Can't Orgasm During Sex? 7 Ways To Let Go And Let Your Partner Pleasure You

We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we actually hear the nitty-gritty details of how we might actually achieve those things? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the specifics. This week’s topic: How to orgasm during sex with your partner — without helping.

Q: I'm able to orgasm on my own, and can climax during sex by using my own hand or a vibrator. I enjoy it when my boyfriend touches me and goes down on me, but I never orgasm. Sometimes I feel really close, but I can never quite get there when he's doing the driving. I try to give directions, but I’m wondering if it’s more mental than about technique. We've been together almost a year, so I'd kind of like to be able to release control with him. How can I learn to let him make me come?

A: There are a million different factors that can make reaching orgasm difficult — the wrong type of stimulation, lack of information, insufficient communication, bad positioning, or not giving yourself enough time — but it does seem likely that the problem you’re having involves mental blockages.

Orgasm is a mental experience as much as a physical one. Sometimes it can feel like there’s an incredibly narrow window of acceptable mental actions. If you think about it too much — “am I close yet? Is it going to happen this time? Is he getting bored?” — you won’t come. If you don’t think about it enough — “are those clothes dirty or clean? Did I forget to water the plants?” — you won’t come. What’s a gal to do?

The trick is to find better ways to occupy your brain during sex. Here are seven tips for keeping your mind on the prize and learning how to orgasm with your partner.

Fantasize

Active fantasizing is one of the most effective techniques for improving your orgasmic odds. Fantasizing is a great way to keep your mind engaged during sex. It also creates another layer of stimulation. There are even some women who are able to reach orgasm simply by fantasizing!

Right now, think of your favorite fantasies, and decide on one that you can utilize the next time you’re being intimate with your partner. It can be helpful to pick something beforehand, that way you don’t have to waste mental energy going over your options in the moment. Try to flesh out as many details of the fantasy as you can, and immerse yourself in the experience.

Keep in mind that fantasizing doesn’t have to mean cutting your boyfriend out of the picture. You can have him play the leading role in your fantasy!

Tell A Story

If the idea of fantasizing during sex sounds like too much work to you, you can try honing your attention on exactly what’s going on when you’re being intimate. As you’re having sex, look at what your partner is doing to you, and narrate all of the action to yourself. For example, “he’s using his tongue to trace circles around my clitoris. Now he’s flicking my clitoris with the tip of his tongue.” This suggestion might sound kind of silly, but it can be extremely hot in practice because it helps you soak up every aspect of the stimulation.

Change Up Your Routine

Do you have a specific way that you masturbate? Some women masturbate the exact same way every time, and actually wind up creating mental blockages to reaching orgasm with a partner (this happens a lot for men too, by the way). You may find yourself distracted because you’re critiquing his speed or pressure, or bemoaning the fact that he’s not stimulating you as well as well as you’re able to stimulate yourself.

Even if you don’t think this is a factor for you, I still recommend varying your masturbatory routine. Try using different strokes, different speeds, or even using your non-dominant hand. You can train your body to respond to a wider array of stimulation.

Remind Yourself Who's Touching You

If you’ve experienced sexual abuse or trauma of any kind, you may find it hard to reach orgasm during sex. Even if you rationally understand that your boyfriend would never hurt you, your body may not be fully able to relax when you’re being intimate.

One technique to help yourself feel more at ease is reminding yourself in the moment that you’re being intimate with your boyfriend. Say his name to yourself. Looking him in the eyes can also be helpful. Of course your brain knows that it’s him, but this exercise can help the more subconscious parts of your psyche start to relax.

Get Curious

Sometimes an orgasmic blockage is just an annoyance, but sometimes it’s a sign that something deeper is going on. If you’re truly honest with yourself, do you have a tiny part of yourself that feels a little uncomfortable around him? Maybe you suspect that he’s cheating? Maybe he has been a bit rude or unhelpful about your orgasmic frustrations? Maybe you have a fear of being truly vulnerable and intimate with someone?

There are an infinite number of reasons why you might find yourself a bit hesitant with him. Some may be reactions to things he’s done, some may be due to things you’ve done, and others may exist for no good reason at all. But it’s worth taking an honest look at yourself and seeing if there’s a specific reason why you’re holding back.

Trick Your Brain

A lot of women stress themselves out by wondering, “Am I there yet? How much longer am I going to take?” Of course, as soon as you start worrying about orgasm, it distracts you from the experience and makes it take even longer.

I see lots of other orgasm articles that tell women to just relax, but it’s not quite that easy. It’s actually very difficult to force yourself not to think about something in the moment. For example, try, right now, to not think about your best friend. It’s kind of impossible not to, right?

Instead, I’ve found it more useful to try to distract your brain by thinking about other things. Fantasizing is a great example, but another easy trick is to try rating the level of pleasure you’re feeling on a scale of 1-10. It gives your brain something logical and straightforward to think about, but also keeps you focused on the actual stimulation you’re feeling. Focusing more on sensation creates a faster track to orgasm.

Be Realistically In The Moment

It’s pretty much impossible to stay completely focused on anything for a long period of time. Sex is no exception. Everyone’s mind wanders at some point or another during sex. Sometimes people can get so stressed out about the fact that they’re getting distracted that they send themselves on a maddening distraction spiral.

Acknowledge to yourself right now that it’s OK to get a little distracted during sex. It’s going to happen. When you’re in the moment with your boyfriend, and you start to feel your mind drift, gently pull your attention back to what’s going on. The key word here is “gentle” — don’t beat yourself up about it! Say something like this to yourself, “Oops, there I go again, but it’s OK. Time to refocus.” Take a deep breath and look your partner in the eyes.

If you’re interested in learning more about how to reach orgasm, you can also check out my women’s course, Finishing School: Learn How To Orgasm, designed to help you reach your first O on your own and with a partner.

And remember: It may take some time and practice, but you can teach yourself how to get there with your partner. Good luck!

Want more of Bustle's Sex and Relationships coverage? Check out our new podcast, I Want It That Way, which delves into the difficult and downright dirty parts of a relationship, and find more on our Soundcloud page.

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