- To orgasm, make sure you are stimulating the right spot, whether it’s the clitoris or prostate.
- Tips for achieving orgasm include foreplay, kegel exercises, and playing out sexual fantasies.
- If you are struggling to orgasm, consider reaching out to a doctor or sex therapist.
- Visit Insider’s Health Reference library for more advice.
Regardless of what you call it – climaxing, coming, or finishing – orgasms are often considered the peak of a sexual experience. However, they can also be a bit of an enigma, and, for some, difficult to achieve.
According to sex experts, here are some ways you can improve your orgasm:
1. Find the right spot
Your genitals are loaded with nerve endings, but some spots are more sensitive than others. And stimulating the right spot may lead to a more intense and pleasurable orgasm.
Stimulate the clitoris
One way to enhance partnered sex is to incorporate clitoral stimulation to boost your pleasure. The clitoris is a major erogenous zone, comparable to a penis, in terms of nerve endings and physiology structure and you can stimulate it in various ways starting with the C-spot.
The C-spot is the part of the clitoris that is visible. This spot holds many nerve endings and is super sensitive to touch. Therefore, stimulating it during masturbation or partnered sex can lead to extremely intense orgasms.
Another well-known spot is the G-spot, which is thought to be an erogenous zone located within the vaginal canal. However, Mathis Kennington, PhD, a certified sex therapist and co-founder of The Practice in Austin and The Couple Lab, says that this intense stimulation is actually another type of clitoral stimulation.
“The clitoris is much larger than most people know,” says Kennington, “often women who feel a G-spot-like orgasm are actually just feeling a different part of their clitoris being stimulated through penetration,” says Kennington.
Clitoral stimulation often doesn’t happen during penetrative sex alone. In fact, a 2017 survey published in the Journal of Sex and Marital therapy found that out of 1055 women in the US only 18.4% of them reported the ability to orgasm from penetrative sex alone.
You can stimulate the clitoris by using your hands, your partner’s hands, or a toy like a vibrator.
Stimulate the P-spot
The P-spot refers to the prostate. The prostate is a reproductive organ located below the bladder that produces semen.
Some people find that stimulating this area leads to quick and extremely intense orgasms. You or a partner can stimulate this area with fingers “either directly through insertion into the anus or through the skin by massaging the space underneath his testicles and above the anus,” says Kennington.
2. Practice mindfulness
Getting in touch with sensations during daily activities can help you enhance your pleasure and intensity of orgasms in the bedroom. Sex is, after all, quite sensual.
Emily Jamea, PhD, a certified sex therapist at REVIVE in Houston, conducted research published in Sexual and Relationships Therapy that found heightening sensuality – or the ability to tune into the five senses – outside the bedroom improves sexual satisfaction inside the bedroom by strengthening the mind-body connection.
For example, people who reported that they savor the food they eat or actually notice the warmth of the sun on their face while out for a walk have an easier time connecting with the sensual pleasures of sex.
This approach may be especially useful for people raised as women. In particular, with regards to being mindful of the sensations on your body during routine activities such as showering. People raised as women sometimes struggle to connect with pleasure sensations, and becoming more mindful of bodily sensation in general, “can help women overcome a mind-body disconnect and improve their sexual experiences,” says Jamea.
3. Try masturbating
Mastering masturbation may lead to better and more frequent orgasms during partnered sex because it can help you know what gets you going.
“I always encourage my clients to explore their body so they know what makes them feel good,” says Jamea.
Oftentimes, people will cut out masturbation or porn consumption, thinking it will improve their orgasms during partnered sex. However, Kennington says there is no correlation between porn consumption, masturbation, and a better orgasm during partnered sex.
Masturbation and porn consumption can, however, get in the way of having good partnered sex if people are not honest about their sexual preferences with their partners. Porn is also not always a realistic representation of sex or masturbation as it’s a form of entertainment, not education.
This can happen if someone experiences anxiety about their sexual preferences and outsource to porn, rather than talking openly to their partners about what they want sexually. Kennington describes this type of behavior as an erotic conflict, which can strain relationships sexually – and entirely – if not addressed.
Masturbation can also allow people to visually show their partners what makes them climax. This helps their partners understand what feels good to them sexually and can improve future partnered sex.
Jamea says that’s partly why, same-sex couples might have less difficulty than heterosexual couples when it comes to communicating sexual needs because each partner has an inherent understanding of the other’s anatomy.
4. Focus on foreplay
Foreplay extends sexual tension during partnered sex, which can lead to more pleasurable orgasms. It is an especially important component for those with vaginas.
The vagina often produces a natural lubricant when aroused to prepare the body for penetration. Foreplay is important before penetration because this lubricant makes penetrative partnered sex more comfortable.
Foreplay can also help narrow the orgasm gap for heterosexual partners. Men usually orgasm, or finish, before women, which oftentimes ends the sexual experience. “Men usually orgasm in 2 to 10 minutes, whereas women take 15 to 30 minutes on average,” says Jamea.
While Jamea says simultaneous orgasms are not realistic for every sexual experience, she encourages both partners to be equally considerate of each other’s pleasure during sex. Spending time focusing on one another’s pleasure during foreplay is one way to boost simultaneous sexual climax.
5. Overcome performance anxiety
Performance anxiety can often get in the way of experiencing maximum pleasure during partnered sex. Performance anxiety can stem from an insecurity about one’s sexual performance, body image, or how they think their partner feels about them sexually. This type of anxiety can result in those with penises ejaculating too quickly or not at all.
Often, people experience performance anxiety because they fixate solely on reaching orgasm for themselves or a partner, says Kennington, rather than focusing on what feels good during sex.
Focusing on the sensual pleasure of the experience during partnered sex, rather than achieving an orgasm, can help improve sexual experiences.
6. Try edging
Edging is the practice of ending sexual stimulation right as you are about to orgasm, waiting, and then beginning stimulation again to control the timing of your orgasm.
“Both the loss of control and the stimulation of a man’s penis either orally or manually over and over again can make an orgasm intensely pleasurable,” says Kennington. He says that for those with clitorises, edging serves the same purpose.
Communication between partners is important during edging so one can let the other know when they’re about to reach orgasm. Also, it can be important for partners to talk about the length of time they want to continue edging during sex. This will help both partners have a more enjoyable experience by making sure they have the same expectations.
7. Discuss sexual fantasies
Sexual fantasies are the arousing, erotic mental images we conjure up in our heads. While people can feel ashamed of these thoughts, daydreaming about sex is completely normal and even healthy.
Try talking to your partner about your sexual fantasies inside the bedroom as well as outside it. Just make sure to discuss boundaries and establish consent before engaging in any sexual behavior.
8. Do kegels
Kegels are exercises that help strengthen pelvic floor muscles. “The more the pelvic floor muscles are strong and healthy, typically the better orgasms people will have,” says Jamea. Strong pelvic floor muscles can lead to more intense orgasms for everyone, not just those with vaginas.
Jamea recommends kegel exercises for people that ejaculate too quickly during partnered sex. Oftentimes, premature ejaculation, or quick orgasms, happen because the pelvic floor muscles are too tight. Doing these exercises can help people learn to relax these muscles during sex and therefore, have more enjoyable sexual experiences.
Before practicing kegels, it’s best to visit a pelvic physical therapist. They can help you determine what is safe and necessary for your body.
Why can’t I orgasm?
“People struggle to reach orgasm if they have a hard time connecting with pleasure during a sexual experience,” says Jamea. This can happen for many reasons including a conflict in the relationship, poor body image, or difficulty connecting to one’s sensations during sex.
Kennington says there is no go-to position to guarantee an orgasm. He says, “positions are like brushstrokes, it all depends on the artist and the canvas.” The best thing you can do to have great orgasms is to learn about what works for you and for you and a partner sexually.
Both experts agree that in relationships, it is important each partner’s pleasure gets equal focus. However, this may not always result in an orgasm. Every person has a unique idea about what makes them feel satisfied sexually. It is important to have an ongoing and open dialogue with your partner about their sexual interests to maintain a healthy relationship.
As people age, natural changes can occur that can affect a person’s ability to orgasm. For example, menopause causes changes in vaginal walls which leads to a decreased production of natural lubrication. This can make vaginal sex uncomfortable and an extra lubricant might be needed to have a more enjoyable experience.
If you are concerned about libido or problems with your sex life, talk to your doctor. Many times there are medications or treatment plans that can help.
If you have never had an orgasm or are have had one in the past and are now having difficulty, consider reaching out to a certified sex therapist. They can work with you to identify potential sources – physical or psychological – that are causing this issue.
Open communication with your partner about sexual boundaries and interests is essential for a healthy sex life in relationships. “The platinum rule when it comes to sex and pleasure is to never have sex you don’t want to have,” says Kennington. This way, each partner can always and only engage in sex where they feel secure, thereby focusing on maximizing their pleasure.
Talking to your partner about what you want sexually can be a really un-sexy conversation. But, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, says Kennington. He suggests treating conversations about sex and pleasure like any other conversation. “What would you do if you have a culinary interest and your partner is a chef? You would tell them you want a steak and how you want it cooked.” Kennington says. The same goes for sex – communicate your desires and needs.
When it comes to planning this talk, Jamea says the best time to have it is at the kitchen table, rather than the bedroom. This way, you can address your partner in a non-threatening way. Right after sex, they may feel vulnerable, making it a less than ideal time.