Louisa Newton | Contributing Writer | Monday, 7 September 2015

I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'m A Woman Who\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s Still Unable To Orgasm

What It's Like To Be A Woman Who Can't Orgasm. Ever.

The Debrief: I have Primary Anorgasmia, where I cannot orgasm regardless of sexual stimulation. I enjoy sex to a certain level, but having sex without obtaining any relief is like watching your partner do wheelies on their bike whilst you keep falling off

Imagine going to a restaurant, sitting down at a table and watching everyone around you enjoy their food. The meals around you smell incredible and you can’t wait to get stuck in. The waiter comes over and takes his pad out of his pocket, but before his pen hits the paper he informs you you can only have one choice for the foreseeable future, if not the rest of your life. And it’s quiche. 

Quiche is quiche, right? It’s fine on occasion, handy to nibble at a party, relatively easy to make. No complaints. It’s fucking quiche. So you begin to eat this quiche every week, if not everyday. It’s enjoyable to a certain extent, but you’re always left feeling it could have been better. It just needed that extra kick. Your quiche is made by the same chef who never differs from his recipe, so every quiche is pretty much the same as the last, and the longer you eat it – the duller it gets. 

This image of quiche you now have in your head – the savoury egg pastry – is what sex is to me. 

It was only a generation ago that many doctors believed a high percentage of the female population couldn’t climax. Most men can orgasm without difficulty, but we were told our lady bits simply aren’t built that way. Women were told that the climaxes they thought they were having were nothing in comparison to what they should’ve been having, and that we should all give up hope in having a decent shag. Back-page columns in lifestyle magazines slapped us with a condescending tone that said, ‘Oh you thought that was an orgasm? Bless.’ And, in an adulterated frenzy, our partners were sent back under the sheets with a shovel and compass in hand.

Fortunately, American researchers like Kinsey, Masters and Johnson have been around to stick their finger (pun intended) in the bullshit surrounding our orgasms or lack of them. We now know that virtually any woman can climax, and many do. Unfortunately, I didn’t know this. I must have missed the memo, because up until university I was still under the impression that most women didn’t enjoy sex and we were all in the same stiff and unsatisfied boat.

It was only when I heard some of my flatmates vocally expressing gratitude towards their sexual partners, that I began my suspicions. We discussed the matter and they couldn’t fathom how I was in my twenties and had never climaxed. One of my flatmates just said, ‘That’s really weird.’ According to sex expert David Devlin, 47% of women have their first orgasm through masturbation at an average age of 18… but what happens when you hit your twenties and it still hasn’t happened? 

I ‘suffer’ from a condition called Primary Anorgasmia, where I cannot orgasm regardless of sexual stimulation. Don’t get me wrong I enjoy sex to a certain level, but having sex without obtaining any relief is like watching your partner do wheelies on their bike while you keep falling off. You can’t quite grip the handlebars, and in the end you want to sit on the floor and cart the heap of shit into a tree somewhere. I’m not alone: according to the Sexual Advice Association, nearly 50% of women suffer from sexual problems. 

Anorgasmia can be a result of many contributing factors – from a lack of knowledge about sex, previous traumatic sexual experiences to physical causes such as the menopause and diabetes. Problems within the relationship, such as insecurity, can also affect your ability to orgasm, and feeling the pressure of sexual performance isn’t a massive help either.

It’s not essential for women to climax during sex, but it can leave your partner feeling they haven’t ‘done their job’ properly. Less than a third of women regularly orgasm during sex and 70% have also admitted to faking orgasms every now and again.

I spoke to Jason Gillery, a sex therapist and counsellor at Relate who explained anorgasmia is ‘a lot more common than people may think and there can be various factors to this... only around 30% [of women] achieve orgasm through penetrative sex, with most being able to achieve through clitoral stimulation’.

‘There can be a lot of expectation on what should happen when we have sex and a lot of women don’t actually achieve orgasm through penetrative sex, though you may find some positions stimulate better than others. It can feel frustrating as well, but it can be resolved. Seeing a therapist is an option to consider, though appreciate that can feel difficult to talk about.'

Previous partners have had different reactions to it. Some guys take it as a personal dig at them, others accuse me of being hard work. When I first tell someone they laugh and assume I’ve had a string of displeasing partners, before vowing to make it their mission to break the cycle and ‘wow’ me. Friends are constantly saying, ‘You’ve just not met the right person.’ Or, ‘You need to make yourself come first.’ Friends, fellow vagina owners and other nosey observers – I have tried. I have tried to the hills and back. I have poked and prodded with just about every technique you can imagine. I have welcomed attempts from an alarming amount of partners. I have even read books on it.

Your partner feels like they can’t satisfy you, and in turn don’t have the energy to try. Sex isn’t everything in a relationship, but when you’re moderately young and able to eat chicken nuggets without looking like one, you should enjoy it while you can. Anorgasmia increases the pressure on your sexual performance and ability, which can leave you unappreciative of intimacy altogether. After hearing so many times that you’re ‘not doing it right’ by your friends, you start to believe it. Aside from feeling rejected and unwanted, you also feel pretty useless too. You push your partner to ‘spend more time on you’ to the point where they feel like a social experiment and ask, ‘I’ve been doing this for 20 minutes, now. Are you finished yet?’ Not even close.

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