Tag Archives: wives and orgasm

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: “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.

5 Tips for Reaching Climax

On Monday, I compared various sensations of orgasm to an amusement park. (Because my brain works strangely like that.) But I know some wives still haven’t achieved orgasm, and others have been on that ride but not as often as they’d like.

So here are five tips for reaching climax:

Woman's hand counting to five

1. Empty your brain. Okay, okay, I know some of you women are clutching your sides with laughter. The notion of a wife, mom, household manager, worker, and task-master shoving everything out of her brain is like me suggesting you lasso a hurricane. But get your rope ready, girlfriend, because I believe in you!

As long as you have other things running through your brain besides your arousal and love and connection, it will be hard to climax. So how do you “empty your brain”? Start by preparing for sex, doing what you need to do to focus on the marriage bed. Then shift your mind away from stray thoughts that try to pull you away and onto what’s happening in your body and with your husband; this is a process you’ll likely have to practice. Meditate on the sensations in your body and lean into your pleasure.

By the way, one of those distractions you don’t want running through your brain is concern about whether or not you’ll climax. Thinking about pleasure and thinking about climax aren’t the same thing. Focus on your feelings, and then let the excitement happen.

2. Get to know your body. In one sense, female orgasm is pretty straightforward in that stimulation of the clitoris, direct or indirect, is what leads to that Squeee! moment. But how your clitoris likes to be stimulated is specific to you.

Which means that achieving orgasm means you need to experiment and explore how you like to be touched. Some wives like to try a bit of this on their own first, as personal education, so they can better instruct their husbands later. Or a husband can simply try a bunch of different touches — varying pressure, stroke, angle, location, etc. You can also work together, with you touching yourself and then letting him mimic the motions.

But it could be well-worth your time to take a lovemaking session, or two or three, and find out what really gets you revved up. Many husbands are very willing to give this a go, if you let them know you want to increase your excitement in the bedroom. During this time, don’t focus so much on climax as learning what gives you extreme pleasure. Extreme pleasure should eventually lead to climax.

3. Ask for what you want. Raise your hand if it feels awkward to speak up for something you want during sex! I see all of you out there, and years ago I would have raised my hand too. But honestly, how’s a guy to know what feels bad or good to you unless you tell him?

If you really want him to stop that good-heavens-doesn’t-he-know-I-hate-that move, you have to speak up. Of course, you should use your nice words — something like, “That’s a little too much pressure for me. Could you touch me more gently? I think that would really turn me on.”

Then when your husband really hits the sweet spot, let him know. As if that man just shot a nothing-but-net basket, you should cheer him on. (You go, husband! Well done.) You can leave out your pom-poms (or not), but tell him with words, moans, happy noises, or a little mutual pleasuring when he’s doing something that arouses you.

4. Change it up. The next challenge is that even when something feels totally awesome at the moment, you may need something else a minute later to keep you rising toward that peak. I feel for husbands, because some of them treat our woman parts like a genie lamp — thinking that once they find the right place and way to rub, they can just keep doing it and the magic will be released.

It’s more like rub a little here, rub a little there, harder here, softer there — yeah, like a moving target at times. But hey, your fabulous hubby is up to the challenge, and you can let him know what your body is craving for. Help him vary his approach and keep you on the path toward the peak.

As your excitement increases, you’ll likely want greater pressure, faster stroking, and maybe additional stimulation elsewhere — such as touching or kissing your breasts or digital penetration. If your arousal reaches a plateau, change something up and see if that gets you climbing again.

5. Fogettaboutit! As I said before, one of the climax-killing things you can do is worry too much about reaching orgasm. Do you want to get there? Sure. But worry tenses your body and makes you less responsive to arousal.

So once you’re in the midst of sexual pleasure, just enjoy it. Get as much pleasure as you can from the experience, and be sure to pleasure your husband as well. Your ultimate goal is intimacy, and climax is only one thing that contributes to that one-flesh experience.

If you don’t get there today, you might get there tomorrow. Or next week. Or while at the in-laws’ house during the holidays (Wouldn’t that be a hoot?). But focus on your lovemaking feeling fabulous, and you may find the orgasm comes on its own.

So there are some of my tips.

Now what suggestions do you have for achieving orgasm? What have you found that works? Or doesn’t work?