You know what sucks? Not being able to reach orgasm. You know when you're all drunk or tired or stressed out and no matter how much work your partner puts into the job there's just nuthin' doin'? That's rough enough, but some folks never have orgasms. Ever.
If you're normally able to hit the peak but suddently can't, there are all the usuals to pursue, like taking your time, exploring toy options, examining your feelings about your mate or mates, and not just relying on the old in-and-out.
A more long-standing orgasm deficit may have psychological roots or be caused by physical conditions including MS or diabetes or, more commonly, medications like antidepressants.
In general, more women are affected than men. No shocker there.
Some professionals like to say it's no biggie and not to make too much of it, but I'm like, "Yeah, obvy it's not youwho can't get your rocks off, dude."
What the experts say
"Our training works eight different deep sex muscles and teaches women to recognize their arousal patterns and how they stop themselves. If a lot of thinking is going on, that's going to stop the flow. There are breathing and visualization techniques, and physical movements they can do to help increase their sex energy. Even if they've never orgasmed before, they can learn. It's important to do pelvic contractions (Kegels). Remaining present to sensation is crucial for women, and if they get distracted they must bring their attention back to sensation. Women think way too much during sex.
LUCY BECKER, Tantra teacher, Toronto
"The fact that a man doesn't ejaculate doesn't necessarily indicate a problem. He might not ejaculate for a number of reasons: maybe he's not getting the kind of stimulation he wants; there isn't enough lubrication; he's anxious or confused or lonely or sad. Another reason might be that he's so focused on his partner's experience that he doesn't have enough awareness of his own. As men get older, reflexes slow down. A lot of women see this as a problem, but that's a huge mistake. People need to accept that this can be a normal variation. If the problem is caused by medication such as an antidepressant, the person may need to look at switching medications. A lot of times, not ejaculating is emotional - a trauma from childhood or a previous relationship, performance anxiety, resentment or fear."
MARTY KLEIN, marriage counsellor, sex therapist, author of America's War On Sex, Palo Alto, California
"Female anorgasmia is rarely caused by a physical problem, but rather by psychological or emotional issues or by insufficient stimulation to the clitoris. Often, women are expected to reach orgasm by way of intercourse, an unlikely outcome except for a minority of women. Female sexuality is primarily ruled by the woman's comfort with her own body, her happiness with her partner and her ability to shut down the thinking brain. Although women will not always reach orgasm despite the best of stimulation, they will feel fully satisfied because of the shared time and space with their partner. Women will often barter for something else, such as a back rub or a foot massage, in lieu of sexual stimulation. Anorgasmia becomes a problem when it occurs frequently. Treatment should identify the cause: Is the woman not happy with her partner? Is she being stimulated properly? Is she unable to express her sexual preferences? Is there a medical problem, such as urinary incontinence?"
DITZA KATZ and ROSS LYNN TABISEL, Women's Therapy Center, Plainview, New York
"Place lepidolite at your heart chakra for about 10 minutes, breathing calmly through your nostrils. Then place the crystal about 2 inches below your belly button, at the sexual or second chakra, for about five minutes to take nervousness and stress from the lower body. To help build confidence and gather the energies into the lower part of the body, use garnet at the sexual chakra for about 15 minutes."
KAREN RYAN, energy therapist, reiki master, Toronto
"The orgasm problem affects 25 per cent of women. There are a number of treatable causes, which is what I tell every patient, and first of all, good for them for simply saying, 'I have a problem.' It can be caused by relationship issues or medications. There can be localized infections or systemic illnesses. The problem could be anatomic ignorance. Primary anorgasmia [never having had orgasms] is quite rare. A woman might have a perfectly normal sex life in her 20s and 30s. Then, when she hits menopause, it's just not working any more. In primary anorgasmics we have found in our research that we can provide genital stimulation that the patient describes as pleasant but is unable to trigger orgasms. We superimpose a stimulus on the sensory nerves and the brain interprets it as coming from the genitalia. Four different nerve pathways are potentially involved.'
STUART MELOY, director of advanced interventional pain management, inventor of the Orgasmatron (neurally augmented sexual device), Winston-Salem, North Carolina