Can’t Orgasm? Here’s How to Reach Climax

 In Marriage Counseling, Sex Therapy

Orgasms are GREAT….unless you can’t climax….then they are just a frustrating, discouraging source of heartache. But, the good news is: Anorgasmia (the inability to orgasm/climax), is VERY treatable. 

In This Article

  1. What is Anorgasmia?
  2. You’re Not Alone
  3. Becoming Orgasmic
  4. Common Obstacles To Orgasm
  5. Negative Emotions Associated With Sex
  6. Discomfort With Out-Of-Control Feelings
  7. Depression
  8. Body Awareness And Connection
  9. Insufficient Stimulation
  10. Still Having Difficulties – Get Help.

About the Author

This article is based on scientific evidence and clinical experience, written by a licensed professional and fact-checked by experts.

Josh Spurlock, MA, LPC, CST is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Sex Therapists with over 10,000 hours of clinical experience. Josh specializes in Marriage Counseling and Sex Therapy. Learn more about the Christian counselors at MyCounselor.Online.

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What is Anorgasmia?

An inability or difficulty achieving orgasm, that’s what Anorgasmia means. If you’re not experiencing sexual climax and release when you connect sexually, that significantly impacts the pleasurableness of the experience. That’s not to say you can’t enjoy sex without orgasm or that it’s even normal to orgasm every time you connect sexually. Sexual frustration from a lack of release, however, does diminish the sexual experience- especially if it’s chronic. If unaddressed it will likely leave you feeling less and less interested in sex as time goes by.

You’re Not Alone

If you struggle with anorgasmia, you’re not alone. Only 1 in 3 women report having an orgasm every time they connect sexually with their spouse. Around ⅕ have either never had an orgasm or have difficulty reaching orgasm. The good news is, there is orgasm help for women and treatment for anorgasmia is extremely effective – 9/10 learn to orgasm.

Becoming Orgasmic

This article is a starting place for treating anorgasmia. Entire books could be written on the subject. Indeed they have been. Drs. Julia Heiman and Joseph Lopiccolo wrote the classic book on the subject most sex therapists today read during their training. Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women is a great resource. It has helped thousands of women become orgasmic since its original publication in 1976. While not written from a Christian worldview, if you can eat the meat and spit out the bones, it is a valuable resource. I highly recommend it to anyone struggling with anorgasmia.

Common Obstacles to Orgasm

Let’s take a look at some common obstacles to orgasm I routinely see in my practice. For each, I’ll give you some direction on how to get started working through the issue.

Negative Emotions Associated With Sex

Sexual thoughts, feelings, and desires are “bad” before marriage, but they don’t switch to “good” after the wedding. There are lots of ways we can get the message that sex is bad. Sometimes it comes from the church we grew up in or our parents. Maybe sex was never talked about or girls who were interested in sex were labeled “promiscuous”. However it happens, the message that sex is dirty and should be avoided can stick, making it difficult to embrace sexual desire and expression after the wedding.

  • Negative Sexual Experiences

If you experienced any sexual touching or felt forced or pressured to engage sexually in ways that made you feel uncomfortable (rape, molestation, pressure from a boyfriend), these feelings can get associated with sex also.

  • Fooling around before marriage

Feelings of shame or guilt from sexual touching or activity prior to marriage can get associated with sex in a way that endures.


  1. You can’t change what you’re not aware of. Spend some time thinking about the way you feel when your spouse is being flirtatious or initiating sexual connection. Close your eyes and imagine that you have an extremely high sex drive and are pursuing your husband for sex. What negative feelings are stirred up? Often indifferent or neutral feelings towards sex are actually masking negative feelings. Think about the messages you received or didn’t receive about sex growing up from various people and experiences. What did they tell you about sex?
  2. Evaluate these messages for their truthfulness. Are they consistent with the truth that God wired your body to really enjoy and really want sex because He created it good?
  3. Construct some truth statements to help you rewire your thoughts and feelings about sex. Try something like, “Even though (Message or Experience) left me feeling like sex was bad and dirty, I know God designed me to experience sex as beautiful and fun. Like a good parent enjoys their child enjoying a gift they have given them, God loves for me to enjoy my sexual body He has given me to enjoy and share with my husband.”
  4. Journal and talk with your spouse about the negative feelings and thoughts you discover. Stay tuned into your emotions and when you sense the negative feelings, identify them out loud and talk yourself through them using the truth statements you have constructed.
  5. Push into / pursue positive sexual feelings, giving yourself permission to really enjoy them.

Discomfort with out-of-control feelings

Orgasms, by their very nature, are involuntary reflexes that happen in the body. You don’t make an orgasm happen, you surrender yourself to it by embracing feel good sexual experiences in your body. For some, the out of control nature of orgasm freaks them out. You might shut down your feelings when you start to get there or avoid sex altogether.

  • Sexually out of control

Some women fear they will become a sex-crazed maniac or might even become promiscuous outside of their marriage. There really is no evidence to support this fear. The only likely outcome is you and your husband enjoying your sexual relationship a lot more. Use truth statements to combat this misbelief as with other negative emotions.

  • Self-Consciousness

Orgasm is an expression of the sexual pleasure your body is feeling. Sometimes embarrassment around expressing sexual pleasure through facial inflection, body movements, sounds, etc. can cause you to shut-down your feelings when you feel them start building.

  • One way to work through embarrassment to comfort is for you and your spouse to take turns simulating exaggerated orgasm responses. Talk with your spouse about the fears you have concerning what they might say or think. Then act out the wildest orgasmic experience you can imagine with all the imagined scenarios you’re embarrassed about. Repeat this on different occasions until you find the embarrassment has gone away.
  • For inspiration check out this funny clip from When Harry Met Sally
  • Fear of Vulnerability and Trust Struggles

The feelings of closeness and emotional need for your spouse triggered by sexual connection can be scary if important people in your life haven’t been trustworthy. If larger trust and vulnerability issues are getting in the way of your marriage / sexual relationship you may want to work with a counselor to help you identify their root and work through them.


Both depressed brain chemistry and the medications used to treat depression can inhibit sexual desire and orgasm. If you’re struggling with depression or are on depression medication you will probably need to work with a sex therapist to troubleshoot and design a solution for addressing your sexual difficulties.

Body Awareness and Connection

You can’t “make” an orgasm happen any more than you can make yourself sneeze. Orgasms are reflexes that happen in the body when you reach a sufficient level of arousal.

Learning how to relax, soak in bodily pleasure, and pursue arousing touch are the keys to learning your way to orgasms. This requires intentional exploration and practice to learn how to build high levels of arousal in your body. The repeated practice also establishes neuropathways in your brain that bring you closer to orgasm.

No man is connected to the sexual pleasure pathways in your body. So, it is impossible for your husband to know how to stimulate you in ways that will get you there. Even if he did – it changes! You have to learn your body, and then you can teach your husband.

Insufficient Stimulation

Some women’s bodies require more stimulation than is achievable from intercourse, digital, or oral stimulation alone.

About 50% of women experience orgasms during intercourse, while 50% do not. Why is uncertain. All orgasms, even those that happen during intercourse, are driven by clitoris stimulation. The clitoris is the primary female sexual pleasure genital component. During intercourse, the tugging at the skin around the vaginal opening and the grinding between bodies stimulates the clitoris. Clitoris stimulation can also happen digitally (with fingers) or with orally (tongue and mouth).

Though for most women, before direct genital stimulation is even arousing, your body needs 20 minutes or more of indirect [read not breast or genitals] stimulation. This would include hugging, kissing, caressing of the rest of your body.

Even with plenty of non-genital stimulation- intercourse, oral, and digital touching may not be sufficient in intensity or duration to reach a level of arousal that will trigger the orgasm reflex. Many women who struggle with anorgasmia find the help of an electric vibrator is necessary to achieve orgasm. The adjustable intensity, specific placement around the clitoris, and “as long as you need” nature of the stimulation makes reliably achieving orgasm possible.

Learning to use a vibrator together as a couple can help mutual orgasms become a regular part of lovemaking. A good starter vibrator is the COOXER bullet, which can be ordered from Amazon and delivered privately to your doorstep.

Still having difficulties – Get help.

These are a few of the common obstacles to orgasms I routinely see in my sex therapy practice. If you don’t see yourself in any of these or have difficulty working through these obstacles one of the sex therapists at MyCounselor.Online can provide the individualized help you need to reach your goals. Treatment for anorgasmia has an extremely high success rate, 9/10 become orgasmic. So don’t let fear keep you from having an awesome sex life!


  1. Meston, C. M., Hull, E., Levin, R. J., & Sipski, M. (2004). Disorders of orgasm in women. The Journal of Sexual Medicine1(1), 66-68.
  2. Hurlbert, D. F., White, L. C., Powell, R. D., & Apt, C. (1993). Orgasm consistency training in the treatment of women reporting hypoactive sexual desire: An outcome comparison of women-only groups and couples-only groups. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry24(1), 3-13.
  3. Zamboni, B. D., & Crawford, I. (2003). Using masturbation in sex therapy: Relationships between masturbation, sexual desire, and sexual fantasy. Journal of Psychology & Human Sexuality14(2-3), 123-141.

Overcoming Orgasm Obstacles - Better Sex For Women

Try Online Sex Therapy


MyCounselor.Online is the leading provider of online Christian sex therapy. For as little as $220 a month you can change your situation and truly THRIVE!

*If after your first session you decide it’s not for you we’ll give you a full refund, simple as that.

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