Berkeley Parents Network >
Parenting, Families, & the Community >
Sorry to embarass anyone....for a few months I have been
having cramps after orgasm, like the kind I have during my
period. They're not horrible, but it is uncomfortable.
I've looked this up online, and all I could find out is
that it could be normal or it could be something really
bad. In other words, still no answers for me. Of course, I
am going to make an appt with a gynecologist, but I'm
checking with the BPN community to see how common this is.
So, ladies, how about it?
Totally normal! It can be stress-related, or it can be just
something that happens sometimes. It sucks, no doubt about it,
but it isn't necessarily a sign of anything physically wrong.
I also used to get cramping after an orgasm and it was
directly related to endometriosis (in my case - not
everyone is the same). I have severe endometriosis and it
is always better after surgery and much better now that I'm
back on birth control to suppress it - no more cramping
after an orgasm:-) Endometriosis can only be diagnosed via
laparoscopy so it would be worth discussing with your
I've never heard this spoken of out loud, nor read about
it. But this has happened with me all my life, for about
the week before my period, and also during pregnancy (that
was more painful and not worth it). My theory if I had to
formulate one - when the uterus - sorry, people - is not
totally empty there can be cramping...? It hasn't reached
the level of ''pain'' for me, just tolerable occasional
discomfort. Maybe knowing other women out there have
experienced some version of this will reassure you. But I
think it's a good plan to see your gyn. Would be nice to
hear what s/he says.
I have had cramps after orgasms as long as I can remember,
if the orgasm occurs within a few days of, or during, my
period. Have you noticed if this is the case for you? I
never worried about it, although sometimes it is annoying.
The same thing happened to me, intermittently, for years.
At times it was excruciating for a few minutes afterward.
In my case it wasn't an indicator of a serious problem,
and has not been a constant issue -- but still occurs at
times. In my opinion, unless it's intolerable and happens
everytime, I wouldn't worry about it.
I am almost forty and I have three kids
(ages 1 to 7).
I have been married to a wonderful husband for ten years and I
would score my marriage on a 8-9 (with 10 being the highest
score). But here is my problem: Never ever in my entire life have
I experienced an orgasm with a man. I have had several boyfriends
before I got married and had always hoped to feel the ''real deal''
once I find the love of my life. But nothing has changed over the
years ... so I assume it is ME and not the men.
I do experience orgasms when I do it myself - not by touching
myself though (that I could explain to my hubby) but by simply
using a shower head and letting the hard water jet excite me. In
the beginning of our marriage I sometimes had my husband join me
in the shower and while getting excited himself, it also
frustrated him to see that he was not able to help me to the same
Yes, in general I know about the fireworks and the deep
relaxation afterward and I am thankful that my body is able to
feel orgasms (in the shower it sometimes only takes me a minute
to reach the climax!) BUT I am dreaming about experiencing an
orgasm while having actual sex! I have taken the time with my
husband to relax in the evening, when we are on vacation, in
different situations ... we have had long fore plays before
actually having intercourse. But I am getting tired fast, meaning
I usually like to feel him inside me rather sooner than later.
I do love my husband very much but don't feel too aroused when we
are intimate. I admit my sex drive is low and my husband would
like to have sex more than twice every other week but I am just
exhausted after housework and dealing with the kids all day. I am
wearing seductive nightwear every now and then. We light candles
and listen to romantic music ... but I can't seem to relax enough
to let go of myself totally.
This is a big secret between my husband and I. Even if I wanted
to see a therapist ... I wouldn't be sure how to manage regular
visits. Babysitters are expensive and our supportive families
live out of state. What would I tell my friend or neighbor who
sometimes help with babysitting? No, I am still hoping to find
the magic switch in my head that allows me to enjoy with my
husband what I secretly do in the shower. Why does it come
naturally to every other woman but not me??? Any idea or advise?
You ask why orgasm through intercourse comes naturally to every
other woman but you. The fact is, it does not. About 70% of
women do not reach orgasm through intercourse alone. As a sex
therapist for more than 25 years I have to say that
the ''everyone else but me can'' myth is very common and very
You might learn some helpful ways to look at this through the
book (or video) ''Becoming Orgasmic'' by Heiman & LoPiccolo. You
might also consider consulting a sex therapist who, while not
promising to help you achieve orgasm in exactly the way you
would prefer, can ceratinly help make sex more satisfying for
you and your husband.
a sex therapist
Try to figure out some other way you can have an orgasm that he can participate in.
Buy a vibrator (go to good vibrations) and experiment alone on yourself. If it works.
then tell him about it and use it on yourself during sex. or have him use it on you.
alternatively, try to give yourself an orgasm manually. try this alone by yourself.
Once you figure out how to do that, then start by doing it to yourself while you have
sex. then when he sees how it works, see if he can figure out how to do it to you.
You are not alone! And good for you for asking for advice. If
you can have an orgasm with a shower head, you can have an
orgasm with a vibrator. I highly recommend that you and your
husband go together to Good Vibrations on San Pablo and Dwight.
It is clean, friendly, respectable, with a wonderful,
knowledgeable staff. You probably need a plug-in vibrator
because they make stronger vibrations. Once you have one, you
can use it together or alone. It is very, very common for women
to need stronger stimuli to have orgasms than fingers, tongues,
etc. can produce. There's hope for you! You're lucky to have a
supportive and participatory partner, too. Good luck.
A women's health provider
Try finding a position, for many women it's on top, where you can grind your clit on
his pubis bone with him inside you. Find the most pleasurable positions, and focus.
Please visit Good Vibrations on San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley.
They are a mostly women's cooperative and the salesladies are
very helpful. Keep a drawer of the nightstand devoted to lube
(they can give you some samples) and get a good vibrator. I
like the metal ones best as can wash with soap and water and
not use a condom on them as you are supposed to do with the
softer plastic ones. Try to transition from the shower to the
vibrator. Then let your partner add the vibrator to your sexual
play. I also find that the more often I use the vibrator, the
more mentally and physically prepped I am for having sex with
You are not alone! Many women don't have orgasms with their
partners. I am one of those women, so what I have done is
manual stimulation when we're having intercourse, and that
gives me a good orgasm. If you can't orgasm that way, there are
always vibrators, which mimic the pressure and intensity of a
shower. I would recommend a trip to Good Vibrations, with your
hubby, to pick one out. There are so many different kinds out
there and the staff is great and can help point you in the
right direction. Good luck!
Love my vibrator!
First I want to say that having an orgasm during sex does NOT
come easily to every woman except for you! In all my years of
lovemaking (I am 30 now), it has never happened. I have been
successfully pleasuring myself since early childhood, and I, too,
can relate to the awesomeness that is the detachable shower head,
but vaginally, while I have much satisfaction, it is never due to
So I want to let you know you're not alone. But also, you can
find satisfaction in other ways while with your partner. My
fiance has perfected (after months and months of frustrating and
lengthy practice) the art of oral sex, and that is the only way
he can make me come (no other man before him could even come
close, btw). So that's the compromise; it doesn't happen for me
during sex, and maybe it never will. It's frustrating and kind
of annoying, but we make do.
And if you ever find the secret to having an orgasm during sex...
please, please let me know!
Consider getting a vibrator and working it into the foreplay/sex.
Please go to Good Vibrations (or your sex-positive sex store of
choice). If you can bring yourself to ask the kind and
knowledgeable employees (who have heard just about everything),
they can help you find a sex toy that will fit your needs.
Then, there's one more difficult but important discussion to
have: you need to let your husband know that part of why you
don't want to have sex that often is that it's just not doing it
for you. Ask him if he'd like to experiment with using a vibrator
on you during intercourse. My guess is that he'll be delighted,
and that you'll have a totally great and new kind of orgasm when
you're being stimulated externally and internally at once.
this is a little graphic but...here goes....You didn't say whether you can give yourself
orgasms. Have you tried it? Many women only have clitoral orgasms, meaning the
stimulation need to be on the clitoris, not from the penetration. You can stimulate the
clitoris while having intercourse, thats what I did my whole young life. I didn't have
orgasms ever, other than when someone (me or otherwise) stimulated that part.) until I
was 30. Now it is still rare and need at least some weight on that part. But actually
after a clitoral orgasm, I seem to be able to have regular orgasms if we continue with
the act. I once met a man that never started intercourse until after he made a woman
orgasm through oral sex on the clit. Multiples every time! It was that technique that
ended me up with a surprise pregnancy (my one and only pregnancy!)
You need to read the book ''bonk'' by Mary Roach, specifically
Chapter three, page 65, ''The Princess and Her Pea.''
There is a reason....
Good for on being honest! It's something I relate to, and solved in my last
First off - stop the shower head interludes! The pressure and intensity of the
pulsing water is too much to mimic in real life.
Next - go to Good Vibrations and invest in several different kinds of lube. If you're
tempted by a toy, go for the non-vibrating kind (I like the kiegelciser - a small
stainless steel dildo). You want to stimulate the g-spot, but not become dependent
on strong stimulation.
Take a bath, get comfy and start to play by yourself... work on a LIGHT/FAST touch,
don't go for the firm touches... you want to focus on feather light stimulation. If
you're using a toy, focus on the front vaginal wall (if you put your fingers in - curl
them forward) at the same time as stimulating your clit. Use plenty of lube.
Once you can orgasm by yourself *manually*, then you can involve your partner. Try
positions in which you can reach your clit with your own hand (missionary with you
lying down and him kneeling up) doggie, side by side etc. Make sure that he knows
you are in control of your own experience - he can relax and enjoy himself, you can
close your eyes and only worry about yourself.
Then, when you've started to be able to focus on yourself during intercourse (not
trying to please him - just yourself) then you can start to guide him on what
pressures, speeds, positions are pleasing to you. I found being on top was fun, but I
couldn't climax like that - so we would do that early and finish another way.
This really helped me to become orgasmic during intercourse, and led to a much
better sex life.
saw, came, conquered
A vibrator doesn't waste water like the shower. Go to Amazon, or
to Passion Flower or Good Vibrations. Look around, go with your
husband or by yourself. Have fun with it. Let him use it on you.
Or you use it while he's in you. It's a myth that the sex you see
on TV gives everybody orgasms. Frankly, I always find myself
wondering how on earth they can get away with suggesting that
good sex doesn't involve hands or vibrators. I know it's true for
some women, but definitely not for all, and possibly not for most.
I had to respond to your question because it reminded me a lot of
myself. I had the same issue until I was in my late 20s - was
perfectly capable of having an orgasm by myself, but had a mental
block about having one with a man. From talking to friends, I
think this is actually pretty common. I too thought that all
would be solved once I found someone I could truly trust. Well,
I am with that guy now, and the progress I've made is being able
to have an orgasm while we have intercourse while using a
vibrator on myself. Have you tried a vibrator? At this point, I
just don't think it's possible I'll ever be able to have an
orgasm from intercourse alone, but doing it with a vibrator's
help feels great, intimate, etc. and was a big breakthrough for
me...maybe it would be enough, at least as a first step, for you?
The only position we've gotten to work is both lying on our
sides, with him behind me. Anyway, it takes a lot of
concentration on my part - the trust we have is essential because
I feel like it's ok to take as long as I want getting there,
enabling me to relax sufficiently. Hope that helps and good luck!
You're not alone at all
Its rough being a super parent, living up to the facade other
parents show, we are all in truth surviving from day to day.
Don't worry you are not alone, There are a number of women who
have yet to achieve orgasms through intercourse alone. Notice
how I said yet, with practice and patients you will experience
the bliss of being able to have multiple simultaneous mutual
orgasms with your husband during intercourse. You are lucky
because you already know how to have an orgasm by using a
shower massager. Keep in mind the amount of stimulation this
device is providing. I originally wrote detailed instructions
but removed them as there are lots of books,classes,etc on
techniques and BPN is not the place to post this. I will
respond to your ''get tired and want to feel him inside'' wait
until you cannot stand it anymore then wait a little bit more.
Try giving the San Francisco sex information hot line a call,
they are very helpful.
Above all don't become too goal oriented and focused on having
an orgasm. 90% of it is cerebral and 10% is physiological.
Play hooky from being a parent with resposibilities just relax
and enjoy the process. You are of an age where you are just
entering your sexual peak and should have another 40 years to
Graduated with a minor in reproduction
I recently started doing some classes/workshops at a place called
OneTaste in SF. It has completely transformed my relationship to
sex, orgasm and intimacy--not just sexual intimacy,but in all
realms of my life. It gets you in touch with your own body and
begins to really help you thaw those places that we so often
ignore--literally and emotionally! At least, that's my
experience. Sex has changed so much for me since doing classes
there, I feel more sexual and enjoy sex so much more. I think
they have a lot of online content as well. the website is:
Wow, what more important matter is there to make time for than
this? And you don't owe the babysitter or anybody any
explanation. I think a good sex therapist is what's called for.
Hopefully some people in this group have recommendations.
But also, couldn't your husband hold the shower head for you?!
Have you tried to get creative? I think most men love to please
the woman they love that way and he'd help out if you asked
him. You could compromise and have sex every other time in the
shower?? Or maybe find some comparable dry-weather toys? Good
Vibrations on San Pablo Ave. in Berkeley could really help the
both of you. They're great, just walk in and ask. I went there
once for a medically-caused situation that I found really
embarassing and they were unfazed and informative. You don't
have to tell them your whole secret, just say what you like and
ask how it can be duplicated in a bed without the water. They
also have a great book they put out that you and your husband
could read together.
- this could be fun
P.S. One other thing, if your libido really is low, which I
wonder about if the shower thing works so fast, you can get a
prescription for methyltestosterone. I've heard that enhances
- this could be fun
If you're having satisfying sex with your partner and you're
getting orgasms, just not at the same time, that's ok- it's
actually great! Vaginal sex leading to orgasm need not be the
That being said, there are a few things you can try- google
''coital alignment technique.'' It's a position that keeps your
partner's pubic bone in contact with your clitoris during sex.
Maybe also practice orgasming with a vibrator rather than the
shower head, and then incorporating the vibrator into your
Look around at Good Vibrations- there is something called the
WeVibe. It's a dual action vibrator, meaning it stimulates your
clitoris and your g-spot, and you can wear it during sex. How
cool is that? Also, vibrating cock ring anyone? Or just using
any vibrator you like during, before or after sex?
I feel a bit odd giving such graphic advice, but look at us-
we're 40 years old and we still don't quite know what we're
doing! That's not quite it- we still have lots to learn! Should
be fun! Don't place pressure on yourself- there's no ''right'' way
to enjoy sex or ''right'' way to orgasm.
Dear Never Experienced an Orgasm with a man,
I didn't start experiencing orgasms with a man until I was 28 and then it was
occasional. I did not start having orgasms regularly with a man until I got
together with my husband when I was 33. I think there are a few things going on
here. The skill of your husband is definitely a big part of it but even more
important (in my opinion) is your fantasy life. I would recommend going to
''Good Vibrations'' and getting some erotic literature. Start exploring what
fantasies turn you on. I always need a fantasy in order to have an orgasm. I
went to Good Vibrations 20 years ago when I was exploring my sexuality and they
were so, so helpful. In those days it was really only for women so it felt very
safe. Now it is for everyone which has its pros and cons. Also, I would
explore other ways to have orgasms besides the shower head. Get a vibrator, try
the bath faucet and other things. Expand your repertoire. You will get there.
Just keep exploring. Again, your fantasy life is really important. Good luck.
A few weeks ago, in a new sexual relationship after a long period
of no sex, I experienced a horrific headache right at the point
of orgasm. It was unlike anything I had ever experienced and it
was completely debilitating. After about 15 minutes it started
to subside but I was left with a throbbing headache for several
days. When it happened a second time I ended up in the ER,
thinking I was having an aneurysm. The CT scan was
negative/normal, and the doctor suggested I see a neurologist (I
have an appt. scheduled). She thought it was probably a sex
migraine/ coital cephalgia (migraine brought on by sex/orgasms).
I have no history of migraines, but the diagnosis seems to fit.
Has anyone experienced these and do you have any advice on how to
control them? Medications? Acupuncture? A specific
neurologist? Diet changes? Exercise? Herbal remedies? Spells
and incantations? ANYTHING? The thought of having to abstain
from sex or deal with unbearable pain is beyond depressing.
I've recently suffered from the same thing: amazing horrible
headache that comes on at the moment of orgasm - scary. I
googled 'orgasm headaches' and found lots of info. They are also
called thunderclap headaches. Anyway, to sum it up, they seem to
generally go away on their own - which is what has happened to
me. While some sites suggest seeing an MD to make sure you are
not having a stroke, I didn't see any studies where there was a
correlation or causal effect found. My advice: Just have some
good HA meds available to take right after sex. I use an
over-the-counter med I get at Long's, called Longs Migraine
Pills, (they also have regular headache pills that have the same
active ingredients). These have worked better for me than
expensive prescription meds. Good luck!!!
Did you have red wine, chocolate, or aged cheese prior to your
Avoiding wine, aged cheese, tropical oils, chocolate, and
preserved meats helps many people. Timed-release niacin taken
every day helps, too.
Acupuncture and homeopathy don't help. Some herbal remedies
could make the headaches worse if they cause a reaction.
Careful with headache triggers
Wow - I thought I was the only one with this ''problem''!! Do you
have a hard time getting to orgasm or do you have really powerful
ones? I have experienced both and with either scenario, I've
often ended up with such a powerful headache that I myself
thought I was getting an aneurysm too. Of course, it's been
years since this started happening and obviously I'm alive (knock
on wood) so it wasn't an aneurysm. My headaches did not last
days though, just probably an hour or so. I of course have not
given up sex and my now-husband used to joke that the earth
really moved for me because of him. ;-) I'd recommend drinking
enough water (whether you anticipate having sex or not) daily;
otherwise, I don't really have any suggestions - just wanted to
let you know you're not the only one! I would not give up my O's.
yes, it rocks my world too
Yep, I have this problem too... Although the headaches are quite
a bit less intense than what you described, and they last for
less than an hour. A few things that help are: 1) doing my best
not to clench my jaw or tense up my neck (not always possible!),
2) making sure my neck is in a neutral position during sex, and
3) making sure I don't move my head for about 5 minutes
afterwards (this seems to make the most difference). Sounds
weird, but it sure beats a life of celibacy!
I'm just wondering if I am the only woman in the world who has this problem: (And I
am seeing a therapist to work things out) I have always been able to have an orgasm
on my own, but for some reason when I am with my partner I just can't seem to get
there. I enjoy the intimacy and touching and closeness with my partner, but am
perhaps too shy to come in his presence. We are seeing a therapist together and I
feel that I am getting closer to being able to ''let go'' with him, but it would be nice
to know that I am not the only one with such a ''hang-up''! (And maybe I am!)
Thanks for any feedback!
Hang in there - it took me over 10 years with my loving,
supportive husband to trust, relax, experiment, experience and
finally enjoy orgasms. For me it was about my sex abuse past
and being ''owned'' by men. It took me a LOT of therapy, being
compassionate with myself, and reminding myself there's no
hurry... Good luck!
No, you're not the only one. That was me for a long time.
Do you ever try masturbating while he's there? Rather than
trying to have an orgasm when you're having sex with him? That
may be a good icebreaker...
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I just want to reassure you
how normal you are and how often your experience is repeated in
couples and individuals that I've seen over the years. I hope
that many women write in to confirm this so that you know with
overwhelming certainty that this happens a lot. I'm glad to
hear you're working in therapy with this and with your partner!
Shy is one explanation for your problem. Sometimes the problem is that you can
concentrate when you are alone and you are distracted with a partner. A good trick
to try is having intercourse in a position where you can concentrate on your own
sensations more easily. I found that when my partner approaches from behind,
standing up (if the bed is high enough for comfort), it's great. It also exposes a lot
of erogenous surface to stimulation. I'm really happy to see this subject in the
advice column and look forward to reading the other posts! Have fun
Satisfied at Last
this page was last updated: Feb 9, 2011
BPN is now a 501(c)(3) non-profit and we are transitioning to a new website: BerkeleyParentsNetwork.org
The opinions and statements expressed on this website
are those of parents who subscribe to the
Berkeley Parents Network.
Disclaimer & Usage for
information about using content on this website.
Copyright © 1996-2015 Berkeley Parents Network