Two Sense: I'm 35 and Have Never Had an Orgasm. Is There Something Wrong with Me?


I’m 35, never had an orgasm and honestly, I don’t care if I ever do. Maybe I don’t know what I’m missing, but I’m happy—I have my dream job, good friends, lots of hobbies and passions, and a wonderful, loving partner. Our sex feels good physically and emotionally and I don’t feel frustrated or unsatisfied afterward. To me, sex is like life—it’s about the journey, not the destination. But other people make such a big deal about orgasm that I wonder if something’s wrong with me.

He Said: Your attitude about sex—and life—should indeed be applauded. Sex is about the journey because that's how you spend most of your time. However, reaching an incredible destination makes the journey even better. You wouldn't want to spend all your time on an airplane or on a bus after all. Reaching Paris or Rome or wherever you are headed brings enormous joy and inspiration. I suspect you have learned to adapt to your body and to enjoy sex without orgasm, which means you will be a pleasure machine when you add climax to your repertoire. My advice would be to make an appointment with your medical doctor to make sure the situation is not physical. Assuming it is not, proceed to the next step: therapy. You should be excited because you have a lot to look forward to.

She Said: I’m going to start with a few practical ideas for you to try in case you ever decide to explore this a little more. The first is this good WebMD article on the topic. The second involves sex toys. If you haven’t tried them, know that the sensation provided by a vibrator is different from any skin-to-skin contact you’ve ever felt. It’s both more subtle and more powerful, a winning combo when it comes to the clitoris. My top three recommendations at Good Vibrations are, in order of size and sensation, the Magic Bullet, the Rabbit, and if all else fails, the Hitachi Magic Wand. Give them a try. You might just be orgasmic after all. Lastly, I recommend two books: Sex For One to go it alone, and Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm to try with your boyfriend.

But let’s move on to the essence of your question. The more I contemplate it, the more of a zen koan it becomes. Is there something wrong with you for not experiencing what many consider to be one of life’s basic pleasures, even if you are quite happy without it? The only answer that makes sense is no, there is nothing wrong with you. Lack of orgasm cannot kill you and it does not have the power to upset you aside from any power you give it. You obviously give it none. So as far as I’m concerned, you’re no different from someone who, say, has never eaten an ice cream sundae or listened to Led Zeppelin, and has no burning desire to do so. (Yes, I do consider ice cream and Led Zeppelin right up there with orgasm.)

Ten percent of women are in the same boat as you. In the US, that means more than two million women have never climaxed. Yet you are happy. You are in love. You enjoy sex. Many women who orgasm regularly cannot claim that trio of blessings. I’ve had plenty of orgasms that were nothing more than a five-second burst of physical pleasure, which any drug addict can tell you does nothing to add to real joy. Orgasm itself is not some holy grail.

I’d say count your blessings, but you already do that. More people could learn from you.

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