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Hump Day: Having Trouble Climaxing With Partner

Welcome to Hump Day, TrèsSugar's sex advice column. If you have questions about sex, send them to TrèsSugar, and our friend Dr. Charlie Glickman from Good Vibrations will offer his sound advice!

Today's question:
I noticed via the when was your first orgasm post that many women have trouble climaxing during sex but can get there solo. Are there special techniques that will aid in this? Am I just not patient enough?

To see Dr. Glickman's advice,


The short answer is that, yes, there are ways to make orgasm with a partner easier. But before getting into that I think it’s worth mentioning that some women find that they have concerns or anxieties that get in the way of orgasm, and sexual technique won’t overcome that. One’s mental and emotional state can definitely get in the way of sexual pleasure.

Masters & Johnson coined the word “spectatoring” to describe what happens when you’re so busy thinking about what you look like, or if your technique is good, or any other thought that takes you out of the physical and emotional experience of sex. You become a spectator rather than a participant. Spectatoring is something that most people do sometimes, but if it’s something that you do frequently, it can definitely get in the way. One way to change that habit is to learn to pay attention to the here-and-now through exercises like sensate focus. It’s a bigger topic than we have room for here, so let me point you to some useful articles here, here, and here.

OK, so if the issue here is less about the relationship that you have with yourself, with your partner, or with sex, here are some practical tips for making orgasms during sex more likely.

First, a majority (around 70 percent) of women need some sort of clitoral stimulation to have an orgasm. It’s simply a function of biology and it doesn’t mean that you or your partner are bad lovers. During intercourse, you or your partner can use a hand to stroke or rub your clitoris. It can take a little practice to find the right tempo, but it’s worth the effort. If you’re not sure what works for you, Tickle Your Fancy is a great book full of helpful ideas and sexy suggestions.

Sometimes, a different position can help a lot. Whether you’re having intercourse, oral sex, massage, or whatever, you might find that holding your body in a different way can increase your arousal. That’s especially true when it comes to intercourse since a slightly different angle can bring your clitoris or G-spot into play. Lots of women say that it can be helpful if their hips are higher than their head. There are a lot of different positions you could try, but if you’re looking for inspiration, I like Ride’Em Cowgirl and the Complete Guide to Sexual Positions. If you have difficulty holding your favorite pose, use some pillows or the Wedge.

You could also use a vibrator. There are lots of great ones like the C-Spot or the Smoothie that vibrate at the end, making it pretty easy to hold the tip against your clitoris during sex. And the We Vibe gives you hands-free vibration because it can be worn during intercourse.

Another option is to get your sexual needs met in ways that work for you, if intercourse doesn’t do the trick. If oral sex does it for you, try it before or after intercourse. A lot of women need more time to orgasm than a lot of men, so try giving yourself a head start. Start off with whatever turns you on — kissing, massage, oral sex, whatever.

There are some great books that offer lots of suggestions. Some of my favorites include Lou Paget’s Orgasms, Solot & Miller’s I Love Female Orgasm, Becoming Orgasmic, and one of my favorites, The Multi-Orgasmic Woman.

Good luck & have fun!

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