My partner can't orgasm. What should I do?

Anna Pulley says don't freak out if your partner has never had an orgasm.

Anna Pulley says don't freak out if your partner has never had an orgasm. (Glowimages / (Glowimages) / December 20, 2011)

Hi Anna,

I’ve been seeing a lady casually for the past two months. She told me during our last sexcapade that she’s never had an orgasm. I reacted calmly but freaked out a little internally. What should I do now? —Lending A Hand

Dear LAD,

As your sexual counsel, I will firstly advise you to henceforth not use the word “sexcapade” to describe your casual sex encounters to the press, as much as I am in favor of both sex and puns. Much like the word “underpants,” sexcapade leaves a cringey taste on the palate, and there are a bevy of better words to describe them both.

But that is all exposition, and you asked about the climax, so let’s get on with it.

There’s no need to freak out. Sex isn’t a contest or an Herbal Essences commercial. We aren’t aiming to see who can experience or induce the most orgasms. Thank her for being honest and open with you, and whatever you do, don’t think of her situation as a “problem” you need to “fix.”

I know it can be difficult not to look at a preorgasmic lady as a personal challenge—I’ve certainly had those thoughts about women I’ve dated—but you’d do best not to take it that way. It’s not about you. At all. Your ladyfriend didn’t tell you about her lack of orgasm so you’ll MacGyver her to climax. She told you, presumably, because she trusts you and wanted you to know, and not for any other reason.

This isn’t to say that your ladyfriend’s pleasure isn’t a priority for you, (of course it is, and it should be), but don’t put any undue pressure on her to have an orgasm or feel bad about yourself when it doesn’t happen. Nothing makes an orgasm disappear faster than your partner pressuring you to have one.

Focus instead on what feels good for both of you, whatever that may be. Make sure you’re communicating often—ask her what she likes and doesn’t like, if she’s into trying new things with you, etc. Your standard getting-to-know-you sex stuff. Make her feel good, in other words, but don’t get mired in the goal-oriented stuff. Life’s about the journey, not the dirty laundry, as Ralph Waldo Emerson never said.


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