Girl who can't come with partners. If sleeping together only winds up making everyone unhappy, why do it?
July 25, 2009 7:01 PM   Subscribe

I'm a girl who hasn't been able to orgasm with a partner. It's been a major issue in my relationships. Is there really any point to having sexual relationships? (explicit but unsexy text)

I started to get myself off when I was about 12, courtesy of the showerhead. I didn't learn how to masturbate manually until around 17. I've always had a high sex drive, and once I learned how to get myself off, I never had any trouble with it. It was so reliable that it never crossed my mind I'd have any difficulty orgasming with a partner. When I started sleeping with someone at 19, and it didn't make me come at first, I was completely sure we just needed a little time to readjust, and then everything would be awesome and simple. Years later, I still haven't adapted, and nothing is awesome or easy.

For me to come, it takes 10-20 minutes of me rubbing my clit. Position, comfort level, and trust all play big roles in timing, while arousal/foreplay has a relatively small effect. Basically the minimum has been 7-10 minutes of me just rubbing my clit, ideally while lying on my back with my legs tensed. Most vibrators feel nice but don't get me anywhere, but the Hitachi Magic Wand does work.

I've tried everything I can think of to break this pattern. I'm not on any antidepressants or other meds that can cause issues. I almost never use my Magic Wand; I haven't used a showerhead in years. I've spent hundreds of dollars on all kinds of other toys for partners to use on me. I've had long-term partners, both serious relationships and trusted FWBs, work on it over the course of months. I've had the occasional one-time thing seeing if they might introduce something new that might do the trick. I've questioned the assumptions I made about who I'm attracted to. With open-minded partners, I've tried plenty of various levels of kinky shit, and wound up liking some of it (light BDSM). I've discovered my G-spot and my deep spot and the joys of anal (all very nice, but not enough). My relationships definitely aren't PIV-centric. And yes, I've abstained from masturbation for months, hoping eventually my body would get frustrated enough for a partner (hell, even my left hand) to trigger an orgasm.

And I still cannot come with a partner without 10-20 minutes of right-hand quality time. So my question is less about "what else can I try?" -- I think I've tried everything -- and more about whether it's fair to a partner to try to have a sexual relationship, or whether it just sets us both up for disappointment and misery.

Of course there are aspects of sex I like other than just the orgasm -- I love pleasing my partner. But that makes me understand how much a partner wants to please me, and how awful you feel when you can't. Also, almost everything feels really good, even if it doesn't make me come . . . but to me a session isn't good if I don't wind up coming eventually. I feel dull and achy and kind of clogged, and can't sleep for hours -- in short, I get blue balls (ovaries?). For me, sex without any hope of orgasm is eventually not worth it. I'm not at all strictly quid pro quo -- for example, I'm happy to give a blowjob without thinking about reciprocation. I just want something, sometimes, that's not totally one-sided.

I love it when a partner helps me come -- by fingering me or fucking me or using a toy or doing anything else that doesn't interfere with me rubbing my clit. At first, everyone is all GGG and great about saying the right things -- "don't stress, don't apologize, I'm fine doing this." But after awhile (whether it's weeks or months) the tune changes. It does get boring for him. He feels like he's not contributing, he can't please me the same way, I could be doing exactly the same thing solo (no matter how much I try to persuade otherwise). He avoids pleasing me, or cheats on me, or dumps me. And -- because I do really love pleasing my partner -- I understand why.

I feel like it's my fault, obviously, for not being up to par. But I also feel like I'm misrepresenting myself or deceiving him. I have a high sex drive, and I'm warm and responsive. If you're making out with me, you would never guess you couldn't make me come. Even when we do get in bed, I'm enthusiastic and not dead-fishing it . . . but it's just. not. enough.

My guy friends tell me how thrilled they are when they find a partner who comes at the drop of a hat. I feel like a gorgeously wrapped, highly anticipated Christmas present -- that winds up containing dirty, mismatched socks. I almost wish I were simply anorgasmic.

#1: I feel like I can never have a sexual relationship that's fulfilling for myself and for my partner. So why do I keep trying to date when it only makes everyone involved unhappy? Shouldn't I just be friends with these guys and save everyone the hassle and upset? This is a serious question. I might be missing out, but it would make life so much simpler, and everyone involved -- not just me, but hypothetical partners -- would be spared a lot of pain when it turns out we're mismatches.

#2: Have you ever been in a long-term relationship with someone like this, and honestly, how much did it hurt the relationship over time? Everyone* says "oh, it doesn't matter, sex isn't the most important thing, I'm happy to be with her blah blah blah" -- and then it winds up mattering. A lot. So are there people who would honestly be able to handle it long-term? If so, how do I select for them? (I'm also concerned that if a guy legitimately didn't care about my issues getting off, his only goal for sleeping with me would be pleasing himself, which is obviously not the kind of mindset a generally awesome/unselfish/sexy person has.)

*Sample size: 11 people I've been naked with, 6 I've received oral from, 2 I've had vaginal sex with, 1 I've had anal sex with. Most but not all were guys.

I know this is a private thing -- I'm guessing there aren't a lot of people who will openly say "yeah, I really liked this girl but she couldn't come with me, and it was such a source of conflict I ended things." So please feel free to e-mail me at convergeretc AT gmail. Thanks so much for whatever advice or experience you can share.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (39 answers total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

Please ignore the calls to stop masturbating.

Instead, I'd see a sex therapist. They really do work wonders.

Also, not all guys will be hung up on this.
posted by Ironmouth at 7:09 PM on July 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

Also, not all guys will be hung up on this.

I can personally vouch for this.
posted by iconomy at 7:13 PM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Have you ever tried giving yourself that "10-20 minutes of right-hand quality time" while your partner does other things (kissing, caressing, etc.) that turn you on? In such a situation, your partner will know that he/she has had a direct effect on your orgasm, even though it isn't their hand doing the rubbing. You can direct them, and tell them what you want them to do, which will help them feel more like they're doing exactly what gets you off.

Another thing: don't bring this up with potential partners in a way that suggests you're ashamed of it. Every person's body is different; you are a special and particular pleasure that they won't ever experience with someone else. Instead of presenting yourself as deficient because of the circumstances you require, present yourself as special: you are an acquired skill that not everyone masters, an acquired taste that not everyone appreciates. You are a challenge, and a delight because of that.
posted by ocherdraco at 7:25 PM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Whoa, whoa, whoa. First of all, no one should be blaming cheating on "lack of orgasm." Not you, and not the douchebags who have stepped out on you. They were being wretched humans AND missing the point entirely. Now that we have that sorted...

1) Do you date to collect orgasms or do you date to meet cool people and (possibly) have otherwise enjoyable sex with them? Because if it's the first one then yes, I guess you should stop dating. (I'm being very tongue in cheek here, of course.) Relationships are about lots more than sex, as you mentioned, so your inability (so far) to come during the technical intercourse with a partner shouldn't preclude you from engaging in dating around and/or seeking long term relationships.

2) Here's where I wish mightily for the "anonymous answer" button...or that sockpuppet I have yet to set up...but jump in anyway: Most of the time, I enjoy sex with my partner and then get myself off afterwards. Usually with fun assistance. It has worked beautifully for me, he's just glad I can come (he's been with people who couldn't), and everyone goes to sleep happy. This is a LTR, so these ground rules were set more than a decade ago - I'm not exactly sure how it would work for casual sex. I will say that now, headed into my mid-30s, I will occasionally have an orgasm during the PIV sex. It's great and all, but I haven't been wasting the last 15 years of my life bewailing the lack, you know?

You are FINE. Anyone who tells you differently is not right for you - run away from them. As others have mentioned, there are plenty out there who will appreciate you.
posted by chihiro at 7:34 PM on July 25, 2009 [16 favorites]

Please ignore the calls to stop masturbating.

Why? It's pretty standard advice for people who have trouble orgasming when not masturbating, is there a reason why you think everyone else is wrong?

Anyway, have you tried masturbating with your boyfriend there? Most guys are not going to be too upset with you getting off that way. But having an orgasm while you feel a lot of pressure to do it is a lot more difficult.
posted by Paris Hilton at 7:37 PM on July 25, 2009

Sample size: 11 people I've been naked with, 6 I've received oral from, 2 I've had vaginal sex with

I say that's not a big enough sample size. I won't share mine, but I'll say that less than 1 out of the 6 I've received oral from were able to give me an orgasm from oral... and only 1 out of the lets just say more than 2 guys I've had sex with was able to make me come just from sex. And even that was only once. So it could still happen, and usually it happens by surprise. Whenever I get nekkid with someone new I don't even expect them to be able to make me come just because the odds are against them so far, so I just enjoy it and if it happens it's always a pleasant surprise.

Oh, and when you're with a partner, it's OK to have that 10-20 minutes of right hand quality time, but just make sure that it's not at the end after you've pleased him, because that can get awkward when he's all done and you're still going 15 minutes later... so make sure you incorporate in the beginning or the middle. Usually after I've had an orgasm I don't get that "blue ball" feeling even when the sex and other activity happens afterwards - once I'm satisfied then I'm satisfied.
posted by KateHasQuestions at 7:38 PM on July 25, 2009

"And I still cannot come with a partner without 10-20 minutes of right-hand quality time."

is not the same as

"Girl who can't come with partners."

I've been involved with women whose orgasm required extensive manual manipulation, for whom intercourse did not frequently result in orgasm... we both had fun...everyone was happy...we enjoyed what we had...
posted by HuronBob at 7:40 PM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Interesting. I guess you can't clarify since you're anonymous, but what about when your partner uses the magic wand on you? No luck?

Anyway, you definitely shouldn't give up on sexual relationships. That is not going to solve any problems. There is most certainly someone out there who can accommodate you, and will deeply enjoy doing so. (I am a guy, and I doubt this would ruin a relationship. It could be a fun, who knows.)

(BTW, I saw an article in the Times last week about how people focusing on not doing something often do that thing; a pitcher trying not to balk does so repeatedly, etc. Perhaps you are a bit too stressed out about the whole thing and are making your own fears come true. Maybe do a scenario where you are not allowed to come, no matter what your partner does; if you do, good, you got over your issue. If you don't, it is assumed that you can finish yourself off afterwards, nobody is disappointing anyone else. Anyway, I have not personally experienced this problem, so it is pure speculation. Hence the parenthetical comment :)
posted by jrockway at 7:46 PM on July 25, 2009

First off, don't give up. Sometimes it's just the right chemistry with the right person and whammo, it happens. And then it's easier after that. I've known women in their twenties and thirties who finally just had it the big breakthrough and it is never the same after that. They can go back to old lovers with whom they never came and find themselves having a brand new time.

Second, some guys are just happy to be in the same room with you when fun is being had. Not in a desperate way, more of a "I just want to be around while you're sweaty and noisy, and the precise mechanisms aren't important." I say this as someone who once screwed up his jaw rather well trying to change the speed dial on a vibrator with his tongue while clenching it in his teeth and doing this fairly unnatural thing with his neck; that was her deal, that's what she needed to get off. My only issue was, "Hey, maybe we could find something I could use without killing my jaw."

The whole ritual aspect can be fun, but as long as you're willing to mix it up, it shouldn't get too dull for your partners. If you make whomever lip synch to "In Dreams" right beforehand, that's just a little too specific.

Now, as to your exact questions ...

#1: You never absolutely know if you're going to be a sexual match with someone until the sex happens. You never absolutely know if you're going to be a relationship match with someone until you're in a relationship with them. We're all wasting each other's time because we lack precognition. So that's okay.

#2: I've both been the impossible-to-finish one and been with the impossible-to-finish one in longer relationships. It can be an additional strain for some, but it wasn't ever a dealbreaker. The good news is that, in each case, they managed to adapt to your bog standard "orgasm from intercourse," which was icing on the cake but wasn't required. As a general trend, it's a bit more of a hit on the self-esteem of women whose male partners have a hard time, because guys are "supposed to" pop off pretty easily. It's more or less understood that it's usually more difficult for women, at least younger ones.

You'll have to strike a balance between giving something new a shot and the comfort of routine. Playing a game of Okay Let's Try To Get You That Orgasm every time is an exercise in frustration, but a little exercise sometimes is good.
posted by adipocere at 8:19 PM on July 25, 2009

I love pleasing my partner. But that makes me understand how much a partner wants to please me, and how awful you feel when you can't.

Yeah. I did this for years. ::Huge hug:: It's not a fun place to be!

What helped, finally, was establishing a very simple rule. Each person is responsible for his / her own orgasm. Sure, it's fine to get a kick out of pleasuring your partner --- but ultimately, you aren't them, and you don't know how they feel (physically or emotionally --- and sex gets a lot easier when you take care of yourself first.

Anyone who's worth dating and having sex with isn't going to take it personally that you have a hard time getting off, and will be more excited about YOU --- getting to be intimate, close, emotional -- and getting to know your ins and outs, than they will about the short-term ego boost of getting you to come. The nicest thing anyone's ever done for me, sex-wise, was to make it Very Clear that they didn't care whether I came or not. Not that they didn't want me to come (and not that they weren't willing to help!) but that it was fundamentally my deal -- and that sex, for them, was good either way.

Nobody's having a lesser time because you have this thing going on. But it's hard to really pay attention to your body, to what feels good, and to what gets you off if you're worrying about your partner. You're not responsible for their orgasm, and they're not responsible for yours. Base rule #1.

Once that's off the table --- well, then you get to think of all the creative ways you can make sex FUN! (which you already know how to do!)
posted by puckish at 8:38 PM on July 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

Got a few questions:
Do you stimulate yourself while fucking? I mean while he's penetrating you? And if so, and you're able to cum that way, I see no problem. This is very common. Any guy who can't deal with this is a dick.
Have you ever warmed yourself up for 5, 10, 15 minutes and then had your partner come in and fuck you? I don't know about other guys, but I think it'd be pretty hot for a girl to say "Hey I'm gonna go into the other room to warm up for a bit, why don't you read metafilter for 10 minutes and then come fuck me." I'm not saying this will allow you to come without self stimulation, but it might help make a long lead up time more manageable.
Also, why haven't you used your hitachi magic wand in so long and have you had a partner use it on you during penetration?
If the wand can make you cum, I think it might be worth using it as much as possible, let your partner watch, teach him what you're doing and let him try. You can guide his hand and train him. Hot.
Also seconding sex therapist.
posted by brevator at 8:42 PM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Oh, sorry, after rereading your post I realized that I should have made your partners in my answer gender neutral.
Also, you definitely need a larger sample size. 11 people is not enough to write off relationships/sex forever.
posted by brevator at 8:52 PM on July 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I don't understand your sample size. Only two times at vaginal sex, and you're already worried?

But, speaking as an old guy who's had some fun over the years, yeah it's pretty awesome when a women cums as soon as I insert the tip, but that is pretty rare.

From my experience, most of vaginal cumming has to do with tempo and 'fire'. The tempo has to do with keeping a steady pace and pressure. The fire comes by doing other things: hands, month, words, skin on skin, whole body movements, etc. Also, some women have very sensitive clitoris, which helps. But, different women and men have differently shapes, so it's a bit of luck to get the shapes to fit perfectly.

My current gf is a lot like you, I believe. One thing I've noticed is that she has become conditioned to getting off with a vibrator. So, I've been trying to break her of that habit, because as soon as she starts to get aroused she tries to cum as fast as possible. I've had success with bounding her hands to keep them away, and going extra slow. I've also had success with only a few inches of insertion.

I don't know, I'm still experimenting myself, but just keep trying different things. Try different positions, of course. For example, some women I've known had only been able to cum in rear entry, some only in missionary, some in missionary with legs on the outside, some in reverse missionary. Some women don't even care about orgasm, and others that's the only thing that matters.

But, experiment with other things like clitoral-only stimulation, or vaginal-only stimulation, faster pace, slower pace, a cold room, a hot shower, more kinky, less kinky, with toys, with clothes. Change up the environment, change the situation, change the foreplay.

Ultimately, if your partner does something that feels really good, make sure you instantly let them know, and keep playing with that.

Wow, did I just write all of that?
posted by TheOtherSide at 8:57 PM on July 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

I've been there, and at least in my case the issue resolved itself with lots of time and practice. I discovered the orgasm when I was significantly younger than you, and so I had more than a decade of accustoming myself to my own particular method before I had sex with a partner. And I was quite surprised to find that something I could do so easily on my own didn't translate so well to a different type of stimulation.

Over the better part of another decade, and with the assistance of some patient and wonderful guys, I gradually added the following to my repertoire:

1. Orgasms via a partner's manual stimulation
2. Orgasms via a partner's oral stimulation
3. Orgasms via intercourse plus manual stimulation
4. Orgasms via intercourse

They all got easier, too. At 25, an orgasm via intercourse was rare and difficult, but by the time I was 30, I could reliably hit my first climax with two or three minutes of intercourse. (This still seems to be about my top speed, which is probably just as well, since if I'd continued to progress at that rate I wouldn't have to bother getting undressed at all by now.)

And honestly, the guys were all okay with whatever I was capable of doing at any given time. It was all happy naked fun time, and everyone got what they needed. I do second KateHasQuestions' suggestion to work in an orgasm for you in the early stages of things before your partner's enthusiasm can flag. It takes the pressure off both of you, and if you can manage another climax later on, that's just lagniappe.

The key for me was realizing that the magic was not inherent in what I was doing with my hand. The switch was in my head, and over time I was able to train myself to flip that switch in response to different types of stimulation. Whether or not this is something you're able to do, be patient and forgiving with yourself. There are no bad orgasms and no illegitimate ways to achieve them.
posted by timeo danaos at 9:06 PM on July 25, 2009 [5 favorites]

Sample size: 11 people I've been naked with, 6 I've received oral from, 2 I've had vaginal sex with

Seconding that this is not a huge sample size, especially the two guys you've had penetrative sex with. Some guys are great in bed, others are lousy. Sex is a skill. Despite what popular media would have us believe, it takes effort and practice to become good at the trickier ends of sex, especially clitoral stimulation. If you really are interested in a guy, tie him up and make him watch how you pleasure yourself (consensually, of course). Fuck, put him in a school uniform and make a proper lesson of it. Teach him what you want. Rewards to be administered as you go. I used to be terrible at fellatio until I had a partner do something to that effect to me. Best (and most fun!) lesson I ever had. Remember, men don't have clitorises, and I've noticed that they often treat them the same way they would a wee little penis. A little education goes a long way.

The same applies to 6 that you've had oral sex with. You said some of these are girls; it's pretty common for ladies in same-sex instances to use toys on one another. In a lot of ways same sex is easier, in that both partners have the same set of kit and know what feels good for a clitoris, but it's still important to show exactly what you need to get off.

Finally, the best advice I can offer, as far as easing orgasm goes, is to just relax and stop trying. It's not a race, it's just sex. The biggest sex organ is the brain, and yours sounds like it's locking up the others. I know you said you get blue-ovaries after an unfullfilling encounter, but seriously just let it go and it'll be easier. Concentrate on pleasing your partner, if it helps, and you could even phrase it that way to your partner as a form of play ("tonight, it's all about you, baby") and take the pressure off your own performance.
posted by Jilder at 10:26 PM on July 25, 2009

I don't think that your difficulty in achieving orgasm are the reason that you've been dumped. You clearly like being intimate and it is possible for you to get off with a partner.

I love it when a partner helps me come -- by fingering me or fucking me or using a toy or doing anything else that doesn't interfere with me rubbing my clit.

It does get boring for him.

Any guy that is bored doing this is worth dumping. Is this uncommon? I feel like this has to be standard for a ton of relationships. Personally, I can't come either without direct clitoral stimulation. So what happens? I get off with his help, either manually (while making out with him or him touching my boobs or something) or orally. Then we have PIV sexy times. Most times I can get off again, but the times I don't it isn't a big deal because it still feels good.

I've done it this way for years, and never given it a second thought that perhaps my partner was getting tired of it. They always thought it was hot. You need to expand your dating experiences. Especially if you are as enthused as you say, many guys would be psyched.

By the way, I'm sure that you have tried it, but doggy style is a fantastic way to get the 'inside' stimulation while at the same time leaving you in control of rubbing yourself in whatever way you need to in order to get off. It takes some getting used to if you have always masturbated lying down, for instance, but is definitely worth it. Try masturbating with your partner for a few minutes beforehand to get warmed up and then give it a shot.

I've not met any women who can come at the drop of a hat. It always takes some work.
posted by amicamentis at 10:55 PM on July 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

You might find that a glass of wine, a spliff, a good playlist, and five or six hours of non-goal oriented fooling around with the right boy or girl will leave you with more orgasms than you know what to do with.
posted by mhjb at 11:01 PM on July 25, 2009 [4 favorites]

"... If sleeping together only winds up making everyone unhappy, why do it?"

Well, there's the pair-bonding thing, and then, of course, there is the whole reproduction aspect, and, presumably, there are 101 other human social situations where getting Tab A into Slot B is a reasonable outcome, or at least a part thereof. To avoid a wall of text, I'm not going to develop all that here.

"Have you ever been in a long-term relationship with someone like this, and honestly, how much did it hurt the relationship over time?"

Yes, I have, twice. In one case, it was a bit disappointing for both of us, but we dealt with it during the time we were together, and it was not the reason the relationship eventually ended. In the other case, it was like having sex with a blow up doll; nothing humanly redeeming about it, and after a few efforts on my part to be GGG, which ended in long lectures and incredibly specific, humorless, mechanical "suggestions," I quickly lost interest in having sex with that woman, at all. Fortunately, I wasn't a young or inexperienced man when this latter situation occurred; had I been, I imagine it might have been traumatic.

I am going to say that, if your insistence on achieving orgasm is becoming a barrier to success in your relationships, it would be decent of you to stop encouraging relationships that are going to wind up in bed, unless you are frank about this in new relationships, up front. I think many men can accept that you have very specific and time consuming methods for reaching orgasm, and that they are not going to be more than incidentally effective in helping you do that. But it is nearly cruel to dance around the issue for any length of time, particularly when you know that "but to me a session isn't good if I don't wind up coming eventually. I feel dull and achy and kind of clogged, and can't sleep for hours -- in short, I get blue balls (ovaries?). For me, sex without any hope of orgasm is eventually not worth it."

If the principal long term reason for you to have sex in a relationship is to come, as you've indicated, say so, clearly, up front, and also say that it is likely that you are only going to come as a result of "10-20 minutes of right-hand quality time." That will go a long way to helping you sort the stack of Tab A persons that comprise about half of humanity, and I suspect, in that huge pile of 3 billion+ Tab A people, you will find a few that can deal, long term, any way.

A long time Tab A friend of mine, in fact, is not particularly interested in PIV sex; I know this because he was very late marrying, and explained his situation to me, many years ago. He preferred, he said, to bring himself off, even if he was sleeping with a woman, simply because he enjoyed it more, and was more certain of the outcome. But his problem was finding women who accepted his interests. He did, finally, find a lovely woman to marry, and his wife, from what he's told me, is a woman with your inclinations. They seem happy, and have 2 kids, 12 years after tying the knot.
posted by paulsc at 12:03 AM on July 26, 2009

I think the point is not the orgasm that you or your partners are looking for. It's the sexual communication.

The only way I've non-orgasmic sex being boring or disappointing is when my partner has basically been silent and cut off from me. No writihing, no moaning, no smiling at me, nothing. When the decision comes that it's time to stop, it's a Sad Thing full of apologies and no "thank you, that was really hot but I need to stop for now". Some of the best sex I've had has led to one of us tiring out before one orgasms. I've had goddam awful sex in which I was ignored and essentially only needed as a dildo, at most.

If you're taking a while to orgasm from whatever position, while you think your partner is Doing Work: writhe, shudder, moan, speak softly to them, show them when something is good or bad, if they need to keep at a certain motion, encourage them regularly.

If you've decided that it's just taking too damn long, and to stop: Don't just say "okay, it's not gonna happen." That's heartbreaking. Grab the partner away from the Work, go back to making out. Basically decelerate the sexual process back down to cuddling. Do NOT show disappointment if you don't want to make a thing about it. You've had an awesome time, you still want to jump their bones.

The worst partners I've had, orgasmic or otherwise, basically stopped communication once the sex started. The best have always made it seem like an awesome time was had, whether one, both, or neither of us came.

And frankly, once you've got the communication down, trying different mechanics to reach orgasm are infinitely easier even if not successful.
posted by FuManchu at 12:18 AM on July 26, 2009 [2 favorites]

I say keep experimenting and communicate with your partner about what you need. A little direction can go a long way. Anything you can do, a partner can be taught, otherwise the block is somewhere else.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 2:00 AM on July 26, 2009

Have you tried getting tied up beforehand? Cuz if not you should.

god, I'm gonna have to close this account soon.. Anonymous askme answers people!
posted by By The Grace of God at 3:51 AM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

"yeah, I really liked this girl but she couldn't come with me..."

...and it still isn't that much of a problem 15 years on.

"I love it when a partner helps me come..."

So yeah, you're not actually anorgasmic, you just need manual stimulation. It's not that you can't come with a partner at all. You want to get off from intercourse alone? Yeah, that's pretty fun and certainly is desirable over your situation but guess what? Not necessary in any way. Anyone who claims it is or uses it as an excuse for the deterioration of your relationship/sex life has issues.
posted by majick at 6:56 AM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

Mod note: a few comments removed - OP has left an email address, if you want to talk about the meta anonymous answers thing, please take it to metatalk, thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:01 AM on July 26, 2009

If you've only received oral from 6 people, it's possible that you just haven't found one who could do it for you yet.
posted by Afroblanco at 8:24 AM on July 26, 2009

I am you.

It sounds like your problem is that you're dating jerks. If a partner cares about you and isn't a selfish idiot, they'll try and get you off however works.

Watching someone bring themself to orgasm is an extremely erotic and intimate experience - it's seeing a part of them that's usually private, and if you're allowed to help with that in any way, that's even more wonderful.

Anyone who uses the ways you can or cannot climax as an excuse to break up with you is a piece of dirt. Heck, I'd date you. Keep looking, and until you find a partner who deserves to be with you, get yourself a stack of porn and maybe a wrist splint.
posted by teraspawn at 9:04 AM on July 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

The biggest erogenous zone is your brain. These people you have been with have not been able to push your buttons. You will eventually find someone who will.

It's as simple as that. Really. My current gf had been with 55 partners (mostly men) before she had her first one during intercourse. It's a numbers game. It will eventually happen for you.
posted by Zambrano at 9:21 AM on July 26, 2009

I recommend lots more masturbation and lots more exploration with or without company. Get better at having orgasms. Use plenty of lubrication, and try faster, more pressure, more direct, more wild fantasy. Try using toys, including battery(wall current)-operated ones.
posted by theora55 at 10:02 AM on July 26, 2009

I'm running between events today and haven't had a chance to read the above comments. At the risk of repeating everyone else:

You're more likely to have an orgasm when you're relaxed. Use the showerheads and the magic wands until you're a limp, sweat-soggy mess and then a day or two later go have fun with a partner or FWB. See if that makes a difference. Ignore calls to stop masturbating.

Fantasies help. The best sex is in the moment, even if the moment is different from the one that you're actually physically in. ;) This may be why the light bdsm stuff works well for you and/or you enjoy it; it's one of those things that transforms.

You have not had a large sample size. Go have sex with some more people. Seriously! (If you're close, I'll volunteer. ;) )

While we're on the topic of other people, keep in mind that they come in all forms and sorts. Some people I've been with had great interpersonal chemistry but have been horrible in bed... others, just the opposite. I was lucky to have some great first experiences that told me how good it can be, and then just enough bad experiences to know what other people were complaining about all the time. The whole one man/ one woman for life thing and 'learning' to satisfy each other through counseling and experimentation ... hog. frickin. wash. Find someone who makes the hair on your head form curly pigtails without being touched. IN BED. Then have sex, and see how it works. If it doesn't, move on.

Last, but maybe not least, the problems with other vibrators besides the magic wand may be evidence of a physical difference in the structure of your body that makes some things hurt in ways you don't realize it's hurting because the other stuff feels so good. ;) A friend of mine had problems with most guys of normal size for years. Then she went to a different gynecologist after moving to a different city, and while he's down there having a look-see, he says, "Huh. Did you know your uterus is upside-down?"
posted by SpecialK at 10:14 AM on July 26, 2009

I love it when a partner helps me come -- by fingering me or fucking me or using a toy or doing anything else that doesn't interfere with me rubbing my clit.

This seems totally normal to me. Relax, do what works for you, whatever that may be; partners who can't handle it are jerks with unreasonable, porn-fed expectations who don't deserve your or any other woman's time. If you want to find a way to have your partners get you off alone, sure, try some of those things people have suggested in this thread, but that would just be one more minor bonus to sex, not something that will "fix" your "brokenness." Really, I mean this in a supportive way: I don't know what you're worried about.
posted by you're a kitty! at 1:04 PM on July 26, 2009

so, you can come by rubbing your clit. presumably you can come while rubbing your clit while there is a p in your v.

do it doggy style. that way he can fuck you and you can rub your clit and the same time. i suspect that almost no one would have a problem with this.

bonus tip: a woman can fuck you with her hand or a dildo or a strap-on while you rub your clit. and i suspect that almost no one would have a problem with this.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 6:56 PM on July 26, 2009

You're the person I wished I were two years ago, when I was completely anorgasmic and liked to call the pain that accompanied every attempt at sex or masturbation "arousal blue ovaries." I would have killed for a twenty-minute solution, but at that point twenty hours of rubbing wasn't going to get me anywhere. It created a lot of tension in my relationship, which ended for a lot of reasons. This was one of them.

So I understand how miserable this makes you. But like I said, you're the person I wanted to be: being able to orgasm at all puts you a hell of a lot farther along.

Here are the things that worked for me:

(1) I stopped putting pressure on myself to orgasm and stopped caring whether it happened as long as everything else felt good. I told everyone I knew that the game of "how & when & why & whether" was stupid and I wasn't going to play any more.

My bedroom was going to be an orgasm-free zone, where neither of us would talk about the other person's orgasm--not when it happened, not whether it happened, not how it happened. (Although we would communicate what we liked--we just didn't say "and I only like it if it ends in an orgasm," even if that was true.) We were just going to focus on having a fun time together, without focusing on specific sensations. I didn't act like I was ashamed of this: I acted like it was an awesome perk that came with being my partner.

And in a way it was, because I was as understanding of my partners' weird quirks as they were of mine. In your eleven partners, have you not found anyone else who has trouble orgasming? One of the things that helped me was sleeping with other people who felt like they didn't live up to the ideal in one way or another, whether too fast, too slow, not enough, or only with a toy, or only with a particular technique. Neither of us complained that the other person wasn't having orgasms in the right way--we were enthusiastic about what we had.

Somebody like that is going to be much more understanding of your need for twenty minutes of clitoral stimulation, and there's a hell of a lot of us out there.
posted by besonders at 6:23 AM on July 27, 2009

(I have a lot to say I guess.)

(2) The "arousal blue ovaries" (which were the worst thing in the world, so trust me: I feel your pain, I understand why you want to give up, I would occasionally declare that I was done with sex forever in the time when I experienced them, but I always wanted to try again) went away before the orgasms started coming (heh). I suspect this is because the blue balls were for me in part a stress response--I was so worried about not orgasming that I was in pain over it. Once I stopped worrying, I found that the "blue ovaries" were less and less of a problem.

(3) Embrace the Magic Wand! It sounds like you never use it with a partner because you're embarrassed that you need it. We get a lot of messages about how women who can't come in certain ways are defective. But guess what? We're not defective--if we've found something that works for us (and the Magic Wand is pretty standard as these things go) we should be proud that it does, and we shouldn't worry ourselves crazy trying other things.

My first orgasm came from PIV sex + the Magic Wand, and most of my subsequent orgasms have happened the same way. My current partner doesn't find this annoying--he thinks it's awesome, and will happily hand me whatever I need to get off. Sometimes when we do other things, and I don't orgasm, I use a toy on myself afterwards so that I know I can go to sleep without "blue ovaries," and he thinks that's awesome too. Sometimes he helps out--sometimes he's sleepy, and sort of just whispers sweet nothings while I work at it.

(4) Like others have said, 11 is not a huge sample size. I understand how frustrated you are--even one partner who makes you feel weird (not to mention cheats because you can't orgasm in five minutes? seriously, that's not something you should be expected to "understand," that's just an asshole move) can make you feel hopeless--but you deserve a partner who won't be upset when your orgasms don't match an unrealistic ideal and who will help you have a satisfying sexual experience no matter what you need (or at least not mind when you get yourself off afterwards--given the pain issue, anyone who says "I'm going to make you feel bad about getting yourself off after sex" is not worth it).

Those partners are out there.

Best of luck.
posted by besonders at 6:23 AM on July 27, 2009

#2: Have you ever been in a long-term relationship with someone like this, and honestly, how much did it hurt the relationship over time?

I love it when a partner helps me come -- by fingering me or fucking me or using a toy or doing anything else that doesn't interfere with me rubbing my clit. At first, everyone is all GGG and great about saying the right things -- "don't stress, don't apologize, I'm fine doing this." But after awhile (whether it's weeks or months) the tune changes. It does get boring for him. He feels like he's not contributing, he can't please me the same way, I could be doing exactly the same thing solo (no matter how much I try to persuade otherwise).

My (wonderful) boyfriend has been doing this for me for a year and he hasn't gotten bored. It's where 95% of the orgasms I have with him come from. I tell him often how much better it is than just me jerking off, and when I do jerk off alone I always wish he was helping me.

Seriously, he has never tried to make me feel bad about this. Hell, he offers it after sex, everytime; I have to turn it down sometimes!

The problem is not you. This is a totally normal thing to need. The problem is with your partners.
posted by Juliet Banana at 8:20 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]

And I still cannot come with a partner without 10-20 minutes of right-hand quality time.

There is nothing wrong with that!!!

It's sounds to me like you are really really hung up on the idea that your partner has to provoke your orgasm.

I'm like you - I was never able to come during intercourse. For several years I thought I was broken - OMIGOD! Why am I not having an orgasm? And I just wasn't confident enough to "take matters into my own hands." I was worried about the guy, you know. He'll feel bad if he can't make me come! Eventually I would just tell them to give up, so we could go to sleep.

Happily, I got braver, and realized guys don't mind help - they just want to see you getting yours! (Ok, I had on ex who seemed a little perturbed that I needed to do it myself, but it didn't last long and the sex wasn't so hot anyways, so whatever.)

Since then, I have orgasms with partners, just about whenever I want, using my hand, with or without assistance and/or penetration and if any partner has felt like less of man, I surely didn't notice!

Now, you need to get over the idea that your parter has to "make" you have an orgasm, and you have to find partners that don't have that expectation.
posted by Locochona at 6:36 PM on July 27, 2009

I am nearly 40, and I have been sexually active for 20 of those years. In all that time, I have only had an orgasm through intercourse TWICE. Every other time, the guy tried some other means, and did so cheerfully.

Honestly, whatever works for you is the right thing to do. It's not like there are Sex Police that are going to come break down the door and arrest you for Doing It Wrong. Although, sometimes trying to force an orgasm when it ain't happening may be counter-intuitive -- I find it's a lot more fun when I just take a shrugging, "well, even if I don't get there, shit, it's sure fun TRYING" attitude. Because, well, it sure IS fun trying.

Sex is playtime. Try stuff, have fun, and if something works, great, then do that. If you have a guy who's bored with something that you like, either he needs to help figure out something else you both enjoy, or you need to find another guy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:32 AM on July 30, 2009

I also don't have an orgasm unless I'm manually stimulated. I've gotten really close from other things, but I need that hand to send me over the top. I'm also a big fan of shower heads. I love sex and love making out and agree with everything you said about enjoying sex even when you can't come except this one way.

When I was dating, I found that guys who couldn't deal with me not coming the way THEY WANTED (because, mind you, it was not that I couldn't come, it was just that I couldn't come in any way that made their little egos inflate), were just insecure and knew very little about the female body. The MAJORITY of women only come through clitoral stimulation, and if a guy says that most of his partners could come at the drop of a hat, he has probably been duped by some incredible actresses.

If a guy's self-esteem is caught up in making you come the way he wants to (rather than the way you want to), he is likely insecure and a bit of a dick anyway. Some guys are not dicks, but they just need some educating. The point is, a good partner will be happy to help you come however you can, and feel satisfied that he is a good lover because he has helped you achieve immense pleasure.

One way that I like to get my partner involved in my orgasms is by having him suck on my tits while I touch myself, and then right when I go over the edge, he goes down on me. THIS IS KEY. If you have someone go down on you (who has some skills, at least) while you are coming, you might have the most mind-blowing orgasm of your life. Also, touching yourself while he touches you all over or kisses you or sucks on your tits can be some great foreplay, and right when you come, he can enter you and start fucking you.

And as for your concern about long term relationships, I am quite happily married. Anyone who loves you will love pleasuring you anyway you want, and won't be nearly so concerned about how you achieve orgasm. Besides, what could be more validating than knowing your woman can be completely honest and comfortable with you in bed? That she's kinky and loves trying all sorts of things that are naughtier than naughty? And that she knows herself so well that she knows exactly what she needs to do to come, and she's inviting you to the party? These all seem like positives to me. Keep dating.

There is nothing wrong with you. You are not a failure. You are sex goddess who knows herself. Go into the world accordingly.
posted by whimsicalnymph at 8:33 AM on September 14, 2009 [4 favorites]

Sorry for the late response, but I wanted to chime in with encouragement.

You sound very similar to my girlfriend. (Says she: "This is exactly my story. I guess I never saw it as an 'issue'.") I would never in a million years get bored or dream of cheating because of this non-issue. I don't even think about it as "helping" her masturbate; we're having sex and she touches herself at the same time because that's what she enjoys. If you're with a guy and he's inside you and you have an orgasm from manual stimulation, you're having an orgasm during sex. Hell, he doesn't even have to be inside you; after I got past some shyness and other miscellaneous trepidation, I learned to really enjoy just helping myself while she is doing the same.

I think it's necessary to decouple manual stimulation from masturbation, at least masturbation in the sense of a purely solo activity. You linked to Dan Savage; that's something he pushes a lot, especially in his excellent excellent podcast.

So all this is to say: don't get discouraged. Guys who have an issue with this are dicks.. er, assholes. Increase the ol' sample size. And just enjoy what gets you off. Enjoy what you enjoy, I guess.
posted by supercres at 11:14 AM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

I see you have a lot of great advice here, so I'll just throw in my two cents on the trying to have an orgasm thing. My partners never used to be able to get me off, despite the fact that it was almost always extremely passionate and pleasurable. Then, one way or another, I realized that I needed to stop trying to get my partner to get me off, and instead use my partner to get myself off. In other words, I basically masturbate (and fantasize) except instead of my hand, it's my partners body. So, while I'm enjoying being fucked, I might also be grinding to my own beat and be thinking about something that isn't happening (whatever turns me on at the moment).

I guess fantasizing while being fucked is the * wrong * way to have an orgasm...but I have had 0 complaints from the other parties. =]
posted by hannahelastic at 2:45 PM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]

***p.s. I've had some bodies where the anatomy of the pelvic bone (or whatever) just doesn't work! shop around.
posted by hannahelastic at 2:46 PM on September 14, 2009

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