This column originally appeared at the barbershop notebooks where new pieces are available every Monday.
Question to the Sexpert: What do you attribute as some of the leading reasons why many women have never had an orgasms despite being sexually active? What suggestions do you have for these women?
Anorgasmia, being unable to have an orgasm, comes in several manifestations. There are those that have never had one ever under any circumstances (poor dears), those who used to be able to but haven’t been lately due to some medical issue or psychological block (we’re rooting for you!), and those who can get off on their own but are unable to cum with a partner (here is your moment to play naughty teacher and unruly student).
Treatment for anorgasmia radically differs depending on its type because the causes are completely dissimilar.
And in a related but separate matter: there are anorgasmic women and there are women who can’t orgasm during intercourse. Due to early, chauvinistic sexology theories promoted by everyone’s favorite notoriously inaccurate psychoanalyst/wackadoo, Freud, it was believed that the only real way a woman could climax was through vaginal penetration. Freud argued clitoral orgasms were inferior, girlish and symptoms of immaturity. Freud also thought all men unconsciously wanted to kill their fathers and bang their mothers and that if you don’t get weaned from breast milk at the right time, you’ll be a mess for life.
Many women can orgasm through penetration exclusively, but it’s only around 30%.
However, intercourse also usually accompanies indirect stimulation of the clitoris via pelvis thrusting or pressure against the G spot. Yet despite the fact that most women can reliably take care of business by tipping the velvet/rocking the little man in the boat/double clicking the mouse, there is an unspoken expectation of attaining the next goal: vaginal orgasm through penetration.
This becomes difficult for many reasons. Many male partners do not having the staying power required for the kind of time-intensive labor this might require. Others simply psyche themselves out of it by having such a specific goal. Some women simply aren’t going to be physically capable, since vaginas vary as much as any other part. The highest concentration of nerves inside the vaginal canal are clustered right in the entrance, so even if your man is long, strong and down to get the friction on, it may not be enough.
Add to this complexity the social factors. Some women’s need to please their partner is so overwhelming they fail to look out for their own pleasure. They do things that are uncomfortable, boring or even degrading, thinking their enjoyment is less important. Often they don’t make it clear that they need more foreplay before intercourse or are faced with a partner who expects to get head but doesn’t reciprocate.
My suggestion to women? Depends on their particular situation.
–Can’t get off during intercourse? Don’t worry about it too much. Use manual stimulation of the clitoris during penetration and abide by a fair “ladies first” rule so that you guarantee yours too.
–Can’t get off with another person? Slow down and rethink your approach. Try masturbating with your partner to show them what you like. Do something that improves your self-esteem so you are more relaxed about your body in front of your partner. Take steps to de-stress the situation and take the time to really teach your partner what works on your individual body.
–Can’t get off anymore but used to? Seek out the insights of a medical doctor or counselor. There is something different that needs to be identified and addressed. Consider alternatives to the anti-depressants you’re taking, if that applies. Take stock of the substances you’re using, the stress you’re under and any relationship issues.
–Never have visited the top of the mountain? Again, there may be a medical or emotional issue. Perhaps you haven’t spent enough time exploring your own terrain, maybe you have a blood flow problem, or there’s a chance your strict moral/religious upbringing keeps you from enjoying sexuality. Spend time playing with your god-given goodies and consider talking to a professional to scope out any medical or emotional obstacles.