Tag Archives: orgasm in marriage

Does Your Husband Prioritize Your Orgasm?

Now and then, I get a question that goes something like this:

My husband always climaxes during sex, but I often don’t. I leave feeling unsatisfied and even frustrated that I didn’t get to have my orgasm, when he always gets to have his. He wishes I could get there too, but doesn’t really put in the effort to get me there.

Sometimes there’s a caveat, like: I take a long time to reach orgasm, so I know it’s hard for him to keep going.

Regardless, this inquiry comes up often enough that I can say without doubt: Some husbands don’t prioritize their wife’s orgasm nearly enough.

Why doesn’t he prioritize her orgasm?

Sure, a husband could be a selfish lover who goes after his own satisfaction without taking full consideration of his wife’s sexual desires. But oftentimes, it’s something else.

Plenty of men don’t really understand how a woman’s arousal and orgasm work.

They haven’t been taught what it’s like for a woman. And without more to go on, they figure your orgasm should work like theirs. Meaning you get aroused, you have sex, you climax, and that’s that. It’s a fairly straightforward.

If your husband was exposed to pornography, or simply paid attention to movie and TV sex scenes, he may have also swallowed the ideas that a woman can be ready for intercourse quickly, that penetration will bring her to climax, and that if she isn’t orgasming, it’s a problem with her. Erroneous information, of course, but if this is what you’ve seen/heard all your life, it’s confusing when your wife doesn’t behave like that in bed.

If your husband doesn’t seem to understand how your arousal and climax work, ask if he’d be willing to listen to a podcast with you. It’s less than 26 minutes long, and if you use a podcast app and change the settings, you can listen to it even faster. (I often put mine on 1.2x speed.) Meaning it’s not much to ask! But it might help for your husband to hear four seasoned wives talking about how women’s sexual response works.

You can also get my book, Pillow Talk: 40 Conversations About Sex for Married Couples, which has several chapters in which you can explain what things are like for you and listen to what it’s like for him. By learning more about each other, without criticism or judgment, you can develop a healthier view of what you should be pursuing together for your sexual intimacy. Which involves climax.

Ad for Pillow Talk: 40 Conversations About Sex for Married Couples

But there could be another good reason.

Women aren’t the only ones taught that sex is for him.

One of the biggest myths perpetuated both in secular and religious culture is that sex is primary for the husband. (Listen to Lies Woman Believe episode.) Except that’s not at all what God said. The passage often used to urge wives to have more sex with their husband, 1 Corinthians 7:3-5, doesn’t say, “Wives, give it up for your husband, whether you wanna or not.”

Although the passage talks about an obligation to have sex in marriage, that’s not the point! Paul’s main point is that there must be mutuality in the marriage bed! And if anything, the verse begins with her “marital rights,” not his: “The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband.”

Yet men have heard this passage and others used—as well as common advice given here, there, and everywhere—to say that the husband’s part is needing sex and the wife’s part is owing her husband sex. It’s total malarkey, but if this is the bad teaching your husband received, he may have come into marriage not expecting you to enjoy it as much as he does or believing your climax doesn’t matter as much as his.

Stinks, I know. But when we realize that our husbands also received wrong messages, we can see that it’s not malice that keeps him from aiming for your orgasm. He simply needs to learn the truth about what God desires for both of you in your marriage—a sizzling, satisfying sex life.

But how can you actually address the issue with him?

In addition to the ideas above, I suggest having a conversation away from the bedroom. Tell him what you desire and why. Explain to him how your body works. And ask how he would feel if he was super turned on but didn’t get his climax. I suspect he wouldn’t like that, and neither do you.

Now, not every wife feels the need to climax every time. But if climax isn’t a regular part of your lovemaking, you need to work toward that goal. God created women’s bodies to experience orgasm through the wonderful organ called the clitoris. Yep, that clitoris has one job and one job only—to make sex feel good. And when it gets to the peak of pleasure, you experience muscle spasms that should at least provide a sense of relief if not real excitement.

As to how to prioritize your orgasm, here are a few ideas:

1. Go for your orgasm before intercourse.

It’s a phrase you often hear: she goes first. And it’s not a bad idea. Especially since the average time he can last in intercourse is far less than the average time it takes for a woman to reach the level of arousal she needs to climax. Moreover, a lot of women don’t, or even can’t, climax during intercourse!

Read up on what really helps a woman climax here:

2. Try various positions to see if any/some of them result in climax for you.

They may not (see above), but it could be worth a shot.

For some wives, it’s better to be on top, so she can have more control with the thrusting and tilt her hips in a way that provides pressure against her clitoris. For other wives, a rear-entry position could result in the husband getting deeper and better friction. And for others, face-to-face is the key, but maybe angling your hips upward or putting your feet on his stomach or your knees over his shoulders (assuming that works with your size/height). A sex pillow might help you achieve better angling too.

I also have a chapter about positions in my Hot, Holy, and Humorous book that can walk you through ways to shift your bodies around and find something that might work for both of you.

Ad for Hot Holy & Humorous - click to learn more / buy
For more great tips on how to have sizzling sex, check out this book for wives!

3. He stimulates your clitoris during intercourse.

You might combine intercourse and clitoral stimulation to achieve nice results. Get into a position in which he can reach your clitoral hood (that’s the knobby part of your clitoris that sticks out and swells when aroused). Make sure you have adequate lubrication, and add some personal lubricant if needed.

Give him tips on the level of pressure and amount of movement you desire. You may not know yourself until you try it out, but once he hits a good place, let him know. And since one thing doesn’t work for the whole time with most wives, let your husband know when you need him to slow down, increase speed, press harder, etc.

If you’re looking for which positions will work best, check out this page from Christian Friendly Sex Positions and choose “clitoral stimulation” in the search parameters:

4. Stimulate your own clitoris during intercourse.

It can be challenging for your husband to focus on his thrusting and your clitoral stimulation at the same time, so an alternative is for him to focus on the intercourse while you use your own fingers to bring yourself to climax.

Most husbands would be fine with this—and may find that enthusiasm arousing—but make sure your particular husband understands why you want to do this and that it isn’t taking away from the wonderful experience of having him inside you. If anything, having your husband inside when it happens can make a clitoral orgasm better.

5. Get your orgasm after intercourse.

Let him know the intercourse was great, but you’re not really done and would like to finish with an orgasm yourself. Suggest what you’d like for him to do to help you. Do you want him to manually stimulate you to climax? Do you want him to simply caress, kiss, fondle, etc. while you bring yourself to climax?

Your orgasm is still a mutual experience this way, with both of you focused on connection and pleasure.

Yes, I’m sure some husbands are exhausted post-intercourse and aren’t sure they have it in them to keep going. But if you can prevail a few times, I suspect he’ll see the benefit and realize it’s not much more to ask.

What if after all this, he still doesn’t prioritize your orgasm?

If you did all of this, and he still ignored your climax? Then I’d suspect the problem runs deeper than the bedroom, and I’d ask for marriage counseling.

But hopefully, one or more of the suggestions above will get the point across and help you both prioritize your pleasure—as God intended sex to be in your marriage.

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.)

Ad for Hot Holy & Humorous - click to learn more / buy

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

These 3 Actions Could Bring You to Orgasm

One of the questions I receive most is from wives asking how to achieve orgasm. That’s understandable, since a really great orgasm is one of the few things that lives up to its billing.

I have a full chapter on orgasm in my book, Hot, Holy, and Humorous: Sex in Marriage by God’s Design, and that remains my best advice on how to get there. But although I incorporated the following information into what I said based on personal experience and hearsay, I didn’t have the study I want to share about what researchers call the “Golden Trio.”

Triangle with starburst fireworks + blog post title

It starts with 52,000 participants in an online survey, which is obviously a huge sample. Admittedly, it’s not a perfect sample, because this survey was hosted on the NBC News website, so there was self-selection in who participated. Still, given that number, there should be some interesting insights.

Among the many questions about sex that they asked, they queried about orgasm. And while 95% of heterosexual men reported usually or always reaching orgasm during sexually intimate encounters, only 65% of heterosexual women reported the same. That’s a good-sized gap of 30%.

Now one question that I don’t believe was there was whether there was a concerted effort to reach orgasm and the woman was unable to do so. Because, for reasons that men sometimes don’t understand, some wives don’t always feel the need to orgasm (see Why I Sometimes Don’t Care about the Orgasm).

However, it’s pretty clear based on God’s design for sex — our sexual responsiveness, our physiology (thank You for that clitoris!), and the importance of mutual pleasure in the marriage bed — that wives should be achieving orgasm regularly in their lovemaking. Meaning that 30% gap is way too big.

How do you close that gap?

Researchers found that vaginal penetration alone (as I and others have said) is not likely to get to get most women to climax. A PIV orgasm can be great, but it often follows on the heels of an orgasm achieved in a different way. Specifically, according to this study, through the combination of three actions — that is, the “golden trio.”

1. Genital Stimulation

In basic terms, stimulation of the clitoris is what brings a wife to climax. Since vaginal penetration is indirect stimulation of the clitoris, it’s more difficult to get the right angle, pressure, and intensity to bring her to the peak.

More effective is hubby taking his hand and touching the clitoral hood directly. Remember that hood is just the part of the clitoris that protrudes from the body, while more of the clitoris can be aroused by massage of the vulva. Regardless, make sure there’s sufficient lubrication, find the touching that she likes, and directly touch her in that sensitive spot.

2. Deep Kissing

Are you surprised to see that one? I’m not. But I do think we overlook this important activity after we get married and in the midst of making love. All the other bits seem so fun and sexy and only-in-marriage that we forget how fabulous kissing can be. It’s why I wrote You’re Not Kissing Enough.

But this was reported by women in the study as so significant to reaching orgasm that it got equal time with genital contact. Actually, long before that, in the one book of the Bible devoted to marital, sexual intimacy, God shared this wisdom. Song of Songs opens with this line: “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine” (1:2). Are you spending enough time delighting in your spouse’s better-than-wine lips? Maybe you should spend more.

3. Oral Sex

That’s oral sex for her, by the way. It’s the same principle as genital stimulation above, in that hubby can directly stimulate the clitoris, helping her to edge up the slope to orgasm and reach that peak with a cry of victory. Why is oral sex (aka cunnilingus) so helpful in this regard? Well, she’s getting lubrication with his mouth, he can cover a larger area with his mouth and tongue, and the tongue can do more delicate things than a man’s finger. It’s a pretty cool pleasure tool.

There are yet some wives who are reluctant to give this activity a green flag, and some husbands who hesitate as well, but oral sex really is a good way for many wives to finally achieve orgasm. Whatever mental barriers you have to this practice, I’ve answered a lot of those in my blog and my book. And let me direct you to this verse from Song of Songs: “Let my beloved come into his garden and taste its choice fruits” (4:16b).

Actually, all three of these actions get their own treatment in my book too — a whole chapter each on kissing and oral sex, and a section in the hands-on chapter about manual play for her (genital stimulation, that is).

Ad banner for book, click to buy

CLICK TO LEARN MORE OR BUY

What else helps a woman reach orgasm? The survey concluded something else interesting: Women who played music, changed sexual positions, or exchanged I love yous during their last sexual encounter were about 20% more likely to report usually or always orgasming. Atmosphere and adaptability matter too.

Also, women who orgasm more frequently tended to have a longer duration of sex and higher relationship satisfaction. Smaller but significant factors that also influenced orgasm were asking for particular behaviors in bed and flirting with your partner throughout the day.

Good gravy, it’s almost like they’ve been reading my blog and my book. 😉

Seriously, though, if you’re pre-orgasmic (haven’t gotten there yet), want to have more orgasms, or just want to give this “golden trio” a go, why not try genital stimulation, deep kissing, and oral sex with your next lovemaking encounter? Of course, you can have intercourse too. In fact, many wives who experience this level of pleasure will desire intercourse even more after hitting that high note.

They say that good things come in threes. Maybe “this golden trio” will bring a very good thing to your sexual intimacy.

Sources: The Guardian – ‘Golden trio’ of moves boosts chances of female orgasm, say researchers; Archives of Sexual Behavior – Differences in Orgasm Frequency Among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men and Women in a U.S. National Sample