she can't come what am i doing wrong

She Can’t Come What Am I Doing Wrong?

My advice for a reader who is trying to make his girlfriend come. What are the best tips for how to make someone have an orgasm?

my girlfriend has a small clit , and my penis is average size , although girthier than average – she’s never achieved an orgasm from sex, which includes oral. i try to stimulate the clit as much as i can, but sometimes it’s so hard to find because of how small it is. we could have sex for hours and she’ll be the horniest, but still no luck :(( she thinks it’s just her and that she just can’t cum from sex in general but i know for a fact i’m doing something wrong. is there anything i could do to make her achieve her first orgasm with her small clit and my average sized penis? this is embarrassing as fuck to ask but i really need answers. thank you!

Don’t obsess about genitals

The size of your genitals don’t have anything to do with whether you can have orgasms or not. It’s true that, like penises, clitoris size can vary a lot. Remember though that most of the clitoris is actually inside the body. If you look at these drawings you’ll see that the clitoris sits behind the vulva area. So the clitoris does get a hard on, just like your penis, but most of it is happening inside. 

Aroused vulva
A range of aroused vulvas

The external part of the clitoris can be quite small. If you’re aiming for this during oral sex it’s common to lose track of where it is because the rest of the vulva (clitoris) swells up that you find it difficult to find. At this point your girlfriend could guide you where you need to be: by pointing, or moving your head, or using her words to give you directions. Asking for the answer isn’t cheating – it’s good sex.

internal clitoris
The glans and a bit of the shaft sticks out

Read more about the clitoris, vagina, and vulva

In fact the best person to find out about your girlfriend’s clitoris is your girlfriend. Does she enjoy touching her clitoris? If so does she like to touch the head or the shaft or the more internal parts. Is there a different way you could be touching her? Are there other parts of her body that she might prefer you to touch?

Read this about sex talk and communication

Your message makes sex sound like a computer game. Like if you press on the right key at the right time then everything will happen. Sadly, this is what a lot of shitty sex advice and sex education teaches people. That’s not how sex works. It’s partly about your bodies but it’s also about your mind and your body and it’s also about your mind, body, and how those work in the world. 

The right head space

The scientific jury is still out on exactly how orgasms work. But we definitely know a couple of things that are relevant to your question. First of all we know that it’s possible for people to think themselves into an orgasm. So without any touching, either from someone else or by themselves, it’s possible for someone to have an orgasm. What this means is not just about your genitals. Your brain and your central nervous system are involved. This brings me to the other thing you should know. 

Read more about orgasms

Your central nervous system has a key part to play in enjoying sex: just like it does with all your other bodily functions. There are two parts to this: the sympathetic nervous system, and the parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is the part of your body that gets all het up when you’re stressed. The parasympathetic nervous system is the one that calms you down. The key fact here is that when the sympathetic nervous system is activated by any stress, it kills boners. 

I wrote this recently about how to deal with stress

Our past experiences of sex, bullying, or non-consensual sex can really make us very stressed during sex. If you’ve had rubbish sex in the past then memories of that can be distracting and stressful. Experiences of bullying can come back to haunt us during sex. Like if you’ve ever felt shame or inadequate about your penis size, or your body generally. Also past experiences of non-consensual sex are really common (like rape, sexual assault, or any attempt at these) and can result in traumatic flashbacks. 

We can get stressed out during sex if we think about how the world relates to us and our bodies. It’s common for a lot of women to feel inhibited when they are having sex because society calls women names for freely enjoying sex. Quite frankly it can be really hard for some people to be able to de-stress enough to enjoy sexy times because of how they and their bodies are treated out in the world. 

Stress and the world around us

The sympathetic nervous system can get all riled up by even the smallest amount of stress. When we have sex, there’s a lot to be stressed about: ‘It’s my first time naked with this person’, ‘how will this affect our relationship?’, ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’, ‘how do I make her come?’ ‘he’s trying so hard I really want to come for him.’ As you can see with the last two, if you are focussing on trying to make an orgasm happen then it can create more stress and make them less likely. 

I don’t think it’s a good idea to immediately leap into a conversation about what might be stressing you out but I think it’s good for you to start thinking about how you can reduce the amount of stress around you generally.

Enjoy sex instead

As I was saying, if you stress each other out by trying to make an orgasm happen, it won’t happen. So instead you should aim to make sex enjoyable. Focus on what’s happening now, not on what might happen next. This means slowing down, breathing out, and noticing what is going on. Come inside your body and notice the senses available to you: smell, taste, touch, sight, sounds. If you are both able to be present in your own bodies then you can enjoy it more.

How to enjoy sex more

You might also just want to try taking orgasms off the table altogether. If you’re having sex for hours because you are trying to make each other orgasm, then you are probably not helping yourself. Sex doesn’t have to end when you orgasm, but you can also just stop having sex even if you haven’t orgasmed. 

Create the right conditions

If you’re a young person then it’s likely that you don’t have your own place to have sex in because a) homes are too expensive, b) young people are even more broke than ever and c) you might not have moved out from your parent’s / carer’s home yet. This makes finding enough time for stress free sexy times more tricky. So if you are squeezing in some sexy time while people are out of the house then aim to do less – like one or two things that you know you could enjoy in the time you have. 

However you say that you are having sex for hours (I think). So perhaps there are other things you could do to get your heads into the right headspace before you start. Before you do anything you could both practice doing some breathing exercises, or do some mindful meditation. Even if you could do this for ten breaths or ten seconds it could really help you to be in your bodies. 

During sex if you notice that you are trying to make something happen, rather than just noticing what is happening, then gently remind yourself to notice your breath and your senses. Also you can just give yourself and your girlfriend the chance to change what you do, or take a break, or just stop. 


The key to creating the right conditions and head space for sex is consent. When you have good, active, on-going consent happening you both feel safe. You might not know exactly what to expect from sex but you’ll feel comfortable. Doing consent all the time builds trust and when you build trust it’s easier to relax about the things that stress you. That’s the most important bit to focus on. You can see all my articles about consent here

Hope that helps!


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I’ve been a sex and relationships educator since 1999 (with a background in youth and community work). In that time I’ve taught and given advice about sex and relationships with thousands of young people in person and millions online. I’ve worked with many charities, local governments, schools and youth organisations facilitating training and workshops. My two books, Enjoy Sex (How, When, and If You Want To) and Can We Talk About Consent? are widely available around the world. I’ve been on the telly and the radio and have written articles for newspapers and magazines. I’m also a member of the World Association for Sexual Health. Read more about me and BISH here. Find out about my other work here Justin Hancock

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