I have a question about orgasms. I’m 43 and haven’t had a lot of sexual experience in my life. I was married to a man for 10 years and our sex life revolved around him getting his orgasm and none for me. After we divorced I started dating a wonderful man who does care about my pleasure and is very focused on my orgasm. I orgasm with him but only when there is a vibrator on my clit or his hand rubbing it. I don’t ever orgasm just from penetration even though it feels good. He’s had much more experience than me and says that all the women he’s been with have had no problem orgasming from sex alone — sometimes within a couple of minutes of him being inside them.
This is causing problems in our sex life because I get stressed about not orgasming when he penetrates me and now sometimes I can’t even orgasm when my clit is rubbed. He feels ashamed that he can’t pleasure me properly and has wondered if something is wrong with my body physically because he’s had no problems with anyone else. I’ve been to the gynaecologist and I’m scheduled for an ultrasound to see what’s going on. Can you help me?
Thank you so much for your question. First of all and most importantly THERE IS NOTHING WRONG with you. Needing clitoral stimulation to orgasm is 100% normal and is the case for almost all women. In fact the clitoris is our primary sex organ and most orgasms we have come from direct or indirect stimulation of our clitoris. Our clitoris is much more than the external glans that you can see and rub. Clitoral erectile tissue extends deep into your vulva and surrounds your vagina which alone has very little nerve endings apart from at the entry and up at the cervix. (note drawing. The squiggly lines represent your internal clitoral structure) This means that when you enjoy vaginal penetration you are often enjoying indirect stimulation of your clitoris (the erectile tissue surrounding your vagina). I personally think it’s best when clitoral stimulation is combined with vaginal penetration and manual clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex is what brings me to orgasm. I’m just like you and we are both normal.
Even though your partner may mean well, he has been misinformed and it’s likely that many of the women he has been with in the past, faked their orgasms. We do a disservice to men and their future partners when we fake our orgasms. Most women do not orgasm from vaginal penetration alone (unless there is enough clitoral stimulation with it) and definitely not within a few minutes of being penetrated. That is a “porn model” based on what the industry thinks men want to see — that one thrust of a dick is enough for us to orgasm instantly when in fact we don’t even need a dick to orgasm!! ha!
There is no shame in the way you feel pleasure or how you orgasm just as there shouldn’t be shame in how your partner feels pleasure or orgasms. Some men feel more pleasure from their partner’s hand than from their vagina — It’s not wrong. Your partners’ judgement of your orgasm will only negatively affect the pleasure you feel and is likely the reason you’re having more difficulty orgasming now. Pleasure and orgasm require stimulation and relaxation of your autonomic nervous system — not stress about what’s wrong with us.
I hope this helps and please let me know how it goes,
Almost always the answers are within us – sometimes we just need someone to ask the right questions to bring them out.
Q: Hey Natasha, are you still doing q&a? I have a sex question and I’m all kinds of embarrassed to ask.
A: Yes totally! Ask away!
Q: Okay. So I’ve been seeing a guy for a few months. The sex has been great and at first I was cumming every single time. Lately, the past month or two, I haven’t been able to orgasm with him at all. The sex is still super hot and I really enjoy it, but what’s going on? I can make myself cum no problem, but not with him anymore.
A: Have you tried masturbating with him? Did anything happen of significance around the time you stopped cumming during sex with him?
Q: I haven’t tried masturbating with him, sometimes I touch myself when we fuck but even that doesn’t do it. When it was strictly physical/casual, I could easily orgasm every time without touching myself. I can’t think of anything of significance…although maybe it was around the time I started to develop feelings for him. And of course I haven’t expressed those feelings to him…which is probably the problem, isn’t it?
A: Yes!! That is very insightful of you! Having feelings for someone and expressing them requires vulnerability. Orgasms are vulnerable. To orgasm is to surrender and surrender can’t happen when you’re holding back.
Q: Well shit, that makes perfect sense. Having been in a relationship for so long, sex and vulnerability with someone new is so different. So I guess I’m gonna have to do something about these feelings, both relationship-wise and sexually. It could totally scare him away, but if it does then that just means that he’s not right for me right now.
A: Yes!!! look at you owning your feelings more than your need for his response to them!! Yay!! That’s liberation!
I have a problem. I think my dick is small and I’ve had sex but sometimes can’t stay hard cause I think she’s gonna be thinking how small my dick is. I’ve watched videos on pleasuring women in other ways and I think I’m good at that but still can’t get past worrying about my dick size.
Thanks so much for your brave question. It sounds like you’re experiencing body shame and that’s a really common problem for both men and women. It’s hard to be present and feel pleasure in sex when you’re worried that your dick is too small or your belly is too big etc. And you’re very right that your difficulty with staying hard is caused by those thoughts.
I think it’s really awesome that you’re proactive in learning other ways to pleasure your partners and I also think that it would be a great idea for you to stop assuming that your penis isn’t big enough. We all have preferences. Some women like really big dicks and some don’t. Some women have shorter vaginas and big dicks can really hurt. Some women are naturally more tense and hold this tension in the muscles of their pelvic floor. This can cause tension in their vagina and a smaller dick would be much more welcome than a big one.
Some men like women with longer inner labia and some don’t. Some women like long saggy balls that slap around during sex and some like tight, firm balls. Preferences are preferences. However if someone actually likes another person, I don’t think that physical preferences matter that much at all. If I’m into someone, I’m into all of them. I see them as a whole — not defined by parts. Also if a guy shares with me that he has shame about a body part, his vulnerability would just make me love that part more. I’d adore it and want to show him that over and over until he could celebrate it himself. If you have a partner that you trust, I really recommend sharing your feelings. Vulnerability is super hot.
To help you stay out of your “spectatoring” thoughts, I encourage you to try whatever mindfulness practice you have ever done to stay present. This can be something you’ve done at work or home — any time in your life. Some people focus on a sensation — maybe the feel of your dick inside her, or her hand on your skin — others focus on their breath as they inhale and exhale. Some people have a mantra playing through their head (you could say “fuck me” over and over in your head and it will keep your focus on saying that instead of thinking of your dick size). Whatever you choose to do, the point is to stay in your body and not your head. Your head is messing it all up.
I hope that you can find this acceptance for yourself. After all, acceptance and confidence in ourself is the hottest thing ever. You were born with this dick and you’ll die with this dick, so why not own it!!!
Thanks again for your message and let me know if you need more clarification or support.
I’m the mom of 3 girls ranging in age from 7 to 15. I’ve told them the basics about sex in the terms of making babies but never anything about pleasure. Do you have any advice on how to talk to my daughters about pleasure? I don’t know where to begin.
Great question! The fact that you’re asking this says a lot to me about the kind of parent you are. 🙂
Having a conversation with our daughters about pleasure can be extra difficult because we’re culturally conditioned to think of pleasure as shameful and bad — especially in reference to females. It isn’t uncommon to hear a mother joke about her son who can’t keep his hands out of his pants. However if she said the same about a daughter others may think there’s something “wrong” with her, or that somethings been done to her to make her “that way.” The fact is that masturbating for pleasure is a part of our sexual development that begins even before birth.
“We recently observed a female fetus at 32 weeks gestation touching the vulva with fingers of the right hand. The caressing movements were centred primarily on the region of the clitoris. Movements stopped after 30 to 40 seconds and started again after a few minutes. Furthermore, these slight touches were repeated and were associated with short, rapid movements of pelvis and legs……. We observed this for 20 minutes.”
— The Story of V, Catherine Blackledge
So how do you start? Start by using correct terminology when discussing their sexual anatomy and avoid “dumbing it down” with terms like “front bum” or ”pee pee.” We use these terms to lessen our own discomfort and in fact they just feed the already imposed cultural shame around our genitals. If you don’t know the correct terms then please learn them before you talk. You can explain to them about their clitoris and how it’s the only organ in our body that’s sole purpose is for pleasure. I’d tell them that masturbating is normal and natural and that basically everyone does it and that it’s a 100% safe way to have sex. (only say the safe sex part if it’s age appropriate) I’d even go so far as to say that you and your friends masturbate so they know that you’re not just speaking rhetorically. This may feel a bit awkward to say at first but I think you’ll notice from their response that they appreciate hearing it. It also helps for them to know that pleasure through masturbation is normal at different stages in life. Of course discussions about masturbation should also include discussions about appropriateness and safety and you will most likely have a different conversation with your older girls than your younger one.
With your older daughter(s) I would also tell them that the pleasure they experience through masturbation can and should also be experienced in sexual experiences with others when they are ready. This bit of information was a missing link for me as a teen because I masturbated for pleasure alone and had sex with my boyfriend without pleasure. It didn’t even occur to me that pleasure had anything to do with sex or that I could have both at the same time because no one told me that was possible. I want my daughters to know this. Sex for my own pleasure was a completely foreign concept and I see this carry through with adult women who talk about “good” sex. When questioned on what this means it is often apparent that “good” simply means not awful and has very little to do with actual pleasure.
I hope this helps as a starting point for the conversation with your daughters. I find in my Orgasm Coaching practice that the best indicator of sexual satisfaction as an adult is if the woman masturbated as a child. If you have any other questions or would like some anatomy diagrams to print out please don’t hesitate to email me again. You’re a wonderful mother to be seeking this information for your daughters!
When I masturbate I have a hard time being able to forget that it’s my own hand and not someone else’s. I can orgasm but I want it to feel like it’s someone else doing it so I can enjoy it more. Knowing it’s mine makes me feel bad. How can I make it feel like someone else?
Thank you for your question although I have to admit that I felt sad reading it. While I completely understand wanting to be touched by someone else, I’m curious about why you feel bad knowing that it’s your own? What about someone else’s touch would make you enjoy it more? Because I don’t know more about you and your feelings, I can only answer you based on assumptions and experiences I hear from other women.
Touch is a physical act but it comes from a place of intention within ourselves. I like to think of our hand as simply a vehicle carrying and delivering this intention. Through touch we can deliver powerful messages ranging from love, appreciation and acceptance – to boredom, expectation and even hate.
I’d like you to ask yourself what your intention is when you touch someone else? What do you think they’d feel from you? What changes your intention when you direct it towards yourself? Rather than trying to make your own touch feel like someone else’s I recommend changing the intention with which you touch yourself to one that is loving, present and curious. If this feels too difficult to do then pretend you’re touching someone you love and hopefully after time you will begin to feel that for yourself.
You are guaranteed only one relationship your entire life and that’s with you. It can be the greatest of all love affairs, something to count on and a safe harbour, or something to tie you over when there’s nothing better. It’s up to you to decide.
Much love to you J,
Have a question for you. Situation is new to me so I wasn’t sure who to ask.
I have been seeing this woman for a while and things are great. When we first started sleeping together she told me she squirted. I was kind of excited by this because it was new to me, now I’ve been questioning it a little because it seems too easy.
What I mean by this is that at first it was quite exciting because men often don’t get to see such physical evidence of their effort to pleasure their partner. We were getting to know each other physically and it was kind of a rush, no pun intended.
Now though, it almost feels too easy. She will squirt 7-10 times and while I hope it’s because if something I’m doing I can’t help wonder if it’s just natural for her and I’m not really doing anything. I feel like I should have to be working harder for this if that makes sense. At this point I’m using other cues to judge pleasure because the squirting happens so easily.
So here is the question, what exactly is squirting? Is it like cumming? Is it easier for a woman? Should it be this easy or am I just overthinking this whole thing and should just enjoy the experience?
Hey! I’m so glad you asked me! These are great questions and ones that I’m sure many guys have. It’s also interesting for me to answer because I rarely hear the male perspective of this scenario.
First of all squirting is ejaculation but it is not an orgasm. It can accompany an orgasm but just because a woman squirts does not necessarily mean she orgasmed. This is true for men as well in that “cumming” is not the same as orgasming. Many men ejaculate at the same time as they orgasm ,but with practice can learn to delay the ejaculation while allowing the orgasm. This means that a man can keep his erection and continue having penetrative sex.
Some women squirt very easily and love it. Some women don’t or haven’t squirted. Some women who squirt don’t experience any pleasure from it. Some have learned that guys like to see them squirt so they do it almost on cue. This doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy it but it can mean that at times it may be more of a performance or distraction from the fact that she isn’t orgasming. Squirting is a release that does not (and should not) require bearing down or pushing, but rather letting go.
For both men and women sex can become more of a performance than an actual experience when we are more worried about the other person’s feelings or perceptions than we are about our own pleasure.
I can’t tell you what this woman is experiencing but you seem to be a guy who wants to know both that his partner is experiencing pleasure, and that you are doing what you can to support her in that. These are both great things! I think what’s necessary here is a conversation between the two of you about what each of you like and what squirting is like for her. You may also feel that you’d like the opportunity to practice pleasuring her in other ways and this conversation would be a great time to express that desire. Just like a woman can get stuck in the habit of quickly having a clitoral orgasm**, she can also get in the pattern of quickly squirting. Part of practicing being a good lover is learning variety in giving and receiving pleasure.
I really encourage you to talk to her — gently and absolutely non accusatory. Having an open dialogue about sex is healthy and it means that the possibility of so much MORE is there!
I hope this helps. Please keep me posted!
** Normally I prefer to not categorize different types of orgasms because I believe that they all come from the clitoris – either directly or indirectly. Squirting happens from stimulation of the g-spot which is not a spot at all really but rather the back end of the clitoris, which can be accessed inside a woman’s vagina. For the purpose of simplifying my answer I categorized clitoral orgasm.