Why Can’t I Orgasm? How Anxiety Holds You Back In Bed
Why is a happy ending so hard to come by?
Contrary to what 50 Shades of Grey would have us believe, achieving an orgasm can be extremely difficult for a lot of women. I’m not talking about oral stimulation, sex toys, or other forms of foreplay; I mean straight up P in V sex can actually make the big O hard to come by.
In fact, about 75 per cent of women never achieve an orgasm through vaginal intercourse, and approximately 10 to 15 per cent never orgasm, ever. This is a stark contrast to men, who reportedly climax 98 per cent of the time during intercourse. Such a pity female ejaculation isn’t as easy to come by as its male counterpart…
There are a number of factors that can affect your ability to have a happy ending. These include hormonal imbalance, some medications (like anti-depressants), anatomical aspects such as the distance between the clitoris and the vagina, and relationship issues. However, one of the most common, and most surprising, factors contributing to inability to achieve an orgasm is anxiety. Not the form we typically think of that results in panic attacks, just that small niggle in the back of your brain that says, ‘Oh God, I’m not going to be able to have an orgasm again. Oh God, now I’m thinking about it and it’s making it worse. Now he’s looking at me wondering why I’m looking stressed. Oh God, STOP!!!‘ Or something like that. So I’ve been told.
Add to that the additional stress of fretting about how you look in bed, and all those other annoying little inhibitions that can so easily spiral out of control and you’ve got the perfect recipe for O-free sex.
“If women are in an anxious mindset, they cannot turn on their sexual mindset. They are concerned about their performance and at that moment will not be present or aware of what their body is feeling,” says sexual health therapist and relationship counsellor Desiree Spierings.
But try as you may to chill out, it’s important to keep in mind a small amount of nerves is very normal in many situations and needn’t be performance affecting.
“If you haven’t had sex for a while, or are with a new partner, quite often you find that you will have general anxiety,” reinforces Spierings.
According to Spierings, you’re most you’re likely to miss out on an orgasm during sex if you’re prone to worrying in general.
“These women are always in their minds, worrying or thinking about things. They are often over-analyzers. The fact they are in their minds is a problem in itself, as it makes it even more difficult to be present in their bodies. When it comes to sex, you must be present in your body; you need to feel it, not think it.”
So what’s the remedy for overcoming your inner worrier and getting your big O on?
“When a women wants to learn how to orgasm, she needs to completely let go of all of her bodily functions. An orgasm is just that; you lose control over your body and muscles, and just need to give in to the pleasure of it,” adds Spierings, who likes to use the analogy of dancing to explain healthy, pleasurable sex to her clients.
“Sex is just like dancing. If you see a couple dancing the tango and they are thinking about their steps, it is an awful dance to watch. But when you see a couple dancing the tango and they feel the music, it is a beautiful dance to watch; they just flow. It is this flow that is needed in the bedroom.”
But getting your flow on can be a decidedly difficult affair when your SO is staring at you wide-eyed, willing you to climax. So rather than working on orgasming to please your partner, the best solution is learning to first do it alone, in a relaxed environment where you’re not under any time constraints (read: he wants to come, like, yesterday, and you require the concentration of an Olympic hopeful on a balance beam to even start to think about the possibility of coming.)
“Get a good vibrator, start masturbating and touch your body all over to discover what you like and dislike,” says Spierings.
“Make sure to include some fantasies, erotic literature, or even porn if you like in order to explore what turns you on. Then, when you feel like you’re almost there, try to fake an orgasm. Rock your pelvis, start heavy breathing, to the point of screaming. It might feel silly, but it’s all to learn to let go and get comfortable with what your body might look or sound like when an orgasm actually happens. And above all else, remember, women can be satisfied sexually even without an orgasm. Don’t make that your end goal of any sexual encounter. The end goal should just be ‘pleasure’, not orgasm.”
Comment: Do you think we put too much pressure on ourselves to orgasm?