QUESTION: I'm quite embarrassed to
say but, I have never experienced an orgasm before and I am 26 years
old and have 2 children. My husband thinks he is to blame for this.
I have no idea why it is important to the act of "making love". I
do not understand why there is so much pressure for people to have
My husband says that he is sorry that I don't
feel the pleasure like he does when we make love. But there have been
a few times, I started feeling something (like my cares were being
lifted away-a good feeling) and our lovemaking was over. He had climaxed
and all was said and done.
He tells me that it is all in the subconsciousness
of my brain. He wonders if it had to do with an abusive relationship
I was in prior to our marriage that might have made me feel "scared
My husband and I will have been married for
2 years this coming March. He's just upset that I cannot enjoy sex
like he does in all the time we have been married. And I'm upset that
I cannot do this for him.
Are there women out there that do not experience
orgasms? Or am I the only one? I want to make my husband happy but
if I cannot experience them, then I guess I cant. I'm just really
confused about all this.
ANSWER: Consult your gynecologist to
determine whether there is any physiological reason for decreased
sexual sensitivity. Women sometimes experience difficulty achieving
orgasm due to adhesions of the clitoris. If the physical exam shows
no irregularity, consider exploring your sensuality on your own (through
masturbation), as well as in sexual relations with your husband.
Since you have not experienced orgasm, it may be beneficial
to consider exploring your own body to discover and develop your physiological
pathway to orgasm. Lonnie Barbach's book "For Yourself" may prove
helpful to your quest. Complete privacy to explore and discover what
increases your sensual pleasure will allow you to better know yourself.
This self-knowledge will empower you to teach your husband what you
like, as well as share new experiences of one another. Exploring on
your own reduces any "performance" anxiety that has built up in the
marriage while simultaneously serves to desensitize sexual inhibitions
that might be blocking your enjoyment.
Women are often brought up to experience their sexuality
passively, or through a man. I believe it to be a critical part of
a woman's development to know how to please herself ( by bringing
herself to orgasm) before sharing this very special experience. By
doing so, she comes to marriage with a stronger sense of who she is
as an independent sexual being. Few men experience their first orgasm
through an encounter with a female. Cultural expectation is for boys
to masturbate early in adolescence. Men usually learn how their genitals
work before sharing themselves with a woman. Yet, girls are not expected
to masturbate early and are subtly encouraged to explore their budding
sexuality only in relationship to a man.
It is never too late to consider developing an individual
relationship to your sexuality. Certainly, your past abusive relationship
may have contributed to difficulty in "letting go", particularly if
this was your first sexual experience. Learning to produce your own
orgasm through masturbation may result in a significant level of healing
from previous abuse. Taking steps to develop a more intimate knowledge
of your body allows you to bring your sexuality forward to your present
partner. This dynamic can spell the difference between feeling actively
interested in pursuing sex or merely passively reactive to your husband's
requests. By reclaiming your own sexuality, you will be more likely
to feel it possible to "invite" your husband to have sex, instead
of feeling pressured about your sexual performance in the marriage.
The good news is that you enjoy sexual relations with
your husband. And your pelvic blood flow has been increased through
pregnancy and childbearing, which can augment your capacity to experience
sensual feelings in this area. Yet, it is important that you decide
when you are ready to explore this issue, rather than feel pressured
to do so by your husband's feelings of inadequacy.
Take stock of your desires. Consider your own curiosity
about orgasm and whether you would like to experience it! If your
answer is "yes" take opportunities to explore and create sexual orgasm
on your own and with your husband, but do so at your own pace.