Hi there, I very recently found your blog, and I really appreciate all the posts and answers you’ve given. You’ve written about the female orgasm a few times now, and unfortunately this will be another one. I read through the other articles, but still haven’t found something that helps, unfortunately. My question is mainly: how do I know if I’m anorgasmic? I’m in my early 20s, and have been masturbating since about puberty (thank you pillows and showerheads). I’ve never had negative experiences or prejudices, I’m quite open about my sexuality, and my partner is incredibly supportive and helpful. However, I have yet to orgasm. Ever. My partner has described what an orgasm feels like to him, and I’ve seen it, but I’ve never had an experience like it before. I have tried multiple toys (the most powerful being the We-Vibe Tango), my partner does his best to pleasure me, and I really do enjoy the process, but I’ve just never been able to reach the big-O. I either feel like peeing, go kinda numb, or the sensation just fades away, and the process can take anywhere from 30 minutes to 2 hours. There is no “tipping point”, no feeling of “completion”, as it were. I have tried deep breathing exercises, attempted to simulate Kegel (without Kegel balls as of now), used porn/erotica, and still nada. It’s not bringing me down, I don’t feel “broken”, but I’m just curious and want to experience it, if possible. What’s your opinion/advice on this?
By definition it sounds like you may be anorgasmic. Primary anorgasmia is defined as someone who has never had an orgasm. However, labeling a woman’s lack of orgasm anorgasmia bothers me on a somewhat personal level. A lot of women have difficulty orgasming because of shame around sexuality, shame around their bodies. A lot of women have difficulty orgasming because they’ve never been taught how to orgasm. A lot of women have difficulty orgasming because they are on prescribed medications – medications that are often overprescribed – that limit their ability to become aroused. Why should something that is so common – a lack of orgasm – be medicalized when our culture is often to blame? How can we restrict knowledge about sexuality, call women sluts for having sex, prioritize male pleasure, and then tell women they have a medical condition if they make it to their 20s without having an orgasm?
You’ve done a lot of the work for me by bypassing this – but a post like this should not be done without saying it. Many, many, many women do not come by orgasms easily, and many women make it to their 20s without experiencing an orgasm. [As a side note, I found it interesting that it’s been two years since I wrote (this post)]
If you’ve had no negative experiences, are open about your sexuality, and have a sex-positive partner that you are physically and emotionally into, you’re way ahead of the game. I would agree that if you aren’t sure if you’ve had an orgasm you probably haven’t had one. I would take the time to think about these questions in addition: Do you feel physically aroused and mentally aroused when you are having sex? Does one come first and the other second? Does one fade after a while during a session? Determining if it’s physical arousal or mental arousal that’s the struggle can help some people. Are you on any medications that you feel limit your physical or mental arousal?
It’s hard to have an orgasm before you’ve had an orgasm because if you don’t know what it feels like, you can’t determine how close you are, or what you need to get you over the edge – or tipping point, as you said. Arousal will build before an orgasm. It sounds like you might get to this point and then it kind of fades away and you’re unable to get back to it.
The fading feeling sounds like a combination of mental and physical arousal. To combat this I’d recommend never going into bed with the goal of orgasming. Go into bed with the goal of feeling good the entire time you’re in bed. If something starts to not feel good, change what you’re doing. This tackles the mental component by allowing you to let go and just have fun. It tackles the physical by reminding yourself and your partner to focus on what physically works for you in each moment. That means it’s fine if he wants to go down on you for 30 minutes, but after 5 minutes, if it stops feeling exciting, ask for something else. Learn to read your body and what it wants.
My opinion is that what you’re experiencing isn’t abnormal, it’s just frustrating. You haven’t found what works for you yet, but you’re doing the right thing by experimenting with lots of different things and communicating with your partner. If at some point the frustration builds further, it may be of some help to discuss with a therapist or a doctor. Particularly if you feel that this may be a medical issue (ex: a symptom of drugs you are taking or depression). Though I think it’s less common for it to be a medical issue, that doesn’t mean that it’s never a medical issue. They may be able to provide further professional opinions that could help give you suggestions on how to proceed. I hope it turns around for you soon!
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