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Sunday, 25 March 2001

Difficulty Achieving Orgasm

Written by  Marsha Ellentuck

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Difficulty Achieving Orgasm

QDear WholeFamily Counselor,

Hi! General info on us -- We are quite young, married for two years, have one child, are both reasonably thin and fit. Our marriage is good with the exception of our sexual relationship.

Here are our two sexual problems:

  1. My wife can only achieve orgasm by her being on top (with penetration) vigorously rubbing her clitoris against my pelvis. She does not feel any pleasure whatsoever from regular penetration, although my penis rubs her clitoris upon entry and exit. Regular penetration after a few minutes even starts feeling painful for her (burning sensation) although we use ample supply of KY gel. We would both like to know if this is normal and could she in fact achieve orgasms "normally"?
  2. On occasion, my wife does perform oral sex on me, using a flavored condom. I would really like her to try it without the condom, but although I shower and splash on cologne, she still refuses. How can I convince her that "it won't bite"? She also cannot achieve orgasm through oral sex although she does enjoy receiving oral sex, also -- on occasion. I would really like to get more involved in this particular kind of sexual activity as I feel it would do wonders for our dying sex life.

Await your kind advice,

Best Regards,

Concerned About our Sexual Problems

ADear "Concerned About Sexual Problems",

In your letter you mention quite a number of sexual problems. I wonder if you're focusing on the negatives and not seeing the positive things in your relationship.

Women have orgasms in very unique ways. Most women do not have orgasms from "regular penetration" -- man on top and woman on her back (the missionary position). The way your wife has orgasms is perfectly normal. Most women need direct stimulation of their clitoris in order to have orgasms. It would be nice if you could have sexual intercourse in various positions, not with the goal of having orgasms, but rather with the goal of enjoying and varying the sexual activities.

You might try putting a finger inside your wife's vagina and seeing if that hurts her. If that's okay, then try putting two fingers in her and press on different parts of her vagina, trying to locate any particular point of pain. Sometimes women have pain on intercourse because of sensitive nerve endings, but if she doesn't have pain when she's on top, chances are that she's just not enjoying herself in the "regular position." Why not try other positions as well, like rear-entry or side-by-side?

I would be curious to learn the reasons your wife has about refusing to engage in oral sex with you. Perhaps she is uncomfortable with the thought of you ejaculating into her mouth. You can reassure her that you will be able to control when you come and promise not to do something she doesn't want to do. Don't splash cologne on your penis -- the taste is certainly not the greatest.

If your wife is interested in learning to enjoy giving you oral sex, she might start by simply kissing you around and on your penis and gradually start licking it. She can then imagine that she tastes something delicious, like an ice-cream cone or better yet, actually put some ice cream on your penis. The important thing is to have fun. If oral sex is totally objectionable for her, then you might widen your sexual world and experiment with other ways of pleasure. It's great that your wife enjoys oral sex when she's on the receiving end.

When people are thinking of a goal in sex (orgasm), rather than following the pleasure, it often becomes very frustrating. You might try a different position for giving oral sex to your wife, something that closer approximates how she comes when she's on top of you and see how that works. Just remember, enjoyment, fun and intimacy is the name of the game.


Marsha Ellentuck, MSW

Last modified on Thursday, 12 January 2012 14:03
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Marsha Ellentuck

Marsha Ellentuck

Marsha Ellentuck is a licensed sex therapist as well as a couple and family therapist. She received her master's of social work in 1978 from the University of Pennsylvania. Her work as a community organizer led her into the field of sex education, first with teenagers, later with all different populations, including parents of young children and pensioners. During her training as a couple therapist, Marsha realized the need to combine her sex education knowledge with her therapy skills and continued her training in sex therapy. Marsha Ellentuck works in a wide variety of settings -- a family therapy clinic, a sex therapy clinic as well as in private practice. She also gives lectures and workshops on many different subjects concerning sexuality.

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