Orgasms II: Making it Happen

In Part I of Orgasms we discussed the range of orgasmic experiences and highlighted that the brain is really our most powerful sex organ. However, some women have never experienced an orgasm, so we will now consider some approaches to learning how to orgasm.

No single sexual act will guarantee an orgasm each and every time for each and every person. This is because we are each unique (thank goodness) and our bodily responses, mindsets and personal tastes vary significantly. This means that despite well-intentioned how-to headlines that promise to help you “give” your partner a mind-blowing climax, there is no perfect recipe for achieving orgasm.  And no person can really “give” another an orgasm since we ultimately exercise control over our sexual response, including orgasm.

This does not mean that sexy tips and techniques are not helpful – they can, in fact, be very useful to get you started with some fun sexual experimentation, but you should play with them and make them your own according to what works for you. Below, I offer some thoughts and exercises for women who have yet to experience orgasm:

Masturbate! Most people experience their first orgasm through self-stimulation. There are no right or wrong ways to masturbate – play with your labia, pubic mound, butt, anus, thighs, nipples, belly button, collar bones, underarms and any other part you can reach until you figure out what works for you. Enjoy your self-pleasure sessions regardless of whether or not you reach orgasm, because touching yourself should always feel great.

Do your Kegel exercises to promote healthy blood flow to the genitals and learn to control and recognize your sexual response.

Learn to love your body and its unique shapes, textures, colours and curves. A positive body-image facilitates enjoyable sex.

Precede sex sessions (partnered or solo) with some genuine relaxation time including a warm bath, gentle massage or meditation. Many people can’t enjoy orgasm (or sexual arousal) if they are distracted or stressed out, which makes sense since the brain is ultimately responsible for orgasmic response.

Play with running water over your vulva. Many pre-orgasmic women find that the unique sensations of water can be arousing even to the point of orgasm. Water play is safe — just don’t force water up into your vagina.

Consider experimenting with sex toys to see if you enjoy the feeling of vibrations on your stomach, back, neck, thighs, clitoris, breasts, labia, g-spot or anus. Try different lubes to see if your body reacts positively to tingling and warming sensations.

Fantasize! Embrace your thoughts and let them run wild. It is not cheating to think about people other than your partner and it is perfectly normal to fantasize about scenarios, people and activities that you may not actually want to embrace in real life. Check out Nancy Friday’s book My Secret Garden to learn more about the infinite range of normal fantasies women share.

Expand your sexual repertoire beyond penetration. Most women do not consistently orgasm from vaginal penetration and this is perfectly normal. So do not rush into inserting objects (fingers, dildos, vibrators, penises) into your vagina and take time to arouse and pleasure the rest of your body and all of its wonderful parts.

Bear in mind that sex can be fantastic even without orgasms, so avoid putting pressure on yourself or your partner. While you are learning to orgasm, enjoy the process instead of focusing on a goal.

Have fun, experiment and always practice safer sex!


Dr. Jessica O’Reilly is a board-certified sexologist committed to helping clients enjoy healthy, pleasurable sex lives. She has completed her PhD in human sexuality with a focus on training teachers to deliver effective sex education. She loves her work (obviously!) and splits her time between public speaking engagements, freelance writing, program development and consulting in the field of sexual health. Learn more about Jessica at

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