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Two women, two partners, and four folks frustrated with intercourse.

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frustrated asks:

My boyfriend and I have been going out for one year and have been sexually active for some time. Usually we have pretty good sex. But lately I've just been getting upset because I can never orgasm through intercourse. I know that's normal for girls but when I ask him to do other things, he usually doesn't want to. I almost always orgasm when he eats me out but he hardly ever does that and if he does it's never long enough. He wants to just move into having sex. I'm starting to feel like it's a chore for me and sex is just a way to get him off and then we're done. But I want to feel pleasure too. I already love him and love being with him sexually but is there a way we can try to make me orgasm through vaginal intercourse? Or is there a way I can make it more comfortable for him to eat me out?

Heather Corinna replies:

The problem here isn't your body, nor that fact that most women are just not going to orgasm from intercourse alone.

The problem is, as you stated, the fact that your partner seems only interested in an activity which results in his own orgasm and his pleasure. That's the big problem. That's what needs to change.

Since it sounds like you want to stay with this guy, what I'd suggest is having a very direct chat with him about this. You might consider saying something as plain as this:

"We need to have a serious talk about our sex life. I do not and probably will not reach orgasm from intercourse, as most women don't, which seems to be the only thing we do anymore. I understand you reach orgasm that way, but if you never did, is that all you would want to do? Probably not. At this point, the sex we are having feels like it is often only or solely about you and not about me. That needs to change. Both of us are invested in your pleasure and enjoyment. I need for both of us to be just as invested in mine."

You can also mention the things you have said in the post here, like that not reaching orgasm doesn't mean you don't like intercourse, just that all by itself, and with the things that do work to get you off omitted or shortcutted, it's not working for you. You can, and probably should, mention that it is starting to be less enjoyable for you because your want for orgasm -- which is no lesser than his -- is being dismissed or denied. You can fill him in on the activities -- without intercourse, or when paired with intercourse -- which do work for you, and what specifics (like a length of time) you know you need to reach orgasm with those. It may help to mention that another common difference between men and women sexually is that it often takes women longer to reach orgasm than it does men, and yet another is that vaginal intercourse stimulates more of his sensitive parts than it does yours, since intercourse doesn't tend to result in much clitoral stimulation, which is what most women need at least some of to reach orgasm. He may like doing some of those activities that are best for you more than others, so you'll both just need to find some common ground.

I'd also suggest maybe for a while that you try taking turns in terms of orgasm for each of you: one night, have one of you really focus on the other, then switch it up the next time. Spending time treating and indulging each other like that can both help get each of you in a better balance when it comes to sex that's about both of your pleasure, it also creates opportunities for both of you to learn about a variety of things which may get you each off, some of which you both may even be able to do with intercourse, if you're both otherwise enjoying it. Plus, it can be seriously sexy for partners to basically give one another mutual opportunities to be sexually self-centered, but in a way that is fair.

You can reassure him that you love him, and you want this part of your relationship to work as well as any other, and to make you both happy, which is why you're bringing up this tricky topic. After all, if you weren't invested in your relationship and him, you'd not bother with a discussion or taking the time to work through this, and instead would just move on to a partner who is already there when it comes to being as attentive to his partner's needs as his own.

I'll be plain: a partner should be invested in your pleasure and should enjoy getting you off without needing a special spin put on it. You also shouldn't have to beg or cajole a partner to get them interested in doing things that give you the same level of sexual pleasure they are getting. half of what they enjoy about sex with you should be giving you pleasure, and pleasing a partner should be exciting, arousing and gratifying. If your partner said this kind of thing to you, you'd want to rectify that situation right away, right?

Not everyone is ready for real sexual partnership, though: some people just aren't yet at a space in their lives where sex is really sex and not just masturbation with someone else around. Some people having sex with others are not yet able to come to partnered sex in a way that isn't, ultimately, still mostly self-focused. I don't know anything else about your boyfriend, so I don't know what he's like in other areas of the relationship, or what his emotional maturity level is like. But if having a talk that starts like this doesn't result in your partner immediately recognizing that this is a crappy sexual pattern he's enabled, and one he wants to correct -- and not as if it were a chore to do so -- then you might have to reevaluate continuing a sexual relationship with this person.

I know that's probably a possibility that you don't like, but if all else fails, it is one you'll want to consider in time. Being locked into a sexual relationship that you're not earnestly a part of just isn't emotionally healthy or enriching for your sexuality or your heart.

iheartu asks,

Me and my boyfriend have been dating for about 10 months this time. But also dated for around 8 months the time before. I am in love with him. There is no question about it. We just started having sex. We have had sex about 10 times but I can't get an orgasm. He obviously always does. I don't no what's wrong and he feels bad. He always says "G-d, I just wasted another condom for us." We don't understand. I don't understand. Why am I not having an orgasm? How can I change that?

Have a read here for why you -- like most women -- may not be having an orgasm with intercourse: The Great No-Orgasm-from-Intercourse Conundrum.

Obviously, talking about this stuff with a partner can be tough sometimes. A lot of people have unrealistic ideas about partnered sex and intercourse, and since so many men enjoy and reach orgasm through vaginal intercourse, it can be tough for some to understand that most women do not, and that for the most part, that's something that's just about how our bodies are built, not about women withholding orgasm or about men doing something wrong with their penises. Too, in our culture, vaginal intercourse is a very emotionally loaded subject for a lot of people, more so than other kinds of sex are.

So, it's understandable to feel frustrated, but if you have a partner taking that out on you or taking it personally, that's something to talk about. It's not a waste of a condom or a waste of time if both of you are enjoying intercourse (and if that's your sole method of birth control and you don't wish to become pregnant it most certainly is not a waste), even if one or both of you doesn't reach orgasm that way. You can just remind a partner that you may sometimes, often or always need more than intercourse to reach orgasm. You're also very new to your sex life: even if you don't yet reach orgasm from other things for now, that's okay: it can often take longer than this for people -- especially young women -- to start reaching orgasm from anything.

Too, it's a good idea to have a talk about how either of you voices your frustration about your sex life, and where and when you do it. When you're lying there naked and vulnerable after you've had sex, criticism can really hurt and leave you feeling very overexposed. It can be emotionally safer to discuss sexual frustrations out of the bedroom, at times neither of you are having sex or just have been, and it's usually a lot easier to talk about these issues in a way that's productive and not hurtful in other settings, at other times..

Really. The frustration in these kinds of situations is coming primarily from either of you expecting a certain kind of sex to do something it just isn't doing, and something it often does not do. Just like the idea that most real women are going to look like Barbie is grossly unrealistic, so is the idea that most women will orgasm from intercourse, or that that one activity is the "real" sex while everything else is just a lead-up, or what people do who aren't having intercourse.

For people who engage in intercourse, it's not like once they go there, they stop doing everything else. We keep doing all of those other things, to the point that plenty of times, we'll have those other kinds of sex and not have intercourse at all: intercourse just becomes one activity of plenty that's an option, like anything else. What we do in a given sexual interchange is about what we're both in the mood for, what seems compelling at the time, and what feels best for the two of us. As well, people often usually limit the sex they have to one activity, but rather combine a couple different things.

If both of you can adjust your expectations, toss the frustration in the rubbish bin, and come back to simply enjoying each other's bodies and the wealth of things we can do to and with them that feel good, then your problem is solved. If one or both of you don't know which things those are yet, then you can spend time exploring them, which should be part of what makes sex so fun, interesting and exciting in the first place!

Here are a few more links for both of you to check out for yourselves, and to have more information to talk to your partners with:

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