Is It Normal If Your Partner Rarely Gives You Orgasms? Here's What Experts Say
How often are you having an orgasm when you have sex with your partner? Every time? Most of the time? Well then, congrats, you are part of the lucky minority. I'd give you a prize, but from the sound of things you're already being rewarded on the regular. But for the vast majority of women, that's actually not the reality. So, if you are someone who wonders, "Is it normal if your partner rarely gives you orgasms?" I have good news and bad news: Yes, it’s normal. Sorry, that was the good news and the bad news. But here's some additional good news: There are things you can do to turn those odds in your favor.
The reason that you're not coming with your partner may simply be that you aren't getting the kind of stimulation you require to get there. The Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, in partnership with OMGYes, conducted a recent study focused solely on "the science of women's pleasure." For the study, they surveyed more than 1,000 women between the ages of 18 and 94, making it the largest study on the topic in history, and its findings were illuminating, to say the least. They discovered that more than 80 percent of women reported that they could not orgasm through intercourse alone. Additionally, "36.6 percent reported clitoral stimulation was necessary for orgasm during intercourse, and an additional 36 percent indicated that, while clitoral stimulation was not needed, their orgasms feel better if their clitoris is stimulated during intercourse." Which means, if you're not coming with your partner, it’s time to switch things up and find out what works best for you.
So, now that you know that what you're experiencing is in fact pretty normal, how do you go about improving the situation? For help with that, I reached out to the experts for their advice. Here's what they had to say.
1. Prioritize Your Pleasure
The first step toward having more orgasms with your partner is to begin to really prioritize your own pleasure. Maybe you’re so focused on making sure your partner is having a great time you’re getting lost in the shuffle. Well, that’s very generous of you. However, you may be sacrificing your orgasms in the process. Or it could simply be that you aren’t giving yourself the time you need to get there by feeling like you need to rush through foreplay.
Kristin Marie Bennion, licensed mental health therapist and certified sex therapist, says it’s time to stop short-changing your sexual experiences and start prioritizing your needs, and expecting your partner to as well.
“It is quite common for a couple to experience a discrepancy when it comes to pleasure and orgasm," Bennion tells Elite Daily. "What is important to consider is whether a partner expresses consideration for your desire for pleasure."
Sex and intimacy coach Irene Fehr agrees. “First and foremost, however, you have to be committed to your own pleasure," Fehr tells Elite Daily. "If your pleasure is important to you, and it is not for your partner, it might be necessary to draw the line and find a partner for whom it is.”
Think of it like the emergency oxygen on a plane: You have to put your mask on first before you can help others. The same goes for getting off. It’s not selfish, it's what you need to come and you deserve a partner who is just as dedicated to helping to make it happen.
2. Communication And Experimentation
Once you’ve decided to make your pleasure a priority, it's time to actually do the work. In this case, it means two things: talking with your partner about how you are feeling, and experimenting with new techniques and activities to find what works best for you. While that sounds straightforward, Bennion understands that it’s easier said than done.
“It is still quite difficult for many women to advocate for their own sexual desires," she says. "This can be especially difficult if it includes what can easily be interpreted as a criticism of a partner in bed."
Bennion also stresses the importance of expressing these criticisms in an "honest, kind, and firm manner; otherwise, resentment in the relationship can set in and it only gets harder to express with the more times that passes.” To get over the hump (sorry couldn’t resist), Bennion suggests framing the question around the future rather than the past, saying, for instance, “Something I'd like to try next time is..." so that your partner is less likely to feel criticized or shamed.
“If that doesn't go over well or doesn't seem to work, the more direct approach may simply be the best option," she says.
3. Call In A Professional
If talking and experimentation doesn’t work, don't worry, you’re not out of options. Fehr says in that situation, it's time to call in the professionals.
“Sex coaches supply tools and techniques to help women and couples learn to deepen their intimacy with themselves and each other and understand their bodies to be able to achieve orgasm,” says Fehr.
If that sounds intimidating or extreme, Fehr says it really isn’t, or at least it shouldn’t be.
“There is no shame in asking for help in this tender and sensitive area — especially when most sex ed we've received has entirely omitted the female pleasure anatomy and pleasure,” she explains.
The reality is, this is a really tricky subject. On the one hand, you may feel shame or like you're failing if you don’t have orgasms quickly, easily, and reliably. But on the other, our culture shames women for thinking they should be able to, and actively works to make getting the information they need harder or fraught — and that's some real patriarchy B.S. You have a right to orgasms. If they are harder to achieve and require more work, that’s not only OK, it's normal. So, you do you — figuratively and literally, too.
Check out the “Best of Elite Daily” stream in the Bustle App for more stories just like this!