Orgasms: “I can’t have one” “I’m trying to make my partner have one.” It makes people very frustrated and sad that they can’t have one. A big part of the problem is that we are a bit obsessed about orgasms….
Big O, big problem
The way we view orgasms as being BEST THING EVER and something that you should have if you have sex or masturbate is actually the problem here. See #NationalOrgasmDay from last week for FFS.
It’s as if it’s more important to have orgasms than to actually enjoy sex.
It creates a kind of success/failure type thing. If you have an orgasm you’re a success at sex, if you don’t you’re a failure. People don’t want to feel that they are a failure so this puts extra pressure on them (pressure = not sexy).
People start to worry if they can’t ‘make’ their partner orgasm because they worry something is wrong about them and also start to compare themselves with their and their partner’s previous partners. Comparing ourselves to people is not the key to having enjoyable sex.
Even if you can come
This idea of ‘orgasm/not orgasm’ is also not great even for people who can have orgasms. Many people are able to have them but feel that they aren’t as good as other people’s, or as good as they used to be, and that something is wrong with them. This creates more pressure and also is a massive distraction.
Read about the difference between orgasm and ejaculation
Also those who do have orgasms often get stuck into doing the thing that they know will lead to an orgasm. They might fear that if they do anything else then they may break the magic spell and not be able to have them any more. Orgasms can then be seen as a just another bodily function: like ‘just knocking one out’ – not exactly hot.
What we’re taught about them doesn’t help
We’re also taught that orgasms are a single separate event that happen – like a firework or an explosion. Maybe this is because we are taught that orgasms are the same as ejaculation (particularly ejaculation from a penis). Actually this isn’t true. Some people ejaculate without orgasms, some people orgasm without ejaculating and other people do neither. Ejaculation isn’t ‘proof’ that someone has had an orgasm either – but some people think it is. More pressure, but also people may just keep doing it even if they aren’t enjoying it because they want this event to happen.
Also sex isn’t a competition. You don’t amass points for all the orgasms you have and you don’t get double points for giving someone an orgasm. There are no leaderboards, no certificates, no medals, no honours from the Queen for orgasm services to the country. When we try to make ourselves or other people do something we are treating us and them like objects not humans – not cool and not sexy.
It’s important to try to make sure you and your partner(s) are enjoying sex, whatever gender you are. Sometimes people don’t care whether their partner orgasms or not and sometimes people get so obsessed with ‘making’ their partner orgasm it puts waaaay too much pressure on them. This is why I think it’s more important (and consensual) to focus on what’s enjoyable for you both rather than orgasm.
So trying to have an orgasm actually makes it harder to actually enjoy sex – and what’s the point of having sex unless it’s some way enjoyable? Right?
So what’s the advice BISH?
So my advice (whether you experience orgasms or not) is to forget about everything you’ve ever heard about orgasms and to stop trying to have them. Try not to see orgasm as a goal but something which might happen along the journey of having enjoyable sex. Instead when you’re next having some sexy time, by yourself or with someone, just focus on the basics.
Read: How to Enjoy Sex More
As well as allowing your imagination and fantasy to develop (with or without images in front of you) also just notice what’s happening in your body. Toes, feet, fingertips, thighs, wrists, legs, arms, chest, bum, shoulders, neck, face, wherevz. What happens to your breathing – do you breathe out longer than you breathe in or the other way round? Does the depth of your breathing change? Do you start to make noises? Do you close your eyes or keep them open?
You might find that your body might tingle in some places. Parts of your body might shiver and shake. Some bits might start to feel warm and lovely. It can be different absolutely every time so really pay attention to what is happening and just ride the wave a bit.
Read: Enjoying Solo Sex
If you’re enjoying yourself and feeling nice (and have time) then just keep going. If it’s not feeling great, maybe just stop and try again another time. We’re not always in the mood for sexy time: so don’t force it, just try again another time. Also if you do find yourself trying to have an orgasm and getting distracted from your body, that’s okay. It’s hard to let go of thinking about this stuff. Just try to go back to your body.
If you’re really enjoying yourself, great! You might decide later that you were orgasming, but that’s totally up to you to decide. So long as you’re trying paying attention to what you actually enjoy, rather than what you think you should be doing.
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© Justin Hancock, 2021.
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Justin Hancock has been a trained sex and relationships educator since 1999. In that time he’s taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. Find out more about Justin here