If you’ve found that you don’t always, or never, orgasm during sex, you’re not alone. A recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that the women studied only reached orgasm 62.9% of the time with a familiar partner and only 40% of the time with a casual partner.

Relationship expert Pepper Schwartz says that in most cases this happens because too much emphasis is placed on penetration – and our bodies are not built to orgasm from intercourse alone. ‘The clitoris is where all the nerve endings are – except for the cervix – and there are almost none in the barrel of the vagina,’ she says. With penetrative sex, the focus is not on the clitoris and therefore there is little to no clitoral stimulation.

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Dr Lauren Streicher, author of Sex Rx: Hormones, Health and Your Best Sex Ever (R218, Dey Street Books) has a few tips to solve this problem:

  • If your clitoris is where the magic happens, make sure your clitoris is involved when you have penetrative sex and make sure your partner knows to focus attention there. You can choose a position that involves clitoral stimulation, or directly stimulate the clitoris manually or with a vibrator.
  • If climaxing during penetrative sex is important to you, make sure you’re extremely close to orgasm before your partner enters you. You can use foreplay, masturbation or whatever you need to get there, and right before you climax, switch to penetration. This way, even the smallest movement inside you will allow you to orgasm.
  • The last important thing is to make sure your mind doesn’t get in the way. Make sure you feel relaxed, comfortable and that you aren’t putting too much pressure on yourself.

While these steps might work for you, penetration doesn’t have to be the focal point of sex anyway. ‘I would like to have the emphasis taken off having an orgasm during penetration,’ Lauren says.

After all, an orgasm by any other means is still an orgasm.