Women, Researchers Have Figured Out Why You Aren’t Having Orgasms

A new study published in the journal Sexologies confirms what I’ve long known to be true from personal, uh, research: a woman’s ability to orgasm is highly connected to her ability to focus her thoughts on her body.

Researchers from the University of Louvain in Belgium studied 251 women of all ages, mostly heterosexual, who are all sexually active. About two-thirds of the women described themselves as “orgasmic,” which was defined as being able to reach orgasm with a partner, while the other third described themselves as “not orgasmic.”

The study found that women who are more orgasmic have more erotic thoughts during sex and also “seemed more focused on their bodily sensations,” according to LiveScience. Interestingly, though, all women reported having more erotic thoughts while masturbating when their partner wasn’t present. Sexology professor Pascal De Sutter who authored the study suggested women who are struggling to orgasm with a partner may be too concerned with their looks or their weight to focus.

I find it beyond depressing that any woman would be too worried about her appearance to allow her to focus on coming. Someone is having sex with you! Isn’t that confirmation enough that you’re frickin’ hot?  Yet I relate to struggling to focus on the task at hand (no pun intended): I can be distracted by everything from the room temperature to smells to my roommate is doing on the other side of the door. More than once while having sex I have stopped everything to move a pillow. Somewhat like a sailing expedition, I need almost perfect conditions. And at the risk of making a brad sweeping gender generalization, I have usually found my male sexual partners to be the exact opposite: ready for at anytime. Ladies, maybe it’s time to read up on orgasmic meditation?

All that being, as interesting as I find studies like this, I’m also wary of positioning how we view ‘successful sex’ as only sex which ends in an orgasm. There’s so many other ways to experience pleasure — say, a really incredible head massage (one of my favorites!) — than what we do to finish off with the big O. While it’s incredibly worthwhile to research methods for more women to experience orgasms, I also don’t want to further the idea that not having an orgasm at all means you are 1) dysfunctional/a failure/weird or 2) still can’t enjoy your sexuality. I’ve never in my life had an orgasm from penis-in-vagina sex, although I have orgasms from everything else.  It doesn’t mean I’m broken; it just means different strokes (no pun intended again!) for different folks.


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[Image of a woman orgasming via Shutterstock]