Lack of orgasm among women is complex. First of all, female sexuality and pleasure are heavily cloaked in shame. It’s simply not something we talk about! Secondly, in heterosexual relationships, there is the matter of orgasm gap. Several studies have shown that women orgasm the least often during heterosexual intercourse. Lack of orgasm in women is so commonplace that we seldom ever wonder if it could be a problem.
But in some cases, the inability to climax may point to an orgasm disorder.
The medical term for not being able to orgasm is Anorgasmia. Anorgasmia can occur both in men and women, although studies suggest that it is more common among women – especially post-menopausal women. (Didn’t need studies to tell us this, though *rolls eyes*).
There are three types of anorgasmia:
- Primary anorgasmia: This is when you’ve never experienced an orgasm.
- Secondary anorgasmia: You’ve experienced orgasms before, but it has become difficult now.
- Situational anorgasmia: You can climax in some situations, and not in others. Or with certain types of stimulation, and not with others. For example – you can climax with oral stimulation, but not penetration. Or, when you’re flying solo, but not when you’re with a partner.
Orgasm disorder may have biological causes, or psychological causes.
Some of the biological causes of orgasm disorder or anorgasmia include:
- Hormonal changes
- Not being stimulated sufficiently or in the right manner
- Underlying physical conditions such as arthritis
- Previous surgery, and some medications
Psychological causes of anorgasmia include:
- Relationship problems
- Past sexual trauma
- Shame around sexuality
- Mood disorders such as depression
- Being tired or not in the mood
A good way to figure out what may be preventing you from getting the Big-O is to explore your body solo.
An important element of sexual pleasure is knowing your body – what it likes, where it likes it, and how it likes it. If you don’t know what would make you climax, it would be almost impossible for you to get there! So, step number 1: Figure out if you can orgasm alone, and how.
Also bear in mind that female orgasm through penetration alone is actually not that common! Only about 38% of straight women have an orgasm through penetration alone, and that too “usually,” and not all the time. So while you explore your body, you might discover that something other than vaginal intercourse gets you hot. It’s okay to not climax with vaginal sex, but be able to reach an orgasm with other types of stimulation. So, situational anorgasmia may not be something to worry about. (Unless the situation is an unaddressed problem in your relationship.)
If you can’t orgasm no matter what you do, it’s time to see a doctor! Book an appointment with a gynaecologist or physician to get to the root of the issue.
I write. I read. I do yoga. I hula hoop. I love cats and dogs in equal measure. I'd say the same for wine. My zen motto: "Eat kale for the body, cake for the soul." Find me on IG: @prachigangwani87