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Why Can’t I Orgasm With My Partner?

Difficulties in Experiencing Orgasm During Partner Sex

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Updated November 20, 2008

If you can orgasm on your own but are unable to orgasm with a partner, you can rule out any physical problems or problems related to medication. If you can’t orgasm with a partner, it might be related to the kinds of sex you’re having or the specific techniques you and your partner are using. It may also be an indication of an unresolved or unexplored issue in the relationship.

The easier puzzle to solve is the first one about technique. Many couples believe that intercourse is the main sexual event and that “real sex” happens when both partners orgasm during intercourse. The problem with this picture is that intercourse isn’t a reliable way to have an orgasm. If you want to have orgasms, you’re either going to have to add additional stimulation -- usually clitoral stimulation -- manually or by using a vibrator and/or have different kinds of sex. There is no reason why you can’t do other sexual things, have orgasms, and also have intercourse if it’s a favorite sexual activity. There is also no rule that says that partners must orgasm as a result of the same sexual activity, or at the same time.

It’s also possible that being unable to orgasm with your partner has to do with a problem in the relationship unrelated to sex. While this isn’t necessarily the case, and I don’t recommend immediately blaming your partner or your relationship if you aren’t having orgasms, it’s true that having an orgasm requires relaxation and trust. And if you’re in a relationship where you don’t feel you can relax and you don’t trust your partner, those issues -- even when they have nothing to do with sex -- can get in the way. Again, if you aren’t having orgasms it doesn’t mean there is a problem with your relationship, only that it’s one of many possible causes.

Lastly, if you are having orgasms on your own but can’t orgasm with a partner, it may be related to pressure or anxiety you’re feeling during sex with your partner. We mostly talk about men experiencing “performance anxiety,” but many women also feel pressure to perform, and to have mind blowing orgasms. If you’re mind is busy worrying about how the sex is going to go, whether or not your partner is enjoying it, and what you’re going to say afterward, you may find real orgasms are hard to come by.

If you can’t orgasm with a partner, I promise that to solve the problem, you’ll need to talk to your partner. Communicating about sex with your partner might feel uncomfortable at first, but doing it will likely improve your sexual relationship. And some people say if you can’t talk about it with a person, you probably shouldn’t be doing it with him.

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