the not-quite-orgasm-orgasm?

Imagine that your partner is less sexually experienced than you, and they are having difficulty orgasming. In this particular example, a man and a woman are having sex together, her vagina is being stimulated, and she starts to feel as though she’s having an orgasm. That usual build up, the sensitivity, the increased heart rate. Things feel really good and then at the height of that sensitivity things start to hurt and she realizes she would like to stop.

The other day I had someone describe it to me as this: I am orgasming, I think, but then I become too sensitive to continue and it is physically painful.

I wanted to talk a little bit about that because I feel like this strange scenario could have two potential catalysts and each mean something different.

You think  you’re orgasming but you’re not really

I’ve always been of the mind that an orgasm is not something you can mistake for something else. Given what happens to the mind and body when you orgasm, even the shortest or least-powerful or my own orgasms (as the only thing I feel comfortable judging this on) are still very clearly defined as orgasms. There is the peak, certainly, but there is also the release. And the release is not necessarily a feeling that you have throughout the session. (Unless you have experience with multiples, or edging.)

So lets take a girl who thinks she is orgasming and then becomes too sensitive to touch. I would question first, whether or not she is orgasming at all. If the release is not there or if she believes she may not be orgasming, it may be that she is getting very close to an orgasm, and then stopping. Without knowledge of how the various stages of sexual arousal feel, it can be difficult to judge which is which. Masturbation and self-exploration can help with this. The sensitivity could be caused by how aroused the body is, the pain could be a result of not orgasming (vasocongestion) or being stimulated too roughly or in areas that are too sensitive to be touched directly.

If that was a mouthful, here it is more simply: before you’re about to orgasm you feel really good, but orgasms are distinct, and have a release to them. If you’re questioning whether or not you have had an orgasm it is more likely than not that you haven’t had one. Pain and sensitivity during sex if you haven’t orgasmed can be a result of lots of other things unrelated to the sensitivity of actually orgasming.

On the other hand, women do have refractory periods kind of like men. While some women can continue going over and over again, others require some chill down time before continuing. If your partner is orgasming and then you are continuing to have sex with her, its likely that this experience could be painful or overstimulating.

If your female partner orgasms and you haven’t, give it a rest for a few minutes to let her body sort of go through the process of relaxing and restoring its balance. Again, this process takes different amounts of time for different women. Even if the body is ready, the mind might not be, and if you are not mentally aroused this can make it much more difficult to be physically aroused.

Without physical arousal you may find sex to be more straining and less enjoyable. In women, this is most obviously noted in how the vagina expands and lubricates prior to penetration.

If you’re looking to have longer sessions or more sessions in a row, you’re not going to want to experience pain, or sensitivity that you find uncomfortable. Figuring out if you’re actually orgasming (first and foremost) is going to help you figure out if your sensitivity is related to the body needing a cool down or you and your partner needing to switch up your stimulation technique.

Do you have a question about sex or love? Submit to the top by hitting ask advice and I’ll answer it on my blog. 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. LaNeshe ( says:

    Have you been keeping up with Masters of Sex? Have you read stuff from their actual study in your classes?


    1. ST says:

      Yes! We study them a little bit. I also have their book “on sex and human loving” which is fun to browse, albeit kinda outdated. I haven’t kept up with the show though. I only watched about the first four episodes of the first season. I just got busy, I’ll binge it later 🙂


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