Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Your Turn: “My Boyfriend Doesn’t Sexually Satisfy Me”

In a feature I call “Your Turn,” in which you, the readers, get to answer the question, I’m presenting the following letter without commentary from me:

My boyfriend is incredibly sweet, caring, and an all-around fantastic guy whom I’m truly in love with. We have a connection I never really believed I would find, and I feel so lucky to be with him. But there’s one problem: things between the sheets are not great. We were each other’s firsts, so I expected it to be rocky in the beginning, but now it’s been almost six months and I have only had one orgasm [that includes six months of third base before we started having sex.] I have tried talking to him about it, but fear it only makes him more self-conscious. I have casually mentioned that I do research to learn more about what I can do to please him sexually in hopes that he will do the same. I have even offered to teach him what to do, but he just says “sure,” then never acts on it. If this were someone else’s letter and I was reading it I would say that he just doesn’t care – but honestly that’s not his personality at all. I really think that he is just anxious about not being able to please me and therefore avoids it. I don’t want to make him more uncomfortable by trying to get him to talk more, but I also don’t want to be unsatisfied forever. I really think there is a good chance of me marrying this guy, but I’m worried these problems will continue forever. I don’t want to break up, but sometimes I wonder if another lover would be able to do the things he can’t seem to figure out. What should I do? — Confused Lover
67 comments… add one
  • JK

    JK December 5, 2011, 7:30 am

    LW, do you know what it takes to get you to orgasm??? That´s the first step.
    Lots of people (myself included) can find it hard to talk about sex in cold blood as it were, the best way is to tell/show him while you´re actually having sex: “I´d love it if you´d…” Also, that way it´s less likely your BF takes it as a criticism.
    Sex is all about trial and error, and working out what´s right for you can be lots of fun.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark December 5, 2011, 2:54 pm

      Seriously. So many women with this problem simply have a tough time orgasming even on their own and yet they then expect their (often novice) men to be miracle workers.

      It’s simply NOT fair.

      Look, it seems guys are wired to have an orgasms much more easily… We also have less hang ups about jerking off and so we are simply in much better touch with our bodies and achieving orgasms…

      The main detail of this letter is the laughable suggestion that HE needs to do research. WTF? Isn’t everybody different? She should simply tell him what would make her feel good. He’s not a mindreader. She needs to stop expecting him to be. And she needs to take a little more responsibility for her own sexual fulfillment.

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      • avatar

        Jessica B December 5, 2011, 4:30 pm

        “We also have less hang ups about jerking off and so we are simply in much better touch with our bodies and achieving orgasms… ”

        Don’t stereotype both genders, please.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 5, 2011, 6:07 pm

        Um, okay. Whatever. But I would hazard a guess that way more guys jerk off everyday than women do.

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      • avatar

        linda October 11, 2013, 1:54 am

        I’m a woman with a much stronger sexual appetite then most men/people I know. I was never sexually abused, just always been very much in touch with my body and my wants, and that shouldn’t make me an outcast. Be a bitch an say I’m tooting my own horn, but realiztically and honestly speaking, I’m very pretty, extremely intelligent, and as a single woman, had no problems getting what I wanted, when I wanted it. I fell in love (2nd time) with an amazing man who treats me incredibly and makes me inexplicably happy, except for the fact that our sex life has grown to be less than lackluster.

        When we met, he’d strive to give me multiple orgasms. Today, he cums easily (there’s no set refractory period which seems to help him back either) and his dick isn’t exactly the largest I’ve had. I love him. He’s a wonderful human being. But lately i ‘ve found myself having dreams of past sexual flames, more often being my first love, who I lost my virginity to and nevr had issues pleasing me in that sense, but otherwise became a lying, cheating psycholoserwhat do I do, I don’t wantto lose him, he otherwise perfect, but I’m not sexually fulfilled.

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      • avatar

        PFG-SCR December 5, 2011, 7:37 pm

        @Jessica B: While I do think BGM could have phrased that a bit better, I think his underlying point is valid. If you look at surveys, they’ll show the number of men vs. number of women who masturbate regularly is heavily in the men’s favor. And, I know there are studies that show a correlation between those women who don’t orgasm with a partner also don’t orgasm alone.

        All that he’s saying is that self-exploration has benefits not only for that solo activity, but also during sexual activities with your partner.

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      • avatar

        craigsbeauty March 14, 2012, 1:42 pm

        My lord, wy all the animosity toward a woman simply trying to get outside help for an issue so MANY women must deal with? You find her suggestion to ask her boyfriend to do some research as “laughable” simply makes me wonder what’s happened in your life to have such sarcastic and mean words thrown her way. She is trying her best to come up with a loving solution , and i find her suggestion to be a kind overall way for BOTH of them to work out this issue together. There are some great books out there who offer suggestions that are simple, yet are incredibly for the partnet not sure what to do. She is attempting to have a dialogue with him to open the subject up for discussion. Your “problem identification” is whats “off.” Some men seem to believe that all they need is a woan, bed, and their “manhood” and every woman will automatically give them the gold star of sexuality. Sorry but that seldom works that way. Work together and LISTEN t o each other and each sexual session will get better and better and love with grow right along with this. The basic idea that two totally different people growing up in different places, with diff experiences, diff parents, taught diff things etc is not going to cause SOME glitches in the bedroom is being naive, BUT i find no resaon for bittergaymark’s intense animosity toward a person seeking help to have a beter relationship. I clap at her courage! It much easier to be loving and kind than it is to gather all that hatefulness….and that hate helps nobody. I’d rather try to be some help. My now husband was a bit less experienced sexually and he was the most loving man regarding this issue ….I love him even more now. He went to a doctor and had tests done on his testosterone etc to see if HE could do something to better please ME…and i never asked him to! But this man loves me so much that he didnt care what it took. Think about what it would take to go to a complete strager to talk about sexual issues? He had spoken to me about what he had donwe and apts he had and I immediately agreed to go with him. He needed my support and I wanted to be there for HIM. We read books together. We try new things. Nobody is out there alone. And most of all, theres no animosity and blame as bittergaymark subscribes to. what a shame!

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  • avatar

    Amanda December 5, 2011, 8:21 am

    Do you remember the old “Talk Sex” show? The host, Sue, used to say “Take his hand and put it where you want it. Take his head and put it where you want it.” We are each in charge of our own sexual satisfaction. If you know what will get you to orgasm, you have to teach it to your guy. Not just with words, but with action. Also, when you are actually having sex, try not to think “Am I going to orgasm this time?” because then you most likely will not. Clear you mind and have fun! Sometimes the journey to O-Town is just as fun as the destination.

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    • JK

      JK December 5, 2011, 8:23 am

      Very true. Sometimes it can be hard to clear your mind though, what I find helps me is to instead focus on what I´m doing, what´s being done to me, etc.

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    • avatar

      MJ December 5, 2011, 9:15 am

      Exactly this.

      I rarely come during sex, but if I do, it’s because I take charge. Take his hand and put it where you want it, grab a vibrator and go to town. You can even masturbate while he touches you or holds you. Do you like dirty talk? It turns me on to talk about what we’re doing and say things outloud.

      Your boyfriend is your first, and even though it would be nice if he started researching sex techniques, the reality is, he’s not going to know what works for YOU specifically until you show and tell.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom December 5, 2011, 10:26 am

        Giving feedback in the heat of the moment is helpful. Guiding his hand, turning your body to where it needs to be so that you’re getting the rights spots touched, whispering lick or suck (they don’t achieve the same things), saying yes or that’s it/perfect/right there when he does hit the right spot, rubbing yourself against him, etc. all helps him to know what to do to please you.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom December 5, 2011, 11:12 am

        And getting his hand in the right spot is only the start. Then you need to guide it in the right rhythm and try to hold it at the right pressure. I’ve found that men use a much faster motion on themselves than works on me. You may have to keep your hand on his and force it to move at the correct speed while whispering slower (or faster) and then when the speed is right tell him it’s perfect.

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  • avatar

    Callifax December 5, 2011, 8:25 am

    Orgasms, for women, have a huge mental component (I forget the study but I’ll try to dig it up) – so not only does your man need to know what he’s doing, but you need to be in the right head space. Stressing about his lack of skill won’t help. Make sure to mentally focus on what turns you on about the experience rather than how sexually frustrated you are, and that may help. It’s hard to get aroused if you are worried about whether it’s going to happen or not.

    And be direct – explore yourself and find out what you like and what helps you get turned on, and communicate that with your boyfriend. It’s the only way that he can learn how to please you – you can’t expect him to read your mind. If this is a deal breaker for you, and the only other option is to break up, then you owe it to yourself and him to be forward and clear.

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  • avatar

    Jess December 5, 2011, 8:42 am

    buy a bullet vibrator and use it during sex. I’ve been having sex for 10 years with different partners and the only ways I can have an orgasm is with the bullet vibrator and sex, or with me on top. Doesn’t matter who the guy is or what he’s doing. Female orgasms are difficult.

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    • avatar

      MissDre December 5, 2011, 9:40 am

      For real. I’ve been sexually active for around 8 years, enjoying both casual sex and long term committed relationships, and I’ve never ever had an orgasm. Not even by myself. And it’s actually quite common. A lot of girls I know are in the same boat. My best friend didn’t have her first until she was in her mid-20’s – after she was married and had a baby. I actually read once that it’s common for a lot of women not to get there until their 30’s when they are mentally more at ease and confident.

      So, I really have no good advice for the LW. I’m just jealous that she’s had an orgasm after only 6 months, with her first partner.

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      • JK

        JK December 5, 2011, 9:46 am

        This reminded me of that movie The Oh in Ohio, with Paul Rudd (mmmmmmmmm, Paul Rudd :))

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      • FireStar

        FireStar December 5, 2011, 11:10 am

        It reminded me of Seinfeld where Elaine told Jerry she just never had them when she was younger (and dating him) and just used to fake them.
        Sometimes these things take a moment. When you can consistently achieve them on your own, you’ll be in a better place to show your boyfriend what his new favourite move will be.

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      • avatar

        *HmC* December 5, 2011, 1:14 pm

        Wow, I am kind of blown away. I know tone doesn’t translate well online and I’ve always liked your comments MissDre so I want to be very clear that I’m not making fun of you in any way or implying that you’re lying or something, but how can this be true??? If it is I am honestly astounded. “It’s common for a lot of women not to get there until their 30′s” ?! NEVER?! Even when alone? Ever?! Common???…. I want to know more about this…

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      • avatar

        MissDre December 5, 2011, 3:57 pm

        I’ve actually talked to a number of girls about it, even my mom because for a while I was getting worried that something was wrong with me. My best friend (who is 7 years older than me by the way) had never climaxed until she met her current husband, and she’d already had one baby with a second on the way. My mom told me she was married for 4 years before she finally had her first orgasm.

        Another girl I was very good friends with told me she’d never climaxed either and once while I was listening in on some drinking game (I think it’s called “I Never” or something) one of the girls admitted that she’d never had an orgasm (even though she’d been with her bf for several years) and that got the conversation going with several other girls chiming in with “Really? Me neither! I thought I was the only one!”

        And like Skyblossom mentioned below, masturbating is like trying to tickle myself. I don’t get anything out of it whatsoever and same for other girls I’ve talked to. But I gave up worrying about it. Sex still feels good, so why worry?

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      • avatar

        *HmC* December 5, 2011, 4:09 pm

        Thank you for sharing that. I’m sorry that you ever felt like something was wrong with you, and I certainly don’t mean to contribute to that type of feeling with my questions. I was just honestly surprised… but of course I believe you.

        I find this topic very interesting. It’s always interesting for me to learn something totally new. And I have a new found appreciation for my, ahem, personal chemistry. Though of course, I don’t bemoan your situation too much, since you seem to be happy with what you have. What an interesting and varied world we live in.

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      • avatar

        MissDre December 5, 2011, 4:25 pm

        I don’t mind the questions 🙂 I think it’s important for women (especially young women) to know all sides of the equation and feel 100% comfortable with their sexuality. Ladies should be able to freely talk about what gets them off without anybody making them feel like whores, just as they should be able to admit that they don’t know yet what gets them off without feeling like there is something wrong with them.

        I certainly do hope I’ll get there eventually. My mom told me that the older she gets, the better it gets so I’m sure I have lifetime of good experiences ahead of me 😉

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom December 5, 2011, 5:29 pm

        When I was a kid (back in the days when no one thought girls would masturbate) I loved to read in bed. It got me away from most of the family for a little quiet time and kept me out of sight of my mom who always seemed to find some chores for me to do around the house. When I was in sixth grade I would find myself lying in bed reading, getting aroused (not from the books either, my mom didn’t allow romantic novels in our house) and would wriggle around against the bedding and have an orgasm. Rubbing against pretty much anything works as long as it isn’t my hand. Also heat helps as in things like the pulsing of a shower massage with warm water. So, if you’re feeling aroused and you’re alone consider just rubbing up against something like a pillow on edge or a roll of blanket or head for the shower. You don’t need a vibrator, I’ve never had one, but I can take care of things myself without using my hand. If your guy is there try rubbing agains him, pressing your body up against him and moving rhythmically at whatever speed works for you. Just go with whatever makes you more aroused. I think that’s one reason I like to spoon with my husband with me on the outside, it gets me going because I’m pressed up against him.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom December 5, 2011, 2:46 pm

        MissDre – For myself, I’ve found that masturbating with my own hand is like trying to tickle myself, it doesn’t work, not at all, never even once. So, if you’re in the same boat have you tried self pleasuring using something besides your own hand?

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      • avatar

        MissDre December 5, 2011, 3:50 pm

        This is exactly how I describe it…. it’s the same for me. It’s like trying to tickle yourself, and it just doesn’t work. I’ve been thinking about trying a vibrator but to be honest, not totally sure if that would do anything because even when I’m with a guy, I prefer penetration to any other kind of stimulation. Plus there are so many kinds of vibrators, I wouldn’t even know where to start. I kinda just feel like meh, since I’ve never climaxed, I don’t even know what I’m missing. So no point stressing about it. It’ll happen when it happens and in the meantime I’m happy with my sex life.

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      • JK

        JK December 5, 2011, 3:53 pm

        Great attitude. 🙂
        I´ve never been, but apparently some sex shops are more female friendly and might be able to guide you in the right direction, vibrator wise. I know Dan Savage always recommends a couple, can´t think of the naes right now though.

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      • avatar

        Bondbabe December 5, 2011, 5:45 pm

        I tried many vibrators – the BEST (for me) – is the Wet Wabbit. Abso-f*&king-lutely awesome!!!

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      • avatar

        PFG-SCR December 5, 2011, 7:54 pm

        I learned to masturbate at a young age, so I never felt the need to get a vibrator but I did purchase a few earlier this year just to try something different. Even though I can easily orgasm myself or with my significant other, I had to “learn” how to orgasm with a vibrator. It’s different, at least to me.

        I highly recommend The Celebrator – you can buy it on Amazon.com. It’s for clitoral stimulation…I really doubt you’ll feel ticklish. Go snuggle under your covers in bed with it, relax and just play around with it to figure out what feels good.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 December 5, 2011, 4:19 pm

        For me masterbating with my own hand is like someone else tickling me! Really it is. I have gotten off once from somebody else doing it, and that is my current SO, but it just doesn’t work for me!

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 December 5, 2011, 4:21 pm

        Oh and I’m very ticklish!

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom December 5, 2011, 4:26 pm

        Too funny!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 5, 2011, 6:25 pm

        Skyblossom and MissDre both illustrate what I was talking about with regards to women and sex. The way they have orgasms is simply so much different than men. One would be seriously hard pressed to find ANY male over the ripe old age of 16 that has never had an orgasm. This isn’t a fault on the part of women, but it is a big difference. And that’s all I was trying to say in my original post here.

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  • Budj

    Budj December 5, 2011, 8:42 am

    It’s all in how you approach it. Good advice above – phrase it like “I would like it” or “I really like it when”. Keep it about what you want and not what he isn’t doing.

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  • avatar

    MsMisery December 5, 2011, 8:44 am

    Not being able to orgasm via intercourse is quite common for women. I know that’s not particularly good news, but it’s true.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom December 5, 2011, 10:18 am

      There are ways to greatly increase the odds of a vaginal orgasm. I know that every woman is different so this is what I’ve found for myself. If penetration occurs too soon I won’t have a vaginal orgasm but if we wait for penetration until I’m nearly (maybe 5 to 10 seconds away) at an orgasm then it happens easily and is much more intense than a clitoral orgasm.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl December 5, 2011, 9:12 am

    6 months isn’t a very long time. It took me 8 years to be able to “regularly” orgasm during sex. And “regulary” is a loose term – it has to be the right position, the right temperature, the right mental state, ect ect ect. Instead of hinting at your boyfriend doing “research” to figure out how to please you, talk to him during sex. Use positive statements and encourage him.

    I would advise against avoiding discussing this because it might make him “uncomfortable”. You say you might want to marry this guy…a marraige means a life time of potentially uncomfortable or difficult conversations. I truely beleive the key to a successful, long term relationship is great and open communication about EVERYTHING.

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    • avatar

      lk December 5, 2011, 10:11 am

      “a marraige means a life time of potentially uncomfortable or difficult conversations”

      i want this line in my wedding vows

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  • avatar

    PFG-SCR December 5, 2011, 9:14 am

    He’s obviously feeling inept, and you reminding him that he’s not doing it right isn’t going to help his feelings of inadequacy. Sexually satisfying a woman is a goal of (most) men during sex, but you need to recognize that it’s a learned skill. It’s also a skill that must be tailored to each woman because every woman is different in what gets her off.

    It’s unclear from your letter if you are able to consistently bring yourself to orgasm on your own. If that’s not something that you are able to do, that should be a priority for you. Learn the different ways you like to be touched, how it feels as you are building your arousal closer to orgasm, and how you are able to “go over the edge” to orgasm – ideally, learn all of that without a vibrator, because achieving orgasm is very different (at least in my experience) with one.

    So, once you can do that, teach him. But, since he is uncomfortable with you verbally telling him, show him by actively participating in the journey to achieving your own orgasm. You can do that by directly stimulating yourself during sex, and/or by allowing him to watch you masturbate, and/or by taking his hand and showing him. Experiment together – different positions, different techniques, etc.

    I’d really change your attitude about it, as well. The wonderful part about two people who are each other’s first sexual partners is that you get to “figure it all out”. Spend as much time as possible doing that. Figuring it all out with each other is a hell of a lot of fun, and you being annoyed with him and him being anxious about it is taking away from the enjoyment that you should both be getting by exploring one another.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl December 5, 2011, 10:25 am

      I think your suggestion to skip the vibrator (for now) is a great one. The LW and her BF are pretty early in their sexual exploration, I think she should spend some more time focusing on reaching an orgasm with just what her and her BF came with before adding in toys. Vibrators and other sex toys can be very valuable in a relationship and I get a lot of women need them to orgasm BUT I honestly don’t think they’ve given it enough time to see if the LW can orgasm from sex alone regularly.

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  • avatar

    Renee December 5, 2011, 9:14 am

    Depending on your form of contraception, speak to your GYN about it also. Last time I went it was an actualy question they asked.

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  • avatar

    McLovin December 5, 2011, 9:27 am

    If, after almost 6 months of sex, plus another 6 months of heavy petting, the end result is one orgasm for you then you need to be more assertive in what specifically you need him to do.

    Don’t make any excuses for him either, like he might be intimidated by his of lack of ability to please you. That’s nothing more than a lack of communication. I’m 96.3% certain that he doesn’t want to be a lousy lay, so make 100% sure that you’re very clear with him about what you need when the timing is best. “Coach” him up because once he sees how great he can make you feel he will definitely want to keep doing exactly what you told him works for you.

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    • Budj

      Budj December 5, 2011, 9:34 am

      Your last sentence made me think that MAYBE she should hamm it up the first time (not fake an O) but at least make a point to tell him “how well he did” after your first experience coaching him. He will be on cloud 9 and eager to get better. Positive reinforcement ftw.

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  • avatar

    Allison December 5, 2011, 9:29 am

    You say that you offer to teach him and he never follows through. Do you mean on the learning or on using what he’s learned? It sounds like you’re saying he never goes through with letting you teach him, which makes no sense to me. If someone told me they’d teach me what to do, I’d expect them to actually commence the teaching. If you guys are getting physical, just say, “Hey, you should do this,” and tell him or show him. Plenty of people do this, even those who aren’t having major problems getting their significant other to please them.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 December 5, 2011, 9:49 am

    I see all of these people telling you to just take your boyfriends hand or head, and put it where you want, but that doesn’t sound like the problem. It seems like he might already try, but he doesn’t know what makes you get off so that isn’t really going to help. I know it’s hard, but your boyfriend really sounds like a baby, and he is letting his ego get in the way of your pleasure. First I would tell him what to do (in a sexy getting off kind of voice)while he is in the middle of trying to get you off in, that way he is just being selfish if he doesn’t give it a try, and if that doesn’t work then you really do need to sit him down, and have a talk with him about this, and if he really can’t handle the situation then you have to decide if this is a dealbreaker for you, or if you can deal with getting yourself off for the rest of your life.
    Things you can do to help out though, you can tell him that it would make you really hot if he watched you masturbate, or if he isn’t opposed to it, you could say that you would love it if he watched you get off with a vibrator, and then ask him to helpout with it. You do have to becareful with the vibrator one though, because sometimes if the guy has a fragil ego he can get all bent out of shape that you get so much pleassure from a piece of electronics, but not from him.

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    • avatar

      Fabelle December 5, 2011, 10:39 am

      I agree that he sounds as if his ego might be getting in the way– if she’s worried about making him anxious, then he’s probably showed signs of being a little offended when she makes suggestions. It might also be that he knows sort of what to do, but his anxiousness is making what he does seem not-hot (is this making sense?) I also think it seems like he might need coaching from an outside source, because he might find it difficult to inject that special decisive confidence into what he’s doing in bed if his girlfriend is the one telling him what to do.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 December 5, 2011, 10:58 am

        No I definitely get what you are saying. I think outside coaching could work if he doesn’t mind talking about this type of thing with other people. He should go to his most pimptastic friend, and get some pointers!
        I also like what people have said about BC, because that can make a huge difference for both parties if they know how it is effecting her. It made a big difference for me in understanding some things that were going on in and out of the bedroom, and to watch her comprimise on different things in her life all because of the reaction her body was having to different types of little pills was crazy.

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  • Will.i.am

    Will.i.am December 5, 2011, 10:10 am

    Just try and coach your bf. I’ve had women orgasm and then other woomen who couldn’t, but would always say that they enjoyed the moment together. Like what other people have said, all women are different and the ability to orgasm can be difficult to achieve.

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones December 5, 2011, 10:36 am

    Practice, practice, practice. And along with taking time to masturbate so you learn about yourself, yoga and bodywork can open up your meridians so that the energy can flow better. It is a long process, but hip openers, hamstring stretches, and chest and spine openers especially can make a real difference in sexual response. Try rolfing. But it can take years to open up the body but you sound young and like this would be a good journey to start on. I am now 50 and sex in my 20’s, even in long relationships where we had time and space to have a lot of sex,it was nowhere near as good as it is now. A lot of it has to do with my health and how I have worked on my yoga practice and alignment all these years. Great sex is only one side effect of a yoga practice that removes blockages and should not be your only goal with it, but whatever your reason for starting it is as good a reason as any.

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    • avatar

      lk December 5, 2011, 11:35 am

      Thanks for this – very helpful & inspiring : )

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  • avatar

    EpicMalarkey December 5, 2011, 10:39 am

    I’ll let you in on my secret. I don’t care about having an orgasm during sex. If I do, great. If I don’t, it’s not a big deal. I just really enjoy the moment and emotional connection I get with my boyfriend when we have sex. It’s joyful and relaxing. And you know what? The ironic thing is I found out was the less I care about my finish line, the easier it is for me to get there. I have the hardest time getting off during sex and it was almost entirely just me worrying in my own headspace about everything. It is sooooooo difficult for me to turn off my thoughts and be in the moment with my partner. I still don’t get off every time I’m with him. I actually prefer masturbating because well…..I just know what I like best.

    Figure out what you need to be comfortable. It takes many years of practice and trial and error. You are normal, and not weird or broken. Have an uncomfortable but real feelings talk with your guy. Talk it out. It sounds like he’s just as lost as you are and can’t find the right words to say. If he’s as sweet as you say, you will both get to where you want to be with patience and open conversation.

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  • avatar

    *HmC* December 5, 2011, 1:26 pm

    LW- I don’t know about how common or uncommon it is for women to orgasm or not orgasm during intercourse- personally, I’ve heard conflicting information about that. What I do know for sure though, is that communication is an essential element of a satisfying sexual relationship, whether that means having an orgasm or not. As you and your boyfriend do not have much experience with sex yet, I can see why you might feel that his inability to make you orgasm is some reflection on his skills. It isn’t. Experience teaches you very quickly that you have to LEARN how to please someone in bed, and that learning comes from knowing your own body and communicating what you need. Every person is different and so every couple has somewhat of a bedroom learning curve as they adapt to each other.

    It isn’t a poor reflection on either one of you that you can’t orgasm right away. It is, however, a sign of inexperience and poor communications skills that either of you would take it so personally or avoid working together to improve your sexual experiences. If a frank discussion is a little much for you, do what others have suggested and move his hands where you want them. Practice on yourself a bit first so you know how to direct him. If he still gets offended or refuses to work with you, well, how great of a partner is this person then, really? I know you insist that he is great in so many ways, but to me, a good partner must know that uncomfortable conversations are unavoidable sometimes, but they’re worth having if that means improving the relationship.

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom December 5, 2011, 2:18 pm

      Exactly. If you can’t communicate I don’t see how your relationship will last. In a long term relationship this would only be the first of many serious, perhaps uncomfortable, topics to discuss.

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      CG December 5, 2011, 2:38 pm

      YES! I read the letter and thought, if he won’t act on her suggestions and they can’t even talk about this after at least 12 months of dating, it might be time for the LW to think about MOA-ing. Obviously this can be an incredibly uncomfortable topic of conversation. But if she marries the guy, I can def see her writing the exact same letter to Dan Savage in a year or two.

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    Theenemyofmyenemyisagrilledcheesesandwich December 5, 2011, 2:28 pm

    Something to remember, especially as you are each-other’s firsts, is that “sex” isn’t limited to vaginal penetration. Sex includes oral, mutual masturbation, hand-jobs (for gents and ladies) and dry-humping, etc. Vaginal penetration doesn’t work for a LOT of women. So don’t worry about that. It might be his inexperience, (…well, probably) but it also might be that there are other things like oral sex which are better at getting you off, always will be, and STILL COUNT AS SEX.

    So, do you know how to get yourself off? If so GREAT! Masturbate in front of each other, without it transitioning into vaginal penetration. Let that mutual masturbation be the “sex”. He can see what works for you, and then participate and help bring you to orgasm in a way that works for you. Try JUST oral sex, and if you are worried about his insecurity it’s easy to frame in an “I like__” statement. Do you know how to get yourself off with his body? If you get on top, and you do all of the work, can you get to orgasm? Try that. With the woman on top you can usually make sure to get enough clitoral stimulation, and control the pace so that it works for you. Make it a game in which you are in charge. Suffice it to say, you need to know how your own body works before he can, and if you do you are half-way there.

    I also recommend “She comes first” by Ian Kerner as one of the best.

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    MiMi December 5, 2011, 4:45 pm

    You are putting a lot of pressure on your boyfriend to make it right for you, LW, and I’m sure he is quite aware that you’re not too pleased. Do you think your expectations of technical acumen are realistic for someone who was a virgin until recently? Do you believe you are showing respect and love for your partner when you direct him to do research on how to service you better?
    Instead of continuing to destroy his confidence and poisoning your relationship by judging his performances, realize that YOU are responsible for your orgasms. Go with your boyfriend to the love store and pick out some lotions, potions, and toys that you can both use on you and make learning the “how” of your orgasms a fun, joint goal. Get back on his side and work together to improve the experience for both of you.

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    LK December 5, 2011, 6:54 pm

    For the most part, a guy can never make me orgasm out of his own will. Not with his hands nor with oral sex. But I will orgasm 100% of the time in three positions if I stimulate myself simultaneously. Sometimes my boyfriend tries to help out, and I just find it distracting. I feel so bad when that happens because I have to tell him just to let me do my thing. So I think sometimes, it’s just a matter of teaching yourself what works for you, rather than trying to teach your partner some theory that you read about on the internet.

    Also, I’d like to point out that guys hardly ever do research on what pleases women especially sexually. If I suggested that to my boyfriend he’d look at me like I like I was a moron and ask what exactly I wanted him to do.

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    • bittergaymark

      bittergaymark December 5, 2011, 7:02 pm

      Wait, do women often REALLY research what pleases men sexually? I am seriously asking the question, and so not trying to be snide because, well, truth be told, I have to admit that I’ve never bothered to research what pleases men sexually either.

      Hmmmmm, maybe it’s a guy thing. Maybe we all don’t bother to do research. That said, in my defense and that of gay guys everywhere, maybe gay guys need not to do this as that we already know what turns us (gay guys) on and so it’s easy to translate our own experience into pleasing our partners…

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        Morgan December 5, 2011, 7:20 pm

        Does reading Cosmo count as researching how to please men sexually? Oh, wait, that’s how to emotionally scar you and your partner forever.

        Serious answer, yeah, to a degree. Pretty much any ladymag has a sex section, a lot of which is dedicated to pleasing your man (very heteronormative, our ladymags). So its pretty inescapable, just in terms of general exposure. That said, 85 of cosmo’s 101 ways to please your man in bed are, as a rule, just a terrible idea.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 5, 2011, 7:29 pm

        Morgan, scar your partner forever? Are you perhaps referring to the time Dan Savage hilariously lampooned Cosmo for suggesting women take their men for walks in the mountains and then surprise them by pressing a smooth stone to their taint as a nice “surprise”? It was hilarious. Dan was all like — “Yeah, that’s gonna turn many a guy on, come at their family jewels with a large rock…”

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        PFG-SCR December 5, 2011, 7:26 pm

        I think most, if not all, women know that the way to please a man is simple: Touch his penis.

        But, some women do take an active role in trying to make the overall sexual experience more pleasurable for both her and her partner. Like Morgan mentioned, it might just skimming some article in a magazine, but there are sites online devoted to sexual techniques that others utilize to do this.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark December 5, 2011, 7:31 pm

        Crazy, yeah. It’s kinda the same with gay guys, too. 😉

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        LK December 5, 2011, 7:39 pm

        When I was younger I was really self conscious and unexperienced, so I bought a book on giving bj’s. Does that count as research?

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        *HmC* December 5, 2011, 8:38 pm

        I swear by this book!

        It’s unpretentious, non-judgmental (embraces vanilla as well as more out-there stuff), has information that is actually useful, and is an overall compelling read. Given how important sex is to so many people, I think this type of information is so vital! The real nuts and bolts (ha!) of sex.

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    Mwalt January 26, 2012, 3:57 am

    This is the exact reason why I will never sleep with a virgin again. Guys takes wayyyy tooo long to learn how to be good lovers, and I have better things to do with my time. My advice: have a crucial conversation about it. And if nothing changes, move on. You can’t make butter with a toothpick, babe.

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    Older Dude March 14, 2012, 10:06 am

    That poor young man, stuck with this one as his first lover. I hope his next girfriend is better able to address her own sexuality and not blame him for things he is not to blame for.

    For the future, letterwriter, you want something from a man, sexual or otherwise? Grow up and say so to him. Clearly. Directly. No more @$%# expectations that he read your mind. You are in for a lifetime of relationship problems if you expect men to interpret your allegedly obvious hints, suggestions, concerns, etc., rather than simply communicating precisely what it is that you hope will happen.

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    Seriously? May 31, 2012, 11:34 pm

    Why does this woman expect her man to “do some research” and solve her problems for her? There are mountains of scientific research proving that men cannot read minds. Quit wasting time writing for internet advice and tell the man what you want. What is so difficult to figure out here?

    I married a virgin. I did not expect her to be able to work me like a prostitute. I had to teach her what to do. And we had fun doing it. I didn’t go writing into Dear Abby asking for someone to do my work for me.

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    KalipsoRed June 9, 2012, 2:28 am

    Dude, what is up with all the negative basterds responding to this girl’s question? Men ARE way insecure and moody when a woman states that she’s not getting what she needs out of the sexual experience.
    I’ve NEVER had a problem cumming (I’m a girl, just to make sure we are clear about that). I started masterbating when I was 12. I met my first lover when I was 20 and he was a sexual GOD! He was 20 years older than me and could make me scream like nobody’s business. He was, however, married so I had to move on.
    I dated 8 guys my age (25 to 30) and not a one of them was good at screwing. I knew I wasn’t the one without a clue. Thus begins the string of experiments with each of these m*fers to help them get with the program. I tried to be sutble and put things where I needed them to be when I was in bed with the guys, but they never stayed on the spot. I tried watching porn I liked with them so that they could get some good ideas, but that just pretty much lead to them getting hard fucking me for a few seconds and comming before I ever got started. I tried increasing the foreplay I gave them in hopes that they would be thoughtful and kind and return the favor…but that didn’t happen. Finally, FINALLY, after I had tried all these ways of getting a man to do what I needed in bed to make me cum, I told the guy that I didn’t find our love making up to par as gently but directly as possible. Well every single one of those stupid CHILDREN got mad at ME! Like it was MY FAULT that they couldn’t make me cum. HELLO!!!!! I’ve got the biggest clit in the world and a G-spot to match it, guys are just lazy and think that women should be able to cum as easily as they do.
    I’m now with another man who is 20 years older than me. He also sucks at sex something fierce, BUT the difference between him and the other little fuckers I dated is that he is actually TRYING to improve…and it is getting better, slowly. So to you Confused Lover, let me give you some tips that MAY help if your man is not lazy and too insecure to try to improve.
    1) YOU NEED TO MASTERBATE!!! The angry dumb men above responding to your issue are right about this. You can’t help him make better love to you until you know what turns you on. Get your self some dildos and vibrators and get in there repeatdly until you can make yourself cum after 5 minutes of masterbating.
    2) WATCH PORN. You need to watch lots of porn and find out which kinds you like best.(romantic porn, BDSM, Kink, role playing, fantasy…) Then you need to show those porns to your boyfriend. He’s a beginner just like you and the both of you need some classes and ideas to start with. Porn is great for that.
    3)UNDERSTAND WHY IT IS HARDER FOR YOU TO CUM THAN HIM. It is generally harder for women to cum than men. I, however, disagree with the women above that believe that some women never will be able to cum or that some women just ‘can’t cum often’. Unless you’ve had a female circumcision or for some reason have had the nerves to your clitoris cut, there is NO reason you should not be able to cum and cum frequently. Now you need to understand that the stupid romantic movies that you watch where the woman is in bliss like two seconds after the guy sticks it in there are not an acurate representation on how sex works. While penetration does feel good, cumming is not a likely out come for the woman….or not at least until you both take A VERY LONG TIME to explore your vaginal canal and find your g-spot and then figure out how you can get his penis to hit it. It is hard to do and involes TONS of practice, a guy who can stay hard for longer than a couple of minutes while you are riding his cock, and for you to be able to relax and concentrate on how his penis feels inside you and where it is hitting.
    So have sex where he penetrates you and enjoy it, but for now do not expect more from it than the satisfaction you get out of making him cum because he’s sticking it in there. You need to concentrate on having clitorially stimulated orgazims. Best way is for him to fondle and lick your clit until you scream…and his tongue will probably be VERY tired long before he suceeds. It also helps if while he’s licking you he’s got a couple of fingers in your vagina moving around at the same time. You can also try doggy style and he can reach around an massage your clit while thrusting into you, but it is harder that the first technique I mentioned due to the fact that your man has to concentrate on not cumming while he’s penetrating you AND massaging your clit in a manner that makes you cum. This sort of stuff is where men get lazy and complacent because it involes A LOT OF TIME spent on you instead of a more balanced I please you and then you please me and then we are done sort of thing that I think most men believe is what is suppose to happen. Well guess what guys, when you finally figure out what you have to do to make us cum, then it can happen that way. After you succeed in this endevor you can attempt to move on to g-spot stimulation (which you may find is better stimulated with a range of different positions or anal stimulation) and then finally to squirting orgazims (which are SO much fun).
    4) ENCOURAGE YOUR MAN TO MASTERBATE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE. For many guys this helps ‘desensitize’ their penis a very little bit and thus they can remain harder for longer. If this doesn’t work the flat out let him know that you where almost there (even if you weren’t) and encourage him to think about Barbara Bush or whatever he needs to think about to prevent himself from cumming to soon. Finally if none of that works then get some sexual lubercant that has lidocaine in it (they sell it at sex stores) put that stuff on him and then use a condom…or just use a condom because both of those things decrease his sensitivity and can help him stay erect.
    5) FOREPLAY. You need to flat out tell your man that foreplay is manditory. Set a freaking timer if you have to, but it takes women a lot longer to get into sex physically than it does men. I’m not saying that he should only do foreplay on you, hopefully foreplay on him arouses you too…but he just needs to know that spending 10 to 15 minutes sucking your nipples, sexually massaging your body, you need to massage him, have some mutal oral sex and neither of you worry about orgaziming. MEN REALLY SUCK AT THE CONCEPT OF FOREPLAY….just so you angry men up there know that. I suggest also getting some foreplay specific viedos because he’s going to need a very clear idea of what you mean by foreplay. To the male readers out there who want to bash this poor young girl because your significiant other thinks you such at sex as well, spend about 50 to 100 percent more time doing whatever it is you concider foreplay with your significant other and I’m pretty sure your sex life will improve a great deal.
    6) QUIT THINKING. This is a hard one for women. Women have to concentrate on the stimulation provided to the clit or g-spot to orgazim. You can’t be thinking about ANYTHING else but your body. So if you are feeling fat that night, or worried about work/kids, whatever, it is very likely that you won’t be able to have an orgazim.

    I hope you found this helpful Confused Lover.

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    Pot'o'Tulips April 30, 2013, 9:54 pm

    I would like to second what KalipsoRed said. Emphatically.

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