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Help! I Can't Have An Orgasm

Anorgasmia or inabiliy to achieve orgasm is a fairly common problem

Help! I Can't Have an Orgasm


Anorgasmia is a type of sexual dysfunction in which a person cannot achieve having an orgasm either alone through masturbating or with a partner. In males the condition can be referred to as delayed ejaculation. Anorgasmia can often cause sexual frustration and anxiety in relationships.Anorgasmia is far more common in females than in males and tends to be rare in younger men.


Anorgasmia is often caused by anxiety and an inability to be able to relax during sexual relations. It can also be caused by medical problems such as Diabetes, Parkinson's, Multiple Sclerosis, Chemotherapy, pelvic trauma (such as from a straddle injury caused by falling on the bars of a climbing frame, bicycle or gymnastics beam), hormonal imbalances hysterectomy, spinal cord injury, childbirth trauma, vulvodynia and cardiovascular disease.

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A common cause of situational anorgasmia, in both men and women, is the use of anti-depressant medications such as Prozac, Paxil and Lexapro just to name a few. Though reporting of anorgasmia as a side effect of SSRIs is not exact, it is estimated that 15-50% of users of such medications are affected. Another cause of anorgasmia is the use of drugs or alcohol during sexual activity.


About 15% of women report difficulties achieving orgasm, and as many as 10% of women in the United States have never had an orgasm. Even for women who reach orgasm frequently, the frequency is still only about 50-70% of the time meaning that even women who can achieve orgasm have failures this percentage of the time.


Treatment for Anorgasmia can help to solve the problem. Treatment begins with an orientation of your genitals using a mirror and touching exercises to begin familiarizing one's self with their feel, look and responsiveness.


Once you are comfortable enough touching yourself without trying to achieve an orgasm you can then move to the stage of trying to touch yourself to achieve an orgasm. I often instruct women in my sex therapy practice to facilitate this step in the bath or shower as water can help to sensualize the elements for this step.

 
Begin to touch yourself slowly and then increase the pressure of your touch so it is firm. Usually to achieve your first orgasm, you are touching the outside of your genitals and stimulating your clitoris, not going inside your vagina yet. It may take up to 45 minutes to achieve enough relaxation to have an orgasm. Remember to try and fantasize about something relaxing or sexual. The two elements needed to achieve orgasm are arousal and relaxation.


If you are still struggling to achieve the orgasm the consider buying a starter vibrator to aid in this step. Vibrators are great because they can provide more stimulation that you may be able to give to yourself. Also, some women report discomfort touching their own genitals during masturbation so a vibrator can act as an aid between your hand and your genitals for comfort.


A good starter vibrator to purchase is often flat on the top to provide more square area to use on the outside of your genitals. See the Doc Johnson Pocket Rocket Model or the Lelo Gigi Massager sold at Brookstone.


Trying to achieve orgasm alone often works better than trying to with a partner. Being alone eliminates any anxiety about being watched or how much time it may be taking. Once you have figured out how to climax alone, then showing your partner what you have learned about yourself is the step to bring your orgasm into your sexual relationship. If you find using the vibrator works than discuss incorporating it into your sexual script with your partner either before you have intercourse during foreplay or as a stimulator during intercourse.


Taking charge of your sexuality to find your orgasm may make you feel nervous but the mastery of this important sexual skill will help you look forward to sexual pleasure throughout your life both alone and when you are with a partner.

 

Lisa Thomas is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist and AASECT Certified Sex Therapist practicing in Greenwood Village, Colorado.

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