anonymous on September 9, 2011

Why can’t I have an orgasm with sex?

For some reason, my partner – whom I love a lot and who I think is unbelievably sexy – can’t make me cum. Actually, no one has ever been able to make me cum...I always have to rub myself to finish me. Why? And can I do anything about it? I have no problem going for 4+ hours because I just don't feel any extreme pleasure. I've also noticed all of the things I've gotten from women don't feel good. The experience is sexy, but the feeling just isn’t there...can you help?

answered by David Sobel, MD, JD on September 9, 2011

Thanks for your question. I can certainly understand your frustration, and I’ll do my best to help.

First, I would encourage you to see your doctor or urologist to discuss any medical concerns that might be keeping you from reaching orgasm during sex. That said, I’m happy to offer you my best thoughts on the situation you describe.

Difficulty achieving orgasm is sometimes related to a medical issue…for example,scar tissue from circumcision or injury. Additionally, certain medications can reduce feeling during sex. Hormone imbalances, depression, anxiety and other health conditions can also interfere with achieving orgasm. Again, your doctor or urologist can evaluate and diagnosis what might apply to you.

Have you tried sex therapy? Getting pleasure from sex isn’t just a biological response to stimulation; sexual pleasure and excitement are also tied to emotions and past sexual experiences. So, along with a visit to a medical doctor, you may also want to consider seeing a sex therapist or counselor to help you work through any psychological issues that may be holding you back, sexually.

For example, if you’ve ever endured a traumatic sexual experience, it could compromise your ability to achieve orgasm with a partner now. Or, if you grew up feeling somehow guilty about sex, that could affect your experience, too.

If the cause of your sexual dysfunction is emotional or psychological, a therapist may be able to help you understand and overcome your past in order to experience and enjoy orgasm with sex. The American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapistsis a good starting point.

Thanks for writing, and I wish you good luck in getting to the root cause of your problem.

Related info:

David Sobel, MD, JD

Dr. Sobel is a Colorado-based urologist and Director of the Denver Center for Men’s Health. His areas of expertise include men's sexual health and all areas of urology, including urologic oncology, treatment of benign prostatic hypertrophy, stone disease and incontinence. Dr. Sobel was educated at the University of Michigan Law School and the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, and completed his residency at the Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.

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