Ask a Sex Therapist: Can she learn to orgasm in a different way?

by Cay L. Crow

Can she learn to orgasm in a different way?

Silhouette of person sitting in chair talking to person sitting at desk

Dear Cay:

My wife and I have been married for 16 years. We have two kids and a great life together. We make love about once a week and while it is enjoyable, we almost always make love the same way. My wife tells me that she can only orgasm if we make love the same way each time. She will try new positions or techniques but always goes back to the surefire method. My question to you is, can she learn to orgasm in a different way? I am also interested in whether I can help my wife increase her level of desire for sex. I would like to make love more often.
K.S.



Dear K.S.,


First of all, a perceptual shift is in order. Sex does not work well as a goal-oriented process. Instead, think of sex as a circle or a spiral with no distinct beginning or end. It is not a step by step linear process. Yes, it is possible for a person to learn to orgasm in more than one way. It sounds as if your wife, like most people, learned one route to orgasm and has not tried any detours. If she wants to learn other ways to orgasm, it will require some experimentation alone or with you if she is willing. But her motivation to change needs to be for herself, not for you. Do not require that your wife make a change in her sexual behavior in order to please you. Remember that women in most cultures are raised to be sexually passive and constantly receive the message that enjoying sex, much less wanting it, has negative connotations about their respectability. It takes many women a long time to learn to be sexually open and free with a lover. Your wife may be pleased that she can even have an orgasm during lovemaking; only 40% of women are able to do that. If you create another goal for her to reach (e.g. having an orgasm another way), how will that make her feel? I also think it is important for you to understand your own motivations in this situation. Is this just about variety? Is it about more intimacy?

For a married couple, sex once a week is about average. There may be nothing wrong with your wife's level of desire. Most married couples report that fatigue is the largest obstacle to lovemaking. With two children and all the trimmings, you and your wife are doing well to make love once a week. Once again, however, let us shift our perspective; it is the quality of time you have together that counts not the quantity. When it comes to sex, score-keeping undermines intimacy and connection. Tell your wife how you feel. Talk about the issue without blaming anyone.

If your WIFE feels that she lacks sexual desire, here are some guidelines: first rule out any physical problems that effect sexual desire: heart disease, diabetes, hormonal imbalance, stress, blood flow issues, etc. Find a Sexual Medicine specialist, usually a urologist, in your area to consult. If there are no physical problems, then consider an appointment with an AASECT Certified Sex Therapist (aasect.org) to explore the psychological and relational issues around sex.

Cay L. Crow, LPC, AASECT-Certified Sex Therapist


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