No matter how books, movies, and porn make it seem, the Big Secret about sex is that it’s not always easy. Despite the vagina-having characters on TV orgasming after mere seconds of penetration, the reality is only 18 percent of cis-women can actually reach orgasm during penetrative sex alone. Which means the other 82 percent (hi, it me!), are sitting here wondering WTF is wrong with us. The answer? Absolutely nothing.
“There are so many reasons why orgasms might not be happening for you,” says Allbodies educator and sex coach Myisha Battle. Things like stress, negative body image, and hormone imbalance can affect your ability. Plus, if you’re on any sort of medication for anxiety (such as SSRIs), Adam & Eve’s sex and relationship therapist Jenni Skyler, PhD, suggests chatting with your doctor, since these can have an effect on libido and arousal too.
But all that doesn’t mean you can’t have one. It just means you might have to work at it, and that’s okay! Anything good is worth working for after all, and orgasms? They’re the f*cking best.
So, how do you make it happen? The first step is to r-e-l-a-x. “When you take the pressure and focus off of achieving orgasm, you become far more likely to be able to focus on sensations,” explains sex coach Tamica Wilder. “Stay present to each and every enjoyable experience during sex and resist the need to force a climax. You never know, an orgasm might just sneak up and surprise you when you least expect it!”
And if you’ve done all that (or just feel like jumping ahead), here are a few more things to try that’ll help you reach that mythical O.