most common physical cause is lack of adequate stimulation to the
clitoris. The majority of women need direct touch to achieve orgasm,
which often doesn't happen through intercourse alone.
Our bodies aren't machines - you can't get an orgasm just by pressing
the right button
The second most common factor is tiredness or general illness. Our
bodies aren't machines - you can't get an orgasm just by pressing
the right button. If you're feeling rundown, your body's priority
is sleep and recuperation, not sexual gratification.
There are some illnesses that make orgasm difficult. Broadly
speaking, they're vascular, neurological or hormone-deficiency disorders.
problem could be a side effect of a particular medication. Very
occasionally, pelvic surgery can cause nerve damage and loss of
sensation. If you think any of these conditions may apply to you,
talk to your GP.
however, you're in good physical health and you're getting enough
sleep, it's more likely there's some kind of psychological block.
* If you're not getting the right kind of stimulation, you may
need to show your partner what you really enjoy.
* First, get to know yourself by starting with some basic self-pleasuring,
taking particular note of the type of stroke that pushes you over
* Then, next time you're making love, put your hand on top of
your partner's and gently guide them as they stimulate you. If
that feels a bit pushy, ask them to show you what they enjoy first,
then wait for your turn!
* For more help, see the section on practical exercises.
Well-meaning friends may tell you to just "try to relax",
but if it was that easy you'd have done it by now. The trouble
is, these kinds of psychological blocks aren't rational - you
can't simply "pull yourself together".
is a list of some of the most common types of problems women have
talked about. See if any apply to you:
* Being a perfectionist. Sex has to be just right. The environment
has to be just so and you have to be in the right mood.
* Fear of losing control. This is a character trait in many areas
of your life, not just sexually.
* Poor self-esteem or body image. Worrying about whether your
bum looks big rather than enjoying your physical sensations is
a major passion wrecke.
* Shame or guilt about sexuality. This might be due to negative
childhood messages or a sexual trauma.
* Distractions. Are the children asleep? Will the phone ring?
Can the neighbours hear? Did I put the cat out? Did I email that
report? Whatever the distraction, it means your mind is not on
* Being a spectator. You know the saying "a watched pot never
boils"? Well it's also true of orgasms. If you're waiting
for the moment, you're not enjoying the moment.
* Relationship problems. You can't expect to have enjoyable sex
with an enemy. If there's tension in your relationship, sort it
out before you enter the bedroom.
There are several ways in which you can help yourself achieve
a more fulfilling sexual experience:
* Breathe deeply or pant to get oxygen to those tensing muscles.
* Arch your back or try a different position to maximise clitoral
* Rhythmically squeeze your pelvic floor muscles.
* Escape into your favourite fantasy to block out any negative
thoughts or distractions.
If some of these points have rung a bell for you, you may
find that simply talking it through with your partner will help.
You could also try some of the practical exercises on our site.
These have tips and techniques that you can print out and try.
may also be helpful to get advice from a sex therapist or couple
the meantime, there are many self-help books available.