Apart from a few exceptions, most depictions of sex in pop-culture are terribly inaccurate. There are those where the couple starts kissing, the camera pans to the other side of the room, and you just hear the woman orgasm (or they orgasm together—which is also not something that happens quite often). Or worse, there are scenes like the one in No Strings Attached where in order to leave for work on time, Ashton Kutcher makes Natalie Portman come in less than 10 seconds. And it’s even worse in porn—because everything is exaggerated! The truth is, most women don’t orgasm easily—certainly not after a few thrusts. It takes more than just penetration. So if it’s challenging for you to experience that ~release~, don’t feel bad. It shouldn’t be the end goal of sex, and you are not the minority here. Here’s what you need to know.
How To Orgasm
For women and people with vaginas, your emotional state plays a big role in your ability to orgasm.
And this is science talking. It takes more than just physical touch for women to get there. In general, when you don’t feel comfortable or safe, when you’re stressed or anxious about something, it’s harder for you to express yourself. And that’s just intensified during sex. There can be a fear of being judged, which hinders relaxation and feeling able to let loose. If that’s something that resonates with you, talking to your partner can help you work through that. He or she can put in the extra effort to keep the atmosphere fun and open.
Aside from doing the usual—a little mood lighting, some intimate music—it can be as easy as eliminating distractions. Make sure your phones are not within reach so the notifications don’t disturb you. Turn the aircon all the way up so the heat and sweat don’t become a problem while you’re having sex. Lock the door to avoid worrying about anyone barging in. You can even go as far as using a blindfold to literally keep you from seeing anything else and instead, focus on how you’re feeling. All these tips, by the way, can be applied for when you’re flying solo.
Experiment with your sense of touch.
Let’s say you’ve been masturbating or having sex the same way for years now. While it’s good that you know what you like, it can’t hurt to switch it up and explore your other hot spots or other kinds of touch sensations you could like. For example, if you’ve been partial to slow, circular motions that build with more pressure, you might also respond to fast, tapping movements using your fingers. Or maybe instead of starting slow, you could like constant pressure while using your other hand on your breasts. If it’s with your partner, you could ask him or her to “surprise” you with something new in bed—granted that you’ve set your boundaries, of course, and have made clear what sexual acts you consent to.
Use toys. All the toys. And a ton of lubricant.
We cannot stress enough: Toys can change your sex life. You can start by using one while you masturbate—just so you can get figure out how it works and more importantly, it gives you an opportunity to discover what else you like. And when you’re more comfortable, bring it up with your partner. Unfortunately, everyone is going to be enthusiastic about using toys in bed, but if you explain how much it’s helped you so far, they might become more open to it—especially if they want you to get as much as they do out of your intimate moments. There are *so many* toys to choose from that it can be pretty overwhelming. If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly vibrator, we recommend the Womanizer Liberty. This vibe is a clit sucker that has ~air technology~, which basically means it works like a pulsating suction. There’s no insertion involved, if that’s something you’re worried about, and has six intensity levels, so you can let the pleasure build.
Don’t lose hope.
Look, even with this list, it might take you several tries before you orgasm. And we know how frustrating that can be. But just because it doesn’t happen this time doesn’t mean it’s not in the cards for you. You just have to keep exploring what works for you and what makes your body respond. Try things you’ve never done before…like dry humping! We know most people don’t think much of it, but if your hand or a sex toy isn’t working, finding your rhythm that way might just be what you need. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself—unless you’re using a sex toy…and it’s exactly what you like. ;)