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Honestly, guys: are you REALLY sexually satisfied without her orgasm?
December 1, 2011 5:49 PM   Subscribe

They pretty much all want it and I'm feeling very discouraged. Are there HONESTLY men out there who are sexually satisfied if their partner does NOT have an orgasm?

Except for occasionally in my sleep, I am anorgasmic. I (and my significant others) have tried stimulation and everything else, to no avail.

I have always thoroughly enjoyed sexual activity. Even in the years I was "waiting for Mr. Right" and would end the foreplay before intercourse, I have always been delighted by physical, sexual, affectionate, sensual touch and play. For years, I was naively clueless and didn't even know what an orgasm was, and without close girlfriends to talk with about sex (or internet to search), I didn't know what was "supposed to" be happening. I was very shy and afraid to explore this, and thus, really ignorant.

When I finally lost my virginity, it was a positive, romantic experience. I was in my thirties. And still clueless -- everything seemed to be working fine for me, and I didn't think I was missing out on anything. My first sexual experiences were in sweet, uncomplicated relationships that didn't last longer than two months, and me not having an orgasm did not yet become an issue.

One boyfriend (in a pre-intercourse relationship LONG ago) suggested I might be "frigid." Way back then, I was really clueless, didn't know what that meant, and I didn't worry or look into it. I remember thinking he was probably nuts because, though shy, I was the warmest person around (!!) and I knew, at that time, that I was just getting started on the sex journey...I didn't worry at all then.

But almost every man I have been intimate or almost intimate with in my thirties and early forties has done the "did you come?" thing. I answer honestly, let them know I'm having a great time, etc.....

But it definitely seems to be their goal: "I wanna make you come...even if it takes me all night." In my experience, men have said they want to 'satisfy me', but the translation of that is really: I want to bring about your orgasm.

My last two boyfriends have (after months or years) confessed to me that me not me orgasming really affects them. Both expressed because they 'could not satisfy me,' their overall enjoyment and satisfaction with our relationship was affected. Even when I clearly expressed I WAS deeply sexually satisfied with them, with their "performance" and approach, found them intoxicatingly sexy, etc. etc., it didn't matter.

I am in a new relationship with a man who, so far (it's been two months) has been an unusually kind, communicative, respectful, affectionate man. We just recently made love and, no orgasm for me. I told him it was probably not going to happen because of the medication I am on, but that I was happy and he was great, etc. etc.

But later he asked me about it. I told him it rarely happened for me, and that I hoped to one day get off this medication. He wanted to know when....and once again, I realize this IS a big deal for men. And I feel a huge pressure.

When I get some perspective and am not so personally overwhelmed about the issue, I will bring the subject up with the man I am now seeing, and we will talk. But I am afraid of "not being able to satisfy a man because I am not orgasming."

Compassionate women tell me that the men I've been with who made this an issue were insecure, with fragile egos, and are not representative of all men. That any man worth his salt will love me whether I have the Big O or not.

But in my real life experience with enough men (more than three and less than a hundred!), men need women to orgasm to feel sexually fulfilled, deeply sexually satisfied, and really excited/happy about a relationship.

I may or may not ever have the pleasure and satisfaction of the Big O in my waking hours. I think my body works fine. Like 1% of women, I have had orgasms in my sleep. When aroused, all the other physiological signs of climax are there....and I sometimes feel almost ecstatic. That works for me, is incredibly pleasurable. But the disappointment from men has become too much for me. Feeling disappointment about the most intimate part of me is really hurting me.

To sum up: what I, personally, have come to discover is with many men, THEIR satisfaction is MY satisfaction. Even if they have a fantastic orgasm (and they have with me), if they can't make me come, they ARE NOT SATISFIED. Where this leaves me is rather hopeless that a man will ever feel satisfied sexually with me.

Help me, MeFites.

Throwaway email: Throwaway1965@gmail.com

Thank you.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (41 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
I am so sorry sweetie that you have gotten this far and hadn't figured this out yet (I'm female, for what it's worth). I've always known what you are now discovering. I've known it as long as I have been sexually active.

And I am going to tell you something that I think your girlfriends should've probably told you a long time ago: Fake an orgasm every once and awhile. Seriously. It's kind've like masturbation, if you say you don't do it, you are a liar. I hope you can find it in you to weigh your partner's long-term satisfaction against your desire to be completely honest with him.
posted by msali at 6:01 PM on December 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hi anonymous,

I think that you should go to your regular doctor and tell them of your inability to orgasm. There may be a physiological reason for it. Rule that out before just accepting this as it is, because you never know -- you could make this a non-issue.
posted by minx at 6:03 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


I so feel your pain! I can orgasm on my own, but can't during sex. I get this same attitude from guys and it is so infuriating. I said this in another thread, but it makes me feel like homework.

I've made a decision that the next time I'm having sex with a guy- or maybe even before I ever have sex with him- I'm going to have a totally frank talk with him, OUTSIDE the bedroom, along the lines of: Look. I am not going to have an orgasm. Forget it. But that doesn't mean I'm not having fun. I'm having a shitload of fun. I'm probably having more fun than you. So don't ask me if I came- ask me if I had fun. If a guy asks me if I came, I feel like it's all about him and whether he 'performed,' but if he asks me if I had fun, I know he's asking about ME and not himself.

As for the "I'll be the guy!" attitude- well. I can totally buy that, if I fall in love with a guy, and over the years I grow as comfortable with him as with myself, and he learns my body completely... yeah. Maybe THEN I'll have an orgasm during sex. Wanna BET you'll be that guy, buddy?
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:05 PM on December 1, 2011 [17 favorites]


Also, please for the love of god do NOT fake an orgasm! Sex ought to be one of the most honest and open interactions you have, don't cheapen it by faking. Plus it only serves to perpetuate the attitude that girls MUST COME NO MATTER WHAT
posted by showbiz_liz at 6:07 PM on December 1, 2011 [46 favorites]


Naw, in my experience lots of men don't care, which is frustrating too! There's an age gap where younger guys care much less.

Rude of them to push you on this. Push back.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:08 PM on December 1, 2011


And I am going to tell you something that I think your girlfriends should've probably told you a long time ago: Fake an orgasm every once and awhile. Seriously.

What the hell? This is bad advice. Seriously.

I can count on one hand the number of times I've had an orgasm while engaging in intercourse and I've had a lot of sex and many partners. I can tell you that there are plenty of guys out there that aren't obsessed with the female orgasm (I've been dating one for almost four years now) but you just have to weed them out from the others. And what has worked for me is what showbiz liz says which I'll repeat here for emphasis:

I've made a decision that the next time I'm having sex with a guy- or maybe even before I ever have sex with him- I'm going to have a totally frank talk with him, OUTSIDE the bedroom, along the lines of: Look. I am not going to have an orgasm. Forget it. But that doesn't mean I'm not having fun. I'm having a shitload of fun.


If a guy can respect what you told him and apply it in the bedroom, you're golden. If not, move on since it sounds like it's a big deal breaker for you.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 6:11 PM on December 1, 2011 [25 favorites]


Many women do not orgasm, especially from PIV sexual intercourse. I agree with minx in that you should have a check-up with your doctor to be sure there is no physiological reason, but I wouldn't necessarily expect there to be one, either. It could be the medication. It could just be how you're wired.

Some men turn "I'm not able to orgasm" into some kind of conquest issue. (Note that some women do this too, but it's more out of the ordinary for a man to be unable to orgasm.) On the other hand, some people really don't care too much about more than their own orgasm, which can be frustrating, too.

I think if you're willing to be intimate with someone, you should be willing to communicate with them. Have an honest dialogue about how orgasm might not be possible for you ever, but you're still enjoying yourself and that needs to be enough (unless it's not enough for you of course!).
posted by asciident at 6:11 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I always think this comes down to trust. Your partner should trust you when you say you had a really good time, even if you don't orgasm. If they don't believe you on that unless you have the physical reaction of an orgasm... well, screw them. Or rather, don't.
posted by MadamM at 6:12 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


if they can't make me come, they ARE NOT SATISFIED

That's their own problem, and a rather infantile selfishness that views your orgasm as a tool to give them a sense of accomplishment. Don't fall for it. There are great, confident men out there who don't need an ego boost before they can love you.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 6:13 PM on December 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


Furthermore, feeling pressure to fake an orgasm perpetuates that man's selfishness and makes you feel worse. Address the root cause - DTMFA.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 6:15 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sorry, I meant that towards selfish guys in general, not your current bf. He sounds awesome.
posted by infinitefloatingbrains at 6:19 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am anorgasmic. ... I have always thoroughly enjoyed sexual activity.

That would be all I'd need to know for this to not be an issue for me.

If I knew she generally does have orgasms but wasn't having them with me, that's what would be a concern, because that would indicate that something is lacking that should be there. But that is not an issue if I know she just doesn't have them and that she herself is fine with that.

I'm assuming you're right that this is just how it is and always will be for you; I can't speak at all to whether you might be able to change this by seeing a doctor.

Showbiz_liz is exactly right: the advice to fake orgasms is very bad advice. I'm surprised that anyone on Metafilter would recommend suppressing your own enjoyment and honesty and spontaneity in order to give a cheap boost to men's egos. To again try to imagine myself in this situation: if I started out with the impression that she was having orgasms but later realized she never had them and had been faking (which I probably would figure out eventually), that would be much more of a blow to my ego and enjoyment. (We've all seen that Seinfeld episode, right?)

I strongly agree with others who have said it is rude and inappropriate for anyone to express major disappointment over this kind of thing.

One more thing. There's a lot of very broad stereotyping of men in this thread. That's understandable: stereotyping is always easy and sometimes fun to do. But the stereotyping of men is just as likely to be insidiously misleading as the stereotyping of women. Think about it.
posted by John Cohen at 6:22 PM on December 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


I think it is a reaction - an overreaction - to the old stereotypical view of the man who gets in, gets off, and gets out, with no concern or consideration for his partner's satisfaction.

Think of your partners as, well, overgentlemanly. It's probably the lesser of two evils.
posted by megatherium at 6:29 PM on December 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


Even when I clearly expressed I WAS deeply sexually satisfied with them, with their "performance" and approach, found them intoxicatingly sexy, etc. etc., it didn't matter.

I wonder if you're primarily using verbal communications to express this? I've been in your shoes, and I found that many partners were focused on the yes/no of the physical orgasm just because they viewed it (simplistically) as the the only "proof" available that they were satisfying me sexually. In their insecurity about it, my words of assurance apparently just rang hollow (one said it felt like I was just trying to pity/placate him, like I would if he'd experienced erectile disfunction).

What really turned things around for me was to find lots of ways to physically signal my pleasure, even if it didn't include a climax: how I was reacting to different sensations and activities, how my responses were building, which were the most powerful, which were delightful even if softer... developing a vocabulary, if you will, of body language (arched back, clenched hands, clenched thighs), moans, pants, gasps, AND words to let him see (not just be told) what an amazing physical effect he was having on me, with its own peaks and valleys, and how much I loved it. You have to be uninhibited, of course, and even a bit of an overactor at times to get your point across, but giving him that feedback to him in a more primal language worked a lot better than just talking it through. It makes the sex better too, honestly, and helps make the yes/no litmus test just kind of fade away. (Playing with some orgasm denial with HIM can be very illuminating too, but perhaps I should stop here for now).

Please feel free to memail me if you want to chat further.
posted by argonauta at 6:34 PM on December 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


Tell men in your life that it's not about the end point, but about the journey, and it'll relax them. Although I was once in the position where I couldn't orgasm (I wanted to check how well the condoms worked right before I had sex) and the girl was slightly disappointed. I think most of my female friends take that attitude that if they want it done right, they have to do it themselves.
posted by DetriusXii at 6:35 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


As a guy, I think that the difficult part may be that for us, sex is mostly binary in terms of measuring completion. Did I cum? Yes/No.

For women, we like to apply that same mentality, when the reality is it is nowhere near as "reliable" as measure. That said, I think the best thing you can do from a communication standpoint with guys is be upfront and honest when you progress to that level--preferably before the first time to alleviate any pressure/doubt.

It could be as simple as saying "hey, you really turn be on, but you should know that I physically can't orgasm, although I enjoy sex a ton" and then when you're doing it, give him a sign that he can stop. Many guys try to hold out till the girl gets off too, and if you don't give him a sign that he can finish, or that you are sufficiently satisfied, the poor guy might sit there pumping away for an eternity and get discouraged.
posted by Elminster24 at 6:39 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don't fake an orgasm. I've been there, and it sucks. I think I have honestly broken up with guys due to guilt over fake orgasms. Don't do it! All the joy of sex becomes boredom. (On that note, if you take the advice to physically signal your enjoyment, make sure it's honest, uninhibited behavior, and not just acting out pleasure for his sake, which is just as boring IMO.)

I kind of wonder if pornography has a role, since it (and a lot of movies) make it seem like women orgasm at the drop of hat. Are these guys typically pretty experienced? Do they watch a lot of porn? Neither might be true, I don't know, but it could be an issue.

Most women expect men to have orgasms, too, of course. If I were with a guy who couldn't come I would wonder what was wrong too. But not listening to his assurances and taking it personally years later would be ridiculous and beyond "gentlemanly."
posted by stoneandstar at 6:41 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am a 31yo guy. Do not fake an orgasm. If I were to find that out, I would have huge concerns about honesty, intimacy, and communication in the relationship. I would feel incredibly awful that you didn't feel like you could be honest with me. Those emotions would partly be coming from an insecure place, but still.

Regarding guys caring, honestly, I do feel a little unsatisfied if my partner in crime doesn't come say every third time we have sex. Every time is better. It's hot if I can tell when it happens, and it's sort of an unambiguous sign that she experienced at least physical pleasure if not emotional connection.

It sucks that perhaps a lot of guys care about this, and it sucks that it sort of puts the burden on you to manage their egos. But here are some things you can do:

1. Putting the blame on something that's not them is good (e.g. medication).
2. Be crystal clear and firm: "I don't orgasm right now."
3. Be open to "trying all night" maybe once a month. (By all night, I mean 7-30 minutes, and you get to say immediately when you're bored or uncomfortable.)
4. When you state that you don't orgasm but the sex is amazing (if it is) and you want more (very soon), be earnest and emotionally connected, make eye contact and physically touch them, maybe make a fist in their shirt.
5. Initiate sex a lot.

I think these things will soften the blow and mitigate nagging from them. If their egos still can't take it, or they ultimately (over a week or three of a few brief conversations) lack the capacity to empathize with your perspective, situation, pleasure, and the blah of having to deal with this from guys, find a new guy. They should, perhaps with a little prompting, be able to understand and trust you and your body and the pleasure you take from sex. This is about them understanding and respecting you.

Also, several of my gfs have noted that it takes about six month into a relationship before they start having orgasms during sex. There's all sorts of variables and time seems to be one of them. Keep it in mind for the future...
posted by zeek321 at 6:46 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe its biological on the mens side? http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/blogs/ask-sam/why-do-women-fake-orgasms-20111128-1o28w.html (First google'd link, there are others. I searched for "orgasm news")
posted by Jacen at 6:58 PM on December 1, 2011


I have the same problem as you. I've actually never had an orgasm period, but I've gotten really close in my sleep. I think it's because I've been on an antidepressant all of my adult life.

Anyway, unlike you this has never been a problem in my relationships. It may be partly how I approach the issue. I just tell guys if they try to finish me off that I don't orgasm but I stress that I love sex with them anyway and it's not about achieving an orgasm for me. I've never had a boyfriend express disappointment over it. Maybe you need to date different men.
posted by timsneezed at 6:58 PM on December 1, 2011


There's an age gap where younger guys care much less.

Yes. That probably explains the difference in our experiences.
posted by timsneezed at 7:01 PM on December 1, 2011


Honestly, guys: are you REALLY sexually satisfied without her orgasm?

I gotta say, when I read this and what followed for a while, I thought you were being sarcastic.

Yes, most men are. But some men are anxious about whether they performed well or not. Try telling them that was great sex, or that they were amazing, or that you want it to be just like that tomorrow night. What you need to signal to them is that they weren't disappointing.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 7:30 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


When you say you have tried everything, does that include things like a vibrator? Have you ever had an orgasm while you were awake? If you have had an orgasm while awake (however seldom) and have not tried vibrators, I'd do that.

If you have and you have, or even if you haven't and don't want to, or are really totally satisfied with your sexuality as it is, then I would focus on how you signal your pleasure to your partner during sex. I agree that you shouldn't fake an orgasm, but you should make a little noise of some kind. I certainly don't come every time I have sex with someone else, but I'm pretty vocal/chatty in the sack, so my extreme pleasure is both audible and visible. I don't think I've ever had anyone ask me if I've come; I assume it's because the good time I had was obvious. I don't know what you are like when you're having sex, obviously, but if you tend to be quiet, maybe think about turning up the volume.

I do think for many men orgasm is kind of the pay-off of sex for them, so maybe it's hard to grasp that it is really, truly, honestly not that big a deal for many women. The asking, though, and the pouting, good lord the pouting, is just bad manners. You might need a better kind of guy than the ones you have found so far. Fingers crossed for Mr. Present.

Finally, if it were me I would talk to my doctor about the meds. I spent six weeks on an antidepressant last spring that made coming impossible and it was one of the most horrible things I have ever experienced. (I also couldn't cry or sneeze. Crazy, I know) There may be different drugs you can take that will alleviate the problem.
posted by looli at 7:44 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Hmm. I find it sad to see so little mention of another reason men might be disappointed, which has nothing at all to do with stroking their egos or proving they can "satisfy" you. (I agree that men deciding you WILL come even if it takes all night is pretty obnoxious, even if well-intended.)

That other reason to be disappointed is that witnessing a partner's orgasm can be breathtakingly beautiful and exciting. And not just when I make it happen-- I have been so, so delighted watching a partner get herself off. It's truly not an ego thing for me-- it's pleasurable in the same way that I might enjoy admiring her body. And to *never* be able to enjoy witnessing that, yeah, would be really disappointing for me. This isn't just being unable to orgasm from intercourse, which is very common, or only being able to do it using your own hands or a toy, which is fairly common, but being pretty sure you've never had one at all, ever, unless it was in your sleep. You seem to have a really healthy attitude about it, which I would want to respect, but I think I would have trouble sharing your indifference about whether it ever happened.

This next sentence might sound a little unfair because you didn't choose to be this way, but I think for me it would be a tiny bit like never being allowed to kiss someone on the lips, even though I love kissing so many other places, or never being allowed to see their breasts, even though I might love seeing every other part of their body.

You absolutely deserve a partner who will believe you when you say you're satisfied, and they're out there, but I think finding someone who won't be at least a little disappointed is harder. Just to reiterate, it's not necessarily just about the stereotypical male ego thing. I don't know if you've ever discussed this with a doctor or a sex therapist, but if you haven't, I think either or both of those would be very reasonable things for a partner to ask you at least consider doing.
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 7:46 PM on December 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think a lot of guys go through a certain progression regarding this:

1. "What's a clitoris?"
2. "I wanna make you come...even if it takes me all night."
3. they figure out that sex is more than just a race to an orgasm.

But to get to step three, someone needs to teach them. Unfortunately, the burden for this rests on women like you -- everything they've been taught about being a good lover is about making the woman come (and possibly multiple times!) and if she doesn't they're either selfish or incompetent -- so you need to show them that they're doing it right and you're satisfied.

Its important to remember that you're going to have to keep track of time and your relative satisfaction. This is particularly important regarding things like oral sex where you're certainly enjoying it but you're not really going anywhere, so to speak. Even when your partner knows that he can be down there for hours without making you orgasm, he's not going to know when to stop unless you signal him to do so.
posted by modernserf at 7:48 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


<>That other reason to be disappointed is that witnessing a partner's orgasm can be breathtakingly beautiful and exciting

Yeah, exactly. I think a lot of people are confusing the issue. This isn't a case of someone who cannot climax solely from PiV intercourse. As many people have stated, that is very common. The OP has stated that she does not climax at all while awake. That's a vastly different thing and is cutting out a very real and important form of intimacy.

I don't think "can't orgasm from one specific sexual act" and "can't come at all for any reason" are at all the same issue and I don't think it helps to treat them as the same. I tentatively lean towards asking a medical professional if there might be some reason for the anorgasmia; I say tentatively because I don't think it is right to medicalize every instance of atypical sexuality... but that doesn't mean there is never a medical issue either.

So, yeah, I don't think the answer here is "just find a partner who is cool with the status quo" any more than that would be the answer if a guy posted the question and said he could never orgasm under any circumstances. That's not really a good thing.
posted by Justinian at 7:56 PM on December 1, 2011


Given how many men I have slept with that don't seem to give a shit about whether I finish, I would say there are definitely some out there who can get off without a woman's orgasm.
posted by hepta at 8:12 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fake an orgasm every once and awhile.

BOO. HISS! Do NOT do this. One, you sell out your sisters out here (me included) who also have trouble orgasming from sexual activity with a guy. The more women fake it, the more "abnormal" it seems to guys when a woman doesn't come. Two, you have less chance of actually coming yourself from sexual activity, because your man thinks he already knows what makes you come, when really, he doesn't and he needs to keep exploring.

It is REALLY tiresome when men torture their sexual partners this way. It is ALL about their egos, not really about giving you pleasure. This is incredibly common, both in my personal experience and in the reports of women I've known. The irony is, if you are gonna come, it's more likely to happen when you are relaxed, and who can relax when they have basically been given an *assignment* from their man, "come, or else I'll constantly kvetch about it".
posted by parrot_person at 8:15 PM on December 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


When aroused, all the other physiological signs of climax are there....and I sometimes feel almost ecstatic. That works for me, is incredibly pleasurable.

Oops, I'm sorry, I misunderstood this as part of your description of a sleep orgasm. If this is how you feel with your partner, I think I would feel better in that situation, except to perhaps be confused about the "everything but" element of it....
posted by Dixon Ticonderoga at 8:29 PM on December 1, 2011


I think showbiz_liz has the right idea: tell your partner, in perfectly clear language, before the first sex.

Everyone here implying "a partner should trust everything you say about sex" are, I think, being a bit naive. That's true in the better cases, particularly longer-term relationships. For random new partners? People feed each other pleasant lines all the time. We had someone up-thread suggest faking an orgasm for goodness sake. You can't expect everyone will always take everything said in the bedroom at face value.

If you tell a partner after an hour of trying to get you off (and failing) that "I just don't have orgasms", they might accept it at face value, but they're also quite likely to read it as kind words, consolation talk. Meaning: you're not that into them sexually, but you're trying to make them feel better about that fact. Believing you're being fed such a line is more belittling than just being told "eh, that wasn't very good for me".

This is just as true for women as men. I know women who've been quite torn up over not being able to get a man off in bed. They think they're physically defective when the real reason is the man has a perfectly numb penis / nil orgasmic response / porn hangup / etc.

Whereas if you tell your partner in advance of the first sex "I don't have orgasms. At all. Not even masturbating. I don't expect them and will get slightly annoyed if you spend all night trying to figure out how to make me come. I won't." then there's no way they can read what you're saying as an evaluation of them -- you haven't even got them undressed yet -- and if they're at all flexible, they should adapt to not needing to get you off just fine.

(Likewise if you happen to discover someday that you can come but it takes a half hour of oral, a showerhead and a hitachi to get off, you can tell your partner that before they start up the penetration endurance event, and you should be in business.)
posted by ead at 9:48 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Some women come easily, some women don't. You shouldn't have to sleep with all that many women to figure that out, honestly. And I'm sure that some of the women I've slept with have faked orgasms; that's kind of sad (and doesn't help me become better in the sack) but I totally understand why they would choose to do that.

I care a lot if my partner is having a good time; whether or not she comes is not the signal of her having a good time. I'm sorry you seem to be hooking up with guys who make your orgasm their own personal science project -- that sounds about as sexy as a lecture about lichen.

Honestly, a lot of sex advice out there is very generic and very reductive. (Women all want more oral sex and cuddling, right?) But in reality, some women want more oral, and others want something totally different. So you may be dating very well-meaning guys who have listened to the advice they have been given and are trying their best to be good lovers.
posted by Forktine at 9:57 PM on December 1, 2011


"Could you turn on that light, please?"
"I could, yes.."
"Can you turn on the light, then?"
"I can turn on the light.."
"TURN ON THE LIGHT!"
"Why didn't you just say that in the first place?"

I think there is some translation mishap between male and female when it comes to satisfaction. For me, it's not so much as being happy/glad/at-peace with such endeavors, but simply the physiologic satiation of sexual-ish tension buildup by having arrived at the very obvious conclusion with orgasm.

The point for me isn't to connect, or to have a fun experience, or to engage in a pleasing activity with a loved one whereby I might feel satisfied as a result of our moment, but that the clinical-physiological urge ends, like indiscriminately eating randomly available food to end the distracting nature of food-hunger without bothering to wage whether the experience of eating was pleasurable or displeasurable -- as long as the raw ache simply isn't present anymore.

For men it's a physical craving like hunger, that must be remedied by orgasm, almost regardless of how it's achieved in some cases. Satisfaction is merely a cessation of that type of physiological hunger without any feelings of enjoyment or pleasure attached to it -- the pleasure is finally getting past being hungry and I can think straight again. The purpose is largely to achieve the point at which the hunger is no longer present. It's pretty much entirely foreign for me to believe someone has no hunger and would even bother when there's no hunger to defeat. Orgasm has function not form, if that makes sense.
posted by Quarter Pincher at 3:52 AM on December 2, 2011


I might add also that getting built up close to orgasm but being unable to finish for whatever reason, for me, is beyond irritating -- the physiological/clinical hunger (not desire, but a distracting bodily function, like being constipated or having a kidney stone that is not based on whimsy that could be reasoned away) is exponentialized. I wager the male-friend of yours who later asked you about how you didn't orgasm was concerned that your physical, clinical musculo-skeletal body (not your emotions or thought processes or sense of reason) wasn't remedied by the activity.
posted by Quarter Pincher at 3:58 AM on December 2, 2011


If you say, after a partner has been banging away for ages, 'it's fine, this never happens for me anyway', you are not going to be believed. If you talk about this openly and honestly in advance, you remove the inevitable perception of pity and 'I'm tired and you aren't doing it right, so get back up here and let me go to sleep'.

Men have been well-trained to feel inadequate unless their partner has at least one screaming orgasm every time they have sex and it must be hard to try and re-program that training. You will still find that some men will insist on, well, 'rising to the challenge' and you may have to convince them that this is not a dare.
posted by dg at 4:04 AM on December 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


Showbiz_liz and Forktine have good advice, and argonauta's nuanced and thoughtful suggestions about non-verbal feedback are worth reading and thinking about.

Metafilter: As sexy as a lecture about lichen.
posted by canine epigram at 6:12 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


ugh. I'm sorry you are dealing with this. It's absolutely not unusual at all- the stats are something like what, a good 12-15% of women never ever get to the big O- even by themselves. This doesn't even account for women on medication that limit the ability to get there. Clearly there are men out there who can deal because all those women are not single.

Kindly explain it outside of the bedroom. Give him some time to process and then tell him this:

"I've explained to you that I am satisfied. If this were really about satisfying me you would have let it go by now. We are not going to talk about this anymore, because your denial of how awesome our sex life is is making it LESS AWESOME."
posted by Blisterlips at 6:14 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guy here. What I want is to make my girlfriend HAPPY and fulfilled. So my goal is to do whatever it takes to get her to tell me that. I don't care if she comes or not if she tells me she doesn't care. I think men who are obsessed with whether their partner comes are more interested in assuaging their own doubts about their masculinity rather than really caring that their partner came. In other words: "if she doesn't come I suck in bed/am not a man/have a small dick/am not sexy". Blame it on porn.
posted by spicynuts at 7:35 AM on December 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


When you tell them that you "rarely" have orgasms, he's thinking that if he just works harder, it will work. Basically, they don't believe you. They think you that this is a polite way of saying that they aren't good in bed. Which is why they are so obsessed with making you orgasm. They want to be good in bed.

What you need to do is make it very clear that it never happens for you. Never has, and probably never will. Remove any possibility. They need believe you in order to just let go.
posted by kpmcguire at 8:18 AM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not anorgasmic, but - like a lot of women - it can take a while to get me to climax. I was really worried at the start of my relationship with my (now) husband that this would be a Massive Thing. In a way, it was, mainly because it was a source of anxiety for me - "what is he thinking? blah blah blah" - and thus for our relationship.
It took me a long time, with a hugely supportive and kind partner to accept the fact that I'm not going to orgasm every time (but I still really really enjoy sexytimes in any case, and this is a VALID sexual experience) and also I need extra time/attention to orgasm. Bizarrely, this "letting go" about it all, and being with a man who wants me to orgasm (orgasms are very nice, after all) but there is No Pressure At All to do so, means I climax a hell of a lot more during PIV now. Part of it, for me, was allowing my partner to lavish me with attention and not feel guilty about it and orgasm worry not being a part of sexytimes - but as with everything, YMMV.

So: nthing pushing back to create a no pressure sexytimes scenario; men who don't push you on this/are more accepting ARE out there. Honour your sexuality as it is, do what you enjoy and see how this - without anxiety - can be awesome, and develop potentially of its own accord.
posted by thetarium at 8:47 AM on December 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


From a male perspective with an anorgasmic (or very specific requirements that do not involve partner interaction type of orgasmic) partner, what is the right thing for him to do during sex? I am not playing dumb, I am just asking.

In a sexual interaction, what can an orgasmic partner do to satisfy an anorgasmic partner so that the orgasmic partner can have some assurance they are not being a bad partner?Obviously, "give pleasure", is the answer, and "it is different for everyone".
posted by dobie at 10:11 AM on December 2, 2011


I sometimes find myself falling into this pit with new partners because I am a little insecure about whether what I'm doing works for that partner specifically. This is magnified with quiet/unresponsive partners. I usually manage to bite my tongue about it and not ask, but the thought does cross my mind: is she having fun? is what I'm doing pleasurable to her? I wish she would give me a sign! It's less about orgasms - though they are awesome to watch - than making sure my partner is enjoying herself.

I'm totally there with you on how much of a mood killer it is, which is why it's so embarrassing that I then turn around and perpetuate the problem. I don't mind if my partner is anorgasmic, really, but I want some kind of feedback as to whether or not my behaviour is successful in bringing pleasure/fun. (Basic psychology here: positive feedback -> reinforcement of behaviour -> more of that behaviour. No feedback -> ???)
posted by buteo at 11:26 AM on December 2, 2011


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