Sex Advice: Trouble Having a Vaginal Orgasm

I recently got sent  the following question for a sex advice column for Dick-n-Jane.com (reprinted here with permission). If you have questions about sex, please get in touch– I’d be glad to offer what I can.

So far in my life I’ve only been able to have a vaginal orgasm about three times from what I can count but they’ve only happened when I was masturbating. One of the things I want more than anything, to be honest like you two, is to be able to orgasm vaginally with my partner since I’ve heard with a partner it is one of life’s most beautiful experiences.

My only problem is that I’m an incredibly shy and enclosed person. I love my boyfriend more than I’ve ever loved anybody and our sex is incredibly passionate and loving but I continuously feel like we rush through it. We live an hour and a half away so we rarely see each other (which does make the meeting all the more steamier) but I feel like he rushes through it. He just wants to cum and what experts say is the 20 minutes of necessary foreplay is more like four minutes.

Not only this but I’m not exactly as comfortable around him as I feel I should be. I know he loves me more than anything, but I’m not assertive. I’m afraid to make moves or ask for things and likewise so is he which I feel is greatly hindering our relationship. Should I talk to him about this issue?

From your Nine Was The Magic Number post I was hoping (since we have a six day spring break week planned just the two of us and a hotel room) that I could coerce him into lying in bed with me all day in the hopes of feeling emotionally closer and achieving a vaginal orgasm with him by asking him just want to do nothing but please me.

Also we mainly only really just have sex. We’ve made love and it was beautiful and we have phone sex and we have just typical sex a lot but a lot of the time it leaves me feeling unsatisfied and more importantly frustrated due to not being able to orgasm vaginally because I crave being close to him but I have trouble vaginal orgasming (tips if possible please) so I rely on clitoral stimulation but we don’t use cock rings and like we all know, trying to rub your clit with someone on top can get awkward, and we’ve orgasmed together but it was doggie style and clitoral and I want something more, I want a deep connecting, body rocking, legs can barely move after experience with him.

Do I just need to be more comfortable with him and the rest will fall into place? Is it just impossible for some women to vaginal orgasm? Am I breathing wrong? I think I psyche myself out because I feel like he’s more selfish but I’m too afraid to ask him to change. It’s a vicious cycle.

Help please,
– Shy

OK, first thing- all of the hype about how vaginal orgasms are so much better than anything else is hype. About 70% of women need some sort of clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm, even when they’re also doing vaginal penetration. There’s nothing magical about it- it’s a question of where your nerves are located and individual anatomy. Plus, the more you (or your boyfriend) set up vaginal orgasm as a goal, the more the pressure will get in the way.


Second thing- you’re right. It’s pretty common for women to need more time to reach orgasm than men, though that can vary. But if he’s orgasming after a few minutes, who says that that’s the end of sex? He could go down on you. He could use his hands on you. You could make out with him while using your fingers or a vibrator. The notion that sex = intercourse and that it’s over when a man orgasms is one of the biggest myths that gets in the way of a good time. And besides, he might get turned on so much that he’s ready for another round.

On top of that, I’m willing to bet that he’ll find that slowing down and ramping up more slowly makes it more fun and pleasurable for him. It’s the difference between eating as fast as you can and hardly tasting it versus taking your time and enjoying the meal. You don’t say how old he is, but many men discover as they get older that slowing down instead of racing for the finish line is a lot more fun for everyone.


Third thing- if the two of you have difficulty talking about what you each want, that’s a big barrier to getting what you want. Here’s a good approach:

1) Something I really like about sex with you is…
2) Something I’d like to add to our sex life is…
3) Something about our sex life that I’d like to change is…

Be specific. Not “I like touching you.” but rather “I like feeling your skin against mine. It makes me feel really close to you.” If you have difficulty saying any of the words, try practicing saying them over and over when you’re by yourself. Most people find that it helps them become more comfortable with them. (This is a good exercise when you’re driving by yourself. Nobody can hear you and anyone who sees you will think you’re singing along to some music.)


The reason this can be helpful is that starting off with a positive thing makes it clear that you’re not attacking him. Also, don’t have this conversation during sex, just after sex, or when you’re cuddly & snuggly. That kills the mood and makes it harder to have a good talk. Instead, go for a walk in the park together. A lot of men have difficulty maintaining face-to-face contact during these talks, so side-by-side often feels safer and easier for them. You can also ask him to tell you his answers, either after you do all three or another time. But don’t let it slide- it’s important for communication to go both ways.

Lastly- a lot of women find that it takes some practice to be able to have the “deep connecting, body rocking, legs can barely move” orgasms. I know it’s frustrating to hear, especially if it seems like everyone else does it easily. Some women do, but lots of them are pretending to have them. Trust me- I talk to people all the time about their sex lives and I can promise you that a lot of the women who claim to have amazing sex really aren’t. There’s a lot of pressure on women to have mind-blowing orgasms and more of them are pretending than you realize.


There isn’t anything wrong with you. It’s almost certainly a matter of figuring out what you need to feel more comfortable and relax into the experience, what kinds of stimulation work for you, and how to talk with your boyfriend.

Here are some good resources that I think you’ll find helpful:

I Love Female Orgasm Lots of amazing info, tips, and suggestions for things to try.

Because It Feels Good: A Woman’s Guide to Sexual Pleasure and Satisfaction Written by a top-notch sex researcher, this guide explains how arousal and pleasure work really well.

Tickle Your Fancy The more you know about your body and what feels good for you, the easier it’ll be to enjoy sex with a partner. This easy-to-read guide has lots of good ideas.

What You Really, Really Want This is easily the best book I’ve seen for women who are trying to discover what their sexual desires are and how to talk about them with a partner. If I could pick one book on sex & relationships to give to everyone, this would probably be it.

Exhibitionism For The Shy Overcoming shyness and being able to talk with a partner about what you want are a lot easier with some support and ideas. This is an excellent guide for how to do it.

And if your boyfriend (or you) would like some more info about sexual anatomy, here’s a good overview and here’s a great book. Remember- nobody is born knowing anything about sex, so we all have to learn it somewhere.

I hope this help. Good luck & have fun!

One Response so far.

  1. Irene says:

    There’s a lot of baggage around the concept of “vaginal orgasm,” dating back at least to Freud. My understanding is that there really isn’t a difference between vaginal and clitoral orgasms as such, that that’s a myth. Of course there are different types of orgasms, but the variation isn’t necessarily at all related to which kind of stimulation you use to get them. Or rather, it may be related to which kind of stimulation is better for you at that time, which can vary from day to day.

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