How to Have an Orgasm Through Vaginal Sex
How to Actually Orgasm During Vaginal Sex, According to an Expert
If you haven't had an orgasm during internal vaginal sex (also referred to as penetrative sex), you're not alone. According to one study published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, only 18 percent of women surveyed said they are able to orgasm through internal intercourse alone. Of course, this could be for a myriad of reasons, including gender dysphoria, anxiety, past trauma, physical injury, and disability. But not being able to orgasm doesn't mean anything is wrong with you or that something must be "fixed." It could just mean you're putting too much pressure on yourself.
"Vaginal orgasms occur when stimulation from penetration of the vagina takes place. This can be during solo pleasure using fingers or stimulators or with a partner through vaginal or oral sex," says Megwyn White, clinical sexologist and director of education at sexual wellness company Satisfyer. "If you haven't experienced an internal vaginal orgasm, know that that is completely normal."
In order to have fun and pleasurable vaginal sex, it often starts with returning to the basics, meaning both partners should be relaxed, communicate with each other, and spend extra time on foreplay. It also may require you to revisit what you want from sex and change the expectations you set around orgasm and performance.
Remember, for many people, sex isn't just about physical stimulation. Often, pleasure starts with mental and emotional excitement and gradually extends to the body — meaning physical genital stimulation alone isn't the main source of satisfaction, nor is it enough to facilitate orgasm. If you feel pressure to orgasm, you really could just be getting in the way of yourself having the fun you deserve.
Together, we'll go over how to actually enjoy vaginal sex, starting with mindset, arousal, and the tools you need to set yourself up for a really good time.
Get to Know Your Body
Getting to know your body is one of the best things you can do for your sex life. Knowing your body means two things: first, familiarizing yourself with your anatomy (so in this case, the vulva), and secondly, learning how your particular body likes to be touched.
A great place to start is by learning the anatomy of the clitoris, which is essentially the pleasure center of the vulva. The clit is partially external (located in that little pressure point where the inner labia meet) and extends internally along both sides of the vagina. Full of super-sensitive nerve endings, the clit is ground zero for sexual pleasure and exploration. To get comfortable with the clit, get into a comfortable position, like on your back; apply a little lube to your fingers; and gently stroke, tap, or make circles around your clitoris to see what you like. If you're new to clit stimulation, it can be helpful to start with your hands first and see what you like before using a toy.
If you think you prefer internal sex, White recommends getting to know your G-spot. "It's the area where clitoral bulbs separate, located two to three inches inside the vagina near your belly," she says. The best way to stimulate the G-spot is to make a "come hither" motion with one or two fingers. When you've found the right area, you'll likely notice a slightly spongey texture that may swell upon stimulation. It's great to explore with sex toys but also fingers.
Once you explore these two areas, the best way to learn what your particular body enjoys is through masturbation. To get comfortable, especially if you're new to solo play, White says to "start by just practicing mindfulness by deep breathing and making yourself aware of your body. You'll then want to explore your body and focus on what is feeling good to you in that moment." You can start by touching your erogenous zones to increase arousal — including your nipples, chest, neck, and thighs, for example — then use your fingers or a sex toy to explore different areas of your vulva.
It takes time to find what feels good for your body, so be patient with yourself. If you feel nervous, don't jump right into internal play. Instead, try focusing on clit stimulation before, as most vulva owners need clit stimulation to orgasm. For a great beginner-friendly toy, White recommends the Satisfyer Endless Fun, which is super versatile for both internal and external sex. Try grinding on the Endless Fun as you adjust the vibration settings to find what you like. You can also try out some different positions — some people enjoy lying on their backs or sides while using a vibrator, others may like to squat or rest on their stomach.
Communicate Before Sex
Once you're ready for partnered sex, have a conversation with your partner beforehand to discuss your needs and desires for sex. In this case, it may be helpful to "let your partner know that you haven't orgasmed before through vaginal stimulation," White says. This is because, she says, "being honest and open with a partner is a great way to build trust and intimacy."
Once the conversation is started, work with your partner to determine how you can best be supported during sex. Do you like verbal praise during sex? Does eye contact during sex turn you on or intimidate you? How often should you check in? Who initiates this kind of dialogue during sex? Deciding on these cues beforehand helps both partners keep each other safe and supported.
You may also suggest dedicating a certain amount of time (like three to four minutes) to exploring internal sex and how it feels for you. It may seem a little silly to set a timer for sex, but it's all about taking bite-size experiences that won't overwhelm you. Plus, if it feels great, you can always keep going. Just remember, during this time, don't be afraid to give directions, try something you've experimented with during masturbation, or introduce a toy. The key here is trust, communication, and taking some time for you to enjoy the attention.
Focus on Mindfulness
Both before and during sex, your breath is a great source of connection to your body and your partner. "Deepening your breath is incredibly helpful for approaching vaginal orgasms because it helps to expand sensations, get you out of your head, and helps you stay present in the moment," White says.
Before foreplay and sex, try syncing your breath with your partner, helping you both attune your nervous systems to one another. You can do this by facing each other, either naked or clothed, and resting your hands on the other's heart. Breathe in for three counts and out for three until you find mutual relaxation and connection. Then, during sex, focus on your and your partner's breathing to get back into the moment, or just take a break together and breathe deeply until you feel ready to continue.
"Breath play and conscious connection to the body are extremely important to arousal. One can actually stimulate their clitoris through deep enough breath work by exhaling slowly [and] activating the pelvic-floor muscles, which help to house the clitoris and support engagement," White says. Don't underestimate the power of this step.
Get in Touch With Your Senses
Foreplay is a great opportunity to get in touch with your senses, your body, and your partner. After all, foreplay is an absolute must and should never be rushed, since it can take up to 20 minutes on average to become fully aroused, White says.
During foreplay and all sex in general, White says, "slow, deliberate touch is one of the best ways to activate sexual energy in a body and the part of the brain that allows for a more relaxed and receptive headspace in preparation for an orgasm." To incorporate your senses beyond touch, listen to music you love, burn a scented candle in the room, or try out an edible, flavored lube during play. You can also incorporate sensory sex, which simply means activating multiple senses at once. Sensory play — like using a blindfold or hot and cold temperatures — can help keep you in the moment and anticipate what comes next.
Stop Thinking About Your Orgasm
Finally, the best way to experience an orgasm is to just stop thinking you have to have one. Easier said than done, we know, but White says, "If the emphasis is on achieving an orgasm, this could create layering feelings of anxiety, which could actually backfire and make achieving an orgasm even more difficult." Instead, "taking the pressure off the table can actually invite more moment-to-moment pleasure to happen."
If you struggle to let go of the expectation to orgasm, try switching up the metrics by which you judge sex. Rather than thinking about whether or not you orgasmed, ask yourself if you had fun, felt confident, or saw your partner enjoying themself.
Product Credit: Paddywax perfume, Lelo vibrator, Unbound lubricant