How to Have an Orgasm

By Kendra Holliday | September 30, 2015

The other day I received this email:

I’m a 50-year-old heterosexual woman, and I have never had an orgasm. I want to learn how. I honestly don’t believe that it’s a psychological or emotional problem. I believe that I haven’t been able to figure out the mechanics of my body yet. I have read a lot on it and practiced a lot, but every time I feel like it’s about to happen – like I’m on the edge of the waterfall – it just goes away. Doctors haven’t been helpful – they are dismissive and tell me I’m perfectly normal down there. Any advice on how to get over the waterfall?

Here is my response to her:

The sight of your penis made me spontaneously orgasm!

Orgasms are awesome.

I like how you use a water analogy – as a fluid person, I often associate water, the ocean, rocking boats to my sexuality, pleasure, and orgasm.

Let’s review the four stages of orgasm: arousal, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. I’m guessing you stall out during the plateau phase. Let’s examine some causes.

Have you experienced any sexual trauma? I spoke to a woman who didn’t have her first orgasm until she was in her 40’s. The reason why was because when she was a kid, she would hear her mom masturbate loudly and it traumatized her. They never talked about it and she decided she didn’t want to be like her mom.

It was only after her mom died that the woman could claim her right to orgasms and break free from the mental hang up. She said she always enjoyed sex before but never let herself go – she would back off whenever the sensation became too much. She finally had to force herself to stick with it past that overwhelming sensation (it was scary for her) and get past that point and was glad to finally learn what she had been missing all these years!

Are you on any medications such as blood pressure or anti-depressants? Years ago, I was on Prozac and it really numbed me out.

I haven’t personally found any herbs or supplements that actually increase arousal – in my opinion, all those creams and enhancers are shady.

This Alternet article is interesting: The Orgasm Gap: The Real Reason Women Get Off Less Often Than Men and How to Fix It – The gap between men’s and women’s frequency of orgasm is impacted by social forces that privilege male pleasure.

Have you read the book I Love Female Orgasm? It is excellent and comprehensive.

This book has interesting scientific insight into the biology of orgasm: Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex.

And there is a mindful orgasm practice you can try with a trusted partner – it’s part of Nicole Daedone’s Slow Sex movement.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Barbara Carrellas and her tantra energy work, such as Urban Tantra.

Personally, I think you will experience your first orgasm solo. Here is what I suggest.

Choose a regular date time for yourself, like Sunday afternoons or Thursday nights, an ideal time for you to have ME time on a regular basis. Take some time to meditate and relax. Make the environment comfortable for you – candles, romantic music – seduce yourself. Nurture yourself, love yourself. Before you get into your date with yourself, take a bath or get a massage or pedicure.

Get a Hitachi Magic Wand. It plugs into the wall, it is powerful. If you use it under the covers, the sound is pretty muffled. Some women like direct stimulation, others need padding between the vibe and their parts. I like putting a blanket or towel between it, unless I’m using an attachment with it. You might want to order it with attachments.

The Hitachi Magic wand is the vibe of choice for the majority of women – I use mine twice a day!

Lie flat on your back, with your legs straight or bent, whichever feels right. I tend to like my legs straight, I like tensing my leg muscles. Or try lying on your stomach sometime and see if that changes sensation.

Fantasize about something that turns you on, like kissing and connecting with someone you’re really into. You can find sexy stories at Literotica. Read erotica while you’re stimulating yourself or watch porn. It’s important to make sure the brain has a good connection to your sex nerves – it’s 80% mental.

The other day I experimented with this – I masturbated with the Hitachi Wand and didn’t think about anything really, and it felt pretty bzzz, ho hum, like I could’ve done that for 20 min or longer and nothing would’ve tipped for me. Then, I flipped a mental switch and started going through my mental fantasy rolodex for something that turned me on, and when I hit on a good one, I worked it over in my head and kept replaying the hot moment over and over, until I finally hit orgasm a few minutes later.

Often, women will start to get closer to orgasm, then back off. I do that – it’s kindof like building blocks. I’ll apply direct stimulation to my clit, feel my body ramp up, then move the vibe away, giving my body a break for a moment, then putting the vibe back on my clit for another tantalizing round. Each round is like adding a block to the tower, until it finally tumbles down in a kaleidoscope of colors!

Try breathing deeply. Try holding your breath. Try tensing your leg muscles. Try relaxing. Try every day for a week, or abstain for a couple days, and then try. Or try at different times of day – morning, afternoon, nighttime. How about blindfolded?

Try doing your routine for 10 minutes or so, experimenting with changing your breathing or muscle tension. Speed up the breathing, or slow it down. Exercising your pelvic floor muscles may help you gain awareness of the muscles that are involved during orgasm – I can feel mine contract involuntarily when I cum.

Give yourself plenty of time – some women can get off in five minutes, but some take 20, 40 minutes.

UPDATE: The Womanizer is the sex toy that’s supposed to come with an orgasm guarantee. It’s $200 and hard to get right now, but should become more available once U.S. catches on – it’s from Germany. In the interest of science – HA! – I ordered one, and it’s on the way! ALL the reviews I’ve read online have been overwhelmingly positive.

All that said, have you ever tried using a vibrator while a partner embraced and kissed you? If kissing is a big turn on for you, maybe you need that sensual male energy flowing, maybe incorporate breast stimulation into it as well.

BONUS LINKS: Interesting reading (some of these stories are poignant, but they are also encouraging and informative and offer different perspectives) – How to Make Me Come

This thread on Reddit – To the women who have never had an orgasm

To Your Happiness!


Lionman 2013-06-28 14:01:23

I recommend Bonk – both good info and a fun read.
I have found out from experience that more women are able to orgasm in the early AM than other times of day or night. I do not know of any scientific study to show this, but it is something I have found over many years and with different women.
Also I have found that when my cock or tongue did not produce an orgasm – my hand could. It might take 30 minutes and I think “is this ever going to happen” but it does. Just constant straight back and forth motion – no break, no fancy fingering.
Relax, enjoy


Rachel 2013-06-29 01:03:25

Kendra, I must say that you are a truly remarkable woman. You tell us all your stories and you really try to help people understand their bodies and their minds. I find that so refreshing in a world were sex is still so taboo. I am 27 and I have known who I am for such a long time. I know what I like and have an open mind to various things. But, when I found your page it is like I found someone that looks at the sexual world the same way I do. I thank you for telling your stories and I am so glad that people can come to you and ask for your advice. I have always been very interested in sex and because of you and a few other people I decided to go ahead with what I really wanted to do in life and be a psychologist that focuses primarily on sexual relationships. I want to help those people and make them see that their so called “kink” is nothing to be ashamed of. I started my journey towards this two years ago and am halfway there. Pretty much I am just thanking you for being you and making sex not so taboo.


Thea 2013-07-06 13:14:40

She could also try Orgasmic Mediation – which is goal-less. It puts the woman in the state of orgasm for 15 minutes rather than aiming for climax. Paradoxically, doing the practice changes some people to be able to climax because they are relaxed and in pleasure rather than trying to make something happen. Similar to when a word or person’s name is on the tip of your tongue and you just can’t think of it… then when you are not trying to think of it, the name/word pops into your mind out of nowhere!


merry 2015-10-12 09:40:42

The key here is allowing for ME time. So many women think ME time is silly, unnecessary, a sin, selfish, wrong, I could go on. But, that is all wrong. Backward thinking. Out of the literal dark ages. ME time is THE most important part of your day, week, life! It doesn’t gave to be hours, although it can be on occasion. If you believe it is a sin, ..really? Would god give you an organ, the clitorus, whose absolute ONLY function was to bring pleasure. An organ that is so big inside (Wikipedia it up) over 8000 nerve endings that it can be stimulated vaginally, anally and of course from the little button outside.
It makes me sad that women are short changed by religion, society and parents due to sexual hangups.
I must have missed that hangup class.


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