If you’ve been wondering why you can’t achieve orgasm during intercourse (or get your female partner off by making love to her if you’re a man), it’s probably very helpful to know that most women do not have an orgasm during intercourse.
In fact, it’s actually normal for a woman not to achieve orgasm during sexual intercourse (although it’s quite normal to want to do so!)
And this explains, at least partly, why so many women masturbate – it’s presumably one of the major ways in which they enjoy orgasm. They certainly don’t have many orgasms during sex!
When asked if they masturbated, women responded as follows:
82% of women said they masturbate
15% of women said they do not masturbate
3% of women didn’t reply
Of the women who said they masturbated:
66.0% reached orgasm “always”
29.3% reached orgasm “sometimes”
3.0% reached orgasm “occasionally”
and just a few reached orgasm “rarely”
There are several reasons why women have trouble achieving orgasm during sexual intercourse.
The first of these, at least in many women’s minds, is that most men simply cannot thrust in the vagina for long enough to bring a woman to orgasm. Premature ejaculation has been described as the scourge of sexual pleasure – for both men and women – in our time.
And while that might be an overstatement, it certainly has a lot of truth in it.
We know, for example, that over 75% of men cannot last longer than two minutes from penetration to ejaculation. Of course dealing with men’s premature ejaculation is a whole subject in itself. (See this on control of premature ejaculation.)
Sexual medicine – intimacy and sexual health concerns
And if you’re a woman who wants to achieve orgasm during intercourse, you may believe that one of the reasons you do not do so is that your man cannot last each for long enough in bed to provide enough vaginal stimulation for you to experience an orgasm.
Of course it is important for men to take responsibility for not only their own sexual pleasure but also for their partners’ sexual pleasure (at least if it’s true that their partners’ sexual pleasure depends on their ability to make love for longer than two minutes at a time).
The question is, of course, would longer thrusting really make any difference to a woman’s capacity to reach orgasm?
We can get a clue to the answer by looking at the percentage of women who achieve orgasm when they are with men who are able to thrust for at least 15 minutes before they ejaculate.
The remarkable thing is that even among this group of women, who at first might seem to be very fortunate, the frequency of orgasm during intercourse is actually still very low. In fact, it turns out to be just as low as it is in any other group of women.
In a survey by VulvaVelvet.org, the question “If your partner can last for fifteen minutes or more before he ejaculates during intercourse, do you achieve orgasm through penile thrusting alone?” produced the following answers:
- 10% of women said that they “always” came during sex with their partner
- 20% of women said that they “sometimes” came during sex with their partner
- 70% of women said they “rarely” or “never” came during sex with their partner
So, this brings us to the second reason why women have trouble reaching orgasm during intercourse.
The simple fact is that most women rely on clitoral stimulation, if not entirely, at least primarily, to reach orgasm. You’ve probably noticed that during sexual intercourse there are very few sex positions that will stimulate the clitoris in a way likely to help a woman achieve orgasm during intercourse.
And even the much vaunted coital alignment technique (see more here) seems so complicated that most couples give up with it long before they achieve success.
Given these difficulties, it hardly seems surprising that many women have a low expectation of orgasmic pleasure during intercourse.
The third factor, with which most of you will already be familiar, is the simple and undeniable difference between men and women’s sexual arousal: men are quicker to arouse, quicker to reach orgasm, and quicker to lose their arousal after sex than women.
The hard reality is that while men can be fully aroused in a minute or two, most women, most of the time, require twenty minutes or even more of gentle foreplay before they feel aroused enough to really desire and want sexual contact.
The problem, however, goes deeper than this, for the vast majority of men lose interest in sex once they have ejaculated.
This means that if the first part of sex is devoted to the man’s pleasure, the inevitable result is that the woman is likely to be unsatisfied, left hanging without an orgasm, frustrated and probably rather resentful, whilst her man slumbers peacefully next to her.
The first part of sex becomes the final part of sex. There is no second part, the part which should be devoted to the woman’s pleasure.
Of course, what we are describing here is the conventional view of the incompatibility of men and women’s sexual desire. The good news, however, is that there is a solution: the man brings the woman to orgasm with oral pleasure before he enters her to make love.
But, most importantly, the primary objective of all sexual relationships is that when a woman wants an orgasm she should be able to achieve one.
And at the same time, the man should be fully satisfied as well. And although his “performance” or skill as a lover does not depend on giving his partner an orgasm during sex or masturbation, most men like to do this, and feel proud when they have done so (as well as finding it highly arousing).