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My Girlfriend And I Have Been Having Intercourse For Over 2 1/2 Years And She Has Yet To Orgasm

Question:

Hello, My girlfriend and I (age 23 both of us), have been having intercourse for over 2 1/2 years now, and she has yet to orgasm. In all her life, she has not been able to orgasm at all, even though she has been with 2 partners previously. I have gotten her books dealing with female sexuality, and in particular female orgasm. I have tried spending hours stimulating her, but there is a point at which she stops responding, and then her mind starts to wander. She has tried masturbation but can never get very far as she finds it boring and gets distracted easily, which is why the books have yet to help her. She seems to be disconnected with her body during intercourse or something therein. She gets to a certain height of sexual arousal, and then falls back down without any release. After looking on this site, I found two sexual problems which look as though they would fit her problem. I know they might not be the extent of them, or that these problems could be more extensive, but I digress, these are the problems which closely match her symptoms: Female Sexual Arousal Disorder Female Orgasmic Disorder If you could please respond with any information, which would be greatly appreciated. If there might be a number I could have her call to better explain, or a place you would recommend us to go to (PA, Philadelphia), that would help immensely. Thank you.

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Answer:

Some women have more difficulty having an orgasm than others. There isn’t necessarily anything wrong with women who have more difficulty, as many different factors can play a role in causing this to occur, some of which have little to do with the women themselves. Partner skill at foreplay can be a decisive factor at times, as can simple experience (having had past orgasms makes it easier to have them again in the future, because you know more of what to do to cause them to occur. And of course, past negative experiences with sexuality (such as abuse, sexual or otherwise) can contribute to such problems. For these reasons, I’m hesitant to follow your lead in looking for a clinical label to put upon this issue.

You say that your girlfriend has never had an orgasm in her life despite strenuous foreplay efforts on your part, and despite masturbation efforts. Has she ever tried masturbating with a vibrator? Have the two of you ever tried incorporating a vibrator into your lovemaking? According to the unknown authors of the Wikipedia Vibrator article, "Vibrators often allow people to achieve orgasm rapidly and with relative ease as compared to other methods". The article goes on to discuss the various kinds that are available. Note that a vibrator (a device that vibrates which can be used for stimulation purposes) is different than a dildo, which is a penis-shaped device intended for penetration. There are vibrating dildos, but that is not what I’m talking about.

In some cases, people find it difficult to climax during lovemaking because they are thinking or worrying too much about what is happening. Thoughts and worries about anything happening in life can interfere with arousal. If a person has developed shameful feelings about their sexuality, perhaps secondary to sexual abuse, or to an orthodox or fundamentalist religious upbringing, that can lead to worries and concerns as well that will interfere with arousal. Essentially, any concern that interferes with a person letting their body go and relaxing into sexual arousal can interfere with arousal, and make the achievement of orgasm difficult. It helps a lot to approach the sexual process playfully and to remove performance concerns from the relationship bed as much as is possible. the more sex can become fun and relaxing and pleasurable without guilt intruding, the easier the achievement of orgasm will generally be.

It may be useful to talk with your girlfriend and ask her if anything troubling or distracting is on her mind during your lovemaking sessions. She may wish to talk to a therapist about such thoughts if they are particularly troubling, or she may simply be comforted by your concern and acceptance of whatever it is she is worried about.

You mention that you have spent "hours stimulating" your girlfriend to no avail. That made me think of a funny scene from the old Woody Allen movie Annie Hall, which you can view portions of on YouTube, apparently. View this clip starting at 6:35 minutes to see the famous "I’m starting to get some feeling back in my jaw" scene. Which is to say, you are not the first man in the world to have difficulty bringing your female partner to orgasm, and neither will you be the last. At age 23 there is probably room for you to improve your technical skills as a lover, but you shouldn’t feel too badly about your situation either. This can just be a difficult thing to coordinate.

I’ll close here by noting that you seem to be a sensitive and compassionate partner to this young woman. Only such a person would even bother asking this question. Good for you, and good for her. Good luck to both of you in getting over this speed bump.

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