Lisa Thomas LMFT

Save Your Sex Life

Helping Women Learn How to Have an Orgasm

Having an orgasm doesn't come naturally to some women.

Posted Feb 14, 2016

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Source: Google Images

As a sex therapist in private practice, I have come to understand that for many women, orgasm is a satisfying aspect of both sexuality as well as personal growth.

Often women come to see a sex therapist wanting to learn how to have an orgasm while simultaneously feeling like failures because the sexual techniques they have tried haven't resulted in having the Big O.

Learning to achieve orgasm involves your attitudes, thoughts, and feelings both about yourself and your body.

Currently, about 15-20% of women have never achieved orgasm. Many factors play into why women experience difficulty achieving orgasm including sexual values and attitudes including upbringing, religion, negative feelings about being sexual, experienced sexual trauma, negative body image, your feelings about your partner or your feelings about yourself. Also, many medications can interfere with the body's natural ability to orgasm. Have a talk with your doctor if you are on any medications and having trouble achieving orgasm.

The following is a four-step program I use with women to help them learn how to achieve orgasm and have a happy and healthy sex life.

Step 1.  Understanding Your Sexual Self

  • Learn about feelings and attitudes regarding sex.
  • Understand how your childhood shaped your beliefs about sex.
  • Connect what your religious beliefs taught you about being sexual.
  • Discuss what is normal and healthy for a sexual relationship while dating and during marriage.
  • Understand birth control, STDs, and sex for pleasure vs. sex for conception.
  • Use a hand mirror to look at your genitals.
  • Review visual aids of women’s genitalia and the DVD “Becoming Orgasmic” to begin to normalize female sexuality.

Step One helps connect women with their thoughts and feelings about the role of orgasm in their lives.

Step 2.  Exploring Yourself Through Touch

  • Set aside 30-60 minutes to begin the touching exercise.
  • You may want to begin by taking a bath or shower, remaining nude, and proceeding to an area that is private. You may include oil, lubricant, or lotion.
  • Begin by touching your body all over, maybe while applying lotion. Focus on how the touch feels and the areas you are concentrating on. Move into touching the outside of your vagina and then the inside of your vagina. Try and think about which areas feel good when you touch them verses which areas just feel the touch.
  • After you finish, exhale a few breaths and think about how touching yourself made you feel and what may have come up for you as a result of doing this exercise.
  • Repeat this 5-15 times before proceeding to the next step. Repetition is the key and desensitizing to touching yourself is important. We want to normalize this behavior so it is coded as being relaxing and stress reducing, not stress producing.

Step Two is all about exploring how your genitals feel when you touch yourself. Learning how to touch yourself just to see where it feels good is a very important aspect of eventually learning how to connect with having an orgasm.

Step 3. Touching for Pleasure

  • Since masturbation is a good way to experience frequent orgasms, it gives the orgasmic response a way to become well-established. Practicing touching and masturbating will also help increase blood flow to your genitals and make it easier to achieve orgasm.
  • This is a good time to mention that masturbation won’t decrease the desire to be sexual with your partner. Instead, it will help you desire to be sexual, because it is a pleasurable experience for you!
  • Work on Cognitive Restructuring Techniques if needed during this step, such as making statements such as: “As a grown woman I deserve to experience natural pleasure” or “Being sexual is a healthy part of being an adult.”
  • During your sexual sessions, try and be attentive to your position and the timing of your session. Using a lubricant and distraction techniques such as reading erotic stories or watching romantic or sexual movies can help with arousal.

Step Three is all about learning where it feels good to touch and beginning to physically touch yourself through masturbation. Its important to know that almost all of the time, women will experience their first orgasm alone verses with a partner. This is because women generally can be more relaxed when their partner isn't present, and they can have as much time as they need to touch themselves until it feels good without focusing on pleasing a partner.

While many women orgasm with a partner for the first time, I am specifically addressing women who have never orgasmed with a partner and want to learn to have an orgasm. Anxiety is often a part of the problem, so taking a partner out of the mix is helpful for creating a first orgasmic response.

Step 4. Touching for Pleasure, Focusing

  • Begin touching yourself for the purpose of seeing if orgasm can be achieved.
  • Understand that it may take 15, 30, or 45 minutes to achieve an orgasm. Don’t focus on watching the clock.
  • Listen to your self-talk and what you are saying aloud to yourself.
  • Introduce vibrators or sexual stimulation aids if that would be helpful.
  • Think about the use of fantasy, relaxation, and erotic movies or literature to include in this step, as you become orgasmic.

Step Four is all about the finale. By now you have worked through your thoughts and attitudes about orgasm, accepted it as a wonderful part of the sexual pleasure process, and began to learn how to touch yourself to hopefully achieve orgasm.

The final piece of advice is to see a qualified sex therapist if you need or want more support with this process. Sex therapists will work with women individually or with a partner to learn how to incorporate orgasm into the relationship.