Why Am I Not Having More Orgasms?
We think of sex as something fun and easy, and to that end, orgasms are part of the deal. Right? But there are a lot of factors involved in getting off, and so many ways it can all go wrong.
A 2011 study reported that 11 to 41 percent of women experience female orgasmic disorder. Similar research indicates men experience fewer issues in their younger years, but that 23 percent of men ages 65 to 74 and 33 percent of men 75 and older also have trouble reaching a climax.
What’s normal & what’s not
Difficulty or inability to orgasm—including anejaculation, delayed ejaculation or anorgasmia—is linked to a wide array of causes.
Difficulty having orgasms often has emotional origins, such as anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, poor body image, and dissatisfaction or boredom with a relationship. This can quickly turn into a vicious cycle: Trouble climaxing can result in feelings of shame around sex, which in turn makes it more difficult to achieve orgasm.
Physical occurrences that impact orgasms include aging and its consequences (low testosterone, for example), the impact of medications (particularly some antidepressants, diuretics, antihypertensives and antipsychotics), intoxication/drug use, vaginal infection/dryness, hysterectomy, prostatectomy, hormone conditions, urinary tract infections, and conditions such as diabetes or multiple sclerosis (MS).
Emotional effects of difficult or infrequent orgasms
Orgasms are more important to some people than to others, and there may be many couples or singles who don’t find it—or sexual contact in general—a necessary part of life. And that’s fine. But for many, a climax plays a significant role in compatibility with partners, satisfaction with relationships and in overall happiness, confidence and self-worth.
When struggling with anorgasmia, women may feel pressured to fake orgasms and tell the occasional white lie, for fear of causing tension in a relationship. However, this will eventually cause both sides to feel dissatisfaction and resentment toward the sexual aspect of a relationship.
Even if you’re single, failing to achieve orgasms can be a drag on your sex life, including solo fun.
Physical effects of difficult or infrequent orgasms
Extreme stress from difficulty orgasming can make it difficult for men to get and stay erect during sex, and can cause dryness and tense muscles in women that can make intercourse difficult or painful.
If a man can’t orgasm, there’s the very practical outcome that a woman can’t get pregnant, and that alone can create issues for couples attempting to conceive.
The underlying cause of the problem determines the solution. For any of the emotional or physical causes mentioned previously, professional help is available and recommended. Your physician or psychiatrist may tweak or change your medications and discuss other strategies—for example, the use of medical devices for men after a prostatectomy.
A doctor may also help you get screened for other issues. If it’s an emotion-caused issue, a counselor or therapist could be helpful, too, and can identify effective strategies that may include cognitive behavioral therapy, sex therapy and more. Try identifying and addressing any contextual factors and be open with your partner about relational issues—arguments, hostility or pressure—as these may seem trivial but could be important on an emotional and physical level.
For many people, particularly women, difficulty climaxing is related to the type of sex practices in which they’re engaging. Only 18 percent of women can achieve orgasm with vaginal penetration alone. If that’s all you and your partner are doing, you could be setting yourself up for failure.
In some cases, it’s just best to try new tactics. Have fun researching strategies that increase a woman’s chance for orgasm, such as new positions, incorporating toys to stimulate the clitoris, talking to your partner about what turns each of you on, and bringing sexy videos or roleplaying into a scenario to dial up the heat. For both sexes, guys especially, managing anxiety or stress about performance is essential. If you’re enjoying the moment rather than worrying about it, you’re more likely to orgasm.
Chances are very good that whatever your problems are, they can be addressed or reduced. Don’t stress, just take your time, relax and work with your partner to stretch each other’s imagination.