“Often times, women will opt out of their own sexual pleasure rather than make their partner feel uncomfortable!”
-Dr. Christy Wise
Know this feeling? It starts with a deep throbbing and warmth, an enticing tingling sensation that runs over your entire body. Excitement washes over you like a powerful wave and you begin to feel yourself completely let go. Suddenly there is an intensity that strikes deep inside of your body and out of nowhere, you are engulfed. With that tingling sensation in your muscles, there is also a hint of weakness and your limbs tighten and your body begins to brace itself. Throbbing and pounding with excitement, without conscious thought, your mind and body completely surrender and you feel paralyzed with the intensity of pure pleasure. As if somehow you have been transported to another time and place.
But what if you have never gotten to experience this feeling? As surprising as this may sound, many women will go their entire lives without ever experiencing a real Orgasm. It isn’t that uncommon for many women to struggle to reach orgasm. Whether it’s a vaginal or a clitoral orgasm, recent studies revealed that up to 50 to 75 percent of women have never been able to achieve orgasm. So what happens?
Instead of making one of the life’s most pleasurable experiences a personal priority and a rite of passage, women often rob themselves. Rob themselves how? When they resort to faking their own orgasm. So we need to really ask the obvious question……Why in the world do so many women resort to faking it?
There are many reasons why women feel the need to fake their own orgasm, but essentially there are three reasons that most commonly come up.
1) They love and care for their partner and definitely do not want to disappoint or hurt their partner’s feelings. They would rather keep it to themselves than to make their partner feel bad.
2) They are embarrassed to speak up, especially if they had already faked it in the past. The shame and embarrassment can be overwhelming and most easily avoided by continuing to fake it.
3) They genuinely enjoy the closeness and intimacy but have a hard time communicating about a topic that feels awkward and uncomfortable. Communication can be especially difficult when it comes to making a request about your own sexual needs. Most avoid communication for fear of sounding needy or difficult.
4) The biggest and most eye opening reason of them all, however, for faking an orgasm is to avoid inflicting feelings of sexual inadequacy on their partner. To avoid these feelings for others, women opt out of fulfilling on their own fulfilling sexual experience. Yes, you heard it correctly… Often times, women will opt out of their own sexual pleasure, rather than make their partner feel uncomfortable.
In today’s culture, orgasm plays a huge role not only in our sexual experience but in our sexual identity. Yes, talking about sex and orgasm can be incredibly uncomfortable for many people. While we have come a long way in our comfort level and understanding of the importance of a healthy sexual identity, for the most part, sex is still somewhat of a taboo topic in our culture. The unfulfilling result of this lack of understanding and discomfort, are many women robbing themselves of a deeply fulfilling sexual experience and an evolving sexual identity.
Here are a few relieving side notes, however:
- Some women can and do reach sexual satisfaction during intercourse, without achieving an orgasm, and view the extra effort in attempting it as tedious.
- Some women can only reach orgasms through stimulation of the clitoris (clitoral orgasms), and not by penetration. Not all sexual positions provide access to the clitoris, thus preventing actual orgasms.
- Some people are unable to have orgasms – a condition known as anorgasmia.
- One partner might be tired and would like to end the sexual act without offending their sexual partner.
- Two partners may begin the sexual act under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. The effect of these substances can sometimes cause people to be unaware of their choice in sexual partners – if this effect wears off during sex, and one (or both) partners realize this, one might choose to fake an orgasm to avoid creating an embarrassing situation.
Many women who struggle with achieving an orgasm may not feel that their body or their feelings of arousal are in their own control, and lack a sense of ownership. Their body image may be so negative that they cannot feel good or feel comfortable about opening up sexually. Many women report that they are unhappy with how they look and are embarrassed to be seen or touched. A patient of mine has described this experience as “I don’t know what comes over me. We start out holding each other and I feel good and safe and ready to make love. And then the inevitable happens. We take off our clothes and I am so ashamed and disgusted that all I can think about is what he must see. When he runs his hands gently over my hips he looks happy… but I want to cry and run out of the room!”
Unfortunately, because of the unrealistic body and appearance standards that our society overtly imposes on women, plus the social norms, women actually question whether or not they are in full control over their own body image. Women and their partners may have a hard time initiating arousal because she is unaware of how to become aroused. For women, their bodies can take up to thirty minutes of stimulation or arousal to have an orgasm. To the contrary, most men can achieve arousal to orgasm within three minutes. This time, difference makes it very difficult for each partner to achieve a fulfilling sexual experience and many times the women feels left behind. Even more, about 80 percent of women can only achieve an orgasm by way of clitoral stimulation? This means that if you or your partner is unaware of this fact, you have likely been missing out on a tremendous sexual experience and another type of orgasm, called a vaginal orgasm.
Other Possible Issues to Consider
A Potential Physical Problem:
- Inadequate stimulation
- Not enough lubrication
- Injury that has affected genital receptiveness
- Illness or medical problem
- Medication side effects
A Potential Psychological Issue:
- Stress/ anxiety
- Relationship problems
- Body image
- Religious guilt associated with sex
- Performance anxiety
- Cultural beliefs
- Guilt associated with pleasure
If you are having trouble achieving orgasm, first try to pinpoint the issue by reviewing some of the above-mentioned causes. Then, take the time to get to know your body. There are plenty of websites that help understand the physical traits of the clitoris and the Grafenberg Spot (G-spot). As a woman, these are your two best options for achieving orgasm. In fact, the clitoris has no other purpose than for sexual stimulation. Once you have a physical understanding, manual self-manipulation is the best step to understanding how to achieve orgasm.
The next step is creating an environment that sets you up for success. Take the time and effort it deserves (you deserve!) consider and think about what issues you need to address and possible solutions you can discover. For example, if you have a lack of vaginal lubrication, buy several brands of lubrication and see which you prefer and what works best for you. If you have performance anxiety, being alone in a private place may address this issue. The bedroom is an obvious choice.
Setting yourself up for more success; Create a space or a room that feels romantic and passionate to you. A cluttered or messy space may have a bigger impact on you than you realize, so clean it up. A must… disconnect distractions by turning off your phone and shutting down your computer. If you need external stimulation, there is nothing wrong with starting by reading an erotic novel, tapping into your vivid imagination, watching a passionate, sexy movies or yes, even porn. Just as long as it helps start the mood.
What next? This is the fun part, so put your judgments and excuses aside. It’s time to intimately connect and get to know your own body. Use your fingers to begin playing with your clitoris or G-Spot. If you would like use a dildo or vibrator to help you explore. Pay attention to your body and what feels good to you. Relax your breathing, lean further into what feels good and why does it feel good. Draw your attention to the position of your hips, legs, and butt. What movements are you making and where is the warmth coming from? With complete permission…let yourself surrender to the building physical intensity in your body and all the feelings that come with it. Stay present to your body’s experience and those sensations, they will guide you if down the right path if you allow it.
Allowing orgasm to happen for the first time isn’t easy. Besides the personal judgments, and conversations rumbling through our heads, often times we are too distracted by outside static. Even more prevalent are the physical distractions. Many women on the edge of their first orgasm, stop themselves right before they climax because the physical sensations feel “odd” or “out of control”. They describe a feeling of “pressure and build up” and believe it is a feeling of “having to pee”. However, that feeling is more of a sign that you are closer to an orgasm than you think. The other side of that physical build up is YOUR orgasm. It’s like a long-distance runner hitting “the wall”. You have to mentally and physically get past it to reach that euphoria, so many women describe. The great news… Once you’ve reached orgasm, it will become easier each time thereafter.
If you’ve gotten closer or finally reached that Big O, keep a mental roadmap, because you will want to share it with your partner or definitely go there again. A great perk of sharing btw is that most partners find it incredibly sexy to be guided towards helping them satisfy you! We learned to show and tell as children, so now is the time as an adult! Let’s be honest, there is something very wonderful in knowing we have fulfilled the desire of your partner. So take the time to be open with one another, because, in the long run, it’s so much fun and soooo worth it!
If you are still having difficulty, don’t fret. There is strong evidence that suggests that a well experienced professional coach or psychotherapy, are effective with orgasm disorders and/or orgasm difficulties. An active approach to treatment is more effective than hoping someone will figure it out for you.
Love, care, and consciousness, are the very foundations for building a strong sexual identity and sense of self. While other characteristics and intrinsic actions also qualify for a successful relationship with yourself, my passion and desire are to bring sexual identity alive, while addressing the very foundations necessary to do so.
As a long time professional in the field, I am committed to bringing a wealth of impactful information and true passion, to women, couples and people seeking a deeply fulfilling with themselves and one another.
Dr. Christy Wise