A lack of satisfaction in the bedroom can cause stress in relationships. For women in particular, it might be challenging to reach an orgasm every time. In fact, studies have shown that only 20 percent of women are able to orgasm from intercourse alone.
In a heterosexual relationship, women might feel added pressure. Their partner might feel guilt or shame about not fulfilling her needs, or he might become impatient waiting for her to climax. Nobody wants that kind of stress in the sheets! After all, there are many health benefits of sex that both partners should be able to enjoy.
Although it’s pretty common for women to have trouble reaching an orgasm, they don’t have to accept it. Internist Keri Peterson, MD, suggests thinking of this as an opportunity to explore what excites you, either alone or with your partner. Part of this process is accepting that something more than intercourse will be necessary to help you orgasm—and that’s totally normal.
When it comes to exploring your body, try to find your erogenous zones, the body’s hotspots for sexual arousal. Self-stimulation can be very effective and enjoyable for many women.
If you have a breakthrough and discover something that excites you, don’t be ashamed to share your secret with your partner—they will likely be more than happy to know what pleases you. In fact, open and honest discussion with your partner about you like (or totally love) can really intensify the experience and strengthen the bond of your relationship.
If you’re still struggling to reach an orgasm, it’s not uncommon to talk to a professional. There are many trained in helping you find what works or what might be holding you back, as well as therapists who can help you deal with the emotional stress you might be feeling.