Is It Possible to Never Have an Orgasm?

"Half of my sex life seems to be in search of having an orgasm. It took seven years before I experienced my first orgasm and I feel like I keep falling into a negative failure pattern about it; I almost never have them."

Photo by MIKE RDX

Women who have never had orgasms often feel extremely depressed, or cheated, since society glorifies orgasms so much; and, indeed, it is a great pleasure that is being missed. Let's look at what these women say and try to suggest what they might try. Almost every woman who hasn't orgasmed would like to.

Shere Hite

"I feel I'm less desirable since I don't or seldom have orgasms. I often wonder if having orgasms is partly an individual physiological response. I don't really believe that differences in this area are all psychological. I wish our culture put less emphasis on orgasms. It would be easier for people like me to accept ourselves."

Only two women didn't seem to mind not having orgasm.

"I am not interested to the point of pursuing the matter; it's not too important anyway." 

Some women weren't sure if they were having an orgasm or not. 

"For a long time I didn't know if I was having them because of verbal myths surrounding them and no means of comparison with other women." 
"I don't know, but I've heard that if you're not sure then you aren't having any." 

The best way to learn to orgasm is to masturbate.

One method for helping women learn how to orgasm is masturbation. The percentage of women in one study who never had orgasms was five times higher among women who never masturbated than among the rest of the women. Eleven point six percent of the women in this study never orgasmed, and most of them also never masturbated.

Of course this may only mean that if they felt free enough to touch themselves they would feel free enough to masturbate, and so learn to orgasm. If a woman has never masturbated because she is disgusted with the whole idea, and still refuses to try, on the same grounds, "treatment" would then involve getting her to overcome these feelings. Some women had learned how to have orgasms, sometimes after years of not being able to.

"Half of my sex life seems to be in search of having an orgasm. It took seven years before I experienced my first orgasm."
"I discovered what stimulated me and then encouraged my lover so that he would bring me to orgasm."
"I do now. I didn't for a long time. I had to get better acquainted with me and my body-practice has made perfect."
"First, I read a lot about women and sexuality, sex manuals. I began to accept and appreciate myself. Then I ventured beyond my old limits, in all directions, and learned to orgasm too."

Women do not orgasm regularly during intercourse.

It was found that most women could not orgasm regularly from straight intercourse. They could not have an orgasm during intercourse without more direct manual clitoral stimulation being provided.

In other words, the majority of women do not experience orgasm regularly as a result of intercourse.

For most women, orgasming during intercourse as a result of intercourse alone is the exceptional experience, not the usual one. Although a small minority of women could orgasm more or less regularly from intercourse itself, since almost all women orgasm from clitoral stimulation (during manual stimulation with a partner or masturbation), henceforth we will refer to the stimulation necessary for female orgasm as clitoral.

It is clear that intercourse by itself did not regularly lead to orgasm for most women. In fact, for over 70 percent of the women, intercourse—the penis thrusting in the vagina—did not regularly lead to orgasm. What we thought was an individual problem is neither unusual nor a problem. In other words, not to have orgasm from intercourse is the experience of the majority of women.

Why is this? Even the question being asked is wrong. The question should not be: Why aren't women having orgasms from intercourse? but, rather: Why have we insisted women should orgasm from intercourse? And why have women found it necessary to try everything in the book, from exercises to extensive analysis to sex therapy, to make it happen?

Women are less interested in sex and orgasms than men

Since intercourse has been defined as the basic form of sexuality, and the only natural, healthy, and moral form of physical contact, it has automatically been assumed that this is when women should orgasm. Heterosexual intercourse has been the definition of sexual expression ever since the beginning of patriarchy, and is the only form of sexual pleasure really condoned in our society. The corollary of this institutionalization of heterosexual intercourse is the suppression of all other forms of sexuality and pleasurable intimate contact-even kissing and intimate physical contact or caressing between friends.

Insisting that women should have orgasms during intercourse, from intercourse, is to force women to adapt their bodies to inadequate stimulation, and the difficulty of doing this and the frequent failure that is built into the attempt breeds recurring feelings of insecurity and anger.

Finally, there are two myths about female sexuality that should be specifically cleared up here.

First, supposedly, women are less interested in sex and orgasms than men, and more interested in "feelings," less apt to initiate sex, and generally have to be "talked into it." But the reason for this, when it is true, is obvious: women often don't expect to, can't be sure to, have orgasms.

The other myth involves the mystique of female orgasm, and specifically the idea that women take longer to orgasm than men, mainly because we are more "psychologically delicate" than men, and our orgasm is more dependent on feelings. In fact, women do not take longer to orgasm than men. The majority of the women in Kinsey's study masturbated to orgasm within four minutes, similar to the men in this study. 

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Is It Possible to Never Have an Orgasm?