We're bringing you this Q&A from BUST's Sex section, featuring advice from sexologist Dr. Carol Queen.
I have problems achieving orgasm. It has to be the right situation, the right partner, the right mood, the right moment, and the right environment. Sometimes I can’t orgasm while masturbating. My partners can become frustrated with not being able to give me the pleasure I give them, and then I become frustrated. How can I become more acquainted with myself in this fast-paced and instant-gratification kind of world? What can I say to my partners about a slow sexual experience? –No O
I’m sure lots of readers relate to this question, and there are many reasons orgasms might not come easily. You could add a strong vibrator into the mix, but even that might not get you there faster. There’s no way to speed yourself up short of accessing higher levels of arousal, and sometimes even that doesn’t quicken the pace, just the intensity, and pleasure. Remember, at least 70 percent of women never or inconsistently orgasm during partner sex.
If you find yourself worrying about coming instead of focusing on erotic sensations or thoughts, you’re stepping on your own tail. It’s super important that you get out of your head. Rushing through a sexual experience is likewise a recipe for orgasm problems. Birth control, anti-depressants, and other medications can also interfere with arousal and orgasm. If you’re on anything, ask your doc or pharmacist about possible sexual side effects.
Several elements are important for facilitating orgasm. It matters that you’re comfortable, which can mean basic comfort about sex and your relationship, absence of shame or anxiety, or even the temperature of the room. You also need to know what turns you on and be able to communicate it to your partner. Arousal is crucial for achieving orgasm, which is a reflex based on a build-up of pleasurable tension. Time—that is, the duration of stimulation—is an important factor as well, because of this charge-and-release quality of orgasm. You can’t force any of this; you have to get familiar with what works for you and supports your turn-on.
Deep breathing is a way to get into your body’s rhythm, which can also build arousal. When stimulating yourself or getting stimulated by a partner, try moving your hips. Adding a toy or stimulating multiple sensitive zones at the same time can lead to what’s called a “blended orgasm.” It’s also often stronger and/or easier to achieve because you’re engaging more of your neurology. Think clitoris plus vagina or nipples, vadge plus anus, or anything pleasurable plus deep kissing.
Much of this involves communication. It can help to start talking before things get overly sexy. Ask your partner what kinds of sexual things they like, and tell them what’s most likely to give you pleasure. Once sex is happening, positive feedback helps reinforce what’s working for you and also gives you space to ask for things to change.
The right partner is the one you find attractive and who cares about having a mutually erotic experience. If they aren’t responding in a way that says, “I get it, I love knowing more about how to please you, think of how much hot fun we’re about to have,” consider not fucking them and for the title how about "How Can I Have More Orgasms?"
Carol Queen's latest book (written with Shar Rednour) is The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone.
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This article originally appeared in the April/May 2018 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!
Top photo: Broad City/Comedy Central
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