Dear Em & Lo, My Boyfriend Can't Give Me an Orgasm

photo by Brandon Baunach

Dear Em & Lo,

I have the opposite problem of last week’s advice seeker: My boyfriend is more than willing to go down on me, but I have a very hard time having an orgasm from it. I know it frustrates him that I don’t orgasm every time (or even most times).  I have orgasmed from manual stimulation once or twice and a couple of times from oral sex.  We are comfortable enough with each other that sometimes when he’s failed to bring me to orgasm, I’ve masturbated in front of him until I had an orgasm (which he enjoys).  I know it’s easier for me to do it than it is for him because I’ve had a little more practice, but how can I help him?  We are relatively comfortable talking about sexual issues, but we are usually both so frustrated by the end of the experience that we just want to go to sleep.  He tries so hard that it makes me feel bad when it doesn’t happen.  What should I do?

— Oh Oh Oh…No

Dear OOON,

It is sooooooo frustrating when you’re with a guy that you care for and are attracted to and want nothing more than to have an orgasm with, but it just never seems to happen. Unfortunately, many women find the ways they’re “supposed” to have an orgasm with a partner (during intercourse, or at least oral sex) don’t work for them. They internalize this cultural expectation which puts undue pressure on themselves, making it even harder to relax in the moment. And for most people, pressure is not an aphrodisiac. So they — and often their partners — try and try and try but to no avail and end up feeling like failures. Again, Frustrating with a capital F!

First, you’ve got to stop setting yourselves up for disappointment. Try to just enjoy sex without it being so goal-oriented. Sex doesn’t always have to end in orgasm for it to count; yes, orgasms are great, but making sure you’re both having a good time and experiencing pleasure is what really matters, orgasm or not.

Next, you’ve got to teach him exactly how you masturbate. Try to have him mimic the sensations and techniques to a tee. Be explicit about what goes where, pressure, pace, etc. Forget the idea that this somehow won’t constitute “real sex,” that’s it’s subpar because it involves his fingers rather than his penis or his mouth. Handwork is sex. Reject the notion that good sex should just come naturally, that it can’t be taught. Every woman’s body works differently, and some need more specific and precise stimulation than others — and that stimulation may not be intuitive for a guy to figure out on his own.

There are plenty more steps you can take to improve your chances of climaxing with him — you can read them here:

After employing all these techniques, let’s assume he’ll eventually master your particular masturbatory technique. Hooray! After a while, you’ll probably want to find a new way to climax with him. Great, go for it! Just remember to keep your expectations low. Don’t start this new quest to the exclusion of everything else. And consider the possibility that you may just have one way to climax with a guy and that’s okay. After all, when it comes to orgasms, the destination is more important than the route you use to get there.

Give us an O!
Em & Lo

Say Something

6 Comments on "Dear Em & Lo, My Boyfriend Can't Give Me an Orgasm"

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
The first sex tip for women is to give him oral sex. A lot of women feel as though giving a man pleasure orally is a very degrading or demeaning sexual experience. It is actually quite the opposite. Giving him oral sex allows you to control and dominate him in bed. He is at your mercy and he is under your control. It is up to you to give him pleasure to make him orgasm and when he does, you will feel so much more satisfaction than you would making love to him. As well, knowing that you were the… Read more »
Hey I was in the exact same situation with my now husband. This is what worked for us! Oral: Hold him the palm of his hand and show him how you like it w your tongue. Even after that I would get worried abt how long it was taking and it would block me. Then we happened to use a blindfold. Being blindfolded was enough to take my mind off it, and really help me come. Manual: Rather than masturbating yourself after he has tried and failed, try masturbating as foreplay. Let him lie down and if u can straddle… Read more »

I’m recently divorced, and my ex-husband is the only man I’ve ever slept with. The only way I could come with him was the same way Beth does (i.e., with my hand during intercourse). We tried though not that hard . . .) to find other ways, but no luck. When I am with someone new, I hope it will be different, but know that it might not be (which would not be terrible, not by a long shot . . .). I am curious – how common is the Beth and Haley technique?

I’m late to this discussion, but am I wrong in thinking that expecting your bf to “give” you an orgasm is a little silly? My boyfriend rarely has the ability. During penetrative sex I use my hand–he thrusts, I touch myself. Yes he gives me oral regularly, and he even fingers me, etc. But he’s only caused me to have an orgasm a few times in the two years we’ve dated. I take care of myself, he takes care of himself. Everybody’s satisfied. I think leaving orgasms up to the man is a little unfair. That means he has to… Read more »
Black Iris

You could also try arousing and/or pleasuring yourself before he touches you. It might make it easier for you to come.

Another thing to try is humping and rubbing against each other if that works for you.

Good tips, and I will add a couple more. When he goes down she should tell him where it feels best at, how much intensity should be put his tongue to the clitoris, other areas liked, and motions. Also she should let her emotions go and tell him how good it feels, and where at, and being truthfully vocal about it. There was a wonderful girl I really liked, and when I went down on her, she was real silent about how it was feeling, and held back any passionate vocals until she finally had a orgasm, and she needed… Read more »