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Rappler’s Life and Style section runs an advice column by couple Jeremy Baer and clinical psychologist Dr Margarita Holmes. Jeremy has a master’s degree in law from Oxford University. A banker for 37 years who worked in 3 continents, he has been training with Dr Holmes for the last 10 years, as co-lecturer and, occasionally, as co-therapist, especially with clients whose financial concerns intrude into their daily lives.
Together, they have written two books: “Love Triangles: Understanding the Macho-Mistress Mentality” and “Imported Love: Filipino-Foreign Liaisons.”
Dear Dr Holmes and Mr Baer:
I am 22 years old and have been sexually active for two years now. My sex life is great, and currently I am in a serious relationship. My boyfriend and I are deeply in love, are sexually attracted to each other and trust each other completely, especially when it comes to sex.
However, I cannot reach orgasm through intercourse or through clitoral stimulation from him. Even when I was with other guys, it doesn’t seem to happen, no matter how serious the relationship or despite their efforts.
Truth be told, I have sexually bloomed early, and have been masturbating since I was a young girl. Thus, I am used to a certain method of achieving orgasm–a method only I know and my boyfriend cannot imitate. Since he can’t imitate the exact means of how I achieve orgasm through masturbation, I do not achieve orgasm with him. It feels good when he stimulates me, but it doesn’t reach the peak. The only way for me to reach orgasm is to finish myself off.
Our sex life isn’t suffering because we both don’t mind. However, I imagine it would be much, much more fulfilling if I could achieve orgasm either from vaginal or clitoral stimulation from him. I suspect this would also be good for him knowing that he can make me come.
Do you have any suggestions? I’ve tried everything and I’m not self-conscious. It’s just that it seems impossible to reach orgasm unless I do it in my own way. I have tried teaching him as well but to no avail.
Please let me know if you have any advice. Thank you very much for your time!
All the best – Autumn
Thank you very much for you letter, especially for the very clear way you share the facts and your take on the situation.
Studies confirm what you suspect: that it is easier to “teach” a woman to have an orgasm under different circumstances if she has never had an orgasm before. Because you have had orgasms via masturbation, it will be more difficult to find ways for you to get an orgasm under a different situation—that is, with your boyfriend and not alone.
But in the greater scheme of things, your sexual history—masturbating and thus having great difficulty to come with your partner—is still better relationship-wise than not masturbating and thus finding it easier to come with your boyfriend.
There have been gazillion studies done on the effect sex has on a relationship. After doing a meta analysis on these studies, scientists concluded that 3 important factors are positively correlated: happiness in the relationship, frequency of sexual intercourse, number of female orgasms during intercourse.
Please note that the number of female orgasms are not limited to orgasms due to a partner’s efforts. A woman usually cannot come in the presence of her partner unless she trusts and cares for him enough. I feel it is that trust and care, rather than the orgasm per se, that helps make the relationship stronger and deeper.
Finally (before I go into specific suggestions), you do know that many women would be thrilled to have an orgasm at all, with or without their boyfriends’ efforts, right, Autumn?
Hells bells, many women would be thrilled to bits having an orgasm, boyfriend or no boyfriend! I am thus hoping that, in the worst case scenario that despite our suggestions and despite your efforts, orgasms via your boyfriend’s direct stimulation don’t happen, you will continue to be as happy with what you both already have.
Okay, on with the suggestions:
1. Try hanging your head over the edge of the bed next time you make love in the missionary position. Sexologists believe that this new circumstance will mean the attention you’ve formerly used to focus on “Will I come or not?” will shift to “Holy sh*t, this feels strange but nice” or even just “Hmmm…this feels strange but nice.”
Sometimes we watch ourselves to see if we’re coming which is, of course, the worst thing to do if we want to come. This position sometimes prevents this “spectatoring” from happening at all.
2. Masturbate as you ordinarily would when you make love with your boyfriend. When you are about to come, take his hand, put it on you, and put your hand over his, so you come with his hand directly on your body, using the rhythm, pressure, etcetera, you ordinarily use.
This usually takes time and practice to achieve since you may find you take his hand too soon or too late, and/or it takes a while to get the real rhythm, pressure, etcetera, you need. That is why sex with someone you love, can laugh with, “try, try, again with” can be so much better than sex with a stranger.
3. Try making love in the clitoral alignment technique (CAT) position. The CAT is the only position where clitoral stimulation is not lost once penetration occurs, and many women have found this continued clitoral stimulation to be the critical factor in coming during penetration. Again, it is not easy, especially for the man who will have to glide instead of pump up and down, but practice goes a long way.
Also, having a bed with a headboard, so that your boyfriend can hang on to it for balance (not kidding!). The CAT will need another column of its own to fully explain it, but checking Google out may be all you need.
So why don’t I stop here and let Jeremy respond to your other concern.
All the best. – Margie
Thank you for your message. Perhaps I can approach this from the male perspective.
The reaction of a man to being unable to give his lover an orgasm depends on how he views a “normal” relationship. If he is not a caring lover, it will not bother him much, if indeed he even notices. The world is full of such people. If however he is more evolved and considerate of his partner, it will be of concern, perhaps of great concern.
Considerate lovers fall into several categories, among which are those whose ability to satisfy their partners is actually merely a display of their own sexual prowess. For men like these, a partner’s inability to reach orgasm will be an affront to their manhood, a reflection on their technique as a lover–in other words all about them. These men approach their partners much the way a mechanic approaches a car, manual in one hand and greasy spanner in the other.
Then there are those who are truly interested in their partners’ pleasure. These are the real communicators, by word and by action, who learn to understand how two different minds and bodies can combine to maximize the joys of lovemaking in the unique way only those two people can enjoy it, employing all the senses, cognizant of mood, place and time.
It seems your boyfriend is in this last category and because you have both discussed the orgasm issue fully, it is not a real problem. Of course he would be pleased if he could give you orgasms but you have worked out a relationship that is so much more than that and are very happy together as you are. This is a far greater achievement and one that is likely to last much longer than an orgasm or two.
All the best. – Jeremy
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