Why Can't I Orgasm During Sex? 12 Little Things Ruining Your Chances of Getting Off

While sex is fun, most of us are going into it with a particular goal in mind — and that very goal is all too often evasive. Why is it that we can easily get off one day and can't orgasm during sex the next? It turns out, a lot of what may be blocking your ability to achieve an orgasm has to do with what's going on in your head. Whether we're spending too much time thinking about (or even obsessing) about that orgasm, or stressing about any other part of our day, that's not going to help us get there. How can we enjoy the journey if we spend our whole time obsessing about the destination?

The best way to have an orgasm is probably to stop thinking about whether we're going to have one. Same goes for a partner who asks “did you come yet?”. It’s not just annoying, but the pressure to orgasm can actually have a counteractive effect. How rude.

But that's not all. There's a lot standing in the way of our orgasms, and we consulted the experts to figure out exactly what we can do to make it to the finish line without any more of these distractions.

1. Trying too hard

When you chase your orgasm you’re no longer in the moment, or in your body. "When you get caught up in anticipation (or worse, apprehension), you bring tension and stress into the body, the opposite of your desired outcome," says "sex geek", writer and activist Katrina "Rainsong" Messenger of The Good Love Project. Surrender is a part of orgasm, so just let go as much as possible.

2. Being drunk

Giphy

Beyonce may sing about being Drunk In Love, but while a glass of wine might lower your inhibitions, too much may lower your chances of hitting that big O. "Alcohol is a depressant that desensitizes the body, so keep the drinking light!" says Messenger.

3. Rushing

Giphy

While a quickie can be fun, you’re less likely to achieve orgasm if you’re in a rush. "Allow your body time to gain full arousal and really savor every moment and sensation," says Messenger.

4. Kids

Giphy

If you have kids, make sure to tuck in the little ones and lock your bedroom door before you get started, says Lee Harrington, a sexuality author and educator. Though having your kids ask questions about sex is important to their development, it won’t help you enjoy your play fully that evening.

5. Bad lighting

Giphy

Who knew? But It’s easy to transform your bedroom into a beautiful play space. Invest in a bedside lamp and turn it on before play begins, turning off the glaring overhead lights to set the mood. But be careful if you go for burning some candles, says Harrington. Knocking them over can also ruin a good night, and worse, catch something on fire.

6. The search for lube

Ever notice that most bottles of lubricant are round? They get slippery fast and roll away. "I discovered that putting a cup on your bedside table that you can set your bottle in makes it easy to find each and every time. And to make it even more fun, put a bit of warm water at the bottom of the cup. Why have cold lube when you could have it already at body temperature?" says Harrington.

Try: Pjur Nude Lube, $18, Babeland

7. Being dehydrated

Giphy

Our body is mostly fluid. Being dehydrated can get in the way of our body functioning properly – this includes sexually, says Dr. Laura Bennett-Cook of Kinkucation. Geez, is it just me or is water the cure for everything?

8. Stress

Concerns outside of the bedroom tend to follow you in the bedroom. Challenging as it is, try to let go of the trials of the day and be present in the pleasure of the moment. Chances are whatever you are stressed about will still be there after you have sex. It can be very healthy to let yourself go for a time. Sexual activity releases endorphins and other feel-good hormones which can boost your mood thus helping relieve some (if not all) of your stress, says Bennett-Cook.

9. Not breathing

Giphy

Tantric practitioners have used breath to direct and influence the flow of sexual currents through the body for ages. "Truncated, frantic, harried upper-chest breathing communicates stress and anxiety throughout the neurology. Many of us programmed ourselves in this fashion through early self-pleasuring experiences. Breathe deeply and easefully throughout the sexual interlude," says Magdalena Knight. Practice expanding the sensation throughout your body and prolonging the arousal period before trying to finish.

10. Performance anxiety

Giphy

Let go of the goal, throw away the map, says Knight. Sex is supposed to be pleasurable, and the orgasmic release is but ONE component of the array of wild and varied sexual sensations and experiences that are possible. Relax, soften to a potentially deeper experience, and let go of some control.

11. Guilt, shame, and jealousy

Giphy

These emotions are energetic obstacles of pleasure and ecstatic release, says Knight. Whether within partnered or solo pleasure play, leave that junk outside the bedroom door. Practice extending to yourself and your partner's total enthusiastic gratitude for the gift of free and nourishing sex and love play.

12. Thinking too much

If you spend the whole time thinking about HOW you are going to orgasm, you are going to miss the pleasurable sexual journey that can take you to an orgasm, says sexuality educator Bianca Jarvis. Don't put pressure on yourself to have an orgasm. Enjoy the sensations of sex and let it happen naturally, if at all. Orgasms happen in your body, as well as your head. "It might help to explore the Sensate Focus exercises developed by the legendary sex researchers Masters and Johnson. These exercises encourage you to focus on the sensations in your body, a sort of sexual mindfulness practice," says Jarvis.

Images: Matías Q.V/Flickr; Giphy