20 Weird Things That Could Be Keeping You From An Orgasm (And Why You Shouldn’t Stress About It)

Many women spend much of their sex lives chasing what feels like an ever-elusive orgasm, but sadly, many of them end up failing. Why is that? There are plenty of reasons you might be missing out on the big O, and some of them are so weird, you probably would never have thought of them.

First off, how many women orgasm during sex?

While we do know that 81.6% of women can’t orgasm from P-in-V sex alone. That being said, even with a little extra help, only around 50% of women tend to orgasm during sex. Compare that to the 90% of men that get off and things start to seem a bit uneven.

The issue was described as the “orgasm gap” by Dr. Laurie Mintz. However, while it’s a major problem in heterosexual relationships, it’s all down to one very simple problem. “The number-one reason for the orgasm gap — and it’s not the only one — is our cultural ignorance of the clitoris,” she told NBC News BETTER.

And while it’s definitely not your fault you’re not getting off, that doesn’t mean you can’t do things to increase your chances. If you have an attentive and very willing partner and it’s still not happening, there may be another explanation. Here’s what might be happening to keep you from climaxing.

Weird things that might be preventing you from having an orgasm

  1. You ditched your socks. When getting intimate, you probably get entirely naked — and that includes removing your socks. Turns out, that might be a mistake. A study from University of Groningen found 80% of couples who wear socks orgasm, while only 50% of couples who don’t were able to do the same. This is possibly due to socks making people more comfortable rather than risking cold feet.
  2. Your guy isn’t the jealous type. Who says nothing good comes from jealousy? According to a study in the Journal of Comparative Psychologymen who are with a woman who has male friends and co-workers tend to see them as “potential sexual rivals.” This makes them try harder by having more sex and trying to satisfy you more so you won’t leave them for someone else.
  3. You’re a straight or bisexual woman. Not all sexual orientations are the same when it comes to achieving an orgasm. Lesbians are climaxing more than straight women. A study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, heterosexual women orgasm 61.6% of the time while 74.7% of lesbians can say the same thing. Bisexual women end up getting there 58% of the time. It looks like heterosexual couples just need to work more in the bedroom.
  4. Your clitoris and vaginal opening are far apart. It’s no secret that stimulating the clitoris is the key to female orgasm, but chances are if you or your partner aren’t stimulating it separately while you’re having penetrative sex, then you’re going to be out of luck. According to research from Emory University, only 8% of women can orgasm unassisted through penile and vaginal intercourse. This is because the clitoris tends to be far away from the vaginal opening, so it’s time to start multitasking in the bedroom!
  5. You refuse to fake it. There are many reasons women fake it, but this one might be the most surprising. Apparently “fake it ’til you make it” is a real thing when it comes to orgasms. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Archives found the third most popular reason women fake it is for their own pleasure. But be warned! If this method doesn’t give results then stop faking it because it can be false encouragement to your partner to continue to do the wrong things.
  6. You’re just too young. Age is more than just a number when it comes to sex. The older you get, the easier it is to climax. “While 61% of women ages 18 to 24 experienced orgasm the last time they had sex, 65% of women in their 30s did and about 70% of women in their 40s and 50s did,” Dr. Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., told Elite DailySo perhaps you need to live a little more to learn about your body.
  7. Your diet isn’t oily enough. You’d be surprised how important the foods you choose to eat have an effect on you. According to Prevention, olive oil helps your body produce testosterone which is good for orgasms, so you might want to include it more in your diet.
  8. He’s only touching your vagina. If your partner still doesn’t know that you need clitoral stimulation to get off, has he been living under a rock somewhere? Geez, seriously. Most women can’t orgasm from vaginal penetration alone. He needs to spread his wings a bit more. How about touching other parts of you that boost your sexual pleasure?
  9. You’re drowning in stress. Life’s been pretty stressful lately. Maybe you find it hard to switch off during sex. That’s because your mind wanders to all the work you still have to do. Chill. You can’t have an orgasm if you’re not nice and relaxed. So, try to have a hot bath or chill out with a glass of wine before having sex. That can help get you in the right mood and leave stress at the bedroom door.
  10. You’re too busy watching your thighs in the mirror. Nothing destroys an orgasm like feeling self-conscious or worrying about your body during sex. Instead of enjoying every sensation and touch, you’re worrying that the cellulite on your thighs looks bad. Ugh. You have to let it go and surrender to how great sex feels. Otherwise, you’re just blocking your own orgasm.
  11. He’s always in a hurry. If he’s always rushing through sex, it doesn’t give you a chance to build up the pleasure. Remember, the best orgasms are those that you reach slowly. Plus, the ones you keep at bay for as long as possible are explosive. If you don’t have enough time to take it slow, maybe don’t bother.
  12. He continually asks you if you’re going to come. The sex is feeling amazing and then your partner asks, “Are you coming soon?” Talk about putting on the pressure! If you feel stressed about when you should be reaching climax or you’re trying to synchronize them, you’re ruining it. Can he just not talk, for the love of God?
  13. You’re on certain medications. Some medications can mess with your hormones and libido, like antidepressants and your birth control, just to name a few. If you find it hard to reach orgasm every single time you have sex and you’re on meds, it’s time to chat with your doctor.
  14. You’re not masturbating enough. You might think that not masturbating is good because then you’ll have all this pent-up pleasure to release during sex with a partner, but that can backfire. If you don’t regularly take time for solo play, you don’t know what works for you. You need to know your sexual hotspots and what triggers orgasms before you can expect to have one during sex.
  15. Your oxytocin levels are too low. Oxytocin is a happy hormone that makes you feel good. It can also make you and your partner bond, and it’s definitely important for hot sex. Research has found that oxytocin gets released during sex. It’s not just when you climax but when you’re on your way to reaching orgasm. Without it, you might find it hard to experience the Big O. Boost your feel-good feelings before sex. How? With a bit of cuddling and kissing to get you feeling warm and fuzzy.
  16. You forgot to pee. Holding it in until the deed is done is a bad idea. It’s really difficult to let go and enjoy an earth-shattering orgasm if you’re worried your bladder’s going to empty itself. Yikes. Next time, go to the bathroom before you do the deed.
  17. You’ve had a C-section. If you’ve recently had a cesarean birth, you might experience anorgasmia. This means difficulty with reaching orgasm. It’s caused by a lack of hormones that get released during vaginal delivery. It can get in the way of your sexual function. The good news is that this usually heals on its own. If not, your doctor can prescribe a hormone treatment to help you get your O back.
  18. You’re depressed or suffering from low moods. If you’re feeling depressed lately, this could definitely kill your mojo. That’s because depression changes the balance of hormones in your body, which can affect your ability to orgasm.
  19. You’re switching positions too quickly. It’s fun to change positions during sex. That’s especially true if you want greater clitoral stimulation. However, if you’re changing things up too quickly, this can backfire. It can make you lose momentum and set your orgasm back. Take it easy and don’t change positions during crucial times. When you can feel your sexual pleasure building, stay the course.
  20. You don’t feel good with your partner. This can seriously mess with your sexual pleasure. Sex isn’t just a physical thing. Your mind has to be on the same page for sexual satisfaction to happen. If you’re not feeling relaxed and happy, orgasms will remain way out of reach.

Why you shouldn’t feel bad if you can’t orgasm

First of all, it’s important to know that you’re not alone. Many women struggle to orgasm and it’s really nothing to be ashamed of. It’s important to remember that you can experience sexual pleasure without the full shebang, too. There are many other ways to enjoy sexual experiences and feel good. You should explore and experiment with different types of foreplay, sexual positions, etc. to find what feels good for you. Don’t be afraid to communicate with your partner about what you like and don’t like, and take things at your own pace.

Also, stress and anxiety can make it more difficult to achieve orgasm. Try to relax and focus on the pleasure you’re feeling rather than putting pressure on yourself to orgasm. Take deep breaths, listen to some music that gets you in the mood, and enjoy it. The more pressure you put on yourself and the experience, the less likely it is to be fulfilling, if you know what we’re getting at.

Finally, know that there are resources available to help you. You can always talk to a therapist or sex educator for some guidance, feedback, and support. There are also many books and online resources that can provide information and tips on how to achieve orgasm. Your worth and value as a person aren’t tied to your ability to orgasm. You’ll get there eventually.

Nicole Weaver is a staff writer for YourTango and regularly contributes to Hollywood, The Bolde, and Proud2BMe. She is a lover of all things entertainment meaning she spends most of her nights in New York binge watching television shows. Follow her on Twitter at @nikkibernice.