One talk couples almost never have is the orgasm talk, which is an honest discussion about orgasms rather than just “Did you finish?”

The lack of conversation makes good sense. We live in a culture that’s so at war with its sexuality that it’s spent almost as much money on abstinence-based sex education as it does on porn. The love we make is sometimes a frantic attempt to get into each other’s pants while avoiding deeper meanings and possibilities.

As for orgasms, male orgasms are usually a given during intercourse. Women’s orgasms aren’t as predictable as men’s. Women who are masturbating will usually have orgasms in the same amount of time as men do, but things can be different when you throw a partner into the mix.

Also, men’s orgasms announce themselves with a fluid and sticky fanfare. Not so for women’s orgasms. Men are often at the mercy of women to inform them if they did or didn’t have an orgasm. It’s the elusive nature of women’s orgasms during partner sex that elevates the female orgasm to the realm of the lovemaking holy grail. Adding further to the mystery for men is how women do not always associate satisfaction during sex with having an orgasm. The mere idea of sex being satisfying without an orgasm is a foreign concept for most men.

If the only reason a woman wants sex is for an orgasm, she’d be ahead of the curve if she sent her partner off to play video games with his friends and took matters into her own hands. 

Hopefully you are starting to see how helpful it can be for partners to discuss orgasms and what they do and don’t consider to be a satisfying sexual experience.

Porn gives the idea that men magically know how to please women, when in real life, men need and often want guidance from a partner. This means that a woman’s ability to show her partner how to stimulate her physically is often the key to his being able to provide her with the kind of physical stimulation she needs.

As for being in the right mental space, it is unlikely a woman will magically forget everything that has or hasn’t gone on between her and her partner during the past week just because they are about to have sex. It’s unlikely that feelings of anger, frustration or disappointment will evaporate the second he pulls out his penis. Helping to create the right mental space is just as much his job as it is hers.

Is a woman’s orgasm the goal of making love, or are other things more important?
It could be that a lover’s ability to make a woman feel sexy and desired is more important. Maybe it’s his ability to be playful and to make sex fun. Or what about acting out fantasy scenarios or being a little kinky if that’s what turns her on? Perhaps a woman wants her partner to be more “take charge” in bed. Some of these qualities might rate higher than having an orgasm. And when these qualities are in place, the chances are greater that a woman will have an orgasm or will at least feel sexually satisfied.

About the Author

Paul Joannides

Paul Joannides, Psy.D., is a research psychoanalyst, the author of Guide To Getting It On, and a speaker on college campuses.

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