To state the obvious, orgasms are awesome: If there's a better feeling in the world, I've yet to find it. As amazing as they are though, it's not uncommon to experience problems reaching orgasm and sometimes it can feel like, no matter how much you (and your partner) try, you just can't get there.
Although it can be frustrating, it's important to remember that good sex doesn't necessarily end in orgasm, and not reaching the finish line shouldn't diminish the quality of the sex overall. But one thing that does diminish the quality of sex? A partner who doesn't seem to understand that there are many, many ways to get someone off aside from traditional intercourse.
Sex should be a mutually beneficial activity, and one person's pleasure should never be overlooked or forgotten about. If you're with a partner who is trying his or her best to pleasure you and you simply can't reach orgasm, no worries: With more practice and a little luck, you'll get there. But if you're with a partner (whether old or new) who isn't trying everything in his or her power to help you come, and seems content to just wrap things up after he or she finishes, then therein lies a serious problem.
So what's one thing you should NOT say to someone like that? "It's OK, don't worry about me."
When you're having difficulty coming, it may seem more courteous or kinder to simply "let it slide." However, brushing off your own pleasure for the sake of not embarrassing your partner won't do you any favors in the long run. Of course, it is (hopefully) common sense that you shouldn't say something demeaning — "you suck so much, I wasn't even close" — or act downright disappointed, but if you're left unsatisfied, it is important to have a frank discussion about mutual satisfaction, especially if this is a pattern.
The fact of the matter is that, most often, heterosexual sex revolves around male ejaculation, and it's not uncommon for a woman's orgasm to be seen as an "added bonus" rather than a necessary goal of respectful, caring, consensual sex. Personally, I have a difficult time reaching orgasm, but I still manage to have good sex...but only with partners who actively try to get me off in alternative ways, be it manually, orally, or with a vibrator.
Here are three ways to make sure you and your partner are both having a good time — and that all parties have a fair chance at a happy ending.
1. Communicate Honestly
This cannot be stressed enough: The only way to guarantee your partner will do a good job at pleasing you is to tell him (or her) exactly what you like and dislike. Although it might seem like a temporary fix, faking an orgasm is a terrible idea, because it doesn't help your partner understand what he or she should be doing to turn you on. If you're mature enough to be having sex, then you should also be mature enough to deal with the ~awkward~ conversations that sometimes have to happen to make good sex a regular occurrence. There's nothing at all to be embarrassed about: Whether you communicate during sex via dirty talk, fill out sexual compatibility surveys, or just have a nice chat about fetishes over dinner, you'll be glad that you took the time to hash things out next time the two of you are in bed.
2. Make Her Come First
The older I get, the more I realize that "ladies first" is a real thing — or at least it should be in heteo relationships. Not in the weird, "Here madam, please allow me to hold the door open for you with my handkerchief" way, but in the way that, before you even put intercourse on the table, a male partner should be intent on making the woman come first. If you think about it, it's a win-win: By getting her off during foreplay, she gets to have an orgasm (yay!), and the they don't have to deal with the pressure of pleasing her solely with their penis during PIV sex. If they can make her come more than once, then good for you! But at the very least, if she climaxes during foreplay, you'll know that if any penis-related issues come up — like premature ejaculation or loss of erection — she has already been satisfied, so they won't have to worry that they "let her down."
3. Use Toys
Here's another scenario: Let's say you're a woman who genuinely prefers intercourse to all the goodness of manual and oral foreplay, and you'd rather spend a few minutes warming up, then get right down to business. That's totally valid, but this can present problems: Namely, if the aforementioned penis-related issues pop up, you're both pretty much SOL.
However, by adding in toys — whether male, female, or for couple's — the both of you have a better chance of reaching climax, because you'll be stimulated in more than one way. Again, it takes the pressure off the penis-owner to put on some stellar "performance" and allows the two of you to focus on the one thing that really matters: Pleasuring each other to the fullest extent.
Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our video on sex positions to make him last longer:
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