge into the orgasm pool with a great big aaaaah. So how do you help him know what brings you the greatest pleasure?

Let’s start with the last question this reader asked: Is it really completely my job to completely figure out and explain everything? No, it’s not. Ideally, you figure out together what works best for you. For instance, even though I’ve encouraged women to explore their own sexual organs to see what feels good so they can then translate that knowledge into the marriage bed, your hand and his hand feel different. So you still have some discovery to do together.

This is actually pretty cool, the way God designed sex. Rather than viewing it as an obstacle, it’s an opportunity take a guided tour of your spouse’s body and explore this amazing territory. What happens when I touch you like this? Do you like it when I kiss you here? How about here? What are your most sensitive places? How can I stir your sensuality and satisfy your senses? What can I do to take you over the edge?

So how do you do experiment and find out what works? Because that’s the first step. You can’t tell somehow what you like if you’ve had no experience with what you like. And it sounds like you two are doing this in the midst of making love. Maybe you need to step back, put intercourse on the back burner for a bit, and actually have a session of exploration, experimentation, and experience.

When you’re not focused on having intercourse or reaching an orgasm, you can slow down, take your time, and see what feels good. If you can swing it, it might be worth you stripping down but him leaving on his clothes, so that the focus is totally on you and your pleasure. Do this once, twice, or a few times, and it might be rather eye-opening for you both.

But even when you’re in the middle of exploration or foreplay, how do you know what you want? Do you really want more pressure or less? To be touched higher or lower? To have him go slower or faster? This is a mindfulness exercise for us women. We have to be very focused on what’s happening with our bodies. We have to mentally concentrate on the sensations we’re feeling and then think, What might feel even better?

It’s often very intentional at first. You purposefully set out to think about what you’re feeling, what might feel good, ask for that, then adjust — moment by moment, touch by touch. But it’s like learning anything else: after a while, you get better and know more quickly and intuitively what you like. Also, most husbands begin to read their wives better, recognizing certain kinds of tension in her body or sounds she’s making indicate greater pleasure.

But what words do you use? It depends somewhat on your own communication style. But, like you, I’ve found that forming words during lovemaking can be difficult at times. So I think a limited vocabulary can help in getting what you want. Keep it to single words and short phrases you can quickly get out and he can quickly respond to. Like softer, harder, faster, slower, up, down, deeper, etc.

Mind you, you might have to use opposite words in a row. Like if you say harder and he gets too rough, you’ll need to say softer to get him to back off little. By the way, hubbies, this is not a critique of your sexual performance. We’re actually more impressed with your lovemaking when you’re willing to listen to our suggestions and help us figure out how we can experience the most pleasure. Good lovers listen and learn.

Good lovers listen and learn. Click To Tweet

What about your momentum? Yeah, it’s interrupted. Once again … at first. When you start talking during lovemaking, it feels awkward and can disrupt your flow. But trust the process. Just because you’re playing scales now doesn’t mean you won’t be mastering Bach tomorrow. In fact, you have to play the scales first.

So let it be awkward. Even be playful about it. Faster, slower, there — yeah, baby [insert giggle here]. Feeling free enough to be a little off-kilter in the moment with your spouse increases intimacy. Because you’re sharing in this discovery, these private moments, and your eventual success.

One final thought: It’s okay to add yourself to this mix. I have encouraged wives to simply move his hand where you want it (hard to ignore that signal). But you can also put your own hand where you want to be touched and say here. Or even take over the direct stimulation, so that he can do something else that arouses you — and together, you bring yourself to climax. Not only is that okay, some husbands find it exciting to see their wives touch themselves. It shows them how into it she is.

I believe you can make this work and experience intimate lovemaking and amazing climaxes. May God bless your efforts!

Q&A with J: Does He Know How Your Orgasm Works?

Just so y’all know where my Q&As are, my email inbox is full with stories and questions. I read all of them, I pray about you, and I wish I could answer every one of you. But I can’t get to every one. If you have a severe issue in your marriage, keep pursuing answers and find help where you can get it — your personal physician, local pastor, or Christian counselor.

With that in mind, today’s question has been sitting in my inbox for months. But I’m eager to answer today, because this wife’s story illuminates some challenges in many marriage beds:

I have been married almost 8yrs and have never had an orgasm, this is frustrating to both me and my husband because he feels like he isn’t good enough and that he isn’t pleasing me. Even though I tell him time and time again that I do enjoy sex, and I do get a lot of pleasure even though I don’t orgasm. Sometimes I feel such intense pleasure that I think I’m going to and nothing happens, and he finishes, sometimes I feel like if he could last a little longer that maybe I could orgasm, but I don’t know (he wants to get a fleshlight to try some exercise to make him last longer but I don’t feel comfortable with it). I feel like he has given up on me, that he doesn’t even try to please me anymore, that sex is all for him and it makes me want to cry, there is hardly any foreplay anymore. I tried to talk to him, to tell him that I need foreplay to get wet, and I tried to explain that I read that some women need a lot of foreplay and clitoral stimulation to orgasm and that I want to try some new things. He took this as me being selfish and only wanting to do what I want by saying “I need this” that I only care about my pleasure and not his. But he does get pleasure and he does orgasm and I don’t, I just want to try to orgasm. He told me to try masturbating but I just don’t feel comfortable doing that because of how I was raised. I don’t know what to do. I don’t even want to bring it up to him anymore because I don’t want to upset him (he suffers from depression and self esteem issues, no he is not abusive).

Q&A-with-J-Does-He-Know-How-Your-Orgasm-Works with woman's hand grasping edge of bed

Starting with her issues about reaching orgasm, let me first share some of what I’ve written about that topic, and you can read whichever posts seem to apply to your situation:

What’s So Great about an Orgasm?

Why I Sometimes Don’t Care about the Orgasm

But I Still Can’t Orgasm! What Next?

Q&A with J: “I Just Can’t Seem to Orgasm”

Q&A with J: Your Pleasure & Orgasm Matter

Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage also keeps a running list of posts about orgasm on her aptly named The Orgasm Page. It’s a terrific resource.

And the best treatment I have about reaching climax is in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, where I walk through attitude, technique, and tips to help you achieve that marvelous peak of pleasure.

Now in this question, there seems to be a core issue that the husband doesn’t really understand how his wife’s orgasm works. And I hear that a lot.

Your spouse’s arousal isn’t like yours. We walk through life with the lens of our own experience coloring everything we see. When it’s relatively easy for you to orgasm, it can be hard to understand why it’s so difficult for your spouse. It takes intentionality and empathy to imagine what someone else is going through and to respond accordingly. But the beauty of God’s design is that you are required to get to know each other better, more intimately, to experience all the pleasure you can have in your marriage bed.

And it sounds to me like hubby just doesn’t know what her orgasm looks like. Because it isn’t like his. Or like he’s heard. Or even experienced with someone else. (I don’t know their history).

Once the wife learns more about how her pleasure and climax work (see resources above), then she can better teach her husband. But ultimately, it requires patience, communication, openness, exploration, and respect. Yep, respect. Respect that the wife’s body is its own beautiful creation and needs to be treated with wonder and, at times, perseverance.

Now I understand the appeal of a sex toy to help things out. That’s what a Fleshlight is, for those who don’t know. It’s a toy that simulates a vagina for a man to “practice” increasing his stamina. But in addition to my objections about the Fleshlight website (don’t go there—the “eye candy” is bad for you), I doubt this will achieve what you want. Because while it might increase his stamina, it still doesn’t help him figure out what works for your body. And your issue doesn’t seem to be him not lasting long enough. (By the way, if stamina is an issue, there are several techniques you can use to increase his time to climax.)

Also, while masturbating might get you there, ideally you want to experience him giving you such pleasure that you reach orgasm. I’m not opposed to adding your hand to the mix during a sexual encounter to finish out strong, but it is a lovely feeling to have your beloved husband get you all the way there.

With all that in mind, here’s what your husband needs to know about your orgasm. (You can even highlight and print the following and then hand it to him as a summary.)

Wanting orgasm isn’t selfish. God intended for both spouses to experience a great deal of physical pleasure and emotional bonding during the sex act. And while neither spouse has to climax every single time, it should be a regular occurrence that both of you complete your pleasure with that exciting peak. What’s selfish is to expect to achieve orgasm after orgasm after orgasm while your spouse pines to have even one.

Women usually don’t know their sexual organs as well as men know theirs. It’s a fact of life that men have easy access to their sexual organ from infancy, and they are intimately familiar with what it looks like, how it feels, and what it does. Women are more mysterious — with their sexual organs tucked in like the interior of a flower that must bloom for you to see and experience the beauty fully. Meaning we’ve got a learning curve to figure out how our bodies best respond sexually, and a husband can help a great deal with exploring and discovering all of her natural wonders.

It takes you a lot longer than it takes him. Typically, that’s true. Not necessarily once you’re both in the throes of passion, but most wives take longer to heat up to that point. We need romance, arousal, foreplay, pleasure. It’s why the number one tip I give husbands over and over is slow down.

Vaginal orgasms are the hardest to reach. Penetration is the best way for a man to climax, but not for a woman. Stimulation of the clitoris is required for a wife to reach orgasm. However, that stimulation is indirect during sexual intercourse, while it can be directly applied with manual play for her or oral sex. If you want a man’s view of how to approach things, Paul Byerly of Generous Husband has a detailed post for husbands on performing orgasmic massage.

Hopefully, that information and all the links in this post will help.

Finally, I know that you “don’t even want to bring it up to him anymore because I don’t want to upset him.” But what’s the alternative? Are you planning to continue the status quo? Because that seems rather unacceptable.

God wants you both to experience pleasure in the marriage bed, including the orgasm. Maybe you could read my post on talking to your spouse about sexual problems and figure out a way to bring up the subject gently, supportively, lovingly.

Q&A with J: He Wishes I Could Orgasm More

Today’s question is from a recently married wife.

Orgasms have always been difficult for me. I’ve probably had a dozen or so in nine months of daily sex. Now, this doesn’t mean I’m not enjoying sex — far from it! I absolutely love, and get a lot of pleasure from, our intimate times. But while I can get up to, say, an 8 out of 10 on a scale of “Brushing Your Teeth” to “Screaming Orgasm,” it’s pretty rare for me to actually tip over the edge. But I’ve found that one of the surest ways to enjoy sex LESS and be LESS able to get there in the end is to worry about whether or not I’m going to get there in the end. I’m happy most of the time just to relax, have a good time naked with my awesome hot husband, and let things happen (or not) as they will. I’m confident that as we learn to care for each other even better sexually in the coming months and years of our marriage, it’ll get easier for me to have orgasms.

So what’s the issue, then, you may be asking? Well, it’s my sweet, selfless husband, who feels absolutely terrible about the fact that he has 20 orgasms for every one I have. He’s told me he feels selfish, and like it’s unfair. I keep insisting that I’m having an awesome time, that I love having sex with him, and that I need to relax and not spend the first 30 minutes of sex worried about the last 30 seconds. But he still feels anxious and disappointed and, I think, a bit like he’s letting me down or failing me.

What should I do? Should I start… I don’t know, recommending books to him on how to bring a woman to orgasm? Are there such things from a Christian perspective, or that at least aren’t all about impressing your latest partner? Or do I just keep plugging away with the encouragement? I know it’s a bit silly to be writing in for advice because my husband is just too focused on my pleasure (and I can hear the folks in the comments section rolling their eyes now, haha!), but I really don’t know how best to approach it.

Q&A with J: He Wishes I Could Orgasm More

I’m not rolling my eyes, because I can see how this could cause some issues in the marriage. Yes, of course it’s awesome that her husband wants her to experience the mind-shattering climaxes, but not having those every time makes him feel like she’s missing out and then she’s wondering why she can’t orgasm more and it makes sex this chasing-the-golden-ring event. When what they both want and should have is an intimate, exciting experience in the marriage bed.

Now I agree she’s not having enough orgasms for all that daily sex, but I’ll get to that a bit later. First, I want to deal with some other issues brought up.

Is it unfair? She says he feels selfish for having so many more climaxes and thinks it’s unfair. It’s pretty clear he’s not selfish, because he’s concerned about her pleasure. But I agree: It is a little unfair. I know plenty of wives who’ve felt this way when they saw how much easier it can be for many guys to become aroused and to reach the apex of pleasure.

However, even though orgasm can take a long time to figure out or even a long time to reach, we ladies can have multiples. And isn’t that a little unfair to the guys? Rather than comparing apples and oranges here, we should appreciate the benefits and drawbacks to the biology we each have. If she skips orgasms from time to time, but has multiples other times, it can even out. But even if it doesn’t, we’re not keeping score.

Why is he anxious? Beyond his obvious desire to pleasure his wife, why else would he feel anxiety? Look, guys partly judge their sexual performance by how great they make their wives feel. If he has a hard time getting her to orgasm, he might take it personally — like there’s something wrong with his sexual prowess. And I’ll be supremely honest here: Maybe he could improve and help her get there more often.

Now much of the time, not orgasming has more to do with the physiological, emotional, and mental factors she has to deal with to reach climax. However, the popular notion that just by virtue of being a guy, he’ll know exactly how to turn you on is just bunk. Our bodies are complex and varied in how they respond.

It doesn’t help that movies and novels make it seems like women almost always climax during sexual intercourse with their man, yet other methods are far more likely to get her there. Since orgasms are tied to stimulation of the clitoris, direct stimulation from manual play and oral sex are often easier ways for wives to reach the Big O.

You can suggest resources to him, but even better is you two seeking them out together. My book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, is directed at wives but has a lot of tips you can both put into practice. It also has a whole chapter on reaching orgasm, including those multiples I mentioned. I also recommend Lovemaking by Dan and Linda Wilson and Sheet Music by Dr. Kevin Leman.

But let him know you’re willing to explore and discover what feels especially pleasurable to your body. Not like an All Encompassing Mission, but a playful adventure of trying new things and sharpening your skills together. You want to become experts in one another’s unique bodies. And for that, the best sex classroom is your own marital bedroom.

The best sex classroom is your own marital bedroom. Click To Tweet

Why is he disappointed? I’m not sure about this husband, but I hear generally from hubbies that they get an extra kick of excitement when their wives climax. It really turns them on to see their wives turned on. It wouldn’t be a shocker, then, for this husband to long for her to orgasm more often. Why not watch her reach the peak and fly right over with a big smile on her face? It makes the whole sex experience even better for him.

However, climax isn’t the only indicator of how fabulous sex feels to us gals. Sure, I’m all for rock-the-bed-frame orgasms, but what you describe is what I and other wives have also felt: Sometimes we can be happy to “have a good time naked with my awesome hot husband.” There’s a lot to be said for the vulnerability, closeness, and general pleasure of having sex, even if climax doesn’t happen this time around.

How can you get him to understand? That’s a tougher question. I’ve had some success drawing analogies that my husband would understand. Like for the sports lover: “What if you started playing a game, but got rained out before it finished? Would you feel the whole thing was a waste of time, or would you appreciate the time you got to play?” Or for the video gamer: “Do you feel like you have to win every round you play? Or do you sometimes enjoy just playing for the sake of it?” Not sure those are great, but you get the idea. Come up with your own analogy that he might relate to.

Should you keep plugging away? Your actual question was: “Or do I just keep plugging away with the encouragement?” But I’d say yes to both: encouragement and plugging away (if you know what I mean, *wink*). You’re absolutely right that you don’t need the extra pressure of Must Climax This Time. Trying too hard to reach orgasm can prevent a wife from reaching orgasm.

Keep things light with encouragement that you love the experience, that you enjoy orgasms when they happen, and that you believe you can work together to make your peaks more frequent. Keep reminding him that you like the whole shebang, not just the she-goes-bang. But then plug away with the sexual experience! Help him make small adjustments with his hands or mouth or your angles during intercourse. Speak up for what feels good . . . and what feels even better.

Let’s face it: Your current sex-to-orgasm ratio could be improved. And since orgasm feels so incredibly awesome, why not have more of them? Check out the tips on getting there from my book, go slower with arousal and foreplay, and figure out what makes your body sing.

And yes, I think orgasms will get easier as you grow accustomed to one another’s bodies. After all, according to the famous 10,000-hour Rule, we need about 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to become experts at something. Sure enough, couples report more satisfying sex after a decade or two of being together. Thankfully, you have a lifetime together to get in all that great practice. Enjoy!