How do I give my lady friend an orgasm?
April 21, 2006 7:03 AM   Subscribe

What do I have to do to give my lady friend an orgasm?

I've been seeing this girl for a while. We're both in our 20's. Everything is going great, except that she has never had an orgasm. Ever. Not even by her own hand. We are both sexually experienced and have been with several prior partners. I like to think I know what I'm doing--I can find the G spot--but I've never run into such a tough case as this one.

I can find her clit. She says it feels good, but it plateaus at a certain point and never goes any further.
She said that a doctor (a nonspecialist) once told her that "some women just can't have an orgasm." While this may be true on some level, I got the feeling it was just a dismissive answer--the guy didn't do any sort of examination. She has basically accepted the diagnosis (which is easy to do if you don't know what you're missing!)

I'm not interested so much in crazy sex tricks (I realize there has been a question on that) as much as I am in hearing from women who have been in a similar situation and got over it--ie, those who were sexually active for a while without ever having had an orgasm, until one day, everything changed. What did it take? How common is it, actually, for women to be unable to have an orgasm?

[She is not on any prescription medication, and has no history of chronic illness/mental illness.]
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (41 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
buy a vibrator
The hitachi magic wand is fantastic. Best $60 I ever spent.
posted by cosmicbandito at 7:16 AM on April 21, 2006


Has she tried a vibrator?
posted by zek at 7:17 AM on April 21, 2006


Touch her as close as possible to the way she touches herself. Her body is likely used orgasming in a particular way and you need to mimic that. Once it happens you can vary the fun more but you need to get over the, pardon me, hump.

Seriously. This will work. Find out how she touches herself, on her stomach, on her back, whatever.
posted by codswallop at 7:21 AM on April 21, 2006


I am going to have to say, first and foremost, that she is going to need to learn to give one to herself. I don't think you'll ever be able to do it, if she herself can not.

I've been with someone before with a similiar issue. Once she figured it out, it still took us a few months of experimenting to make sex work for her. Oral and manual stimulation on my part were occaisonally successful but in general fairly difficult. Her need was for a very specific kind of stimulation that required very direct feedback.

The sexual position that worked for us was woman on top, at a particular angle (that actually changes a bit as things go on). She has to be in control of this, and I basically need to let her determine most of the factors like angle, pressure, speed, etc.

Even after we figured it out, it was never 100% effective. I'd say more like 30% but it could be a bit less.

When the "change" occurred (from non-orgasmic sex to orgasmic sex) it was very sudden. For a brief period we stuck very rigidly to what worked but over time broadened out a bit.

(Note to other posters: he did mention that she's never had an orgasm, not even at her own hand)
posted by RustyBrooks at 7:23 AM on April 21, 2006


codswallop, if you read the rest you'll note this woman has never ever had an orgasm. Her body is not used to orgasming at all.

I suggest she try on her own whenever she's alone and feeling 'randy', and that she try a stimulating lube of some kind. I also suggest that she go to a nice sex toy establishment if possible, and talk to the ladies there.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 7:25 AM on April 21, 2006


codswallop - read the question. She has never orgasmed, not even by herself.

anonymous - I haven't been in that situation but I do know that orgasm is about letting it go and letting it happen, which I imagine is very difficult if you've never done it. I remember the first time I had an orgasm with someone other than myself I had to consciously relax and let it happen, as I was quite tense with the whole occasion... how to persuade your lady to do this, I don't know.

It might be quite scary for her the first time.
posted by altolinguistic at 7:25 AM on April 21, 2006


Crap. I posted my brilliant secret before reading the whole post. Really sorry.

I guess I got caught up a, "Holy crap I can contribute trip". Really, really sorry, and I have nothing useful to say.

Dammit.
posted by codswallop at 7:27 AM on April 21, 2006


I'm a guy, but.....

1) I've been told by some partners that there is a trick to "just letting it happen". Keep practicing. It feels good. Don't worry so much. Etc.

2) Some woman have mindbogglingly specific things which need to happen before they can have an orgasm. A ritual almost. Certain things need to be done in a specific order combined with some specific fantasies. So try mixing things up. Experimenting is fun.

The ability for a woman to have an orgasm is all over the map. Some women can have one any time they want. For others its a real quest. But I've never been with a girl who couldn't have one.

One other thing - I've been with a couple girls who needed things to be more than a bit on the rough side. I'm not suggesting your girlfriend is in that category, but rather, try to keep in mind that orgasms can be brought on by stuff other than tender coaxing.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:27 AM on April 21, 2006


I have to disagree with the vibrator suggestion. You do not want the bar to be set by something that is not achievable by human touch.

Vibes are bad for women anyway, as nothing can come close to the overpowering sensations that they offer. The clit will become rather desensitized to everything else.
posted by eas98 at 7:31 AM on April 21, 2006


When I met my wife, she was 27 and never had an orgasm. After a year and lots of experimentation, we found the solution for her was oral, with her on top bearing down hard for 5-10 minutes. After 20 years it's still the only thing that works.

Experimentation and patience would be my advice.
posted by F Mackenzie at 7:31 AM on April 21, 2006


It's not true that you "have to learn to love yourself". I never EVER ever could, but would only get close to that annoying plateau. I thought it wouldn't happen, until one day, with a really patient partner, I discovered the glory of being on top. This is after 7 years of having sex.

I also found that if I drink at all or use any other mind-altering substance, it just won't happen.

After a lot of practice, I can finally do it by myself, and can guarantee that it happens 3 times every time during sex.

Keep trying, and be very patient.
posted by katiecat at 7:33 AM on April 21, 2006


Is your girlfriend satisfied with how things are now? I think your quest is noble (though maybe more about you than her?), but your girlfriend's *satisfaction* should be top priority, NOT her orgasm. Pushing her to have one is just going to make her tense, which will ruin her fun. I bet a lot of guys she's been with have tried to do what you're doing- maybe you could be the first one to say, Hey, I think you're great, I like having fun with you, and I don't care if you EVER have an orgasm. It doesn't sound like you've been dating too long.... I say, for now, keep things light and fun.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:33 AM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Codswallop, the OP says that she has never had an orgasm even through masturbation. So he body isn't used to orgasming in a particular way...
posted by Justinian at 7:35 AM on April 21, 2006


The Hitachi Magic Wand is indeed, a no fail gizmo. I actually don't like it much because it's *too powerful* - it's numbing and the orgasms aren't very good - but for someone who just wants to get started, I can't imagine it wouldn't work, and fast. Just be careful with it - use it around sensitive areas, not directly on.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:37 AM on April 21, 2006


What ThePinkSuperhero said.

Additionally, Natalie Angier wrote in Woman: An Intimate Georgraphy that many women who have difficulty reaching orgasm can get past that with the help of a little pot. If she's amenable to that, it's worth a try.
posted by ambrosia at 7:45 AM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I agree with ambrosia w.r.t. weed.
posted by theredpen at 7:55 AM on April 21, 2006


Slight derail but that "crazy sex trick" post resulted in me giving my new partner some of the strongest orgasms of her life (thanks Iamtherealme!).

In answer to your question, maybe just try everything she finds good and try and get past that plateau a little bit further every time. And keep it fun, the whole orgasm thing, sex tricks aside, really is a head thing. No pun intended.
posted by brautigan at 7:59 AM on April 21, 2006


For some women, orgasm during intercourse is nearly impossible, and it is very easy for sex to become some sort of contest between them and their partners to "make it happen." Don't try too hard. Don't try every time. Don't concentrate too much on the physical, or strictly on technique.

Be especially romantic sometimes, out of the blue. Keep it light. Let her know that you love having sex with her, whether the earth moves for her or not. Listen to her, and be guided by what she wants, but don't "make her drive" all the time. Either it will happen, or it won't.

As for vibrators, I think it's an old wives tale that they somehow "desensitize" a woman for pleasure by ordinary intercourse. Some women I've been with never came during intercourse, but could with a vibrator, and if it weren't for vibrators, they might never have come at all. I'm not threatened by that, and I don't feel I "failed" to please. Other women I've been with had the ritualistic approach issues y6y6y6 mentions above, but could come anytime the exact right sequence of actions happened. Yet other women of my experience could come pretty much anywhere, anytime, anyway they wanted, and did.

There is greater variability in female sexual response, by far, than there is in my little library of technique and experience, and, as a man, I'm humbled by the complexity of it all. And I'm very glad and extremely grateful anytime I get invited to a ringside seat at the greatest show on earth...
posted by paulsc at 8:04 AM on April 21, 2006


am going to have to say, first and foremost, that she is going to need to learn to give one to herself. I don't think you'll ever be able to do it, if she herself can not.

Excellent advice. I second the motion. :)

Has she tried a vibrator?

More excellent advice. And get some erotica (books or DVD's) to go with it. She can then experiment at her leisure without any stress. Forget all the worrying about desensitizing and such. Just have some fun. I suspect that there's nothing wrong with your girlfriend that a little "education" can't fix.

Try these ladies if you need to place an order.
posted by bim at 8:41 AM on April 21, 2006


What TPS said.

There is a fine line to walk where women are concerned. On the one hand, orgasms as a goal for women should not be devalued at all, and should have a rightful and supreme place in the pantheon of sexual experiences worth seeking and finding.

However, for women, it's not always all about the O. Women's sexuality often seems to be a bit differently constructed than men's, and sex is best when that's embraced and enjoyed rather than viewed as a challenge. It's quite possible for many women to thoroughly enjoy sexual experiences that include lots of touching and kissing (genital and non-genital), talking, playfulness, intercourse, the whole nine yards, and never have an orgasm, and still consider it a very good and even satisfying experience. So it's quite likely that your girlfriend is enjoying everything you're doing already. That is, you're probably not doing anything wrong, nor do you need to master special tricks at this stage.

It seems as though the plateau of 'basic arousal' and the peak of orgasm are not all that far apart for many women. The trigger moment that tips a woman over from excited into orgasmic is not really that far beyond all the other sensations. This might be different from the way men sometimes experience arousal, because it's not the same model of having a lot of tension building to major release. I realize I'm oversimplifying and making generalizations, but bear with me.

For her, this really does everything to do with being comfortable, relaxed, and free of anxiety. Every woman has to learn to have orgasms at some point...some of us figured it out independently at a young age, others may have had hangups or negative experiences with sexuality that made them feel they shouldn't explore it. She has some learning to do, but it's nothing the rest of us haven't done (and continue to do...amazing how we can always surprise ourselves). It will probably be easier, at least at first, for her to learn this on her own and probably in private in conjunction with whatever she does with you.

Whatever doctor told her she can't have orgasms is full of shit. Barring any medical conditions, there's absolutely no reason it would be impossible. For you, though, what you can do is provide sensuous, fun, warm, pressure-free, comfortable sex that is obsessively not goal-oriented. There is nothing unsexier than trying wayyy too hard to give her an orgasm; that experience swiftly becomes all about worrying that you're disappointing your partner, or feeling guilty that he's working so hard and nothing's happening. Worry and guilt are unsexy emotions. So just enjoy each other, keep it light, keep exploring. It'll happen.
posted by Miko at 8:45 AM on April 21, 2006


I've found that, in order for the average woman to have an orgasm, she must be completely relaxed and trusting of you. Basically, stop being so focused on it happening, and it'll happen.
posted by fvox13 at 8:46 AM on April 21, 2006


Vibes are bad for women anyway, as nothing can come close to the overpowering sensations that they offer. The clit will become rather desensitized to everything else.

What!? I hope to god you're being sarcastic.

Sure, if it's an ongoing, overwhelming thing, anything will get desensitized. But that's a pretty broad generalization that my experiences and girl ancedotes don't support at all.

With women, the more they orgasm, the more they can reach orgasm. And hell, even if a vibrator is the only way she can reach it, at least she'll get there. It's a start.
posted by Gucky at 8:53 AM on April 21, 2006


It's unfortunate that anon can't conveniently follow up, but I'd add to all the good above advice (particularly TPS, paulSC and Miko) - are you sure that what you describe as simply accepting a blow-off answer from the doc isn't her way of telling you that she's okay with things as they are and to just let it be?

Katiecat disputes the widely-held idea that she's got to be able to do it for herself before you can do it for her, but I'd say it more generically - in sex, everyone is responsible for their own orgasm. Not meaning that you're just on your own, but you've got to help guide your partner to what you need to get off. If she's unable or unwilling to do that you need to back down - this isn't your quest to lead.

Mindset and being at-ease is important for most women when it comes to orgasm so you'll be taking a good first step by deciding to step back and let it happen - or not - when it happens. Let her know you're interested in her pleasure and you think orgasms are peachy-keen but you'll take your cue from her about what she wants from sex. Not only will that probably be your best path towards getting her off but having a comfortable and open communication about sex is the best path towards an overall gratifying sex life between the sheets (and on the table and in the yard and...)

Be patient. I haven't been a part of the Long Slog Deathmarch To Orgasm since I was a late teen but it took months of regular sex before we finally Got It Right. But the journey ain't unpleasant.
posted by phearlez at 9:14 AM on April 21, 2006


Vibes are bad for women anyway, as nothing can come close to the overpowering sensations that they offer. The clit will become rather desensitized to everything else.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Vibrators are not "bad for women."

In this case, a vibe would be great for helping her relax, have an orgasm, and get over the hump (yeah, yeah). Once those first few are out of the way, then she can start exploring other ways of having one.

And my biggest tip is to incorporate the vibe yourself. Make it a part of sex together, so that she associates orgasm and you.
posted by anjamu at 9:19 AM on April 21, 2006


Is your girlfriend satisfied with how things are now? I think your quest is noble (though maybe more about you than her?), but your girlfriend's *satisfaction* should be top priority, NOT her orgasm. Pushing her to have one is just going to make her tense, which will ruin her fun. I bet a lot of guys she's been with have tried to do what you're doing- maybe you could be the first one to say, Hey, I think you're great, I like having fun with you, and I don't care if you EVER have an orgasm. It doesn't sound like you've been dating too long.... I say, for now, keep things light and fun.

This bears repeating. NO PRESSURE. Constantly telling her that you're going to give her an orgasm will make her nervous and tense--and then she'll never have one.

The best things you can do?

1) She needs to figure out how to do it herself. Buy her a shower massager and let her figure out the rest. Once she can give herself one, you'll be able to give her one.

2) Don't worry about achieving orgasm. If it happens, it happens. Make sure she's relaxed and having a good time. DON'T ACT DISAPPOINTED if she doesn't come.

3) Have more drunk and high sex. Being fucked up while doing it will make you less tense and bring you and her out of the self-consciousness that is part of what makes this difficult.
posted by maxreax at 9:25 AM on April 21, 2006


I agree with those who have said that the Hitachi Magic Wand isn't a good starter vibrator. That thing has some torque, lemme tell you. I think the vibe might be a good idea, but starting off small might work better.

I wonder if the reason your GF hasn't ever orgasmed is a control issue? Is it too difficult for her to "let go"? Is she concentrating too hard?

I was sort of a late-bloomer to the whole O thing. And at first, I wasn't even very good at getting myself off (like the plateau thing your GF describes). But it's like riding a bicycle (horrible metaphor, yes). Once you know how, you just can.

Also, I find that if I'm having difficulty getting off, visualization helps...fantasies, that sort of thing. If that's something she'd be comfortable doing, she could try that. (Like maybe reading something mildly erotic before she tries masturbating?)
posted by veronica sawyer at 9:25 AM on April 21, 2006


Here is an excerpt from my comment on this thread. (I am female, btw).

I'd have to say it was my decision to go ahead and let go enough to make an orgasm happen (see below)

And I have to add, I freaking hate vibrators and cold hard lifeless objects in general....I do not enjoy them, they seem too intense. And I've tried a few, including the Thunder Bunny which has adjustable speeds. ... MUCH MUCH prefer the real thing.

Several years ago I was surprised to read a column in Bottom Line written by a sex therapist that suggested to focus on your own pleasure rather your partner's, which may sound selfish or evil but if you both are focusing on the partner's pleasure you're kind of distracted from your own so in the end no one gets off (heh).

I didn't orgasm in the presence of a partner (or maybe it was just during intercourse? not sure) until I was 19 years old. For me I needed someone I DIDN'T care about to remove that fear of loss causing me to care what he thought. Admittedly I felt comfortable with this person because he was very inexperienced (later he told me he lost his virginity to me which upset me because I had no idea and it certainly wasn't "special"!), thus making me feel more confident that I wouldn't be compared to someone else, or whatever. This one "step" made me feel more sexually confident in subsequent relationships. This person wasn't just any stranger, I had known him for a few years and we were sort of kind of "dating" (if you want to call it that).

I'm not necessarily suggesting that. I think it feels more wholesome to share sex with someone you love, and I think it can be kind of damaging to have sexual encounters void of intimacy, especially at a young age where you are impressionable. I think it can mess with your expectations of relationships, making them unrealistic or your beliefs about the opposite sex (or sex you're attracted to) a little skewed.....

posted by mojabunni at 10:08 AM on April 21, 2006


Comfort level and trust, as fvox13 said. One of the nicest compliments I ever received was when an old girlfriend let me know that her first orgasm with me was the first time she'd felt comfortable enough with a guy to let herself go and totally enjoy the experience.
posted by emelenjr at 10:18 AM on April 21, 2006


This is completely anecdotal, and I'm not about to go googling for backing statistics while I'm at work, but an ex-girlfriend of mine had her clitoral hood pierced right around when we started dating. She went from maybe 6 orgasms total in her life previous to 6+ per session. I'd like to think it just due to me being a virile young stud, but I think the other stud might have played a major role.

This may or may not be an option depending on her proclivities, but it may be worth at least researching if nothing else works.
posted by Durhey at 10:28 AM on April 21, 2006


Don't worry about achieving orgasm. If it happens, it happens. Make sure she's relaxed and having a good time. DON'T ACT DISAPPOINTED if she doesn't come.

I'm going to go one step further than this and suggest that that you go ahead and experiment with different techniques, positions and whatever under the specific understanding that she is not going to have an orgasm and you're not going to try to give her one. The difference between "If it happens, it happens" and "It's not going to happen" is that the latter gets rid of the last little bit of anxiety.
posted by teleskiving at 11:19 AM on April 21, 2006


Another vote for the vibrator. It's not going to desensitize her unless she's using it 24 hours a day for days on end. Even if she does feel a little desensitized at first, this will go away within a few hours, a day or two at the most. I would rather feel a little dull down there for a day than never have felt an orgasm in my life.

Please, please, please.... buy her a vibrator... or get her a gift certificate for some place like Good Vibrations. It doesn't have to be a mega-scary machine... they make small cute ones that are adjustable so she can get a speed she likes which won't hurt or make her feel numb.

Sounds like she needs to masturbate more in general to learn how her body works, how to get herself off. Once she's got that info down, she can show you what she likes.
posted by RoseovSharon at 1:18 PM on April 21, 2006


Multi-task. Don't just have penetrative sex - stimulate her other erogeneous zones as well, simultaneously. I find if my partner is just stimulating my clit, it actually feels too intense. If there's something else going on I get distracted by that, relax a bit more, and bam!
posted by mai at 3:30 PM on April 21, 2006



With women, the more they orgasm, the more they can reach orgasm. And hell, even if a vibrator is the only way she can reach it, at least she'll get there. It's a start.


This is a good comment. Sexual response is learned thing.

Just don't make the act an Olympic event and try to enjoy the journey. A vibrator couldn't hurt, either. Er... that didn't sound right.
posted by tkchrist at 4:00 PM on April 21, 2006


Second enabling her to get a vibrator and leaving her alone with it for awhile. It's a bit of a panicky feeling when you're not accustomed to masturbating, and it make take her some good solo playing around to work from little O up to bigger O without worrying about performance anxiety. (If she happens to be a bath-taker, get her a waterproof vibe. Also, yes, Hitachi is too intense as a starter vibe.)
posted by desuetude at 4:11 PM on April 21, 2006


Some women "opt out" when the physical sensations get too intense. In that case, and if your girlfriend is willing, some light bondage can be very effective. It can free the woman from decision-making about when to stop, what they "should" be doing, etc. It's a great way to break a plateau. And many women who have never had an orgasm simply don't know what they are missing. Its great that you care enough to work so hard at pleasuring her.

That said, all the standard precautions should be followed.
posted by AuntLisa at 5:08 PM on April 21, 2006


Vibes are bad for women anyway, as nothing can come close to the overpowering sensations that they offer. The clit will become rather desensitized to everything else

Nonsense. A vibrator is probably the easiest way for her to learn about her body's responses. Plus they're fun!
posted by fshgrl at 5:31 PM on April 21, 2006


I say practice, practice, practice as often as possible. It may not help but It would be fun anyway!!
posted by Megafly at 5:57 PM on April 21, 2006


You know in movies where a character ends up standing beside their own self, watching themselves interact with someone else? That sums up my first few years of sex-- so self-conscious and insecure that it was as though I were standing beside the bed, watching. Not in a good, lascivious way, either, in an "eww, he's touching my big butt" way. I ended up feeling like I was there to serve and please my boyfriend rather than as an even partner. I feel like I can help here because I'm having a LOT more fun these past few years. Some people here have made really good suggestions-- she should definitely experiment alone (certain books get me in the mood). You should let her know that you are really turned on by her and she can trust you. I like the idea of telling her to use *you* as a sex toy, to focus on her own pleasure alone. But if you can find a way to keep her mind from wandering (to whatever anxious fear it's running from) and stumbling during that delicious escalation to orgasm-- talking dirty works for me (the element of surprise and then the sheer nastiness is wildly distracting and fun). A boyfriend once mentioned that I was pretty quiet during sex, and aiming to please (though without the idea of self-pleasure in mind), I started consciously making more noise and then was surprised to find that my body was sort of following my porno-moaning-and-growling lead and feeling less inhibited and removed from the situation at hand. Anyway, make sure she knows that you find her sexy, remind her that she is sexy, and keep on trying. She'll thank you (she'll exhaust you!) when that wall finally breaks down.
posted by eve harrington at 6:44 PM on April 21, 2006


Don't try too hard. Don't try every time. Don't concentrate too much on the physical, or strictly on technique.

I agree with this. It can't be forced, it has to happen, in the literal, serindipitous nature of the word.

I did know a girl once who had Anorgasmia, and that is something that there really is no cure for. It's possible, and more common in women. I'm not saying be pessimistic really, but realise it's a possibility.
posted by Lockeownzj00 at 7:12 PM on April 21, 2006


I was with someone in this situation right around the time I turned 20. It took about a year of awesome sex for her to finally begin experiencing orgasms, and even then they were rare. It seemed to be very dependent on physical positioning, angle, direction of motion, etc. I suggest you just pursue the positions, etc that seem to work the best and keep trying at them.

However, if you're all freaked out by this and making a big deal about it, then you need to back off. You can't FORCE someone to come, and trying like HELL repeatedly will make her feel broken or inaqequate. Be anamazing lover, but don't put her in the spotlight every time you get into bed and try to make this time "the" time constantly. That is tiresome.

Appreciate her body for what it can and can't do right now, and validate every bit of pleasure she feels. You have to make her comfortable. And, without getting into too much detail about "tricks" you should ensure the following:

1) your penis is a good size for her (mostly I mean not too big)
2) she finds you attractive and is turned on by being around you
3) you are doing things during sex that feel good to her, not just you (more grinding, less thrusting, a high angle, etc)

Congratulations. You found the G-spot. In cases like this, there's a lot more to it than that. Don't underestimate the emotional situation. If you are making her feel inadequate, you are undermining the whole thing. If you stop concentrating on your own enjoyment because you're OBSESSED with making her come, then you're denying her the pleasure of pleasing you. Don't be a freak about it.
posted by scarabic at 8:00 PM on April 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


bullet vibes and the infamous pocket rocket are, imho, the best starter vibes out there. easy, convenient, and versatile. i eventually got fancier stuff--the even more infamous pearl vibes and the wand--but i don't like them nearly as much, and i'm so glad i didn't start with them, eek.

thanks to the ladies who've already said nix to the "vibrators are bad for women" comment, and seconded/thirded/whatever. especially the bit about how the more women have orgasms, the more able they are to have more in the future. for me anyway, and most of my female friends, it's like a burner. you can keep it completely switched off as often as you like, and when it's off, you don't even think about it. but once you do light it, you can just go and go and go, varying intensity, whatever. you have to light it though first. otherwise it's totally shut.
posted by ifjuly at 1:18 AM on April 22, 2006


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