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How to Find Your Orgasm

Find out whether it’s normal to not have orgasms, and find out what you can do about it.

By
Sanaz Majd, MD
5-minute read

“Why do women need to fake orgasms, for goodness sakes?” my friend asked me one day after leaving the movie theatre. We had just watched a movie in which the leading lady was so distressed that she was unable to orgasm, and she felt that she had to play it up to conceal the fact that she actually wasn’t really feeling a thing. 

How to Find Your Orgasm

My friend confided in me that she had actually never experienced an orgasm in her life. And she was 32 years old. “Am I normal, or a complete human oddity?” she asked. She was worried because television and movies sure make it seem like it’s rather abnormal if you don’t climax during intercourse. 

The short answer of course is you don’t ever need to fake an orgasm. If you don’t have one, then you don’t have one. It’s not a big deal as long as you still enjoyed the experience and had the opportunity to share in the intimacy. Unlike a man, is it normal for a woman to not experience an orgasm? Yes! Up to 40% of females report having some type of sexual complaint. But the point is that it’s not typically distressing to most women. Studies show that it is only distressing to about 12% of women--so even though most don’t experience an orgasm, they still enjoy sexual intimacy.

The 4 Phases of the Normal Female Sexual Cycle

To understand where things can go wrong, we need to first understand the normal female sexual cycle:

Phase 1: Libido The desire for sexual intimacy, as a result of images (from magazines, television, or real images) or thoughts.

Phase 2Arousal The increase in heart rate, blood pressure, and respiratory rate, along with increased genital blood flow.

Phase 3: Orgasm The peak of sexual pleasure, with responding rhythmic contractions of the pelvic muscles.

Phase 4: Resolution The return to baseline with pelvic muscle relaxation.

Now, those four phases may occur out of sequence, a phase may be absent altogether or be repeated, or there may be overlap between the different phases. And this is all completely normal in women.

Female sexual dysfunction can affect different phases, resulting in:

  • a lack of libido or desire

  • an impaired arousal

  • a lack of orgasm

However, the only time it’s considered an actual “disorder” is when it is perceived as distressing to you, which is not that common.

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Medical Disclaimer
Please note that all content here is strictly for informational purposes only. This content does not substitute any medical advice, and does not replace any medical judgment or reasoning by your own personal health provider. Please always seek a licensed physician in your area regarding all health related questions and issues.

About the Author

Sanaz Majd, MD

Dr. Sanaz Majd is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who graduated from Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. Her special interests are women's health and patient education.