The inability to achieve orgasm affects many women especially during early adulthood. It's called anorgasmia, and the issue is bigger than you may think. If you don’t believe me, ask around. Have a heart to heart with your BFF, your sister, or your mom. Maybe you’ve struggled with orgasms and you're certain it’s akin to a mythical unicorn. You’d be surprised to find out how many women you know have never or very rarely experienced a cataclysmic climax. So what's going on? Why are so many women missing out? Here we take a look at the complicated issue of anorgasmia.

Why Aren't More Women Having Orgasms?

Well, there are many things that could stop a woman from experiencing an orgasm. Religion, governmental institutions, culture, morals, attitude, and communication play a significant role in shaping a woman’s perspective of herself and how she relates to the world around her...and that world includes sex and climax. (Learn more in The No.1 Secret to Female Orgasm.)


We all know the story of Adam and Eve. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God by eating the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden, they discovered that they were naked and felt ashamed. We’re never going to live that apple down! Religion is a powerful institution. It can greatly influence people's thoughts and behaviors. Often, belief systems are seen as absolute; and if they are not obeyed, there are consequences. Many beliefs adopted by Western culture support the idea that the body and natural biological functions of the body are inherently sinful.

Lifetimes of puritanical traditions have supported negative attitudes toward sex and sexuality. Those negative attitudes seeped into our culture’s collective conscious, influenced laws, created distorted social norms, and played a detrimental role in the shaping of attitudes. When there is a dichotomy between natural biological desires and a prescribed code of ethics, we find that anxiety, guilt, and bad vibes toward sex may emerge. When a woman is taught a code of ethics and morals by her family, society, and place of worship that are reinforced verbally and nonverbally by the community and world around her, she may become anxious. It makes communication uncomfortable. Communication is the key to resolving many issues, especially when it comes to sex.

Government is another major institution that plays an integral role in shaping people’s ideas about sex. Laws forbidding same-sex marriages and certain sex acts make a significant impact on a person’s self esteem. This can lead to feelings of embarrassment, shame, and sexual dysfunction. Western culture claims that there is too much sex in the media when in fact there is not enough emphasis on sex.The naked body is often censored and considered taboo. Shaming something as natural as sex pathologizes it. When people suppress their natural biological functions and feelings, dysfunctions are born.

Cultural attitudes concerning women and their sexual pleasure vary by society. For example, in Mangaia, an island in the Pacific Ocean, the women are taught to have orgasms as early as 13 years old. The men in that culture derive pleasure from giving their partners many orgasms. In the Highlands of New Guinea, the people claim the clitoris is insignificant and it is never spoken of. They deny the existence of a female orgasm. These cultural influences can strongly affect personal sexual experiences.

Poor communication seems to have a direct influence over attitudes towards sex as well. If sex wasn’t communicated to you in a healthy non-judgmental way, you’re going to feel that sting in one way or another. Anorgasmic women tend to have more difficulty in communicating with their partners regarding sex. The are also more likely to endorse sex myths, experience sex guilt, and have a negative attitude about sex. So, it makes sense that communication problems relating to sex can lead to problems with climax, which can inhibit sexual enjoyment. If a woman is not comfortable with her own body and sexual desires then she probably won’t be comfortable discussing sex with her partner. If she worries about how her partner will perceive her if she speaks up and expresses herself, then she will be afraid to make her needs and desires known.

A woman raised in a religious environment, governed by the laws of her country, and influenced by her culture can feel alienated and oppressed if negative sex messages are received from all of these different places. Until more positive sex messages are conveyed, many women will continue to struggle with their sexual insecurities.


What Can Be Done about Anorgasmia?

There are links between masturbatory experience and sex with another person, and a correlation between masturbation and orgasm. While many anorgasmic women are told to bring masturbation into the situation, this is not guaranteed to help. That said, women who incorporate their personal masturbation technique when having sex with their partner are more successful at achieving orgasm. So, if you’re having a hard time climaxing, try masturbating as foreplay with your partner because there is definitely a relationship between clitoral stimulation and orgasm.


Why Are Some Women Afraid to Let Themselves Be Heard?

It’s very likely that strict moral codes have gotten in the way of women feeling OK about cunnilingus and masturbation. Yet, these same moral codes say it’s OK to have missionary position sex. Herein lies the mixed message: One kind of sex is OK while the other kind is not OK. If you’re feeling bad about what type of sex you’re engaging in, how can you possibly get off? The guilt generally manifests as a bad attitude towards sex. However, there is a silver lining here. If an anorgasmic woman works to change her attitude about sex, she may have more success in achieving orgasm.


Is an Orgasm Always the Central Focus for Women?

Satisfaction can be found in the intimacy, love, and physical closeness of the sex act. In fact, some women state that simply because they achieve orgasm does not mean that they are sexually satisfied. So much fuss is put on the end product, or orgasm, that it can be easy to overlook the kissing, fondling, nuzzling, canoodling, and heart touch heart parts of lovemaking. (Learn more in Stop Worrying About Orgasms. Seriously.)


What If This Doesn't Fit Me?

If all of these heady explanations aren’t doing anything for you and you’re still sitting there scratching your head while trying to figure out why you or your partner aren’t coming more (or at all), then maybe it’s because you’re not spending enough time on foreplay. Twenty minutes of pre-sex shenanigans is a step in the right direction. Also, excessive wetness or dryness may be getting in the way. Either one of those could make it tough to get excited. Don’t be afraid to wipe away extra wetness or add some lubrication as needed. In addition, some women have especially sensitive clits. Clitoral sensitivity can get in the way of a good climax. Avoiding direct contact with this area helps. Consider switching things up. Try positions like doggy style that allow rear entry.

And if you still can't orgasm? See a doctor, a therapist, or both, if needed. Don’t forget to breathe. You’re not alone.