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.
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!
40 thoughts on “Q&A with J: He Wishes I Could Orgasm More”
I don’t know how accurate this is, but I’ve read somewhere that only 20-25% of women can climax via penetration alone. Experimenting with oral, manual stimulation, vibes, etc. might be helpful.
Even with my wife – who is in that 20-25% – sometimes has difficulty orgasming from penetration. What often works well in those situations is to get her to the first one orally, then change to intercourse, and the next one happens much more easily.
I’ve heard even fewer than that!
I think the numbers for women surveyed about their masturbation habits are pretty revealing — something like 5% choose only penetration, and the other 95% choose either only clitoral stimulation or a combination. Whatever your views on masturbation, that’s a pretty dramatic stat, that given complete autonomy to choose, only a small fraction of women choose penetration.
My wife had never orgasmed till we were
8 years into marriage. Turned out she pretty much needs a vibrator to get enough stimulation to go over the edge. I feel like I can have her at the edge of the cliff for 20-30 minutes, and I get exhausted. Then we pull out the vibe and it takes another 7-10 minutes after that.
Any stats on how many women “Gush” when they orgasm? My wife often chooses not to orgasm because of the mess the large amount of fluid creates.
I wrote about that phenomenon in this post: Female Ejaculation: Is It Real? I don’t know the stats, but some women experience it a lot, others now and again, and some likely never. You can find ways around the mess, though. Hey, offer to do the clean-up for her!
Through 25 years of marriage and lots of trial and error, I can almost always orgasm with my husband manually stimulating the clitoris and simultaneous penetration. Yes, I have a very sweet husband and he is as concerned with my pleasure as his
J quoted, “I’m happy most of the time just to relax, have a good time naked with my awesome hot husband.”
My first reaction is that this guy is really blessed to have a naked wife in his arms who’s having a good time. So many wives don’t. OTOH, I can say, after sleeping with the same woman for 53+ years that it really IS frustrating to me when she can’t come (cum?), either before or after I’ve got mine. To use an image, a good orgasm with a willing wife makes a man feel 10 feet tall. If she orgasms too, he feels 20 feet tall, and able to conquer the world.
Liz says it takes “lots of trial and error,” and it does. Lots of concern and understanding, too. So this lady should try to learn to orgasm.
Does she know what her clitoris is for? Does he? Has he tried stimulating her clit with his tongue? Some women want some rough play. Others prefer very gentle. A clitoris has about the same # of nerve endings as a man’s glans, but they’re concentrated in a much smaller space, so the clitoris can be very, very sensitive. But why am I saying this? There are plenty of books that give the clinical details better than I can.
So gently, a little at a time, she can learn to orgasm. But not expect it to happen overnight!
Yep, lots of tips about stuff like this in my book. 🙂
We have been married over 35 years. My wife has never had a true orgasm, mostly due to health reasons. Even though I sometimes feel that I have failed as a husband, she has assured me this is not a failure on my part. She still enjoys being with me. Sh also reminds me that we need to be content with our limitations…sex is only a part of our marriage.
I think it’s difficult for us men to accept that a woman can be enjoying sex without an orgasm. It’s so important to our own pleasure that we automatically assume it’s as important to yours. And, because we measure our self-worth by our accomplishments, and since the most important thing we can do is love our wife, and since we know that a woman’s love is responsive to ours and since, to us, love means sex, it’s only natural that we measure our success as a husband-lover by our wife’s sexual response, which to us means orgasm.
I’m learning, however, that it’s just not that important to her. She amazes me in that, after having a wonderful orgasm, she has little interest in doing it again for several weeks. But, she’ll always want a foot rub, so now, “making love,” means a daily foot rub and, maybe, a weekly orgasm. If that’s what says love to her, then that’s what I’ll do.
I enjoy making love with my husband but honestly, I do not enjoy sex as much when I’m left without an orgasm. Actually, it’s very frustrating to me and kind of sad when my husband has an amazing orgasm at the end of our lovemaking and I’m left without.
I think an important aspect to this is how often a couple is having sex compared to how often a wife orgasms.
In other words, if a couple is having sex daily or near daily and the wife chooses not to try for an orgasm every single time that may be different than a couple who only have sex 1-2 times weekly and the wife does not reach orgasm each time. The first wife may be very content not climaxing each time because sex is a regular thing, whereas the second wife (such as in my case) finds it frustrating and not as enjoyable because of the infrequency of sex. If that makes sense.
It only proves how each person is unique. My wife has told me she could go the rest of her life without an orgasm and not miss it. And, yet, nearly every time we make love, which is now about once every week or two, she has an intense orgasm (and, no she’s not faking it). In those rare situations when she hasn’t climaxed, she has not expressed any frustration. Everybody’s different.
Yes every person is different, but I admit it amazes when I hear other women say they could go without an orgasm for the rest of their lives.
And my first comment was not actually meant to be in reply to your comment, guess I hit the wrong button! 😉
It amazes me too, but I’ve heard/read it so many times that I think it is very common.
Yes. This totally makes sense Amy! The first 8 years of our marriage, we were having sex about 5-7 times a week. I used to sometimes not orgasam during sex but it was totally ok with me because I knew we would be having sex very soon and I’d get another chance at intimacy and an orgasam….now, we are on year 13 of marriage, we have 2 kids at home and my husband was diagnosed with Low Testosterone this past year. We have sex 2-4 times a month. It is WONDERFUL when we do, but if I don’t orgasam during sex, it makes me a little grumpy because I know it could be weeks before we are intimate again. I habe always been the higher-drive spouse. My husband has started taking vitamin supplements to improve his T levels, and i am able to orgasam pretty easily (yay for hitting my sexual peak in my 30s!!) But it makes me sad to think that we only get to experience that peak of enjoyment just a few times a month.
So I totally get what you are saying here!!
I think this is a good point! Having one orgasm for every 10 times you have sex would certainly be easier to manage if you’re having sex 5-7 times a week, vs once a week or even less!
I’ve tried for years to help my wife learn how to orgasm–I was feeling the same way as the original questioner. But, there’s only so long I’ll go “learning” how to help her orgasm; at some point, she needs to take responsibility and learn it too. I won’t know how to please her, until she knows what pleases her.
She won’t touch herself to figure out what feels good (she says, “I can’t tickle myself… similarly, I can’t pleasure myself”), so it’s all up to me, it seems.
After 3 years of trying, I give up. I think deep down she’s afraid (in some way) of orgasming, though she won’t admit. Right now, she says she generally enjoys sex. So, I can experience release during sex, but I guess I don’t “enjoy” it anymore… I think that’s because she’s clearly communicated–through her actions–that she doesn’t want to pursue a better sex life with me.
So, if she doesn’t want to pursue it at all, I certainly won’t continue to pursue it without her running beside me. I’m tired of running alone.
Man, I so get where you’re coming from on this… I felt the exact same way. Here’s the good news, and the “bad” news if you will…
We’ve been married for 25+ years, and my wife had never, ever, had an orgasm in her life until less than a year ago! She never had an inclination to masturbate, which, as a dude, totally flabbergasted me. She hadn’t had many sexual relationships before we met, but enough that one of them should have even noticed that it never happened for her.
I am serious when I tell you that she didn’t know what it meant when I told her I wanted to make her “come” during our first sexual experience. She looked at me like I had four heads!
Moving forward, I tried unsuccessfully many times to figure her out, but like you, it was a one sided quest. She had zero interest in even talking about it, and I just gave up. For literally years…
Fast forward to a little over two years ago, as we went through some very serious rough waters, we managed to stay afloat, and it became important to me that she and I both trusted each other implicitly. In every area, including sexual vulnerability. She fought me at every step, and I stayed the course, because I wanted to experience total openness as a couple, and her refusal to be that vulnerable with me made me feel like she didn’t trust me completely. It wasn’t about “the big O” specifically, but that was a tangible means of her showing her commitment, if that makes any sense.
The good news, is that she finally let go, and trusted that I wasn’t aiming for a “brass ring” for myself, and that I genuinely wanted our sexual intimacy to be all that God intended it to be.
It was the hardest, most frustrating experience ever, but man has it proven to be worth it!
I say all of this to say there’s one way that I can guarantee you that she’ll never go there with you, and that is to quit. No judgement brother, because I did the same thing.
But by the Grace of God, and honestly, with the encouragement from J, and other marriage bloggers, He reminded me that I did say, “For better or worse…”
There’s no sweeter words to my ears than to hear her say, breathlessly, “Thank you for not giving up on me…”
Hope this helps in some way,
Thanks for sharing your story.
Oral sex absolutely! He should become an expert at using his tongue on your lady parts. You’ll like it, a lot, and I’ll bet you can have an orgasm every time from it if both of you will be patient and learn the moves “down there” that float your boat. Not only that, but as a side benefit, he will become almost addicted to your body and will get to the point where he will crave your taste (see “copulins” on the Internet). Cunnilingus is an essential skill that every married man needs to master if he truly wants to satisfy his wife. Many women cannot understand how a man could possibly find it appealing, but God created you to be delicious in your husband’s sight. See for yourself, it’s in Song of Solomon.
I don’t think cunnilingus is an “essential skill” to satisfy a wife. Some wives don’t actually enjoy it and would prefer other activities. But it is very enjoyable for many.
Okay, so I am extremely jealous of the wife asking this question. First, daily sex! That sounds amazing. I’d be thrilled if my husband loved me that much, and were that attracted to me that he wanted to have sex with me daily. If we do it twice a week, that’s a bonus!
Secondly, 30 minutes? Wow!!! I would love to make love for 30 minutes or more. 15 minutes would be a long time for us. Sometimes I think he just likes to get it over with.
On a positive note, I have an orgasm almost every time. And when I don’t, my husband does get upset. So I feel your pain there, it is a lot of pressure. It can be hard to just enjoy the lovemaking when you know you have to focus so hard or having an orgasm. And since I know there’s a time limit, I know I have to have it fast or miss out. In which case, I agree with Amy – it kinda stinks if you don’t have an orgasm and know your next chance won’t be for a week to ten days.
Daily sex would be an amazing blessing. Again I totally envy you. You two must have an amazing marriage, congratulations!!
Yes, I think it’s great they’re having daily sex. And a hearty congratulations is in order!
But I should also put this in context: They’ve been married less than a year. I think it gets harder to keep up that schedule once you have more household, job, and parenting responsibilities. More typical is 2-3 times a week. Which would also be great, right? 😉
I think that the most complete survey of American female sexual experience was a REDBOOK poll of 100,000 sexually-active girls and women, age 15 to 80+, in 1971. I know that’s a long time ago, but it’s where I got this statistic, so I’ll cite it. (I’m working on a book, btw, and I was surprised to discover that the REDBOOK poll is still the one most often cited.
Whereas the average “sexually active” female, married or not, has sex twice a week, women who remained virgins until they married, and who attend a house of worship weekly, average 4.3 sessions of lovemaking a week. These women more often reported that they enjoy sex than any other group.
There are newer studies, but they support that data generally.
The 4.3 times a week sounds high to me, especially since most surveys claim 20%+ of married couples are sexless (sex 10 or less times a year) in the US.
I’m responding both Anonymous and to the person who feared they were being “punished,” since they weren’t raised in a Christian home. First, J’s response was right on (I have taken college statistics, but I’d need to research to give a definitive answer). Polls that require people to respond to sensitive subjects do tend to be skewed. But I think that 100.000 responses is a representative sample.
The fact that this figure is 44 years old makes it suspect, but recent data have confirmed that, in general, virgins and strong Christians have much more more sex after marriage than any other group–and they enjoy it more. And ALL married couples have more sex than singles who have multiple partners. This turns an ungodly theory, on its head–the often joked about notion that “church ladies” are prudes who have sex only to have kids.
After all, God created sex and expected humans to enjoy it. The most romantic book ever written is in the Bible–the Song of Solomon. Or take Proverbs 5:18-19, “Let your fountain (possible metaphor for penis) be blessed . . . let her breasts always satisfy you; be lost in her love forever.” IOW, get naked and enjoy it!
H.L. MENCKEN famously said that “Puritans were unhappy to see anyone having fun.” Mencken, who edited the Philadelphia Inquirer, was an ungodly man who made sport of Christians. Puritans, OTOH, enjoyed lots of sex with their spouses–promoted it, in fact.
Satan is ever busy with his perversion, which is promiscuity, and the diseases and heartache that go with it. Not surprisingly, it is those who ignore God’s urging to marry and make love who are the ones really miserable, wanting sex when there’s none to be had, masturbating in frustration after a teen necking session that ended badly, divorcing and murdering over broken love affairs.
If you grew up without Christian parents, but have found the Lord and a Christian husband, you are blessed indeed–although, still being human, you’ll have issues to work through, sure. So, NO, you’re not being punished. We all have issues, and we can praise God that He’s there to help us through–even such personal issues as head colds, crying babies and an UTI when you want to make love. Believe me, these affect us all.
Right now I’m coauthoring a book for women with a lady who’s written for two Christian marriage counselors. We’re dealing with female-male relationships in the Bible, and applications to women in the 21st century. So I’ve done a ton of research. Additionally, she and I have more than 100 years of marriage between us . . . and we’re both very sex positive. Not to worry, though–we’re separated by 2,000 miles and the Rocky Mountains! We thank the Lord for email and inexpensive phone connections.
We’ve got the .3 weekly sessions down. Now we just have to shoot for the other 4.
So I’m being punished because I wasn’t raised in a Christian home and didn’t have the benefit of wise parental guidance?
NO! Absolutely not. Statistics can be tough to work with, especially when it comes to sexuality — because most of it is self-report, and the people who participate tend to be more sex-positive and sexually active. Also, they’ll give averages, which don’t say anything about the rest of the continuum (specifically where the standard deviations are, for those of you have taken statistics). When looking at studies like these, think about the general conclusions: That you’re better off doing things God’s way. And if that wasn’t how you were raised, don’t turn to statistics to figure out the next step — the Gospel clearly says we start doing righteous things now and there is redemption, hope, and an inheritance of joy. That’s my takeaway.
And by the way, I was raised in a Christian home and did not remain a virgin until marriage. But I do worship regularly now, pray about my sex life, and pursue God’s plan, and I find it a far better way to live my life.
What a lovely statement from the writer, and affirmation from you: “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.” My husband occasionally mentions that he wished I had the same experience in sex that he has. I’m glad it doesn’t seem to weigh on him, because I am very happy as it is. I never have had the experience and assume I never will, and that’s ok. I just enjoy loving my husband.
To e2: Thanks for the chuckle!
THE TOTAL WOMAN, by Marabel Morgan (pub. in 1973 by Fleming Revell, a Christian publisher), went to #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and sold three million+ copies. Morgan, a Christian housewife from Florida, recommended meeting hubs at the door in the evening wearing nothing but Saran Wrap. Morgan’s book was possibly the first openly sex-positive book by a female Christian writer in modern times. She was considered a kook by many, but she got her message across.
I’ve got to believe that during the last quarter century, which has produced an endless plethora of Christian sex-positive books and blogs, married Christians are still having lots of sex. A defunct blog for sex-positive Christian wives (which I won’t name, since both I and J disagree with some of their positions), has a few female commenters who were having lovemaking sessions with their Christian husbands 14 times a week. Extreme, but that’s a lot more than 4.3 times. Then there’s the pastor in Texas who challenged his married couples to have daily sex for 30 days, and he and his wife continued for more than a year. About three years ago, I think.
Yes, there are indeed plenty of sex-positive Christian voices. Sometimes, however, they’ve been drowned out by louder voices in the Church. Sad, but true. But I’m glad this is changing.
Oh, and I really considered taking out the reference to THE TOTAL WOMAN, because I WOULD NOT recommend this book. I haven’t read it through, but I’m aware of the perspective and I don’t think it treats women with the respect and acknowledgement of their own sexuality that they deserve. But I recognize that it was an important book in terms of the development of thinking in this field.
Julie, do you follow the same themes as Sheila’s blog at To Love Honour and Vacuum? Sometimes your posts are just like the ones she has done.
Sheila and I are friends, and I keep up with her blog (although I often read a post several days after she’s written it). But I write what I want to write, and she writes what she wants to write. So no, Sarah, I don’t follow her themes.
I’d attribute any similarities in our posts to (1) us both dealing with what our readers send us, and some issues crop up again and again — like orgasm; (2) our similar perspective when it comes to Christian sexuality, although we do disagree on some smaller issues; (3) the synergy of Christians working in different ways for the same goal; (4) great minds think alike (???).
Also, Sheila also has a different approach, especially in dealing more widely with marriage and parenting. But I take what you said as a compliment, because I definitely respect her ministry.
Another fear for men is their wife will grow tired of sex if they continue to not orgasm or orgasm only on rare occasions. And this fear is not totally without reason.
My wife has not had a vaginal orgasm with me since her affair 15 years ago. When I asked details about their sex life (shouldn’t have asked), she did say she had vaginal orgasms with him. She tells me she is fine with not having orgasms with me anymore (which I don’t believe) and she is happy in our relationship. As a man, this is crushing for me knowing she is no longer aroused enough from me to orgasm. As a result, I now view intercourse as just a waste of time.
Ouch. This is why I don’t believe that “complete honesty” means you have to share details. But here’s the bottom line: She’s done with that guy — she chose you; she obviously can have a vaginal orgasm; she may be fine with not having them, but you’re not and this is a two-way street; and you two need to work on how your bodies fit together to provide the most pleasure possible. It may take some time, but if I were a betting girl, I’d bet she could get there with you two both focused on your sexual intimacy.
I’m saddened by your hurt, though. I understand how that could be so painful. Praying you can find a new perspective and focus on your marriage.
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