Ask Bish – I Can’t Orgasm At All
Ask Bish – Your Questions Answered. Even if we know our stuff about sex, it doesn’t mean we always enjoy it.
Thanks to your informative videos and a few online diagrams, I have finally been able to identify my clitoris and g-spot!
However: Even though I can now stimulate the glands to the point of ejaculation, I still don’t feel aroused, and I don’t actually experience orgasm… =( I just kind of leak. Emotionally I feel limp too.
My boyfriend and I have been having beautiful sex for 3 months now, but I can’t orgasm at all. What the heck? We’ve been patient and laughed it off, but it’s starting to make both of us a little sad. Can you help us out?
A little background that might be helpful:
– I have a history of being sexually abused at an early age, but not severely so.
– Struggling with depression
– I come from a super-conservative culture which totally condemns premarital sex. I’ve made this decision consciously, intentionally, and every time I agonize over whether I’m doing the right thing, I come back to the same conviction: Yes. But there are still mean little voices in the back of my head that often tell me I’m throwing away everything important to me.
It’s a lot of barriers, I know, but I deserve to be happy too, yeah? He’s my first, and I love him. How can we work the subconscious crap and reach the point where my whole heart, soul, and body is involved and receiving the love that is given?
Thanks for your thanks 🙂 Also thanks for your question and for sharing how you’re feeling.
It sounds like you’re feeling pretty rubbish about stuff at the moment so I hope I can help you somehow.
Sex doesn’t have to involve orgasms in order for it to be really really good sex (or beautiful, as you say sex has been). They can be nice when they happen but sometimes they don’t (and sometimes they just don’t happen for some people when they have sex with someone). We are taught that all sex has to be orgasmic in order to be good, but that’s not true. If we focus on the goal of having an orgasm then it can make them harder to have.
“I Don’t Feel Aroused”
From reading your letter though I think this is more than just not being able to feel orgasms but also to do with how much you are enjoying sex generally. You talk about not feeling aroused and feeling emotionally limp. Sex without orgasm can feel really really great – genitals swell with blood and are throbbing, skin tingles, hairs stand on end, feeling out of breath etc etc. Sounds like you aren’t really getting much of this – but I dunno, are you?
Also arousal and desire are pretty complicated. It’s common for people to wake up with hard penises in the morning or for vaginas and clitorises to randomly swell and get wet – but that’s not the same as being really turned on. It’s possible that you are kinda trying to make your body do stuff that you aren’t really wanting to do. How connected do you feel your genitals and the rest of your body and head are?
What Kind of Sex Are You Having?
Do you have solo sex? If so are you also experiencing this then? When you have sex with the boyf what kind of sex are you having? You seem to have a pretty good knowledge of your body but are you able to give yourself the stimulation you need (or to talk to the boyf about the stimulation you need). Remember most people with vaginas find it hard to experience orgasm from just penis in vagina sex.
Your History and How You Feel Now
I’m really sorry to hear about your background. You’re obviously pretty aware that these may have an impact on how you feel sexually. Our bodies have a way of remembering unwanted or bad sexual experiences. The feelings that you felt then may be reactivated and may get in the way of you enjoying sex now. There’s not much I can tell you that will help you deal with those I’m afraid – this is something that you may want to do with a counsellor or therapist if you can.
Also the fact that you are struggling with depression can be having an effect. For some people depression can make things that are usually pleasurable seem pretty grey and muted – you talk about feeling emotionally limp after sex. Do you feel emotionally limp at other times too? Also if you are getting medical treatment for depression you should know that some drugs can lower sex drive – there may be different drugs you could take if this applies to you.
And definitely what we are taught about sex (both directly and indirectly) from an early age can totally have an effect on how (or if) we enjoy sex. It can be really hard to let go of some of that stuff – really really hard.
Now For Some Advice
My advice is to give yourself a bit of a break. From your message I get the impression that you are really trying to make things happen but maybe not really paying enough attention to you. Also are you giving yourself a hard time for not enjoying sex enough? It sounds like you’re pretty frustrated with yourself, but this isn’t going to help you.
So maybe try going back to basics, both for you by yourself and with your boyfriend. Try to take a bit of time to think about what you want from sex. We want lots of things from sex (write them down, there’ll be loads) but which of those things can you give yourself from things that aren’t sex? Laughter, silliness, relaxation, excitement, warmth, comfort, getting sweaty and out of breath can all be had doing lots of other stuff. Try and enjoy your body in different ways and it might take some of the pressure off what sex does for you.
Also everything sounds like it’s about genitals and orgasm and ejaculation for you. Perhaps your focus is so much about that that you’ve forgotten about the rest of you. Where feels good? What touch do you like? Do you fantasise? What are your turn ons? Think about this next time you’re having some ‘you’ time.
Also when you’re with your boyf try to think about sex differently. We don’t always have to head to orgasm or to our genitals and as I always say, sex is about a helluva lot more than just genitals rubbing together. Try just kissing for kissing’s sake. Snog for like 30 minutes or more and really try to get into how it tastes, feels, sounds and notice what happens to your body. Also notice whether you are having thoughts and whether these thoughts are sexy and useful, or not.
Speaking of thoughts – it can be really hard not to think. Try it now. Hard isn’t it? You’ve probably worked out that some thoughts can be useful and others less so. What makes it harder not to think about particular things is when we try not to think about things (bit like when we really want an orgasm). So if a negative or disturbing thought comes to you don’t try to wrestle with it or make it go away, just gently acknowledge it and wait for it to disappear or to be replaced. This kind of thing gets easier with practice and sometimes it might not work. If it doesn’t, be gentle, take a break, have a cup of tea (answer to everything in the UK) and try again another time.
If this sounds good to you, you might want to read up about mindfulness (my favourite is The Happiness Trap), or find a gentle yoga or meditation course near you.
Also Stop Listening To Me!
It’s great that you have learnt about your body from stuff that I drew and have talked about – I’m really pleased and please do keep reading! However, I can only give you information about how bodies generally work – I can’t tell you what will work for you. Everyone responds to things differently and I can only start you off. If people only really listen to ‘sexperts’ like me rather than their own bodies then they are going to be a bit mechanical when they are sexing. We aren’t simple machines with on and off switches – we’re pretty complex.
I really hope that all makes sense to you and that you find it useful 🙂