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Why is the female orgasm so elusive?
January 5th, 2012
07:25 AM ET

Why is the female orgasm so elusive?

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex on Thursdays on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

Nearly every week I receive an email from at least one woman asking me what she needs to do to have an orgasm during intercourse, or worrying that something may be wrong with her because she can’t. Yet I rarely, if ever, receive the same question from men.

The simple fact is that the male orgasm typically comes easily during sex and female orgasms do not. The late Dr. Alfred C. Kinsey, famous for interviewing thousands about their sex lives, declared that 75% of men ejaculate within two minutes of penetration in over half of their sexual encounters.

It should come as no surprise, then, that researchers from the University of Chicago have declared that men reach orgasm during intercourse far more consistently than do women, and that three-fourths of men, but less than a third of women, always have orgasms.

According to Drs. Kim Wallen and Elisabeth Lloyd who recently published a study in the Journal of Hormones and Behavior entitled “Female Sexual Arousal: Genital Anatomy and Orgasm in Intercourse,” there’s one striking difference between men’s and women’s ability to orgasm: female orgasmic ability develops more slowly over time and with less predictability.

In fact, the researchers have found that, as a man moves from puberty to adulthood, his odds of ejaculating (and therefore, presumably, climaxing) increase from 5% to 100% within just 5 years. This increase appears to be much more gradual in women: According to Kinsey, a woman’s chances of experiencing orgasm slowly rise over the course of 25 years but never even approach 90%.

This “orgasm discrepancy” between the sexes may help explain why, in the recently published National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, 85% of men said that their partner had experienced an orgasm during their most recent sexual event, while only 64% of women reported actually having had an orgasm.

But why is the female orgasm so inconsistent during intercourse? For generations, it was widely believed that a woman who couldn’t orgasm as a result of intercourse had psychological inhibitions or was sexually frigid.

Much of this misunderstanding goes back to the legacy of Freud, who could not reconcile himself with the powerful role of the clitoris in female sexual pleasure. Freud perpetuated the myth that the clitoris was an immature source of sexual pleasure, a mere launching pad for the more “mature” vaginal orgasm, which, of course, should be produced via genital intercourse.

“With the change to femininity the clitoris should wholly, or in part, hand over its sensitivity and at the same time its importance to the vagina,” wrote Freud in the New Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis.

Fortunately, today we are becoming more aware of the role of the clitoris as the powerhouse of the female orgasm. The clitoris has over 8,000 nerve fibers - more than any other part of the human body - and interacts with the 15,000 nerve fibers that service the entire pelvic area. In their landmark work, “A New View of a Woman's Body: A Fully Illustrated Guide,” the Federation of Feminist Women’s Health Centers identified 18 structures as part of the clitoris, both external and internal.

Even what we think of as the G-spot may simply be a part of the clitoris. As science writer Natalie Angier describes in her book “Woman: An Intimate Geography” the area of soft tissue just inside the vaginal area, “the roots of the clitoris run deep, after all, and very likely can be tickled through posterior agitation. In other words, the G-spot may be nothing more than the back end of the clitoris.”

In their recent study, Wallen and Lloyd analyzed years of data that support the notion that the distance between a woman’s clitoris and her vagina influences the likelihood that she will regularly experience orgasm solely from intercourse.

According to Wallen and Lloyd, women who reported experiencing orgasm more regularly had a shorter distance between their clitoris and vagina - less than 2.5 centimeters - than did women who reported not experiencing, or less regularly experiencing, orgasm during intercourse.

“Thus, some women may be anatomically predisposed to experience orgasm from intercourse, while the genital anatomy of other women makes such orgasms unlikely,” write the researchers.

Why does this distance matter? A shorter distance provides for more stimulation of the external structures of the clitoris during intercourse, and may also reflect that the internal structures are more densely packed and pressing closer to the vagina, and therefore more receptive to sensation during intercourse.

As Angier writes of the clitoral network, “Nerves are like wolves or birds: If one starts crying, there goes the neighborhood.”

When you have a shorter distance between clitoris and vagina, you’re more likely to get those nerves howling. But regardless of the variation of this distance on a specific woman, Wallen and Lloyd’s study helps render the female orgasm less elusive (and hopefully more consistent) by showing us, from an anatomical perspective, why intercourse on its own may not consistently lead to female orgasm.

As he neared the end of his life, Freud acknowledged his incomplete understanding of female sexuality and said, “If you want to know more about femininity, you must interrogate your own experience, or turn to the poets, or else wait until science can give you more profound and more coherent information.”

Today, sexual science is finally providing us with the information and, hopefully, we’ll act upon it. By understanding the role of the clitoris in producing the female orgasm, and knowing that intercourse does not always directly stimulate the clitoris depending on its position, men and women need not fault themselves when intercourse fails to produce mutual satisfaction, but rather can focus on extending foreplay (and those activities we associate with foreplay) into fuller acts of love-making.

I look forward to the day when I’ll stop receiving those emails.


soundoff (164 Responses)
  1. jon

    Orgasm is 99% mental and 1% physical. Many women don't have the ability to focus on sex completely, they have too many other thoughts running through their heads at all times.

    January 5, 2012 at 08:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • LoriKaye

      Your right Jon, Women are to busy worrying that their partner is going to ejaculate before they can be pleasured.

      January 5, 2012 at 09:00 | Report abuse |
    • Leah

      That is utter nonsense. Women need to be more vocal about what works and doesn't work for them and their partners need to be receptive to their needs. Period.

      January 5, 2012 at 09:56 | Report abuse |
    • Katie

      Only a man would say such a thing. Just because you have no blood in your brain doesn't mean that's what's needed to have an orgasm. Women need to be aroused and stimulated, something most men just aren't inclined to do if it's not involved in what they normally do to have their own orgasm. Here's a hint: harder & faster amounts to just a lot of rubbing – you may be excited enough to ejaculate but your partner is only getting sore.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:06 | Report abuse |
    • streedude66

      Lori--then get on top

      January 5, 2012 at 12:02 | Report abuse |
    • Grampa72

      That is absurd. Loooong ago, the first time my now-wife had an orgasm, it took her by surprise. She didn't know, at first, what it was (we were VERY inexperienced). Over the years, hormones seemed to be the best predictor of a that blessed event.

      Sigh.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Female orgasm is not required for pregnancy, male orgasm is. The quicker a man ejaculates the better chance he will have a reproducing. It is an evolutonary advantage.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
    • sugartaste81

      Where did you learn that, bible study??

      January 5, 2012 at 13:30 | Report abuse |
    • Seeker76

      No offense, but what does a dude know about it?

      January 5, 2012 at 13:32 | Report abuse |
    • SirQL8

      Speak for yourself, player....If your gf's are 'too distracted', it means they'd rather be somewhere else, which means you need to step your game up to keep their attention, and affection, on you...

      January 5, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
    • augustghost

      Thats because they are control freaks

      January 5, 2012 at 17:19 | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      Men need to be skillful in their ability to sustain a steady rhythm during intercourse for a adequate period of time in order for women to reach orgasm, and far too many aren't. (Yes, women talk about it to each other.) An orgasm is not something a woman 'achieves," it is something her partner either is or is not capable of providing for her. She may have her head in the game but with an insensitive or unskilled partner the only way she's getting there is by means other than intercourse. Jon, your partner may be focused on what you are doing after all, but you are just doing the wrong things. If you feel most women you have sex with are just "not focused," chances are you need to step up your game. Sorry, someone needs to tell you.

      January 5, 2012 at 17:22 | Report abuse |
    • Nora

      I rarely achieved orgasm with my first husband. While I was single again I started reading female-friendly erotica. By the time I met my current husband I was raring to try out what I'd been reading about. The result were and continue to be amazing.

      January 5, 2012 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
    • les

      Jon, your post suggests strongly that you have no thoughts running through your head....

      January 5, 2012 at 21:29 | Report abuse |
    • ibrad

      Women need to get the blood flowing threw the body to really enjoy good sex. Do what I do ....Get my wife to walk to the store for my beer & hurry back (chop,chop) that gets the juices flowing. then I give her all she can handled for 2 minutes or until the next game starts !

      January 5, 2012 at 23:13 | Report abuse |
    • Kayla

      Not true Jon. I agree with what you say to a degree, but read up above a bit more closely.

      January 6, 2012 at 00:06 | Report abuse |
    • Stu

      Utter and complete nonsense Jon, and a typical macho male response. Oral sex and other stimulation gives my wife an excellent orgasm almost every time.

      January 6, 2012 at 09:59 | Report abuse |
  2. Pamela Brink

    In a survey of lesbians in Los Angeles during the mid-70's, by the Southern California Women for Understanding, there were few complaints about not havng an orgasm. In fact, many of the women responding to the survey reported having several orgasms during a single sexual excounter with their lesbian partner. Many of these women had been married and stated they had had few to no orgasms during their married lives. Time and patience seems to have been the key. If sexual encouners were unhurried and sexual exploration allowed between partners, orgasms were common.

    January 5, 2012 at 09:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • tacc2

      I don't know if if you can take into account the lesbians' lack of orgasms while married (to a man). If they're a lesbian they aren't really attracted to men, right? Why would they have an orgasm while having sex with a partner they aren't even attracted to?

      January 5, 2012 at 09:17 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      I would point out that I had a good friend who was/is a lesbian and had never in her life had an orgasm until at around 26 years old she finally had one on her own and then it still took her quite sometime to have one with her partner. I agree open communication and focusing on others needs is important but there are a lot of factors at work here too.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:07 | Report abuse |
    • Rick

      Yes, it is proven that lesbians reach orgasm lickety split.

      January 5, 2012 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
    • SirQL8

      It seems to me that only another woman could fully understand the sucessful manipulation of 'hot spots' on their bodies, so no surprise here. Although it doesn't work all the time, from experience, I agree that 'time, patience and unhurried sexual exploration' is key to woman's orgasm.

      January 5, 2012 at 15:17 | Report abuse |
  3. Garrett

    Jon's right, women have other things going through their head. I've tested this out with my last relationship. I'm a guy and I could reach mine in about 5 minutes. If I have other things running through my mind, maybe even concerns, it can take me from 15 minutes to 30 minutes, can't the same be applied to women then? So when its time to have some fun and get down and dirty, the women need to let go of what is running through their mind, unless its relevant to the sex.

    January 5, 2012 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      It might be a whole lot better for your relationships if you actually talk to your female partner instead of relying on what really works for you. Five minutes to orgasm because you're thinking only of sex? Why even bother with a partner?

      January 5, 2012 at 11:11 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Puffy

      Maybe you need to spend that 30 minutes paying attention to what you woman needs instead of what your penis wants and our minds wouldn't wander and you could get the dirty sex you want. When your woman's mind is wandering you ain't working it right. Just sayin' men! Put in work!

      January 6, 2012 at 13:01 | Report abuse |
  4. tacc2

    So, these women who have trouble reaching orgasm, do they have trouble bringing themselves to orgasm or only when with a partner? If they have no trouble by themselves, I think we know where the blame lies...

    January 5, 2012 at 09:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      Yes!

      January 5, 2012 at 11:11 | Report abuse |
    • leigh

      Blame? Really? In a loving relationship, that is not a word that should be used. Patience, for whatever reason, should be employed, just as a man would want, if for some reason he were having a difficult time achieving orgasm. The concern should not be about yourself being satisfied, but with your partner being satisfied. Again.......blame?

      January 5, 2012 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
  5. x5431n

    things that make you go 'hmmmmm...'

    January 5, 2012 at 09:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Sasha

    I've had orgasms when having intercourse. Sometimes I have had several. It all depends on how well a Woman knows her body and how ednowed their partner is.

    January 5, 2012 at 09:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      And how willing the partner is to listen to what works best for the woman. Tenderness and foreplay and no one cares how "Endowed" the guy is.

      January 5, 2012 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • leigh

      It really isn't size that matters. It's how caring the guy is, his willingness to realize he may not know it all (listen to her about what makes her feel good) and how he uses "it". Size has so little to do with satisfaction.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:00 | Report abuse |
    • sugartaste81

      I disagree; I dated a guy who was SO small, it felt like he was poking me with a finger. Nice guy,knew he was small and tried to make up for it,but in the end..size definitely matters. At least for me.

      January 5, 2012 at 13:32 | Report abuse |
    • crazysociety

      100% agree. If he works so hard at getting his, why cant you work as hard getting yours. Women must know themselves, and maybe should experiment by themselves to figure it out.

      January 6, 2012 at 09:37 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Puffy

      No, No it has to do with how well a man knows your body.

      January 6, 2012 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
  7. mike

    If your female partner is not having an orgasm it isn't because of her. Its because of you. I'm 53, been married 26 years and during my marriage and even before my partner has always had an orgasm. In fact, they have always orgasmed before me. Which is bad actually cuz i like to ride for awhile, a long while before i orgasm. But most women once they orgasm just aren't as into been rode for another 45 minutes to an hour. So now i go out of my way to delay my wifes orgasm as long as i possibly can to extend the fun as long as i can. i do love to ride my HOT wife! Geaux Saints!

    January 5, 2012 at 10:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BobInCal

      Fake, fake, fake. Elaine Bennis

      January 5, 2012 at 11:43 | Report abuse |
    • NancyG

      Don't fool yourself into thinking you're a stud. Some women are able to orgasm easier then others.

      January 5, 2012 at 18:01 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Puffy

      Yeah this is total BS. She came before you because she wants you to get the hell off her!

      January 6, 2012 at 13:03 | Report abuse |
  8. rick santorumtwit... America's favorite frothy one

    Rick Santorum is definitely into @nal orgasms. That's why he's known as Mr. Bung Hole Foam.

    January 5, 2012 at 10:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bruce

      The is a concous and wide spred campaign on many web site to link Santorum with anal sex. This posting was part of that reprehensable campaign.

      January 6, 2012 at 16:02 | Report abuse |
  9. Tex71

    The biggest mystery here is why it's such a mystery. Love her! If you can't show – in and outside the bedroom – that you are in love with your woman, you don't deserve to be getting any in the first place. After that, any man with even the least bit of caring, patience and technical skill should have no problem at all. On the woman's side, the biggest problem is the twisted and backward Puritan tradition that makes women feel dirty for having a body and enjoying it. Break that sick mindset and half the problem is solved.

    January 5, 2012 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sotrue

      I agree with you! Women are not socialized to "enjoy" their bodies like men are. Hopefully, this is changing. Personally, I have at least 2 orgasms every time my husband and I have sex. I think it's because I know my body and am not afraid to get in there and help!

      January 6, 2012 at 07:01 | Report abuse |
  10. portland tony

    Although I don't have a clue (worth comment ), I will just read the posts and perhaps learn something!

    January 5, 2012 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. kellym

    I think maybe the fact that men can reach orgasm (and be "done") in 2 minutes contributes to the problem of women having orgasms.

    January 5, 2012 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lover

      That's not entirely true! I can orgasm in 10 seconds...IF I WANT TO. I don't . I wait as long as it takes for her to climax before I get mine. And when I do go, it's massive because of her workup to orgasm.

      January 5, 2012 at 16:55 | Report abuse |
    • James

      It depends. I can orgasm in no time, or I can hold off almost indefinitely. I'm also fortunate to be able to recover in about 10 seconds and keep on going for a second or third run most of the time. Just because I reach orgasm in a few minutes doesn't mean it's time to roll over and go to sleep.

      January 6, 2012 at 01:06 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Puffy

      YES! AGREED!

      January 6, 2012 at 13:05 | Report abuse |
  12. Robert

    Probably the relationships are not good for women and they stay in them for the wrong reason. Men on the other hand tend to stay in bad relationships less. If that makes anynsense?

    January 5, 2012 at 11:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. jimbo

    My significant other has orgasms 99.9% of the time. The trick is in getting her to have sex to begin with.

    January 5, 2012 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NancyG

      Try getting her drunk

      January 5, 2012 at 15:08 | Report abuse |
    • Dee

      If she were truly having orgasms you would have no problem getting her to have sex. Orgasm is its own reward – no one passes them up. She is sparing your feelings while attempting to avoid a frustrating situation. If women were more honest with men it would help,

      January 5, 2012 at 17:30 | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      Oh Jimbo....If only you knew!

      January 5, 2012 at 18:38 | Report abuse |
    • James

      I dunno, I think most of us have met women who are just not in the mood most of the time. Get them in the mood and they'll go all night, but it's kind of like starting an old Diesel engine in the dead of winter.

      As for faking it, what's the point? Faking it tells the guy he's doing a great job. If he thinks he's doing a great job, why would he try anything else? Contrary to popular belief, most of us men can take constructive criticism and strive to do a good job. We aren't gonna read the instruction manual if there is one, so you'll have to tell us how to do what you want done.

      January 6, 2012 at 01:03 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Puffy

      Jimbo, yeah she ain't having orgasms with you.

      January 6, 2012 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
  14. Tim B.

    I'm actually kind of suprised this is an issue. I don't expect my partner to orgasm during intercourse. It's always been a given that she will receive attention, usually after the fact, to give her pleasure. She would probably rarely climax if I counted on it happening during intercourse.

    January 5, 2012 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • leigh

      Refreshing to see someone (guy or girl) anchored in reality. Really shouldn't be an issue if with a loving, caring partner. Thanks Tim

      January 5, 2012 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Puffy

      Tim you are what women refer to as a lazy lover.

      January 6, 2012 at 13:07 | Report abuse |
  15. Harmed

    It would be interesting to see what the comparison is between American woman and European woman. Since European men generally have all the proper equipment still and most sexually active American men have been deprived of it. The mechanics of sex in America have been drastically altered by surgical intervention. There just might be something to the stereotype of European men being better lovers thanks to their intact sexual organs.

    January 5, 2012 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • rick santorumtwit... America's favorite frothy one

      My bunghole is still intact. That's why they call me the frothy one.

      January 5, 2012 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    • Stephanie

      Seriously?

      January 5, 2012 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
    • Harmed

      Yes, seriously. Check out 'sex as nature intended it' It's informative and not safe for work since it includes educational animation.

      January 5, 2012 at 13:31 | Report abuse |
    • TheBear

      interesting theory, but I would think the lack of a foreskin would affect the males pleasure more than the femailes.

      January 5, 2012 at 13:54 | Report abuse |
  16. truthman

    l,,

    January 5, 2012 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. John

    Personally, I think the biggest issue deals with communication. Even with all of the magazines/books on the subject of communication with your partner, I still discovered women who just "expected" me to know what gave them pleasure instead of giving me some feedback.

    January 5, 2012 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Paul

    "I look forward to the day when I’ll stop receiving those emails." I wish I had women asking me how they could have an orgasm.....

    January 5, 2012 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. NancyG

    I always reach orgasm when I'm with my man. He is endowed more then Harvard.

    January 5, 2012 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. JBM

    It is because women are so uptight about sex. Relax, participate and enjoy. The orgasms will come (pun intended).

    January 5, 2012 at 14:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NancyG

      That's why rufi's are so beneficial

      January 5, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Puffy

      We aren't uptight, you just ain't hittin' it right!

      January 6, 2012 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
  21. Harmed

    @the bear – please look at the source I posted, you will see how both partners are adversely effected.

    January 5, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. BC

    It's called relaxation. If you're with someone that makes you feel very comfortable and relaxed then you can climax, maybe even squirt. It's all about being really into the person and feeling mellow and relaxed.

    January 5, 2012 at 14:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Mo

    I don't care if my wife has an orgasm as long as I am pleasured.

    January 5, 2012 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mo's neighbor

      Thanks. Make me finish up all the dirty work.

      January 5, 2012 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
  24. lolanyc

    Size does matter to an extent. Ive seen a small one the size of an index finger. I didnt even bother. The turn on just isnt there. I think its 95% mental and 5 % position for all others. I never have problems.. only sometimes time of the month, or if im fighting with a partner. OR if I feel he's doing him and doesnt plan to wait for me to go first. Luckily most of my BFs wait for me to finish then they go. If girls KNEW that was how it would be they would relax and not rush themselves. Girl on top is best I've found. None of that up and down either, more of a rub back and forth.

    January 5, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Steve Jobs

    You must be holding it wrong.

    January 5, 2012 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • NancyG

      no, the tweezers make it very easy to hold.

      January 5, 2012 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
  26. Peter

    I think women are like changes, do oral sex and change your position, place (kitchen, bathroom, living room, balcony, backyard, ) and action. wait untill she gets orgasm
    enjoyyour sex life

    January 5, 2012 at 15:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Eric

    Awww oui oui...Les Americains et leur problemes d'ejaculation precosse....Apporte les Americaines chez moi et une a une elles veront le pouvoir d'un Francais Quebecois !!! MDR !!!

    January 5, 2012 at 15:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. James the elder

    "Why is the female orgasm so elusive?" In a word, anxiety.

    January 5, 2012 at 16:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      Or in another word: inattention.

      January 5, 2012 at 19:47 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Puffy

      Or you are just a lazy lover...

      January 6, 2012 at 13:11 | Report abuse |
  29. Tony

    When I was in college I found out I could delay ejaculation by thinking about complex math problems. If I focused on the sensations from intercourse I would last maybe 5-10 minutes tops. Alternate with working out about Calculus problems I could last over 30 minutes. I always thought it was strange the by not think about my female partner I was able to satisfy her more.. Still never ever did I not ejaculate. Now if I take a Viagra pill it does not matter if I ejaculate my erection will last around 45 minutes minimum. After taking Viagra and having a 90 minute erection my wife told me to never take one of those again.

    January 5, 2012 at 16:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Shan

      Yeah, after about an hour it's like the Sahara. Too much of a good thing.

      January 10, 2012 at 22:47 | Report abuse |
  30. hingedlwnb

    Who cares?

    Sincerely,

    A man

    January 5, 2012 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Katie

      Yup, spoken like a man.

      January 5, 2012 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
    • Dr. Puffy

      You should care or you will be spending a lot of time with Rosie Palm and her five sisters.

      January 6, 2012 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
  31. sarah S

    I think there's a lot of contributing factors; physical, emotional, and mental. Women need to relax, understand their bodies, and tell their lovers what works for them. Men need to pay attention to what their women need, take time out for plenty of foreplay and/or oral, and be loving and caring inside and outside the bedroom. If the woman still can't orgasm during intercorse give her one another way.

    January 5, 2012 at 16:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Bobbi

    In response to Nora, below, who was able to have orgasms after spending time single and reading erotica – the same thing happened to me. A Lusting Couple changed my life.

    January 5, 2012 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Bobby

    Women need to feel emotionally secure and loved before they will allow themselves the pleasure of Orgasm. Sex is a Spiritual experience that unites two people into one. Just ask and you shall receive.. Talk, hold each other, cuddle first, than make love..

    January 5, 2012 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Maya

    The myth that a normal woman should be able to have an orgasm purely through intercourse is a BIG part of the reason some women don't have an orgasm with a partner at all.

    January 5, 2012 at 19:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Dr. B

    There are way too many factors to "know" what gives a woman the ability to orgasm. It's something that each woman has to work out with her partner, and many people are just too uptight to really communicate that, for many reasons (not just societal). For example, if a woman has been a victim of abuse in the past, it is near impossible to really feel trust enough to relax, even if the woman loves her partner. It takes a LOT of patience in those situations to get the level of comfort needed. So all of you saying "just relax" like it's so easy, perhaps take into account that there are many factors outside the bedroom that influence a woman's ability to orgasm. Making women feel ashamed that they can't reach orgasm is almost as bad as the Victorians making women feel ashamed if they can.

    January 5, 2012 at 20:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. SouthernGal

    .....All the insensitive remarks are....sadly expected.....

    I never had an orgasm until my early 20s & it wasn't during coitis & it wasn't for lack of trying.

    It wasn't until I met my sexual soul-mate until I had an orgasm during intercourse..... He cares more about me & my body than he does his own pleasure – and giving me pleasure gets him going even more..... Not to mention that he is a perfect fit and has more endurance than any man I've ever been with..... But it also took a while with him..... The lesson? A long-term partner who gets you & connects with you on a deeper level is so necessary.... And a little concurrent self-stimulation doesn't hurt either.....

    January 5, 2012 at 20:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. I love my wife

    I think it could be an evolutionary case for marriage. The longer you're with your partner, the better you can get to know her body and what she likes-the female orgasm is fairly elusive to the uninitiated and untrained male. I go down on my wife-she comes-then maybe again while I'm doing my thing. It works because I care for her-take my time-make sure she's happy-then get mine-all while having a great time-and yes, we do mix it up sometimes. 12 years now and just had our third child. It take communication, genuine care, and a developed, specific skill set-just my 2 cents.

    January 5, 2012 at 20:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • happily satisfied

      You are right on!

      January 5, 2012 at 23:57 | Report abuse |
  38. DaddyBigDawg

    I am a red blooded,american man. So I say this to all men.......We have the whole world in our hands!!! Sadly I need to explain:
    You see men,guys,dudes,bros,cuzzes,homies,etc. Having a 2 inch penis or 20 inch penis is not relavant. Lasting 3 seconds or 3 hours is not relavant. Even using your pinkie you hit the money spot and I am not saying the "gggggg" spot but the money spot i.e. that tiny lil' nub on the top of her area. Gently rub it a few times and then...........THAR SHE BLOWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Then after she is arching her back,moaning,groaning,screaming in ecstastyland pulling your hair if you have any and shoving her tongue down your throat to the point you damn near gag you proceed to go inside. Then that gets really interesting. Hit the back of the inside wall for a few minutes with 2 fingers guys no more than that none of this fisting crap she explodes like Mt St Helens over and over and over and over and snooze snooze snooze over and over and over again and again and again. If you give her 3 orgasmic explosions minimum, you own her and can last literally from 3 seconds to 3 hours and she WILL NOT CARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Mind you this is for 90% of "real women" who are not size or time queens. Men you know what I am talking about and women you do too.

    Sexual food for thought!

    January 5, 2012 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • happily satisfied

      You are right on, also!

      January 5, 2012 at 23:58 | Report abuse |
  39. happily satisfied

    Wow, so many comments. I am 54. I have been in many realationships and a few marriages. Not a bad thing. As a young woman I did not understand about orgasims and did not experience any. Then I got resentful and did not understand about men masturbating, so that turned me off, thinking that I was not good enough. I have been in the best sexual relationship in my life for the past 12 1/2 years with a man who himshelf has erectile disfunction, and uses the miracle of prescription drugs to help him with this issue, but he makes me feel loved, sensual and strives to make me happy in bed that I have multiple orgasims every time we have sex. It takes a man who wants to make sure that his partner is satisified to make a truly wonderful sexual relationship. I am thankful.

    January 5, 2012 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. James

    Because it has no evolutionary role? That said, most of the women I've dated have had no trouble achieving orgasm, they were all crazy in one way or another, but that particular issue wasn't a problem. As someone else said, orgasm is 90% mental, if you can't figure out how to have one on your own, chances are no man is going to be able to help you.

    January 6, 2012 at 01:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jane

      Never assume a woman got there. Women are much more likely to fake it to spare your feelings than to admit it didn't happen.

      January 6, 2012 at 04:32 | Report abuse |
  41. Oface

    Ladies, you are in charge of your own orgasm!

    January 6, 2012 at 01:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Dr. Puffy

      Yeah well you'll be in charge of your own too if you don't take charge of your performance.

      January 6, 2012 at 13:17 | Report abuse |
  42. jane

    This is only elusive for women when the guy is not willing to listen or communicate. If the guy will listen, she can guide him to what works for her. It may take some practice to learn each other, but it should be a fun journey.

    Also, I think internal pressure to make him happy can get in the way of a woman getting there herself. Feeling pressure to hurry up and get to the end result can be quite offputting and ruin the mindset. Sometimes it just takes a little longer. sometimes foreplay is necessary and can't be skipped and still get there. It just all depends. The guy has to be willing to listen each time.

    I can't believe this article actually makes it sound like they have to wait for more scientific information!

    January 6, 2012 at 04:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Dr Bill Toth

    Just asking the question presumes that it is "elusive" and perpetuates the myth. The old adage still applies – women need a reason and men just need a place. Live With Intention, DrBillTothCom/blog

    January 6, 2012 at 07:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. John

    I don't understand all the emphasis on having an orgasm during intercourse. What's wrong with a "your turn, my turn" approach where she has her orgasm manually or orally and then he has his via intercourse.

    January 6, 2012 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sunnysout

      Whats so important about having a orgasm during sex? Really John? Next time you and your partner are having sex and it's your turn to have the orgasm, withdraw and hold out. Then make notes about how you feel at that moment when denied your pleasure.

      January 6, 2012 at 10:15 | Report abuse |
  45. average dude

    So how does one get I on these "research" teams?

    January 6, 2012 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Anon

    Not elusive to me. I never have had a problem giving a partner an orgasm. But then I take my time and have studied the female sexual anatomy thoroughly.

    January 6, 2012 at 09:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. LARRY

    Almost any women can have an orgasm with a man. The dude just has to center on pleasing the woman and basically knowing what he is doing.

    January 6, 2012 at 10:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Sunnysout

    I leave nothing to chance and have no problem either vocalizing my needs or taking things into my own hands.

    January 6, 2012 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Grateful Man

    I appreciate the openness, insight and generosity of the mature commenters here. I have learned much, and been reminded of the importance of shared, patient, gentle and inclusive communication: the key to relationships is...relating.

    What do women really want? I believe what they most want is to live sovereign lives, managing themselves, their relationships and their surroundings according to their own values and perspectives, free of unwelcome interference, judgement and manipulation, in the company of those who accept, respect and appreciate them as they are. Men–and patriarchy-invested women–who seek to control or dominate, dismiss or disrespect, neglect or ignore women's absolute right to self-determination, delight and life satisfaction are missing amazing opportunities to learn/be shown/experience the heart of all that life offers to those fortunate enough to welcome all that abundance. Word.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Needing You

    By design, the illusive female orgasm and male orgasm has been designed to seek as many partners for the survival of the species. The female delay in satisfaction causes her to seek multiple partners to increase the gene pool. The male’s quickness in satisfaction keeps him from getting killed by another spouse. Let’s face it, we will never be compatible with one another and have to work with it. My satisfaction is seeing my lover look me in the face content and glowing.

    Come to me baby….I need you.....you look some fine.

    January 6, 2012 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.