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10 Reasons Why Women Can’t Always Reach Orgasm (And What you Can Do About it)

14 min read
10 Reasons Why Women Can’t Always Reach Orgasm (And What you Can Do About it)

Movies and Television would have you believe that all women can orgasm relatively easily.  But that is far from the truth…

Movies and television would have you believe that all women can orgasm relatively easily, and usually in tandem with their partners.  The reality is that achieving orgasms can be an intricate feat for many women and is influenced by a variety of factors.

The 15 seconds of heavy breathing and exclusively penetrative sex before the big O you see enacted on your TV screen just does not do justice to the complexity of the female orgasm.

We’ve been fed a lie when it comes to the female orgasm, one that leads many women to feel frustrated and isolated when it comes to their sexual satisfaction. 

Sophia, 42 has never had an orgasm.

“I’ve been married for 24 years and I have four children. I’ve never had an orgasm. I think I got really close one time. I have been with my husband, whom I adore since I was 18 years old. He isn’t the only man I’ve been with. But he is always in a hurry – he does his deed on top and then just comes and gets off.

He knows I’ve never had an orgasm but isn’t willing to put in the time – or effort. He’s a great husband and father – but he is terribly selfish in bed.

Sophia’s story isn’t a unique one. According to an online survey, 10 – 15% of women have never experienced an orgasm. And 75% of women don’t climax during penetrative sex.

10 Reasons Why Women Can't Always Reach Orgasm

Others can only achieve orgasm using masturbation and toys, but not with their partners during sex, with current statistics indicating that around 75% of women can’t achieve orgasm through penetration alone. So whilst the Big O may be elusive, there is a multitude of ways you can boost your chances of achieving orgasm by problem-solving some common issues. We’re going to take a look at some of the reasons you may be struggling to reach your destination.

There is an Orgasmic Dysfunction Called Anorgasmia

There is a sexual dysfunction called ‘Anorgasmia’ which is where a woman cannot orgasm even after addressing all the reasons below. There are three different types of Anorgasmia:

Primary Anorgasmia: When you have never had an orgasm.

Secondary Anorgasmia: When you used to be able to orgasm, but stopped the ability

Situational Anorgasmia: Where you can orgasm in some situations, but not others

Situational Anorgasmia is the most common, it is where women can achieve orgasm through masturbation, but not during penetrative sex.

Ongoing Anorgasmia should always be checked out by your GP. Once any psychological issues have been ruled out, your GP will check your blood for any diseases such as diabetes, low thyroid function or hormone imbalances which all can affect your ability to orgasm.

You Can Now ‘Learn’ How to Have an Orgasm

Sex Education in the past has been about everything you ‘shouldn’t do’. We learn that sex is dirty, something to be ashamed of. Luckily society is changing when it comes to Sex Education.

We highly recommend ‘The Modern Guide to Sex‘ which is a modern online video sex education course that is engaging, sex-positive and evidence-based. Produced by Sexual Wellness brand NORMAL, the course covers topics such as:

Understanding pleasure

  • Body, self and sexual confidence
  • The science of foreplay, arousal and orgasms
  • Masturbation and Solo Exploration
  • Exploring Vaginal Sex
  • Exploring Anal and Oral Sex
  • Exploring V-on-V and P-on-P Sex
  • Boundaries and Consent Skills
  • Fostering Better Relationships
  • Sexual Health and Wellbeing
  • Pain During Sex
MLTUCTYN | Stay at Home Mum.com.au
the modern guide to sex 1 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

Can’t Orgasm Reason 1. Your Anxiety is Outta Control

Stress and anxiety cause a depletion of your naturally occurring oxytocin; your love hormone. Without adequate levels of oxytocin, you’re going to struggle to reach orgasm. External factors such as work stress, family concerns, fatigue, emotional regulation etc can all play a factor in heightening our stress and anxiety levels.

Where possible, try to get out of your head and be present in the moment. You don’t need to devote hours a day for self-care, but try to find a meaningful 5 to 10 minutes to rest, relax and reset that brain.

Once you’ve managed to reduce your stress and anxiety, you may find it easier to connect in the moment and thus reach orgasm. 

How to Reduce Anxiety:

Oxytocin can be boosted by spending time with a loved one, meditation, gentle stretching (try yoga!) and physical touch such as massage or gentle stroking. Physical exercise is also fantastic for anxiety!  Think exercise bikes, kickboxing classes or jogging. Something that will make you sweat.

An exercise bike is a perfect way to reduce anxiety by using physical exertion

Can’t Orgasm Reason 2. You are Dehydrated

Adequate hydration plays a vital role in almost every single function of the body; including sexual function and orgasm! You won’t achieve orgasm if you aren’t lubricated, and hydration plays a key role in this. You should be aiming for at least 2.5L of water a day and remember that factors such as caffeine, alcohol intake and smoking can cause dehydration. 

How to Fix Dehydration:

Have a bottle of water where you can see it.  Grab a water bottle that has measurements on the side to ensure you are getting the water you need. If you struggle to drink water because of the bland flavour, try adding some citrus or fruit.

If you struggle to drink water, try Peppermint Tea.

Water Bottle with Measurements

Cotton On have a Water Bottle with side measurements – Grab it here >

Can’t Orgasm Reason 3. You Aren’t Honestly Really in the Mood for Sex

Differences in sexual appetite can be a major issue for many couples. Whilst men typically respond to sex in a more physical manner (and are aroused by visual cues), women’s desire for sex tends to be triggered by interpersonal factors and emotional connection. If you’re feeling disconnected from your partner, exhausted, emotionally fatigued or you’re in any way preoccupied, it can dampen your desire to get down and dirty. Having sex more regularly can help boost your libido and your desire for sex, but you’ve got to get over the hump (pun intended) first.

Communicate with your partner about your needs, first and foremost. It could be that you simply need some connection and attention, without the expectation of sex attached. Try to spend some time together, reconnect and see if that helps spark the flame again. 

Other great ways to get your brain in the mood for sex include:

  • Have a long relaxing bath with bubbles
  • Reading erotica (we have some suggestions below)
  • Watch a steamy movie
  • Sleep in the nude
  • Plan a Dirty Weekend away
Women's Erotica

Can’t Orgasm Reason 4. You Don’t Masturbate Regularly

How are you going to know what gets you in the mood and what triggers your climax if you don’t experiment? You need to learn your body. Spend time discovering what you like, what you don’t like and what really gets you going. Devote some alone time to solo play and really discover what ticks your box(es). If you need a little extra help, LoveHoney has a fantastic range of toys for a solo artist. 

Doxy Extra Powerful Massage Wand Vibrator

The Doxy Extra Powerful Massage Wand Vibrator is Fantastic for women who struggle to orgasm

Can’t Orgasm Reason 5. You Don’t Empty Your Bladder Before Sex

Making sure you empty your bladder after sex is really important, we all know that it helps to flush away any bacteria that has been pushed into your vagina during intercourse and helps avoid UTIs.  Did you know that having a fuller bladder during intercourse can help you to reach the Big O? Your clitoris is far longer than you think, extending from the external nub and reaching all the way inside your vagina.

Having a full bladder increases blood flow to the part of your clitoris that is situated internally, increasing sexual pleasure. Now we don’t recommend chugging water and having sex when you’re desperate to pee, but do try having sex without emptying your bladder first. Make sure you go straight after, though! 

Can’t Orgasm Reason 6. You Need More Lubrication to Enhance Sensations

Penetrative sex without lubrication (be it natural or from a tube) is uncomfortable and a major deterrent from achieving orgasm. All of that friction is going to rub you the wrong way and is likely to cause pain, irritation and chafing. Adequate lubrication can really improve your sex game and heighten sensations, with a huge range available to suit a variety of needs. Try using a warming lubricant to help stimulate blood flow during both sex and solo play, and see if this helps you to achieve orgasm. 

Lubricants

Can’t Orgasm Reason 7. You are on Antidepressants or Other Medication

There are several medications that can adversely affect your sex life. If you’re on anti-depressants or other medications and not able to achieve orgasm, they may be the cause. We don’t encourage you to discontinue your medication at all, but if you’re experiencing adverse side effects, make an appointment with your GP. Discuss your expectations, concerns and any adverse effects you’re experiencing.

There are solutions to every problem and your GP will help navigate you through the options available to you. There are anti-depressants available that limit the effect they have on sexual drive.

Medications that can affect your sex drive include:

  • Anti-Depressants (Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa)
  • Imipramine (Tofranil, Nardill)
  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin)
  • Trazodone (Desyrel)
  • Medications used to treat epilepsy (Carbamazepine, phenogbarbital, phenytoin, primidone, valproic acid).
  • Beta Blockers
  • Diuretics
  • Oral Contraceptives can lower the sex hormones in women including testosterone
  • Antipsychotics (Haloperidol, Risperidone, Clozapine, Olanzapine, Quetiapine, Amisulpride, Aripiprazole)
  • Cholesterol Lowering Medications (Lipitor, Altoprev, Zocor)
  • Antihistamines
  • Opiods such as Vicodin and Percocet

Can’t Orgasm Reason 8. You Need More Stimulation

You can’t boil water without a little heat and it could be that your stove needs turning all the way up. Stimulation needs vary from person to person and if you’re not getting what you need, you’re not going to reach the climax you’re after! You could require deeper penetration, more clitoral play, more visual stimulation (hello, PornHub) or perhaps sensory stimulation to help you relax, such as music and candles.

Don’t be afraid to experiment and incorporate different elements into your partnered sex or solo play.

Other great ways to get additional stimulation include:

Womanizer X Lovehoney Pro40

The Womanizer X Pro is a fabulous clitoral stimulator

Can’t Orgasm Reason 9. Your Partner Isn’t Sure What You Like

Some people like spicy food, others prefer it mild. Some people live for coriander and others think it’s pure filth. Just like your tastebuds, music appreciation and aesthetic, your desires and sexual responses are totally unique. Your partner may need a little help learning the rhythms and touch you appreciate, so make sure that you’re communicating what you need. Don’t expect your partner to mind read and don’t be afraid to voice what you need.

If you’re worried your partner will take it as criticism rather than a helpful hint, use positive reinforcement terms to help get your message across. “I like it when you do “¦” or “It really turns me on when you “¦” phrases will help your partner to feel included and appreciated. Sex shouldn’t be a taboo subject between consenting adults, so communicate, communicate and make yourself heard.

You deserve that orgasm, so go get it!

Can’t Orgasm Reason 10. You Don’t Practise Your Kegels

Pelvic instability can wreak havoc on your ability to orgasm, particularly after you’ve had children. Not unique to vaginal births, even c-section Mamas can have a hard time regaining their pelvic strength after carrying a child. This can lead to a host of issues, one of which is difficulty achieving orgasm. During orgasm, your pelvic and vaginal muscles will clench and pulsate.

Strong pelvic muscles will help you achieve a stronger orgasm and help alleviate a myriad of health issues associated with a weakened pelvic floor. If you’re not sure how to do a kegel exercise, stop the flow of urine when you’re using the toilet. See how that feels? You want to focus on holding those muscles in and releasing them periodically. Start with ten reps of just hold and release, and build from there. You will thank us, we promise! 

If you are looking for a bit of help with your Kegels, we recommend the Elvie App Controlled Rechargeable Kegel Exercise Trainer.

Elvie App Controlled Rechargeable Kegel Exercise Trainer, Green, hi-res

Stories of Women Who Struggled To Orgasm:

I Masturbated to Music

“At one point in time, I was having trouble getting myself to orgasm. I would almost get there and then never quite make it.

This is what worked for me: Music. I would put some sort of music on. Think my sexy thoughts. Get all curled up for some sexy fun times and I would masturbate using the things that got me closest to orgasm but to the music.

if I wasn’t thinking about it then it got a lot easier for me to do.

Once that was done I was able to give my partner some tips and the orgasms resumed.

It may not work for you but might be worth a shot.”

Via Reddit

I Got a Liberator Pillow

“During missionary sex, put a pillow underneath you but so that the penis enters the vagina at a 45-degree angle, making contact with the “g-spot”. Move through slow repetitions of ‘all the way out’ to ‘all the way in’. Find a man who has the patience to take the time and appreciate your body.

Liberator pillows work great for this. I actually give them as wedding presents. Also, this means I never forget what I gave.”

Via Reddit

I Invested in a High Powered Wand

“My clitoris needed stronger stimulation than my hand or mouth can provide apparently. I finally had my first orgasm when I was 28 when I listened to my BFF and finally bought a Doxie Wand.

I‘ve had a couple of small orgasms without it when I was extremely turned on but they were still from external stimulation, not penetration. I don’t mind though. I love the intimacy of penetrative sex without an orgasm, and if I do want an orgasm, I use a bullet vibrator simultaneously. My ex had no qualms about throwing toys into the mix, and with those two combined, I usually climax in a matter of minutes.”

I Started to Have ‘Selfish Sex’

“In the past, I only focused on my partner’s pleasure. I was scared he would get bored if nothing happened after stimulating me for 10 minutes or so, so I learned to fake it. The thing is, sex was never satisfying.

After we broke up, I realised if I wanted good sex I had to seek it and ask for what I wanted. Even though it was hard to speak up for what I wanted at first, now I have fantastic sex and although I don’t climax every time, at least I have them now.”

I Increased the Blood Flow to My Genitals

“I’m a Mum with three kids and I’ve never been able to orgasm, it was super frustrating and I didn’t enjoy sex at all. I heard that if you increase blood flow to your genital area, that it can help to orgasm. I purchased one of those Pussy Pumps – oh I was so embarrassed even purchasing such a thing online…

But damn that thing really worked for me so I highly recommend trying it if you are struggling.”

We really hope this helps you to achieve the Big O!

181362 | Stay at Home Mum.com.au

About Author

Jody Allen

Jody is the founder and essence of Stay at Home Mum. An insatiable appetite for reading from a very young age had Jody harbouring dreams of being a pu...Read Moreblished author since primary school. That deep-seeded need to write found its way to the public eye in 2011 with the launch of SAHM. Fast forward 4 years and a few thousand articles Jody has fulfilled her dream of being published in print. With the 2014 launch of Once a Month Cooking and 2015's Live Well on Less, thanks to Penguin Random House, Jody shows no signs of slowing down. The master of true native content, Jody lives and experiences first hand every word of advertorial she pens. Mum to two magnificent boys and wife to her beloved Brendan; Jody's voice is a sure fire winner when you need to talk to Mums. Read Less

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