Why can many women not orgasm?

AG: Hi! This is a huge topic so we’re actually going to be breaking it into two parts. This week we’re going to be talking about some of the anatomical things that make it more difficult for women to orgasm and next week we’ll talk a bit about the societal factors that also affect this!

AA: According to Planned Parenthood, 1 in 3 women have trouble orgasming during sex and up to 80% of women are unable to orgasm from vaginal sex alone. The vagina has very few nerve endings, whereas the clitoris (which is much bigger than you think it is) has over 8,000 nerve endings which is twice the number in the penis. Many studies have shown that for a third of women it’s not possible at all to achieve orgasm through vaginal penetration alone.

AG: One factor is simply time - women take on average 20 minutes while most men take between 2-10 minutes. That means that in heterosexual sex, for a woman to orgasm, she almost always needs stimulation beyond just the penetration needed for the man.

AA: A very important piece of being able to achieve orgasm is to know where you can locate the clitoris, whether you are engaging with a female bodied individual or you yourself have a clitoris. As mentioned before, the external part of the clitoris is just the tip of iceberg and there are many more nerve endings surrounding the vagina. The clitoris is located just above the urethra (which is directly above the vaginal opening). The clitoris is protected by the clitoral hood, so you may not know where it is at first. There are many ways to experiment with clitoral stimulation. Here are a few to try: having your partner stimulate your clitoris with their fingers, using a vibrator, or placing a vibrator between your body and your partner’s.

AG: Studies show that lesbians, who are more knowledgeable about female anatomy, are able to orgasm 75% of the time! It’s not like women can’t have orgasms it’s just that often a lack of education (and other societal factors that we’ll discuss more next week) make it more difficult. Often, masturbation can help women to begin learning about the types of stimulation they need to have orgasms. Masturbation can help women become more comfortable with their own bodies as they can figure out what works and doesn’t work for them on their own terms.  

Amanda Ayers MPH

Health Educator

AG

Student