Tag Archives: 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: Oral Sex, Good Habits, and “Ladies First” Orgasm

At the end of last year, my email inbox had 336 emails I needed to address. Through a concerted effort in the last month, I have gotten my inbox down to 120 emails!

Several of the questions I received didn’t warrant a full post, but I answered the individuals in briefer return emails. Today, I want to share three of those with you, and next week I’ll share more.

Blog post title + illustration of bed with three question marks above

1. “Blow Jobs” and Lockjaw

Not sure if you’ve addressed something like this question before but what would you do if your husband loves a good blow job, and would like it often, but it quite literally pains you — I have a really bad lockjaw issue that I go to the chiropractor for to help manage it and I’ve noticed that after I’ve given him head I get pretty bad flare up. I’ve mentioned this to him, but it doesn’t seem to phase him much I guess. I start to get irritated while doing it because I’m in pain and I don’t want to feel like that because I love pleasing him, as he is very good to me, but I don’t love being in pain everyday because of it either…What would you do?!

Since you asked the straightforward question, “What would you do?!” I’ll answer just as directly: not give blow jobs.

If you literally have a physical condition that prevents you from performing a certain sexual activity in your marriage bed, and especially if that activity gives you pain, you shouldn’t have to do that. Not giving your husband fellatio doesn’t count under the “do not deprive” clause of 1 Corinthians 7:3-5.

If your husband doesn’t understand, then he probably doesn’t realize how much it hurts you. Sometimes we think we’re being clear about something, but we’re really not or our spouse has a blind spot — so their lack of responsiveness isn’t because they don’t care, but rather how they’re receiving the information.

That said, you can still give him oral sex. Without giving him the full blow job. I talked about that in each of these posts:

What Does He Mean by “Oral Sex”? (It May Not Be What You Think)
5 Things You Should Know about Oral Sex

Now I don’t know a whole lot about lockjaw, but I suspect you could still attend to the head of his penis. And you could add other things to your repertoire. Hey, maybe you become the Hand Job Master! (I have tips for that in my book.)

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2. Making Sex a Habit

Our sex life is good, not great and we both want to improve it. Have you written about making sex a habit? We’re constantly amazed that if we go a week or a bit more and we make love, how wonderful it is and we inevitably say to each other “why don’t we do this more??” LOL. So curious on your thoughts of helping making love to become a routine habit (we both generally agree 2-3x a week would be ideal.

Yes, I talk about scheduling sex in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous (see above), and I’ve answered the question “How Often Should You Have Sex?

Within a lot of posts, I’ve talked about making sex a regular, routine part of your marriage (e.g., see Be Your Husband’s Sure Thing). As for how, one idea I covered was tracking the frequency of sex in marriage (and the comments on that post were interesting), and this is an oft-covered topic on the podcast I co-host with three other marriage bloggers, Sex Chat for Christian Wives.

But yeah, I dare say that most couples should make love more often! It’s a great, God-given perk of marriage.

3. “Ladies First” Orgasm

How can I reconcile my need to orgasm with his inclination to sleep? Once he comes he gets super relaxed and if I am not quick to catch up, I will find myself with a snoring hubby, sometimes still inside me! This isn’t always a big problem, but if I am getting close to that point, it frustrates the heck out of me, and I even feel like crying. Which is not the way I want to finish off a good romp. I would rather not let myself enjoy it too much than to really enjoy it and then get left in the lurch like that.

My immediate thought was Why isn’t she orgasming first? It seems like that would resolve a lot if he just adopted a “ladies first” policy. This could mean that your husband brings you to orgasm before penetration, or it could mean that you add direct clitoral stimulation (his hand or yours) during intercourse to get you to climax more quickly.

However, if none of that works, I’d wake him up, gently but firmly, and say, “Hey, can we finish me off?” Let him know that you enjoyed the experience, but he got his peak and you’d like to see yours, thank you very much.

I’ll be back with more Q&A next week. If you want to ask me something, head over the contact form and send me your question. It’s slow going at times, but I really am making my way through the inbox!

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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.

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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!

Q&A with J: Your Pleasure & Orgasm Matter

Back today (a day late, but here) with another reader question. I’ve often said that husbands delight in turning their wives on and seeing them satisfied, except I tend to say most husbands. Because some don’t. Read on:

I don’t know if you’ve addressed this, but I’ve been married almost 10 years now. And I’ve only had maybe 3-5 orgasms with my husband. I know I can orgasm easily from previous self masturbations in literally 2 minutes. But what do you tell woman [whose] husbands don’t care much. I asked him if it bothered him that I don’t orgasm, he said it didn’t. He just recently started manual stimulation, but it takes him a while to start there, or even do it, so I don’t feel like he’s into it, which makes me want to stop it. I try to give pointers, but I really don’t see a desire that it matters to him. He’s said before that it would be cool if we could orgasm at the same time.

I think he’s completely clueless how things work, but thinks he knows. But I ask him frequently what he thinks of sex and if we should change anything if I could do more for him or what he likes best. And he always says everything is great, but yet never asks me. I feel used for sex and I have told him that before. In fact the other day I made him stop, because a lot of times after sex I cry, he falls asleep and I’m in tears. I have even told him his, but it doesn’t register anything to him. I know he doesn’t use me and loves me, but I feel like it’s all about him. I’m not confident in his attraction to [me] (previous porn use in our marriage early on, now gone). But so much damage in our relationship.

And I can’t figure out why orgasm is so hard for woman, I know people say it’s so that you have to really know each other and figure out each other. But I have a husband who acts like he doesn’t care to figure me out and sex is great for him. I find it mundane, boring and about in tears every time. I know I can’t withhold sex from him, but I also can’t feel like this every time we have sex. I don’t know what God wants me to do. I really don’t feel confident even talking to my husband about it. Cause he acts like he’s already heard it, and I think it’s annoying to him.

Q&A with J: Your Pleasure & Orgasm Matter

As usual, I wish I could talk to this husband, however. I suspect he’s thinking and feeling all kinds of things he hasn’t expressed to his wife. And I don’t know whether it’s because he doesn’t care or he doesn’t know how to talk about sex. For some men, it’s a very uncomfortable subject. Because they’re supposed to know what to do, and when things don’t work, it can feel embarrassing, even emasculating, for some husbands.

What I really wish husbands understood is female sexuality isn’t as straightforward as men’s. Their penises constantly stick out, while our pleasure places hide like turtle heads in their shells until drawn out by arousal. They have a fairly straightforward path to climax, while ours is more changeable and meandering. They are mostly driven by a physical sex drive, while wives tend to be more mentally driven with sexual intimacy. The point being, a guy’s orgasm is like that baking soda + vinegar science experiment that creates a mini-volcano, while a woman’s orgasm is more like quantum physics. It’s not our fault. It just is, and hey, you guys make pretty great scientists when you want to be.

But I can’t chat with hubby or explain the particulars of female sexuality to him. So I’ll address your concerns one by one, and see if we can come up with a strategy to improve your marital intimacy.

Did prior porn use set up unrealistic expectations? You slid this in briefly: “previous porn use in our marriage early on, now gone.” But that’s really telling. Porn tends to send several messages to men: (1) Women should be eager and quick to turn on. (2) Sex is about getting what you want. (3) Orgasms are easily achieved. All of which I call hogwash.

Away from the bedroom and your issues, I’d try to have a conversation with him about what messages from pornography he still carries, how he thinks it impacted the way he views sex, and what your reality about sex is. For tips on having an effective conversation, see How to Talk about Sexual Problems with Your Spouse. Such a discussion might reveal the areas where you need to break down unrealistic expectations and create mutually satisfying goals for your sex life.

Would he want to go without orgasm? You said, “I asked him if it bothered him that I don’t orgasm, he said it didn’t.” Really? I’d immediately respond with, “So what if you don’t have an orgasm? Is that okay?” I don’t know many husbands — or any — who are willing to forgo orgasm more often than not.

You need to stress to him that your pleasure matters. That you want to enjoy this experience, feel that deep intimacy, and make this aspect of your marriage something you look forward to. But just as he wouldn’t enjoy sex with no climaxes, why does he expect you to?

Yes, it’s more complicated for you to reach climax, but once he learns more about your body and how to stimulate you, it will get easier. It’s an initial layout of time and effort, but he can become the Giver of Great Orgasms and essentially your sexual hero. You could even use that phrase: sexual hero.

You don’t to have to have sex if he’s hurting you. You mentioned that “I can’t withhold sex from him, but I also can’t feel like this every time we have sex.” It’s true that you shouldn’t withhold sexual intimacy from your husband. But you also said that you’ve ended up in tears.

I don’t know whether that’s an emotional response based on not feeling loved in the moment, or if it’s because he’s continuing to have sex with you when it doesn’t feel good to your body. I just want to make it clear that if the sex is literally hurting you, you can back it up and say no. Not no for all time, but no under the circumstances that it’s hurting you. And if he wants to continue, he must take your sexual needs into consideration.

1 Corinthians 7:3-5 says:

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

We cannot deprive each other, but you share responsibility for your bodies. You yield your body to him, but he yields his body to you as well. And his body doesn’t get to abuse your body. That’s not what’s meant by this verse. It’s about mutual respect and generosity in the marriage bed.

Sex can be an annoying subject to discuss. Finally, you say: I really don’t feel confident even talking to my husband about it. Cause he acts like he’s already heard it, and I think it’s annoying to him.” Not sure I know anyone who felt confident and relaxed the first time they brought up a sex problem, or really any big problem, in their marriage. So don’t expect to feel fabulous about it, because it’s awkward and difficult and rife with potential misunderstandings.

But you also cannot ignore the problems. You’ve been married 10 years already. Do you really want to go another 10 years with how things are now? I can’t imagine that you do. So the only way to make progress is to face the struggle and make it clear to your husband that you believe in your ability to get through anything together.

And I’m not surprised he comes across as being annoyed if/when you bring it up. You might be inadvertently poking areas of doubt or frustration for him. Make sure you’re not coming across as critical of your man and his sexuality. Tell him you trust his heart and his capacity to forge a strong bond with you in the bedroom. Even say that you don’t want to annoy him with this topic, but you want to figure it out so that you’re both happy with your sexual intimacy.

As for getting you to orgasm with manual stimulation, and his frustration with that experience, maybe he’d like a primer on exactly what to do. You could read together my post on Manual Play for Her and/or Paul Byerly’s post on Orgasmic Massage.

HHH coverThere are plenty more tips in Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design! It’s available for order right now.

 

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

My Q&A with J feature has moved to Thursdays, giving me more time in the week to contemplate my response and answer. Today’s reader question is about one of our favorite topics (right, ladies?): orgasm.

We’ve been married for only 18 wonderful months, and have enjoyed the journey so far! But, I just can’t seem to orgasm. . . . I’m very body confident and pro sex, so I don’t think negative attitudes are what is holding me back. We have tried so many things to help me get there, and I often read blogs and Christian books to glean information. . . . When we make love it’s like I go up and up and up, and feel like I can’t possibly go any higher, but just can’t find what will help me tumble over the edge. It’s frustrating.

I know you encourage masturbation in these circumstances, to find out what works, but my husband closes up at the idea of me going solo, even if he were to be present. This is probably because I had an issue with masturbation when I was a sexually frustrated single woman. Because it was sin to me then, he has a hard time even accepting that it could be part of our marriage bed.

So I was wondering if you have any other ideas that might help, or are we just too green yet? Can I expect that with more time, trial and error and getting to know one another will eventually get me where I want to go?

Q&A with J: "I Just Can't Seem to Orgasm"

How many wives have experienced that annoyance of not getting all the way to orgasm? At times, that climax can feel as elusive as the answer to that one crossword puzzle clue you can’t solve. So how can you “tumble over the edge”?

I have stated before that wives who cannot seem to orgasm may want to explore their own bodies to see what works and to demonstrate to their husbands how to touch them. This is very different from pursuing solo masturbation as a habit, because it’s for information and intimacy between husband and wife. But that’s certainly not the only way to go about this, and given the reader’s history, I can understand not wanting to introduce this activity.

First, here are a few prior posts about orgasm:

Orgasm: If Only I Could O
3 Tips on Having a Great Orgasm
What’s So Great about an Orgasm?
But I Still Can’t Orgasm! What Next?

And Julie Sibert of Intimacy in Marriage has a reference page for orgasm posts written by her and others. Reading those posts may help.

Ah, the frustration! I can’t help but think that one is issue is how hard we wives try. I understand that moment when you’re in the midst of making love and what your husband is doing is totally turning you on, and you think any minute now this is going to give me the kind of orgasm that deserves a standing ovation, and then . . . you’re waiting . . . you’re waiting . . . still waiting . . .

“Frustrating” is accurate. But here’s what happens to your body when you’re frustrated:

Throat closes
Stomach hardens
Chest tightens
Blood pressure rises
Head aches
Jaw hurts*

Does any of that sound sexy? No, not really. Of course, your body can tighten up and your blood pressure can rise when you’re in the midst of an amazing high, but most physiology of frustration runs counter to getting you fully to climax.

Which is why when you reach that why can’t I edge over?! moment, one help is to back off that ledge, breathe deeply, and focus merely on the sensations happening in your pleasure zones. This may take you to an earlier point so that you have to build back up again, but you’re more likely to reach orgasm if you can lean into those feelings rather than having them tighten you up.

But what about sex toys? I know exactly what some readers are thinking right now: Just grab a vibrator already and let the buzz do the job! And I know vibrators have helped wives who really struggle with orgasm to finally reach climax. I think there’s a place for such marital aids.

But honestly, the longer I’ve been writing about sex in marriage, the less eager I am about sex toys. Maybe it’s because I watched this shift in our culture to sex being a purely physical experience, and then saw that perspective move in and take hold in some Christian circles. And while I’m 100% sold on sex being physically pleasurable (thank you, God!), if that’s our main focus, we’re missing out on God’s full design for sex in marriage.

There’s something valuable and sensual about using only the body parts God gave you to satisfy one another sexually. Not that it has to happen that way every time, but sex toys can shortcut the opportunity to really get to know our own body and our spouse’s body. Speaking for myself, I find it seriously sexy what my husband’s hand can do, but I wouldn’t be so impressed if a device with batteries did the same thing.

My point is simply that the ideal is to figure out together how to bring complete sexual satisfaction to one another without depending on outside frills. If the problem continues for a long time, however, I’d certainly look into marital aids as an option.

Practical tips. This wife says, “We have tried so many things to help me get there.” Since I don’t know what “so many things” includes, here’s a quick roundup of ideas:

Parts. Contact with his penis is the least easy way to reach orgasm. (Sorry, guys, it’s great — but I’m being honest here.) To reach that first, second, or maybe fifth orgasm, he should use his hands or his mouth.

Pacing. Take time with the build-up. This might feel like a slow-motion movie to a guy itching to get it on with his wife, but oftentimes it’s that first orgasm that’s hardest to reach. Once you know your bodies better, it can become a quicker process. Let your hubby know where to start and what you need, guiding the pacing with clear communication.

Pressure. The right pressure matters. Too hard, and you won’t feel good. Too soft, and you won’t feel. Help him know how much friction you’d like and whether he should press or stroke harder or softer. He’ll likely need to change the pacing as you go, so help him make adjustments.

Positions. Try lying on your back, lying on your stomach, straddling him, butterfly pose (knees cocked out, opening up access), on your knees, sitting on the edge of a chair, whatever you can think of. Despite all of us ladies having the same basic parts, our sensitivities are not the same, and some positions will give you more pleasure than others. See what works for you.

Clitoris. That’s what he’s aiming for. Make sure he starts elsewhere and gets you warmed up, but when it’s time to aim for the climax, he needs to be making pleasurable contact with that little knob of flesh between your urethral opening and your vagina.

Edging. I’ve been planning to write a whole post about this technique, so I’ll move that up in my queue and get to it soon. But edging in mutual sex is bringing your partner close to orgasm, slowing things down, and then bringing her back up again — a few times. This can increase the intensity so that when he finally follows through, it’s easier to reach orgasm.

He’s doing great. One last thing I want to mention: It’s frustrating for hubby too. The general message out there is that real men make their women hit the ceiling with orgasms every time. I have yet to see a rom-com or read a romance novel where the guy was a great lover but his woman didn’t climax. Which is frankly silly.

To husbands reading this, you’re a terrible lover if you aren’t trying. But if it’s a more of a challenge than you expected, hang in there and help her reach the height of pleasure that she, and you, deserve.

And for you wife, reassure your hubby that he’s doing great, that you’re in this together, and that you love that closeness with him. Of course, you want the orgasm and that should be a priority, but let your husband know he rocks your world in many ways.

What other ideas would you add for reaching orgasm?**

*From The Emotion Thesaurus by Angela Ackerman & Becca Puglisi, a must-have book for fiction authors!

**You might want to check out my Comments Policy. Highly graphic comments or comments linking to questionable resources do not get approved.