Sex Advice

Dear Dr. Locker: I have never had an orgasm. I am a 29 year old single woman. Do you have any tips for how to have an orgasm?

Answer from Dr. Locker

All women can have orgasms. Some just have to learn how. The best way to learn is to commit yourself to spending a little time each day working on it, until you reach climax. The following steps may help.

Ten Steps to Orgasm (HOW TO HAVE AN ORGASM)

1. Analyze your sexual influences. Try to determine whether or not you have been exposed to any negative messages about sex while you were growing up. Sexually repressive parents or a strict religious upbringing are important factors to consider. Also, in some cases, some women who have never had an orgasm were victims of childhood sexual abuse, incest, or rape. You may want to work with a therapist to understand how these issues could be affecting your enjoyment of sex.

2. Look very closely at your body. When you have some time alone, check out your naked body. In a well-lit room, take a hand mirror and look at your vulva. (If the light in the room is room is not bright enough, use a flashlight.) You may want to lie down with your legs open and prop your head up with pillows to get a better look. Or you could even try squatting over the mirror. Notice the way each part of your genitals looks: your pubic hair, your labia, your vaginal entrance, your clitoris. Accept this as a special and beautiful part of your body. While you’re looking, acknowledge that your clitoris is there, and that it exists for only one reason: to give you pleasure. When you’re looking at it, believe that it can and will help you have an orgasm.

3. Enjoy pleasure without having a goal. Try the following activity to start accepting that your body can give you pleasure. When you have the night alone, all to yourself, take a long bubble bath with candles around the tub. After you get out of the tub, spend time drying your body, and applying lotion or powder. Then lay down on your bed naked, and touch your body all over. Massage your feet, your hands, and your shoulders. Stroke your breasts, your waist, and your thighs. Enjoy the feelings of touching yourself. At this point you do not have to even think of this as "masturbating", just as touching yourself and enjoying it.

4. Learn to relax and breathe. When you’re alone and naked, lie down, close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing. Take ten deep breaths in and out. While you’re doing this, imagine that you are in a safe, beautiful place. Feel every part of your body relaxing, from your toes to your fingers to the top of your head. Remember what this feels like, so you can call on this relaxed feeling anytime.

5. Masturbate without a goal. Some women have never had an orgasm because they have never masturbated. Now is the time to learn to masturbate to feel good. First, find at least 30 minutes when you can be alone. Then repeat the relaxation, breathing, and touching exercises that I just described. Then begin masturbating. Touch your clitoris in a circular motion or back-and-forth motion, and insert a finger in your vagina; massage the entire area. Touch your breasts, or neck, or legs, or anywhere that feels good. At this point do not think that you are masturbating to have an orgasm. Just do it to become familiar with the pleasurable feelings that it can bring. Explore where and how it feels best to touch your clitoris and vagina, and entire genital region.

6. Masturbate with a goal. Once you have learned to masturbate just to feel good, then you can begin masturbating to have an orgasm. Find at least 30 minutes when you can be alone. Repeat everything you did in the previous activity. But this time, focus on stimulating your clitoris and pushing yourself past the point of no return. When you feel as if your body is reaching some peak of sexual excitement, don’t stop. Keep masturbating. Increase the intensity. Don’t stop. You may feel the good feelings getting more intense. If it feels uncomfortable, then try masturbating your clitoris from a different angle, or with less pressure, or whatever makes it feel better. You can vary the way you are rubbing. Try to find the most pleasurable feelings, and keep breathing, and if you like to fantasize, then do that as well. Keep going until you roll those feelings beyond where you have taken them before—into the feelings of orgasm.

7. Use a vibrator. While vibrators are not for everyone, they sometimes help women who have never had an orgasm. If you’re having trouble making it to that point of no return, then you should start using a vibrator to push yourself a little bit further. Buy an electric vibrator, preferably the Hitachi Magic Wand. Hold it on your clitoris when you masturbate, and try to keep it there while you move and touch your body. Keep trying to bring yourself to orgasm, but stay relaxed.

8. Involve your partner. When you are with your partner, repeat the relaxation and breathing activities. When you are being sexual, focus on how good it feels to be with him or her. Make sure that you’re getting lots of clitoral stimulation. Then try to allow yourself to go beyond those feelings and to allow yourself to let go and have an orgasm.

9. Fantasize and role play. During masturbation or sex with your partner, fantasize that you are a sexy, powerful woman who loves sex and who has orgasms easily. Role play that you are very into the experience. Move your hips, gyrate your body, and try to move like a sexy woman who is going to have an orgasm.

10. Let yourself go. To have an orgasm, you need to let yourself go entirely. You can’t try to control your body. You can’t worry about how you will look when you have an orgasm, or what sounds will come out of your mouth or body. Don’t worry—just let yourself go. If you often come close, but fail to climax, you may be trying too hard. To have an orgasm, you have to lose control, and let your body do whatever it’s going to do. If you let the feelings flow over you, you might even orgasm faster than you would if you were “trying.” Just try to relax.

Copyright, Dr. Sari Locker 2008

You may also want to read the following books on this topic: -- Lonnie G. Barbach's, For Yourself: The Fulfillment of Female Sexuality -- Betty Dodson's, Sex for One: The Joy of Self-Loving -- Joseph LoPiccolo and Julia Heiman, Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women

It can be frustrating to treat your own sexual problem, and you may not be successful. If you can’t have an orgasm with the help of these tips, or other information, please don’t give up. Go see a sex therapist. Sex therapy is highly effective for improving sex lives and relationships. It is talk therapy that can help you figure out how to find pleasure and how to achieve orgasm. [To find info about sex therapy on this web site: Read my answer about what to look for in a sex therapist in my response to the question "How can someone find and choose a sex therapist?" under the category of “Sexual Problems" in the scroll box to the left.]

Copyright © Dr. Sari Locker