Help me make my girlfriend climax.
September 1, 2009 7:45 PM   Subscribe

I'm a 30 year old male who is recently divorced (after a 12 year relationship). I had a few brief sexual encounters in high school (5 partners), but most of my adult sex was spent with my ex-wife. As I begin dating and exploring new sexual relationships, I've realized that my sexual dexterity needs some improvement. My problem is that I had sex with my ex-wife for so long, and learned what she liked so well, that I've forgotten how to have sex with other people. My current girlfriend is an enigma. She's 29 years old and has never had an orgasm (not even via masturbation). She also likes rough play; something that is completely foreign to my gentle nature. I was wondering if anybody could recommend some books on sexual techniques designed to guide men to make a woman climax - especially for those who have difficulty doing so.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (22 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

This may sound harsh... but if she has truly never had an orgasm, especially by her own hand, it's a bit unlikely that you'll be able to make that happen.
posted by kimdog at 7:50 PM on September 1, 2009 [4 favorites]

Movies and TV won't tell you this - but it's a common situation. I was going to recommend a few good books but found this list which is quite good. Oh, (pardon the pun), there's little you can do. This is about her. Work with her, be patient and don't assume you're doing something wrong and all will be well. Several of the books in the list above, have good relaxation techniques and exercises for a woman to psychologically and physically reach the point to be able to achieve orgasm.
posted by Gerard Sorme at 8:02 PM on September 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

Bullshit. Rent, buy or borrow a Sybian and be the first to give this girl an orgasm.
posted by Muirwylde at 8:04 PM on September 1, 2009

Your gf might be one of those who cannot have an orgasm unless it is forced on her. There might be some guilt at play in her internal dialogue and it is more than a distant possibility that she needs the rough play in order to let go.

It was very difficult for me to learn how to play rough and I needed to build myself an alternate persona to do that.

Therefore: first, Jay Wiseman's SM101. Second, get thee onto a BDSM board where forced orgasm is discussed. Once you're there you will have a bit of background. I'm suggesting these because there is a -chance- that my idea is right, not that it's certain. It is easily possible that I am completely wrong. What you might like to find out is whether your gf needs to be out of control so that her inner dialogue might be stilled or distracted.

if you happen to be in the SF Bay Area, I highly recommend Cleo du Bois' intensives on dominance. It is hard, hard going to learn how to put aside your own gentle nature and create a persona that is like you but with some strictures removed.
posted by jet_silver at 8:08 PM on September 1, 2009

One of the prominent sex advice writers (maybe Dan Savage?) keeps getting quoted/paraphrased as suggesting that each person has responsibility for their own orgasm. Not in the sense that you are being given a green light to roll on top, wiggle for thirty seconds, and then fall asleep leaving her laying frustrated in the wet spot -- but that it is her responsibility to communicate what she needs from you (privacy? more pounding? better touching?) that will let her end the evening happy and satisfied.

In other words -- you can help her climax, if she is ready and able to do so, but you can't make her do so. Putting all that responsibility on yourself is unfair and counterproductive.

There is a huge array of sexual advice books out there (for example, the classic Joy of Sex was just reedited and reissued) but none of them can substitute for finding a way to get in touch with your partner's physical cues and signals. Some people are really good at telling or signaling what they need; others are really subtle or confused. So sure, read the books, but don't get so caught up in the "technique" that you forget that your partner is a real, live, quirky individual who perhaps has little in common with the advice in the books.

Finally, I'd suggest that there isn't as much of a contradiction or dilemma as you seem to think there is between rough sex and your "gentle nature." Being gentle is about not imposing, not forcing, not being rude, things like that, right? The key word in rough play is play -- a sense of fun is what is needed, not a reversal of your fundamental nature. She's not so much saying "don't be a gentle person" as she is wanting, well, rough play. Rough physicality, not abuse, not outrageous violence, not nastiness.
posted by Forktine at 8:14 PM on September 1, 2009

Whatever you do, make sure you're not unconsciously putting pressure on her to have an orgasm. It may be that she would rather just enjoy sex without the perceived stress of orgasming. If she truly can't have one, or even just truly believes she can't, then she may feel she is letting you down if she can't do it. Go ahead and try your hardest, but don't let her orgasm become a source of frustration for both of you. Remember- she's having fun anyway. If she wasn't, she wouldn't be doing it at all.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:17 PM on September 1, 2009 [2 favorites]

As far as books go, I Heart Female Orgasm is good. Yes, the title is silly, but it was recommended to me by a gynecologist. It has a chapter on tips for partners, but the whole book is good for understanding orgasms better.
posted by showbiz_liz at 8:21 PM on September 1, 2009

I hate to double-dip in threads, so forgive me; but I just wanted to point out that the links to the list of books in my first post are books for her. You might get something out of a chapter or two, but they're really about her and relaxation techniques (physically and psychologically) that can help her to climax. Frankly, I would be very cautious of advice to "force orgasm." Her desires for rough sex and her inability to orgasm may, or many not, be related; but the last thing she needs is some third party talking a guy into thinking rough sex play translates into a desire for S&M/bondage, etc. which needs a man to "control her" and "force orgasm." Maybe that's where it leads, who knows? But that's not where to start when it comes to this issue.

Good luck!
posted by Gerard Sorme at 8:36 PM on September 1, 2009

You need to let go of the idea of giving her an orgasm and instead focus on pleasing her and yourself. If she even thinks it's important to YOU that she has an orgasm, she'll only hurt her chances of having one with you.
posted by 2oh1 at 9:08 PM on September 1, 2009

You knew your wife very well. You knew what she liked, didn't like, etc. Take the time to get to know your girlfriend in the same way. Don't make an orgasm the only goal. At this point, just enjoy each other and see where it goes.

Also, for the love of jeebus, please don't go the BDSM route unless you know she's up for that. I've been with several partners that liked it rough, and none ever had an interest in BDSM. Jumping on a forced orgasm forum is a little extreme at this point.

I do think it's cute that guys think they can force a woman to have an orgasm. You'll have a much better chance of giving her an orgasm if she's helping, even if it feels great to believe you're causing it all.

Bullshit. Rent, buy or borrow a Sybian and be the first to give this girl an orgasm.
posted by Muirwylde

First, can you rent a sybian? Second, ewww. And borrow? Again, ewww. Thirdly, "come on honey hop on top and I'll plug her up!" isn't going to relax a girl thats probably already uptight about her lack of orgasms.

Lastly, even if it worked buying her a sybian and claiming YOU gave her the orgasm is like buying her a car to drive and thinking YOU drove her to work.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 9:42 PM on September 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Nina Hartley Guides and the Sex God Method are what you want. You can find both online. So if you don't want to spend the money, you can read and watch them first.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 10:40 PM on September 1, 2009 [1 favorite]

I can't speak for the psychological factors, but as far as sex is concerned, She Comes First was a good, informative read and (I think) it helped. But you'd have to ask my girlfriend.
posted by the NATURAL at 12:43 AM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Is she into role-play? A great way to get her to tell you what she wants is to be her little love toy for a night - the naughty schoolboy to her Mrs Robinson, the secretary and the boss, the intern and the doctor. Get her to boss you around for a night, and that can go a long way towards getting an idea of what she likes. Given that you mentioned she liked rough play, playing out an interrogation scene where you tie her up and grill her about what she like could be fun too. Have a chat with her and see what she thinks. You can always frame it as wanting to try something fun.

I'd also second the Nina Hartely guides and also suggest looking into Tristan Taormino's Expert Guide DVDs, especially Expert Guide to Oral Sex, Part 1: Cunnilingus and Expert Guide to the G-Spot.

I' also suggest laying off the toys until you can clear it with her, first. Plenty of girls find them distracting in the bedroom.
posted by Jilder at 1:17 AM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

Yep, just have fun in the sack and don't worry about orgasms for a while.
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:19 AM on September 2, 2009

First, can you rent a sybian? Second, ewww
. And borrow? Again, ewww.

Said by someone who I'm sure uses toilet liners every time and has never ridden someone elses bicycle.

I believe the base units are about 1200.00 USD new.

The intimate parts are detachable and replaceable and fully condom compliant.The base unit is probably more easily sanitized than a typical chair and with basic hyegenic treatment, probably more so. The intimate parts...(various attachments are available {new not used...eeewww} based according to ones size, shape and color preferences) are attached to the base motor unit. I wasn't suggesting using someone elses dildo and no one is stupid enough to think I was. Why do you have to paint it in the most snarkish light?

Thirdly, "come on honey hop on top and I'll plug her up!" isn't going to relax a girl that's probably already uptight about her lack of orgasms.

Who said that? Oh wait; you did.Your approach and quotes not mine. Sybian play can be a two person pleasure with the male partner sitting behind, applying warmed coconut oil, massaging her shoulders, kissing her neck, and stimulating the female gently while holding her. And frankly it would be almost impossible not to have an orgasm with this toy if it is approached in a loving and playful manner. But that would be too easy. We have to make it complicated.

Lastly, even if it worked buying her a sybian and claiming YOU gave her the orgasm is like buying her a car to drive and thinking YOU drove her to work.

Who said that? Oh. wait. Again. You did. I didn't say anything about laying claim to her orgasm; just stating that you would be the first to facilitate the beauty of orgasm for her (and what an honor!) I didn't say anything about a dirty sybian or boasting about giving her one of the greatest sensations known to man or woman either. Man, you read a lot into a statement.

Finally, it is kind of intimacy 101 to know that one would need to introduce an idea to a partner to gauge her reaction before introducing the actual instrument of pleasure.

God forbid we create an orgasm through physical means rather than by intellectualizing it. Men have been conned into believing woman always need to be lead to stimulation through the mind. To an extent yes; but sometimes they just want to be fucked. Hard.
posted by Muirwylde at 3:38 AM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I hear the Hitachi Magic Wand is rather impressive, as well. And that's only about $50.
posted by musofire at 7:32 AM on September 2, 2009 [1 favorite]

I wasn't suggesting using someone elses dildo and no one is stupid enough to think I was.

I guess I'm stupid, too, because it sure sounded like you were suggesting renting or borrowing someone else's sex toy to me, to which I also had the "ewww" response. Frankly, your entire response comes across as defensive and obnoxious.

To the OP:
Your girlfriend isn't having orgasms either because of physical or psychological reasons. There's not enough information here to know which, and it's likely she doesn't know. Despite Muirwylde's suggestion that all she needs is a good pounding (because, yeah, probably no one's thought of that or tried it before), odds are good that it's psychological: she needs to relax more, get away from her inner dialogue, give responsibility for her sexual arousal to someone else (as jet_silver suggested), get more comfortable with her intimate parts, or deal with whatever other issue(s) might be creating a barrier to orgasm for her.

- reading Hartley or Taormino or any other guide she feels good about can't hurt and might help
- yoga or tai chi or meditation or any other practice which helps with relaxation and quieting inner dialogue may be helpful (therapy, meds, and/or EFT if she has anxiety)
- Kegel exercises may help make orgasms stronger and more intense if she's actually having small ones
- masturbation (which she likely doesn't do much of, since it doesn't get her off) alone or with you will help you both get better acquainted with the particulars of her body
- honoring her sexual/intimacy requests insofar as you can within your own boundaries and not shaming her for anything unfamiliar or outside your comfort zone
- exploring her "rough play" interests may help you both figuring out what lies beneath and how to get past it (does she want to be in control? relinquish control? surrender responsibility ("Oh I couldn't help it! He ravished me!"-fantasy)? or any number of other possibilities)
- understanding that orgasms are not the be-all end-all of sexual intimacy or enjoyment, that if she didn't get something out of the experience she'd stop repeating it and it does not reflect on your manhood or value as a sex partner if she does not orgasm, and pressure to orgasm (outside of "forced" orgasm within a consensual power dynamic) is about as wilting as imagining Maggie Thatcher riding Ron Jeremy

Good luck. IANAD, but I am a woman who took many years to become orgasmic and who is fond of "rough play." This is all assuming there's not a specific traumatic event such as rape or molestation for which she'd do best seeking therapy before/in addition to trying other approaches.
posted by notashroom at 8:44 AM on September 2, 2009

Seconding and even thirding the Hitachi Magic Wand. Available at Amazon and, per a podcast I've listened to, has never NOT done the trick on a woman who is orgasm-impaired.
posted by arniec at 8:49 AM on September 2, 2009

My female friend who is into rough play recommends that you read this for some advice:
New York Times: What Do Women Want?
posted by skintension at 10:19 AM on September 2, 2009

I think she needs to show or tell you what she needs to have fun in bed. Not necessarily to get off. Lay off talking about her orgasm--which is a huge temptation for us men precisely because we want to believe we can/do make it happen for them--and just have fun. Be open and cool and confident and things should work out.
posted by lackutrol at 8:48 PM on September 2, 2009

Some wacky scientists invented a little device for women who have (tragically) lost the lower half of their body. It directly stimulates the nerve that go to the brain & triggers orgasms.

Interestingly, it only works on women who have had orgasms. If you've never had an orgasm, this little device doesn't work.

Something about this tells me that it may not be your technique that's lacking. I also know someone who has extreme difficulty achieving orgasm & it turns out it's related to something that would initially seem like a completely unrelated problem relating to low blood sugar levels. I forget the exact name of this condition, but doing research about this along with any other symptoms she may have - may lead to surprising treatments that have nothing to do with vibrators & everything to do with medication & diet.

That said, I've yet to see one in action up close & personal, but that Sybian looks like a wonderful thing & I'd love to own one.

Oh, and watch the movie Shortbus together, it's a favorite of mine & all about sexual freedom. The main character is "pre orgasmic" too (not that this should be why you watch it) and it's generally just a great, uplifting movie - that just happens to be about sex.
posted by MesoFilter at 1:06 AM on September 3, 2009

Yep. Orgasm is in the mind. Find out what makes her both comfortable and horny. Concentrate on that.
posted by gjc at 7:10 AM on September 3, 2009

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