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Anorgasmia: Some Women Can't Orgasm, And That's Okay

By Lea Rose Emery

When it comes to sex, there’s a whole lot of focus on The Big O.

In fact, The Big O has become a bit of a cultural obsession. And in some ways, that’s a great thing— after years of women’s sexual pleasure being considered everything from totally unimportant to an actual myth, we’re finally seeing the orgasm gap closing.

Modern partners care about each other’s orgasms- and any decent person you sleep with will want to help you get there. All of these are undoubtedly positive moves that we should welcome- as a society and just as people who love sex.

But we also need to be aware that, while there’s more and more talk about women orgasming, for some people it’s just not the be all end all of sex.

In fact, for some women, orgasming isn’t even an option.

Yup. Anorgasmia, or a lack of orgasm, is a real medical condition.

And if you’re someone who struggles with it, the obsession with having an orgasm can lead to misunderstanding and pressure— which ultimately takes the joy out of sex. So...while on the one hand, the fact that we’re embracing women’s sexual pleasure is great, we also need to know that it’s not a one-size fits all.

So if you’re someone who can’t always (or ever) orgasm, here’s what you need to know, because your sex life can still be totally red-hot.

You Are Not Alone 

Firstly, not being able to have an orgasm is really normal. Like, way more normal than we think. Dr. Sherry A. Ross, a Los Angeles-based gynaecologist with 25 years experience and author of She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Women's Intimate Health. Period., has come forward saying that between 10 and 20 percent of women haven't experienced an orgasm.

And it’s not just her, a sexual dysfunction study published in National Centre for Biotechnology Information, found that 10 to 15 percent of women experience anorgasmiaor an inability to orgasm either some or all of the time.

Do these numbers seem high to you? Probably, because we don’t like to talk about it.

Part of the problem is that there’s a very common cycle of faking orgasms.

Many women who can’t orgasm, whether some or all of the time, feel guilty about it. They don't want to "ruin the mood"— so they fake an orgasm the first time they have sex with a new partner. But then, they never want to explain that they’ve faked it, because it would damage their partner’s feeling and self-esteem.

That means they have to keep faking them. Every. Damn. Time.

I know women who have done it for months— and years. One of my friends dated someone for four years without ever letting on that she fakes orgasm. We need to get way (wayyy) more open about talking about a lack of climax— and learn as partners to stop taking things personally and to never put on the pressure. Because these faking orgasm cycles do not do anyone any favors.

Your Sex Life Can Still Be Amazing 

Also, if you do have trouble orgasming...there’s absolutely no reason to feel ‘broken’ or like your sex life has to suffer. There is so much that is great about sex— and most of it happens way before the orgasm.

You can still have the physical sensations, intimacy, and even the release of sex, all without an orgasm.

In fact, if you can take the pressure to orgasm out of the picture, you’re going to much more relaxed to enjoy the rest of it. (Hell, even people who can orgasm would probably have a better time if they could do the same).

So don’t think that your sex life has to suffer. Seriously. Still focus on just doing what feels great and bonding with your partner because, orgasm or not, that’s really what it’s all about.

Chase It Or Not— It’s Totally Up To You 

My friend is totally OK with her lack of orgasm. She’s tried everything— doctors, vibrators, porn, you name it— and hasn’t found anything that works. So she’s stopped looking. She still loves her sex life and is happy to leave things as they are.

I know other people who are still experimenting and trying to find a way to orgasm.

The truth is, it’s totally your decision. If you want to keep trying for it, great. If you want to just enjoy things as they are, that’s great too.

The important thing is that your partner should understand and respect that decision— and understand that it’s nothing to do with them. They can embrace your sex life as it is, if that’s what you want, or they can help you try every angle, pressure, friction, and lube under the sun. The choice is yours alone.

If orgasming is important to you, then it should absolutely be a major focus of your sex life. But as we embrace the closing of the orgasm gap, it can’t be at the expense of women who have trouble orgasming.

It doesn’t make you less sexual or desirable; you are not broken. You can still have an amazing, exciting, passionate sex life— and you deserve to have it totally on your terms. 

Cover Photo Source: Pexels

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