6 reasons you might not be orgasming.
Orgasms are not one-size-fits-all. What works for one woman won’t work for everyone and what worked for you with one partner might not work with another. According to sexologist Carole Altman, PhD, author of You Can Be Your Own Sex Therapist, “You have to— you can’t just rely on your partner to get the job done.” The first step: trouble-shooting for possible circumstantial things that may be holding you back.
1. There’s not enough foreplay
Here’s the scenario. Your partner is ~extremely~ eager to have sex. And you may be too but there’s a very good reason to never skimp on the foreplay:
“Most women need about 20 minutes of arousal time to reach the ‘orgasmic platform,’ when the clitoris is most sensitive and the body is primed for stimulation,” says sexologist Yvonne K. Fulbright, author of the Hot Guide to Safer Sex. “Skipping the whole sexual-response cycle makes it harder to get off.” Twenty minutes may sound like a long time but trust, any partner who can’t spend a mere matter of minutes making you feel good is not worth your time.
For many, it’s a turn-on. “It was really hard for me to orgasm so I’d tell my boyfriend, ‘It’s OK, don’t worry about it’ when it didn’t happen,” says Melissa,* 29. One night, he told me to lie back and just let him do his thing to me. I eventually orgasmed and he clearly loved every minute he spent getting me off.” A bonus of peaking preintercourse: “Having an orgasm during foreplay increases a woman’s chances of climaxing during intercourse,” says Altman.
2. You might be mentally tuning out
It’s easy to get distracted during sex. Everything from “I wonder what my boobs look like from this angle?” to “Wow, they should have that mole on their chest checked out” can make you lose focus. And once that happens, your orgasm is down for the count. “Your brain is a vital part of the sexual experience, registering sensations and releasing feel-good chemicals to the body,” says Georgia sexologist Gloria G. Brame, PhD. “Any mental distraction can spark conflicting, nonsexual impulses in the brain and lessen your pleasure.”