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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!

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
kj1210 kj1210 7 years
Wow...definitely some great advice here....After reading a similar question on here ( ) where a women was having the same problem...I was able to gain some insight from people who have the same problem. Many of the women (and even men who have gf's or wives having trouble) were able to claim communication as being one of the biggest factors in achieving climax. It makes sense. A women first needs to feel comfortable with who she is with and what she is doing for her to climax. When she is going solo she has no one to please but herself and she know what she wants. Clearly the facts show that different things make different women orgasm. I think if you can communicate with your sexual partner then he'll have a better chance of pleasing you. Why make him guess when you can just tell him?
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
Anonymous - maybe because it's not a biological imperative for women to orgasm, but it certainly is for men.
bld308 bld308 7 years
Don't think in either/or terms. Women being brought to orgasm during foreplay can make subsequent orgasm during intercourse more attainable. And since people are going to continue having intercourse, it'll be more fun with than without female orgasm. It's worth pursuing, but you shouldn't tear your hair over it.
Venus1 Venus1 7 years
Concentrate on having and enjoying the orgasm and worry less about the ways and means of getting there. Also you might like to Google Betty Dodson who has written so much quality writing on this subject.
bld308 bld308 7 years
Anonymous, if you look at surveys from the U.S., U.K., Czech Republic, Australia, Finland, and on and on, you'll find this assertion that only 30 percent of women orgasm from intercourse (which goes back to the unscientific Hite Report survey) simply isn't true. It's more like 30 percent for the rarely or never category. Part of the problem is women are being told their vaginas are insensitive and don't have many nerves past the mouth and the g-spot, whereas scientists who actually studied it have found that the vaginal walls are densely packed with nerves from top to bottom. One thing that research has repeatedly found is less educated women and women in less advanced cultures have more ease orgasming from intercourse. Why is this? I think in part because they haven't been exposed as much to this kind of false sex information. Intercourse orgasm happens more for wives than for single women. Read up on the a-spot/afe zone, the cul de sac (Barbara Keesling's 1997/1999 book), do Kegel exercises with a resistance device, and have your husband learn male multiple orgasming so when you feel something good on the way he can keep it going as long as you need. That's just the beginning of what can be done to make this happen.
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