There is something crucial missing from my sex life: the big-O, the finish, the earth-shattering feeling of an orgasm. Of course, I have heard of other women having orgasms, but to me, these accounts might as well be folklore. This is not to say that I have not tried. I am a pretty experienced girl. However, with or without my partner, I can’t seem to get there, wherever “there” might actually be — I wouldn’t know. Is it normal for a woman to have never had an orgasm? Is it really possible? Does the mythical G-spot actually exist, and I just have yet to find it? Please help!
—Waiting at the Finish Line
Take comfort, you are not alone. One study (Fromer, BJUI) showed that 54 percent of women aged 18-30 years old had trouble climaxing. The same study, which polled 587 women ages 18 to 95, found that overall, about 63 percent of the women reported suffering from sexual dysfunction. Sexual dysfunction refers to any of six key areas: lack of desire, arousal issues, lack of lubrication, problems achieving orgasm, lack of satisfaction and pain during intercourse. Despite the high number of women that are unsatisfied, female pleasure and anatomy has only recently become a large area of interest for doctors and sex therapists.
A subject of heated debate is the “G-spot”. The G-spot, named such after German gynecologist Ernst Grafenberg, is supposedly an erogenous zone of the female genitalia (possibly part of the clitoris). Thought to be located somewhere in the front vaginal wall, between the vaginal opening and urethra, it remains an elusive part of the female anatomy. A 2009 British study found that its existence is unproven and subjective, while others claim to have found it through ultrasound imaging. In any case, there could be several reasons why you are having trouble reaching climax that have nothing to do with your anatomy.
Enjoyment of sex is more than just physical, it is a combination of mind and body. In that way, just stressing about achieving an orgasm might be the reason you are having trouble reaching one. Even women that orgasm frequently do not necessarially climax every time. There are a lot of expectations surrounding sex, some of which are influenced by media and hardly all of them are entirely realistic or achievable for everyone. According to most sexual therapists, one of the best ways people can improve their sex life is to relax and be comfortable. Whether you are hearing stories from your friends, reading colorful romance novels or facing expectations from a sexual partner, shut those things out and focus on what you want and enjoy. If you have a partner, talk to them and tell them what you like. Even scientists are still debating female anatomy, so a little guidance always helps. It is believed that women can experience different types of orgasms from either clitoral stimulation, vaginal stimulation or a combination of the two. Some women find that vibrators assist with “crossing the finish line” and they can be used with a partner. Perhaps you respond more to one kind of stimulation than another. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things, there is surely something that works for you.
If you want to learn more make an appointment with Sexual Health and Wellness at University Health Services. Otherwise, do some research on your own. The “Go Ask Alice!” and “Scarleteen” websites are great places to start. There are plenty of suggestions and guides to achieving orgasms from sexual therapists online or in books as well. Best of luck! —The Sexpert
Interested in Sexual Health? The Sexpert is always looking for members of the community to join the team of sexual health educators who, along with fact-checking from University health professionals, help write these columns. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and questions about sexual health. Don’t be shy!