Hot, Holy & Humorous

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

  1. I’m apparently one of the lucky ones because my wife she says she finishes when I’m inside. She says that feeling my semen makes her orgasm. I have never been with another woman so I don’t know if she’s faking it or if she doesn’t really know what an orgasm is. I’m not her first so I guess she must know but sometimes I wonder if she has really experienced what a real orgasm is. Maybe I doubt a little because people often say it’s hard to get an orgasm just by penetration and also because I really thought an orgasm meant more moaning and so on. But I guess everyone is different.

    1. Well, if 70% of women struggle with reaching climax through PIV alone, that means 30% of women do get there. And a woman can sometimes feel her husband finishing, which helps her get over that edge as well.

    1. I gave Doggy Style the alternative name “stallion style” at CFSPs, so hopefully, it’ll catch on.

      1. Woo-hoo! Chris and I figured no hubby would mind being compared to a stallion. And maybe we ladies would be okay with all that too, since there are so many beautiful horses — everything from Black Beauty to all the My Little Ponies. 🙂

  2. I would also add that your husband might have a part to play in this. The woman asking this question mentioned that they’ve tried getting her close to orgasm and then tried PIV, but that her husband climaxes soon after. If this is the case, part of the problem might be that the husband is experiencing premature ejaculation.

    For a young man, this is very common but most men can improve. It doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with him by the way. There are many techniques that men can use to get better at controlling thier orgasm, and if you find yourself getting close but he can’t stop himself, I would recommend having him work on it. Many techniques can be worked on together as well. I’ll admit that this can be a really touchy subject for a guy, so be careful in how you approach it, but a husband has to up his game in order to please his wife.

    1. Doing kegels every day goes a long way when trying to build stamina and control. Try doing them every day at the same time so you don’t forget.

      1. I agree with this. When I was younger it was very helpful to hold back an orgasm once I’d gotten a little too close to the line. Over time, I find this isn’t necessary at all, either because I’ve just gotten much better at controlling myself or because age just slows down the sexual response. The best technique I found was to get extremely close to ejaculation without actually releasing semen by squeezing the PC muscle as hard as possible for about 10 seconds. After that, I was still very turned on but my body would go from a 9 to about a 6 on the sexual response scale and then I could continue for a long while. I actually believe that I was experiencing a small orgasm without ejaculation some of these times, but it takes practice.

  3. I think the best way to experience an orgasm through penetrative intimacy, is to not think about it. But instead experience extremely slow near motionless sex while her husband is penetrating her.

    Do the normal, romance, dating, verbally flirting teasing during the normal cycle between times couples are outside the bedroom, living life normal and allow anticipation to build.

    Then after feather touching, kissing maybe a little oral without climaxing, begin to slowly start penetrative sex going in a little, then out, then in a little more until his head is inside between the right labia lip and the left labia lip as the wet/dry sensation merges together very slowly and elevate arousal to different heights maybe never experienced before.

    Then the husband continues to work further inside a little more, then out, then in a little more until he is all the way inside.

    The urge to increase the speed will heighten, but don’t go fast, Move to a snails crawl and allow arousal to build up to a level that will cause the woman to orgasm, barely moving as his base is slightly pressed against the clitoris,, sometimes he can pull out a little so the head is barely stimulating the g-spot,,

    Either way, if the man is able to control his urge to release his seed and go super slow, the woman will probably go insane and explode.

    I actually do this technique a lot,, even last night and this morning,, she experienced multiples, but she was filled with anticipation.

      1. J,
        I know this sounds a little raw, but taking a woman all the way to the edge until she is digging her nails into the sheets and ripping them to shreds I think is possible with any woman it is a special bonding experience between her and her husband.

        This type of love making does create intimate urgency for future love making, where she will already be at the edge of climax before the first article falls to the floor.

        I think the penis can be used for foreplay as well, hence causing the woman to blurt out “I love your penis”, as she gently squeezes her labia lips on his head and he flexes back.

  4. The easiest for us is wife on top, PIV, AND husband manually stimulates the clitoris. I have never reached orgasm through intercourse alone. We have been married 26 years. We came to the conclusion a very long time ago that since I could reach orgasm through manual and oral stimulation, why bother with a position that ultimately causes more frustration than pleasure.

  5. I find the only way that I can get my wife to orgasm with PIV is when we use positions that either allow me to put a lot of my weight on her pubic bone and grind or when she’s on top and she grinds in the same area. I’m not sure you’ll let this part of my comment through, but we’ve found a toy that has got her to orgasm in as quick as 30 to 45 seconds sometimes. The brand we have is called the womanizer, but I know there are other brands out there that do the same thing. This could be a huge help to women who have had difficulty with achieveing orgasm.

    1. Mike, I believe in “sex toys” as marital aids, and sometimes that’s what’s needed. 🙂

      1. Thank you J! That one toy has really radically changed her sexual experience. She has a guaranteed orgasm (multiples most times) everytime now. I’ve read so many comments in the past from women on your site dealing with this issue and I can’t help but think this could do wonders in their sex life!

  6. Regarding the lubrication part, we can explain to the husbands about the cycle so we know when it’s best to do it and when is not. However, we can also use aids to help us with this.

  7. I definitely second your point about adding manual stimulation during intercourse. The only way so far that my wife has been able to orgasm during intercourse is in “stallion style” with my hand stimulating her clitoris. The only downside to this is that I have to stop thrusting in order to reach the clitoris and properly concentrate on stimulating her. Other than that it works perfectly and is quite enjoyable for both of us.

    1. I think it’s so interesting how women can be so different from each other. My wife can orgasm from PIV alone from any position, but missionary is the absolute easiest, followed by “stallion”, followed by cowgirl.

  8. This was important to my wife after we was married (23 years ago), at that time we didn’t realize there was toys to use to help so what we or she would do, was she would lay my penis on my stomach where the bottom was actually up, there runs a ridge the length of a man’s penis and my wife would straddle me and rub her vi and clit on my shaft till she couldn’t take it any longer. Then she would slide up and allow me to have piv, then she would slide her body down futher to my thighs and it felt like my penis was pointing at my feet but she would position herself where her clit was rubbing the top of my penis as we made love, many times we would climax within seconds of each other or as l released my seed into her it would take her over the edge. It might take some practice but we’ll worth it, for us I would need to be still as she worked it in position for her to feel the most of me. Also, licking and sucking on her nipples and the firmness as she was about to climax all plays a huge part. Each guy needs to learn what his wife likes and when to do it and when to back off. For us, she liked the soft touches, lick and gentle sucking on them till she was about there then she liked the firm squeeze or the hard sucking on her nipples. So if you don’t have “toys” there might be a suggestion.

  9. I find it helpful for my husband to stop moving so I can do the work for a bit. It keeps him from getting over stimulated, but I can get warmed up. The guys ability to last is essential to piv orgasms.

  10. Pingback: If I Struggle with this Sex Problem, Is Something Wrong with Me? - Calm.Healthy.Sexy. Healthy ideas for your life and marriage.

  11. Regarding the soreness that might occur to some women, my wife experienced this and one thing we had to do was have me enter her slowly and go as far inside as possible and just be still for a minute. It’s almost like her vagina had to stretch and expand in order for her to not be hurt, and after this we could have PIV sex for as long as we want. I’ve found that this is needed most of the time regardless of how wet she is when we start. Occasionally this isn’t needed, but sometimes if I forget and start thrusting too early it hurts her and I have to give her a minute to get used to things. It’s really an interesting feeling when I’m inside, because I can almost feel her vagina elongate (maybe it’s my imagination). Anyway, this works for us and we rarely need to use lube.

  12. Like Mike said the womanizer is an awesome tool. I have a hard time getting to O period and never during piv but when we use that toy I am guaranteed an O. It is far better than any vibrator. My H has entered me right when I am reaching orgasm and it feels wonderful. He will penetrate and then pull out and out that toy on me Nd bam when I start to O he comes on in. Not always just sometimes. But I have a tendency to squeeze him right out lol. We just laugh and try again. I felt broken for a long time because I could not have piv O and then after alot of reading I realised I was normal. It took the pressure off and made me more relaxed and willing to try other ways and toys to get there.I didn’t ever use a sex toy until in my 50s and then I was mad I had not discovered how useful they really are. Now we are just making up for lost time haha.

    1. I certainly think it’s good for those who’ve struggled with orgasm to have this option.

      However, having read a lot myself on this topic and heard from many couples, I also believe some couples reach for the toys too soon or too often. I really appreciate you sharing what’s worked for you, but I felt I should make my own position clear for readers who come after. Blessings, Cathy!

  13. I agree J some probably do over use toys but with us it’s just an aid to help with my orgasms. We have tried many times with just my H touch and he cannot hardly ever get me their. Sad but true and it’s not for a lack of trying so I really appreciate the fact that it is important to him to bring me pleasure no matter what it takes. We dont use them with every encounter but for more than half of them I would say.

  14. Pingback: Q&A with J: Doesn't She Really Want a Bigger Penis? | Hot, Holy & Humorous

  15. Where does the idea that women should be able to climax from PIV alone even come from? Just guys assuming we work just like them?

    Looking at a woman’s sexual response in general it’s not at all obvious that woman should be able to climax from PIV alone. I gather thrusting with a penis shaped object is not not most ladies’ go-to when they fly solo.
    Woman can reportedly orgasm from fantasy or nipple simulation alone. Men don’t (can’t?) seem to do this. So why would you think you are defective from not being able to orgasm a certain way, but not think men are defective for not being able to do some things women can (multiples, orgasm without physical stimulation etc.)? Makes no sense.

    As to the actual question; G-spot orgasm are a thing. But the angle has to be just right as well as the time in my cycle. I actually find I can’t get there with direct clitoral stimulation alone. It’s too much. Less intense stimulation at several places at once seems to do the trick. It actually took me nearly two years to learn how to orgasm at all because of all the emphasis on direct clitoral stimulation.

  16. Alchemist, I get where you’re coming from, but I don’t think it’s obvious at all that women shouldn’t be able to orgasm from PIV alone. If you think about it, sex at its absolute basic is PIV. Other things can certainly be incorporated into it, but a penis inside a vagina is and always has been the minimum requirement for sex and procreation. So I don’t think it’s weird at all for a woman to wonder why she can’t orgasm easily from PIV alone.

    Also, some women not only easily orgasm from PIV, but have thier most powerful and pleasurable orgasms from PIV alone.

  17. Hi Brian. Okay yes, sex at its absolute basic, as you wrote, if you mean sex for animals to procreate, is PIV. Animals of course don’t need to include female pleasure in their procreation. I think you would agree that humans are called to do more than procreate with their sexual intimacy. For one thing, we are called to mutual pleasure. I also appreciate Mark’s comment above about the special bonding experience.

    Since both the clitoral head and the G-spot are part of the clitoris, and the clitoris is basically a female penis, perhaps it becomes a little more intuitive if we think in terms of getting stimulation to both the male penis and the “female penis” to the point of orgasm for both. However the couple makes that happen, thumbs up! There seem to be several good suggestions above.

    Expecting female pleasure primarily from PIV could be, I think, likened to only knowing to stimulate a man’s prostate (which stimulates a deeper part of the penis, G-spot like) and then discovering one day that he could have more consistent orgasms if the couple found a way for his penis to be stimulated as well. Eureka!

    Another reverse analogy for PIV, sensation-wise, might look like this: a woman very, very gently (!) so as not to hurt him, rubs her clitoris against her husband’s scrotum, until she orgasms. They both wonder why he didn’t experience an orgasm, night after night. If babies were made by clitoris-scrotum contact, men would, I think, be in a similar situation as women. But of course, a man is generally are aware enough of his penis to make sure it gets friction and pressure during sex. I think as females become sufficiently aware of their “female penises” they will make sure the clitoris gets friction and pressure during sex, too. (Like Mj’s wife, good job guys!)

    Besides potentially being emotionally satisfying for females (like a caress off the scrotum can be), and giving [one means of] access to put pressure on the G-spot portion of the clitoris (which actually lies outside the vagina), the vagina isn’t very pleasurably relevant to females (barring diffuse, unpredictable, deeper vaginal sensations that are not very relevant to our discussion). That is to say, the vagina and penis are not analogous for pleasure. The sooner both genders get a handle on that, the better sex will be. And maybe the less crazy, confused, or despairing wives will feel when they and their husbands stop ignoring their female “penises” or thinking it is just a nice extra stimulation aid. 🙂 Hurray for this blog!

    1. You say a lot of good stuff here, but honestly having my part described as “female penis”? That hit me oh-so-weird. I understand the comparison you’re making, but I suspect a lot of us wives are happy to engage with our husband’s penis but do not want one of our own. So men if you talk about this with your wife, maybe use another phrase?

    2. Grateful, I agree with all of that. My comment from a long time ago was in response to someone else asking where the idea that PIV alone was sex. I was mearly saying how it seems extremely common sense that PIV alone would result in orgasm for a woman. After all, making a baby requires PIV. All other mammals have sex via PIV. For thousands of years we didn’t have the technology to understand the structure of the clitoris not the ability to access information even if we did.

      Sexual knowledge was passed down via word of mouth and gained through experience. Also, many women do indeed have orgasms through PIV alone. All of these factors would lead anyone to conclude that there is something “wrong” with a woman who can’t orgasm with PIV or that the husband was doing something wrong. If you really think about it, it’s a modern day miracle that we have the knowledge of how to pleasure women now, as well as things like vibrators for those women that cNt orgasm any other way. That’s all I was saying.

  18. As I have read and personally know from experience, women don’t always climax the easiest from penetration alone. We always try to communicate and the majority of the time make sure her needs are met first.

    However the other day we were having sex and I asked to see what I needed to do to help her climax to make sure it happened before I did and I was using my hand, well she said will you use your mouth now; and I almost did, but then I was like no my penis was just down there. She didn’t push me to do it & I have read where some couples don’t mind performing oral on one another after penetration, because of tastes and mental blocks but it just grossed me out that I would be putting my mouth where my genitals just were.
    Maybe I’m weird in that regard and most wouldn’t think twice about it, in the moment, but I did.
    Is that anything you’ve heard before?

    Either way I believe it needs to be mutual to make sure it’s satisfying for both husband and wife and sometimes one wants sex when the other doesn’t so a quickie works.

    Thanks for what you do

    1. Honestly, most people who have confided in me at that level do not want to put their mouth where their own genitalia have been. That’s not unusual in the least. But if that’s a strong desire for your wife, maybe plant something near the bed—gum, mouthwash, etc.—to cleanse your mouth in between.

  19. Here is a suggestion, once you climax in her, immediately slide 1 or 2 fingers in and put your tongue on her clitoris. Chances are there is nothing there from you, I felt the same way after we was first married, but the fear and “grossness” went away rather quickly. She will greatly appreciate you doing it for her.

    1. Good idea! That could work.

      However, plenty of spouses never get over that feeling of “no, thanks.” And it’s not necessarily “fear and ‘grossness,'” but maybe a reasonable discomfort with one particular act. That is, we should do what we can to meet our spouse’s needs and desires, but our own needs and desires matter too.

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