Do You have a Hard Time Orgasming with Sexual Partners?
Sex is pretty amazing for the most part, but it can also be a source of anxiety, confusion, or just unmet expectations. You want to create these deep connections, fulfill your sexual fantasies, and feel immense amounts of pleasure.
Maybe you do get all of that, but you’re still not getting to thaaat place. We’re talking about orgasms. You feel super turned on when having sex with a partner, you feel playful and sexy, and you thoroughly enjoy having sex with them – but you just can’t seem to orgasm.
It’s not like you can’t orgasm in general. You have no problem crossing the finish line when you’re having solo sex, so why is it so hard with someone else there? Let’s take a peek under the hood to investigate why it’s difficult to orgasm with other people, and what to do about it.
The Masturbation Dilemma
When you’re in the zone masturbating, you feel like you can orgasm in 30 seconds flat sometimes. Or you like to take your sweet time, but either way, there’s never any doubt in your mind that you will eventually.
Why is it so much easier for people with vulvas to orgasm by themselves than with a partner?
Sexual stage fright is a thing. You might be the most confident person on the block, but when you’re close to doing something as vulnerable as having an orgasm – you freeze up. It’s likely not something that you’re conscious of, you unconsciously tense and squeeze, blocking you from the big release.
You don’t have this when you’re by yourself. It’s just you and you, plus maybe a toy or two *wink*.
Another factor that can make it difficult to have an orgasm with a sexual partner is the relationship itself. While some people can have an orgasm with anyone, a lot of people (especially those with vulvas) are especially sensitive to relationship dynamics.
No matter how long you’ve been with someone, sometimes you just don’t feel 100% comfortable. That can greatly impact your ability to orgasm. On the other hand, sometimes you have that sort of connection right off the bat.
You Know Exactly What To Do
One of the biggest reasons it’s easier to have an orgasm by yourself is that you know what to do. You’ve only ever lived in your body. You know the exact pace, rhythm, pressure, and all the things that send you over the edge.
Even if your partner has the same equipment as you, or you’ve been together for ages – they’re not a mind reader! Only you know your body, so you have to communicate with your partner (or partners) what you like.
Another way you can tackle this is by actually showing them! There’s a 99% chance that your partner will find it incredibly hot to watch you masturbate. Talk about killing two birds with one stone.
Orgasming With a Partner
This is all nice and theory, but in real life, it can be incredibly frustrating to feel like you’re not getting what you want out of your sexual experiences. But it’s your body, your sex life, and you have the power to change it – with some guidance.
Noticing Sexual Blocks
Do you have things going on with yourself that might be keeping you from orgasming with a partner? Even if it’s not obvious, these can manifest as sexual blocks:
- Being self-conscious of your body
- Difficulty vocalizing your needs
- History of sexual trauma or abuse
- Putting your partner’s needs first
It might seem counterintuitive, but your ability to orgasm with other people starts with yourself. How do you remove these blocks? There are so many tools you can use to help you enjoy your sex life more. We suggest looking into sexological bodywork, yoni mapping, sex therapy, or by starting a sex journal.
Evaluate the Relationship
While working with your own blocks is the first step, you might also want to reevaluate the relationship itself. Are you and this person sexually compatible?
After having sex, ask yourself:
“Did I enjoy this experience with my partner?”
“Did I feel safe?”
“Did I feel like I had the space and confidence to express my needs and desires?”
If you said no to any of these, then it may be time to reevaluate the relationship itself. Your pleasure is in your hands, but it takes two to tango. If this is a partner that you love and see a future with, then it’s important to communicate your needs, and possibly seek out couple’s therapy.
Don’t Be Afraid of Using Toys
Sex doesn’t have to look any specific way. It’s meant to work for you. A huge amount of people with vulvas can’t orgasm from penetration alone, and even if you can – sex toys can be such a fun way to spice up your sex life, and make it easier to orgasm.
If you have an old reliable that you use in your solo sessions – it’s time to bring that baby into the bedroom. If you don’t, it can be super sexy to go sex toy shopping with your partner. What to get? A bullet vibrator, rabbit vibrator, or even anal plugs can all be fun additions to sex with a partner.
Enjoy the Experience
The bottom line is that orgasms aren’t the end all, be all of sex. You can have incredible sex without having an orgasm, and it can be really helpful to take the focus away from orgasm or some sort of finish line.
Instead, focus on building intimacy and your connection with your partner, feeling more comfortable with yourself and your body, and experiencing pleasure from moment to moment.
Natasha (she/her) is a full-spectrum doula and health+wellness copywriter. Her work focuses on deconstructing the shame, stigma, and barriers people carry around birth, sex, health, and beyond, to help people navigate through their lives with more education and empowerment. You can connect with Natasha on IG @natasha.s.weiss.