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Stopped Having Orgasms

Dear Rachel and Claire,

I'm a 28-year-old woman, married to a wonderful guy for three years. He's the only one I've been with sexually, and he's the greatest: he’s caring, loving, kind, romantic and willing to try anything in bed to please me. The trouble is, I can't seem to have an orgasm, and this is very frustrating. I enjoy it very much when my husband goes down on me—it’s the greatest feeling, but it never leads to an orgasm. The last time I remember having one is when I was a teenager, masturbating alone in my room. Now I can't even orgasm when I play with myself. HELP! I have no idea what’s wrong with me, or what to do.


-At a Loss

A:

Dear At a Loss,

Start where you left off—with masturbation. Fantasize about whatever turns you on. No self censoring! All kinds of scenarios you might abhor in real life can be sexy and harmless to imagine. Fantasies can help build your arousal so orgasm won’t feel quite so far off. If you’re out of ideas, erotic books and videos can give you material. Try the Best American Erotica book series or the video Mirage. Give yourself the time to explore. An hour spent in a warm, sensuous bedroom can be nice.


Try a good strong vibrator–the Hitachi Magic Wand is the classic choice. As you work up sexual tension, let it build up and then back off a bit (remove the vibrator or your hand for a short time). Relentless pursuit of orgasm can backfire in that you feel like you’re forever on the brink, but you never quite catch it. As the tension rises and falls it will gradually build up to a point of spilling over, without your having to try so hard.


When you start having orgasms again, play around with different types of stimulation and positions. Try not to get into a rut with just one way of coming. (Though one way of coming is far, far better than none at all!)


Your body will remember what to do, and you can share your newfound knowledge with your man. Meanwhile, keep having sex with him too. You can use the good feelings and experiences you have together to fuel your fantasy life, or just to keep the fire burning.


For additional resources check out Betty Dodson’s classic book Sex For One or her video Celebrating Orgasm. The quickie guide Tickle Your Fancy might also help, and check out further tips from us in our “How To” section- see How to Have an Orgasm, and How to Use a Vibrator.