Dear Dr. Kate: I Can’t Orgasm, What’s Wrong With Me?

photo by Janine

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City and she answers your medical questions here every two weeks. To ask her your own question, click here.

Dear Dr. Kate,

I’m beginning to wonder if I’m unable to have an orgasm. I’ve been sexual with a partner for the first time in the past year with oral and intercourse. During intercourse, I can barely feel anything, and other types of stimulation don’t bring me to climax. What can I do? Is there something wrong with my body?

— Turned Off

Dear T.O.,

A true inability to orgasm is really rare — it’s more likely you haven’t hit on the right combination of sensations yet. It can take time to learn your body and what stimulates you. And it’s very common for intercourse alone to not arouse you, if the angles are wrong and your clitoris isn’t getting any stimulation.

Have you tried masturbation, or a vibrator? It may be easier to experiment alone, without the pressure of a partner, to see what kinds of pressure, speed and touch work to get you off. Once you’ve mastered the art of orgasm when you’re alone, you can then better guide your partner as to how to touch you to make you climax — and any partner worthy of you will want to be guided, because they’ll want you to enjoy sex as much as they do.

For further reference, here are some recent columns by Em & Lo on the topic of orgasms:

— Dr. Kate

Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.


  1. I wish I had better news. I’ve been sexually active for 8 years and no orgasm. My husband, (been with for 6 years), is beginning to think there is something wrong with him. At this point I’m seriously considering on getting my hood pierced to see if it helps. I haven’t had an orgasm so if my clit gets damaged I’m beyond caring at this point. I wish I could make myself orgasm at the drop of a hat. It’s so frustrating that movies make it look so easy!

  2. I’ve had this problem ever since I lost my virginity. I don’t think I’ve ever had an orgasm. Losing my virginity was a horrible experience (I’ll leave out the gory details) but I can’t help thinking that it has something to do with my atitude towards sex now. I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year and have been faking orgasms so as not to wound his ego. Sex isn’t enjoyable for me, my clitoris seems too sensitive for stimulation and offten plesure turns into pain too soon. This is the main reason why I don’t masterbate either. I barely feel anything with penetration and if I do it’s pain. Oral does nothing for me either, I just feel uncomfortable, awkward and self-concious no matter how many times my bf tells me he loves it. Please help, it’s getting me down.

  3. Iv been with my partner for 5 years and have not had an orgasm, with or without him.. I seriously think I’m not capable or orgasming!

  4. Sigh. I’m so tired of hearing “It will take time.” It’s been 6 years. I can get myself off, but only if I use underwear to stimulate my clitoris and even then it takes forever. If I try to use my hand it kills the sensation. There’s just something wrong with me…

  5. I too have this problem. i have been married for 2 1/2 years and my husband was my first. I was able to orgasm frequently when we were first married, but they slowy got further and further apart until they stopped completely. I tried masturbation and vibrators and many new things with my husband, but now the closest I can get is to the “plateau” point where the feeling completely goes away along with any interest in sex. Help!

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