anonymous on September 9, 2011

I’ve never had an orgasm, and I’m insecure about my appearance...what can I do?

I’m a 16-year-old girl, and I just started having sex with my boyfriend. I’ve never had an orgasm...and it’s starting to concern me. I thought this could be because I’m not confident with my genital area. I used to shave my pubic region, and now I get ingrown hairs. When I pluck them, they become’s not a great appearance. What can I do to clear up this problem and start enjoying sex?

answered by Annette Fuglsang Owens, MD, PhD on September 9, 2011

Thanks for writing to us. I’ll do my best to address your concerns, including some information about how to stay healthy and feel good about yourself, sexually.

First, I know it’s trendy for women to shave their pubic area...but shaving has some downsides.

Shaving can cut or scrape your top protective skin layer (outermost epidermis). This increases the risk of infection, which could lead to a condition called folliculitis, as well as staph infections (staphylococcus aureus). Shaving also creates tiny scabs at the base of each hair, along with razor bumps (pseudofolliculitis barbae)...and plucking can worsen these damaging effects.

So you may want to take a break from shaving and give your pubic area a chance to recover to it’s natural state. And, in future, rather than fully shaving the area, you may want to simply keep your pubic hair trimmed.

As for never having an’re not alone. A lot of women and men can struggle to reaching the big “O.” It’s likely that you just need practice, which is sometimes best achieved by self-stimulation and masturbation...that’s one way to figure out what feels good to you, and what you need to build intensity toward having an orgasm. Then, when you really know yourself and what gives you pleasure, you can share with your partner what works for you.

It’s important not to worry too much or try too usually helps to relax, be patient with yourself, and simply enjoy the journey of self-discovery. There are lots of books on the subject that might be helpful to you, too, including Becoming Orgasmic: A Sexual and Personal Growth Program for Women (Julia Heiman, Joseph LoPiccolo, David Palladini).

That said, I encourage you to also speak with your doctor about your concerns...just to make sure that you’re healthy. And now that you’re sexually active, I hope you’ll also take some time to know your options when it comes to birth control, safer sex practices and preventing sexually transmitted diseases.

Thank you again for writing, and I wish you good luck as you begin to explore your sexuality and sexual health.

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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