Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

anonymous on September 1, 2011

Why can I only orgasm with anal sex? Are vaginal orgasms possible?

My boyfriend and I have started exploring anal sex...and it seems that I can only climax through anal sex. Any ideas why this might be? I don't know if this has anything to do with it, but in my previous relationship my partner was performing oral on me and bit my clitoris. It seemed to decrease feeling for a while...could that be the reason?

answered by
Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD on September 1, 2011

First, keep in mind that there are many ways to reach orgasm, due to the fact that different nerves and body parts (besides the clitoris and the vagina) are involved. For example, the same nerve (the pelvic nerve) that supplies the vagina, cervix and urinary bladder also innervates the rectum, which is the final part of the large intestine that ends in the anus.

What does that mean? Just that anal sex can be highly pleasurable, and that it’s not surprising that you achieve orgasm in this way.

But that’s not all. There’s also the hypogastric nerve, which also innervates the cervix; the vagus nerve, which supplies the uterus and the cervix; and the pudendal nerve, which supplies the clitoris. Talk about many ways to heaven! And by the way, the pudendal nerve also supplies some of the muscles surrounding the vagina and anus, which is why contracting those (squeezing your butt cheeks) before or during orgasm can help intensify it.

How else can you reach orgasm? Well, besides orgasms from genital stimulation (either by stimulating the clitoris or through vaginal penetration, which stimulates the cervix), it’s also possible to reach orgasm from non-genital stimulation, like if your partner nibbles your ears, or kisses or caresses your nipples)…or just by thinking about it (mental orgasms).

So I would first encourage you to relax and simply enjoy the fact that you get pleasure from anal sex. From there, try adding other types of stimulation, and perhaps you’ll find a way to trigger all those nerves in your body. It might also help to really focus on the sensations in your body…in fact, just focusing on the all the sensations of the vagina during intercourse helps some women reach orgasm.

What about the clitoris? Clitoral orgasms are the most common type of orgasm that women experience because the clitoris has plenty of nerve endings...as many as the penis head, in fact. Women often find that, by stimulating the clitoris during sex (either with fingers or a vibrator), they can orgasm with penis-vagina intercourse.

Unfortunately, you’re also correct that injury to the clitoris could make clitoral orgasms more difficult to achieve. Depending on the severity of the injury, it’s possible that your clitoris is no longer as sensitive as it once was…but you may find that you regain sensitivity over time.

In terms of only experiencing orgasm during anal sex, it could also be that stimulation of the “G spot” is involved. Although the medical community is still debating the existence of the G spot, many women report an increase in pleasurable sensation near the opening of the vagina just behind the pubic bone.

If you insert a finger into your vagina and point it towards your belly-button from within your vagina, you are touching the area which is believed to be the G spot. Whether every woman has a G spot, however, nobody knows at this time. In fact, oneFrench study suggests that the G spot may be related to the bundle of nerves associated with the clitoris; others think it’s related to tissue that becomes engorged during sex, not nerves. Regardless, many women report orgasm after this area is stimulated, which may be easier done through anal sex.

Or, because of the positioning of your bodies during anal sex, it’s also possible that your clitoris is easier to stimulate during anal sex than during vaginal sex, for example. Perhaps you or your boyfriend rub your clitoris during anal sex, which results in your orgasms. If this is the case, you may be able to incorporate similar clitoral stimulation (by hand or with a small vibrator) into vaginal sex to increase the possibility of orgasm.

Over time, you and your partner can explore what works best for you to climax. Some simple “Pleasure Mapping” exercises may help along the way…while your partner touches different areas of your body, you can describe the level of pleasure you get from each area. You may even find that you get pleasure from parts of your body you didn’t expect.

I wish you and your partner good luck as you explore your body and potentially learn new ways to pleasure each other.

Related info:

Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD

Dr. Owens is an AASECT-certified sexuality counselor. Her areas of expertise include the medical aspects of human sexuality and sexual problems, as well as the impact of STDs ⎼ and other diseases, illnesses and disabilities ⎼ on sexuality. Dr. Owens was educated at the University of Copenhagen in Denmark.

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