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Orgasm Difficulties

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Cramping after orgasm

Feb 2011

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? ouch!


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. sympathetic cramper
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 ob/gyn. endo_recovery
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. Anon
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. anon
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. Anon

Never experienced an orgasm with a man in 40 years

Nov 2009

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 results.

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 hurtful.

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. good luck
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. Good luck! Anon
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 my partner. Ms. Anonymous
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 an orgasm.

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! -K


Consider getting a vibrator and working it into the foreplay/sex. k
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. Good Luck!


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!) anon
You need to read the book ''bonk'' by Mary Roach, specifically Chapter three, page 65, ''The Princess and Her Pea.'' There is a reason.... Really
Good for on being honest! It's something I relate to, and solved in my last relationship.

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 practice. Sincerely, 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: www.onetaste.us
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 things greatly. - 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 holy grail.

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 partner sex.

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. Just Enjoy!


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. been there

Migraine at the point of orgasm

Nov 2008

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. anon


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!!! anon
Did you have red wine, chocolate, or aged cheese prior to your sex-related migraine? 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! anon

Too shy to orgasm

Sept 2005

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! Anon


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! anon
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... anon
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 experimenting... Satisfied at Last
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