Sex and Relationships

Sexual Dysfunction

Answers to questions about female orgasm problems

Copyright (C) 1998, 1999, 2000 William F. Fitzgerald, Ph.D.

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Problem:  I can bring myself to orgasm with my fingers, but I do not experience orgasm during intercourse.

Advice:    The most effective way to become orgasmic during intercourse is to learn what you have to do to yourself to achieve the orgasm, then teach your lover(s) what to do.  Also, a number of women do not know what an orgasm is.  The absolute sign of an orgasm in both genders is involuntary pelvic muscle contractions approximately eight tenths of a second apart.  There may be 3 or 30 and there could be some, then a pause, then more.   Most women can achieve orgasm from clitoral stimulation, by finger, tongue, or vibrator.  You can feel these contractions with one or two fingers either in your vagina or in your rectum.  (NOTE:  NEVER insert into your vagina anything [including fingers] that has been in your rectum unless it is/they are adequately washed.)

Only about 32% to 40% (depending on the survey) of women achieve orgasm from penile thrusting alone.  There is only one kind of female orgasm:  the clitoral orgasm.  The reason that those 32% to 40% of women have an orgasm from penile thrusting alone is that the penis, dragging on the labia, causes enough tissue pulling on the clitoral hood, which rubs the clitoris enough to produce enough stimulation to trigger an orgasm.   Others have an orgasm before penile penetration, after, never, OR they stimulate or their lover stimulates, their clitoris DURING intercourse.

If YOU canít bring yourself to orgasm, donít expect your lover to.  If you cannot bring yourself to orgasm, please purchase a copy of Lonnie Barbach's book, For Yourself.  It is the best self-help book for women who experience difficulty achieving orgasm.  VERY IMPORTANT: Read it cover to cover, page by page, without skipping ahead, and do each and every exercise no matter how easy you think it is.

If that doesn't result in your having orgasms you need professional help (start with your OB-GYN).

PROBLEM:  You can achieve orgasm ONLY doing one specific thing.

Advice:  To make this more illustrative, I am quoting an e-mail question and answer:

I'm a 23 year old female who has never reached orgasim.  I can make myself
orgasim only by crossing my leggs and applying finger stimulation.  I've
tried doing this on many occasions with men, but it's never worked.  Oral
stimualtion from men never seems to make me orgasim, neither does
stimulation from their touch.

I'm currently in a very important relationship although we have not had
intercourse yet.  I want to orgasim so badly with my boyfriend and
experience this with him, but I'm fearful that it won't happen.. as usual.

I've tried other ways to make me orgasim however nothing works.  The ONLY
way I've been able to give myself pleasure is when I cross my legs and apply
finger stimulation.

My question:  Is there ANYTHING humanly possible I can do to orgasim with my
boyfriend?  Maybe I'm missing something?  Or am I just one of those
unfortunate people who will never be able to reach an orgasim?

A:  First, I have cited in several locations that only about 40% of women achieve orgasm from penile thrusting alone.  The others have one before or after or never, OR "help themselves" with additional clitoral stimulation during intercourse.

Please note that NOT ONLY is the desirability of simultaneous orgasm a debilitating myth, but (are you ready for this?) the idea that both partners "have to" have an orgasm from intercourse is an outgrowth implication of Judeo-Christian concepts.  If you are trying to make a baby, yes, the most efficient "lay" delivery system is an erect penis in the vagina.  BUT, dear reader, if you are pleasuring each other, what is wrong with each person achieving orgasm in a different way?  The emphasis on both people having orgasms during intercourse is a derivative of "The only purpose of sex is to make babies," and "the only REAL sex is penile-vaginal intercourse."  "Spilling seed" outside of the vagina was a sin because it didn't promote pregnancy.  Back then, every religion wanted to control the masses and have the greatest number of followers.  Today, most of us can read and write and study and decide on our own situational ethics, and we have too many people on earth!  You can believe that everything else besides penile-vaginal intercourse is necessarily either immature or perverted if you wish, but by buying into the intercourse-only idea you are giving up lots of other fun activities.

The part of your brain responsible for orgasm is the same that learns how to ride a bicycle.
Unfortunately, some women and some men have done the same exact thing to their body to achieve orgasm to the point that the brain interprets only that set of circumstances as the "correct template" to trigger orgasm.

I cannot tell if you are one of those women or that you are unfortunately on the low end of the sexual response normal curve.

You didn't mention a vibrator.  I suggest that you buy one (the vibrators in all major drug store chains are perfectly adequate) and see if you can lie flat on your back, legs spread apart, and take your time to explore what it feels like around and/or on your clitoris.  DO NOT place it right on your clitoris and hold it in the same spot for a long time.  That causes "sensory acclimation" and can make your clitoris go numb (or if you really mash it, you can cause nerve damage that takes months to regenerate).

Take your time, avoid a sense of rushing or urgency, notice the feelings.  What you need to do is re-train your reptilian brain to interpret these different sensations as sufficiently pleasurable to trigger orgasm.

If you are able to achieve orgasms that way, strive to bring yourself to orgasm in different positions like on your knees and standing up.  When you then have intercourse with your new boyfriend, try doggy style using the vibrator, and during each successive event, strive to use the vibrator less and less.  You are "pairing"  the vibrator sensation with the sensation of his penis.

ALSO:  Obtain a copy of "For Yourself" by Lonnie Barbach, Ph.D., and read it page by page without skipping ahead, and do every exercise no matter how easy it sounds.

And in the final analysis, if nothing except crossing your legs and using your fingers works for you, I suggest that you abandon the "need" to validate sexual activity by having an orgasm during intercourse.  Have fun, do what he wants to achieve orgasm, have him pleasure you as you wish, and when you want an orgasm, cross your legs!

Problem: VARTS (also called "queefs" and vaginal farts)  I am a 17 year old female and whenever during sexual activity, my vagina seems to release air when my partner penetrates me? why could this be? Can i avoid it? your honesty and directness will be gratly appreciated.

VARTS are NOT rectal gas expelled through the vagina!  The bottom line is that what people call vaginal farts is not a "bad" thing -- it means that A) your pubococcygeus muscle is in excellent tone (so it can suck air in when you are sexually excited), and B) you are especially sexually excited (which is usually a compliment to your partner!).

Although some disagree, the sexdoc observes that many women report that the readiness to accept an erect penis vaginally is NOT lubrication, as most lovers believe, but tenting of the vagina -- a pelvic muscle "shift" in which the inner two-thirds of the vagina expands.  This causes a vacuum, and for some, sucking air into the vagina.  Then, during sexual activity or the pelvic muscle contractions of orgasm, the air that was sucked in gets expelled out and the vaginal lips, flapping together, make it sound like a fart.

So, ladies, the next time that happens, tell your lover that A) your muscles are in GREAT tone, and B) he must be an especially skilled lover to get you so hot that your vagina just wants to suck his cock in!

The G-Spot  The "G-spot" or "Grafenberg spot" exists in a minority of women and seems to share with the clitoris the sole function of sexual pleasure.  To determine if you have a g-spot, lie on your back, spread your legs, and after some affectionate foreplay, stimulate, or have your lover stimulate, your clitoris.  When you are near orgasm, have your lover insert a middle finger into your vagina with the pad pushing up toward your pubic bone, and moving for a few seconds in circles, then left to right, then front to back, etc.  While he is touching your clitoris with one hand and the upper wall of your vagina with the middle finger of the other, as you approach orgasm, if you have a g-spot, his finger will feel a bump of slightly firmer tissue pushing down from the upper wall of your vagina.  The "bump" may range from the size and shape of half of a pea, or two fifty cent pieces in diameter and thickness, or anything in between.  Many women report that initially when this is touched they feel the urgency to urinate, but this usually passes.  Just as women vary greatly in how they like their nipples touched, there are significant individual differences in how women want their g-spot (if they have one) touched.  Some prefer pulsing pressure.  You need to experiment to see what works best for you.  When you have an orgasm, if you have a g-spot and it and your clitoris are being stimulated enough but not too much, you will experience your usual involuntary pelvic contractions, followed by smaller contractions that are likewise involuntary.  By speeding up when you seem "calm," and slowing down if you seem over-stimulated, your lover can keep you in this state of "dieseling" until you ask to stop.  Some women have enjoyed that for 30 minutes.

Female Ejaculation  A minority of women sometimes eject from four tablespoons to two cups of fluid when they experience orgasm.  The liquid is chemically different from urine and while most reports indicate the vagina as the source, some have reported that this came out of the urethra.  Some women experience it as though it was just "dumped" out, and others send a stream flying several feet with each pelvic contraction.  This has been associated with particularly long foreplay and particularly powerful orgasmic sensations.   There is no specific way yet known to either cause it to happen or stop it from happening.  "Be prepared" is thus the "treatment" of choice.

PROBLEM:  Something weird neurologically happens when I have an orgasm

For Example:   Left eye closes and stays closed upon orgasm
Q:  I'm going to do my best to jump right in here and ask my question.  I do hope I don't fail in that attempt.  I'm a 51 year old woman and I have been married twice.  I'm divorced now, and have been in a relationship with a wonderful man for just short of two years.  I'm only telling you that part so you will understand I'm not a "newbie" at this.  Now for the question.  When my lover brings me to organism my left eye closes on it's own and stays that way for several minutes.  I have never had this experience before (well I have been having it for two years), and this is the only time it happens.  I have to actually force my eye to open, and then most of the time it closes again right away.  I have talked to my doctor about it, but all he told me was I was supposed to have my eyes closed during intercourse.  I'm not going to go into what I told him, but needless to say I came away with less than the answer I was seeking.  Have you heard of this before, and is it OK?  Thank you in advance for any information you can give me on this.  L.

Dr. Chance Fisher answers:  Everything is fine.  Sometimes when the orgasm is powerful the endorphins will have an anethesic effect on nerves in the entire body.  Since the optic nerve is buried in close capicity to the brain where the endorphins bind to receptors, this causes the eyes to flutter or roll or in your case, close completely.  There is no serious problem to worry about.

PROBLEM:  Something else weird happens OR you lose bowel or bladder control

Illustrative question and answer:
Most of the time I sneeze when I have an orgasm.  It happens whether I am by myself or with my husband, and it is annoying.  Is there anything I can do about it?

embarrassed and frustrated

A:  Dear E & F:  Please relax!  Be thankful it isn't more disruptive.  I know of no research on the frequency of ancillary behaviors coincident with orgasm, but many things happen.  Because orgasm sends out complex neurological signals and triggers complicated hormonal contributions to the bloodstream, many things happen.

The defining characteristic of orgasm in both genders is involuntary pelvic muscle contractions approximately eight tenths of a second apart.  There can be only a few or many such contractions and the number and, hence, duration, of the orgasm often fluctuates widely from event to event in unpredictable ways.  In addition to sneezing, some women experience uncontrollable laughing, involuntary leg and or arm tremors, or rhythmical abdominal muscle contractions.

The endorphin release is greatest on orgasm, and because those hormones are similar to morphine in chemical structure, some women (and some men) are literally anesthetized and will uncontrollably fall alseep for 30 seconds to all night.  Most of these side effects are merely a nuisance and are easily tolerated by both parties.  This explanation would not be complete, however, without commentary on a few more serious and often intolerable neurologically complicated sequellae.

Because of the powerful neurological signals aimed at the pelvic region, for some people there are more disruptive additional events.  Passing gas is probably the most benign and the most common, but there are cases of both urinary and fecal incontinence, all involuntary.  The coincident urinary incontinence should not be confused with female ejaculation.  Some women sometimes release a substantially greater amount of liquid vaginally.  While most vaginal secretion during sex is quite slippery and has a distinctive odor, the female ejaculate is much more watery and can vary from a few teaspoons to 3 cups in volume.

Because these additional events cannot be corrected medically, the necessary course of action is simply to be prepared.

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