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She Couldn’t Make Me Come

Hi Barbara,

I’ve only recently come to terms with the fact that I’m attracted to girls, and as such I had never been with one before, only with males. Well I recently met a woman who I’m incredibly attracted to, both physically and emotionally. Yesterday I slept with her (my first time with a girl). I really enjoyed myself and managed to make her orgasm several times (which I was not expecting!). However she couldn’t make me orgasm, no matter what she tried and I realised I wasn’t as turned on as I could be. Could this possibly be due to having repressed my feelings for girls for so long, or nerves? I was really excited beforehand for how good it was going to be, and I’m a bit disappointed that I didn’t feel the amount of pleasure I thought I would feel. Although I know it’s not all about pleasure and I did love making her feel good and cuddling with her afterwards, so it wasn’t all bad 🙂

Well, I see a few possibilities here, and I’d like to address each of them separately, if that’s all right with you. I can’t tell you which situation applies in your case, but I can help steer you in the right direction as far as what to do next.

Possibility #1: You’re not actually sexually attracted to females.

This one’s tough. It’s possible that, even though you’re physically and emotionally attracted to females, it’s just not there in the bedroom. There’s nothing wrong with this – attraction is infinitely complicated and there are no two people who experience this attraction the exact same way.

For women who are physically/emotionally attracted to women, but not able to be sexually satisfied by them, an open relationship is often a good choice. (In fact, sometimes it’s a good choice, even if you are sexually attracted to them, but this will depend on your own situation – no one can tell you whether it’s OK for you or not.)

Another option would be to keep it a fantasy. I know, that sucks – but if you think you’re not actually sexually attracted to women, but rather the idea of women, it might be the easiest option.

Possibility #2: She wasn’t very good in bed.

I know most lesbians like to say that we’re automatically awesome in bed because women know what women want, but here’s the thing: It’s a lie. The women who are amazing in bed have worked hard to be that way. When you factor in that many women choose to fake an orgasm when they can’t reach one, she might not even know she’s bad – so she might not have bothered learning to get better.

Sexual prowess, like any other skill, can be learned. If you like her a lot and want to make sure you have an orgasm with her, talk to her about it! If she thinks she’s doing a great job, she probably won’t bother trying anything new, because she thinks it’s already working. She could be inexperienced or just bad. Either way, if she wants to get better, it’s as easy as you giving her ideas, and her trying them out. Really – it’s that simple.

The good news is that women do have a more intimate understanding of the female anatomy, in general. (Transwomen might not have had their female anatomy for as long, or they might not even have female anatomy, but generally they have paid closer attention to it than the average cishetero woman.) This means that, most of the time, you can tell her where you want her to go, and she’ll probably know what you’re talking about. If not, you can always look this stuff up together.

If you don’t want to be a teacher (which, I don’t particularly blame you, but this of course depends on how bad she really is), you could also try finding a different woman to sleep with – while treating this one with respect, of course – to see if maybe that’s the problem.

Possibility #3: It was nerves.

I’ve been out of the closet as a lesbian for ten years now, and been with my current girlfriend for more than two of that. I still have days when I get nervous and insecure, and despite her being the best lover I’ve ever had in my life, some days I just can’t get off. It’s frustrating, but I let her know I enjoy her efforts, and I just give her some and we go to bed.

Scientifically speaking, a lack of arousal in women is more often an abundance of “turn-off” switches being flipped – not a lack of “turn-on” switches in play. This pretty much means it’s essential to be in the right frame of mind before sex, otherwise you’re not going to enjoy it, no matter how much you ordinarily would.

I’ve had days where all I can focus on is how my thighs jiggle when she’s fingering me. It’s a bit embarrassing, and I usually stop her when I realize it’s not going anywhere, but sometimes it’s even more uncomfortable to do that. I definitely advise against faking it – you’re never doing anyone any favors if you pretend you had a better time than you did.

The good news is, if it was nerves, it will gradually get better over time – all on its own. Particularly if you incorporate a few of the other techniques here, too, this one is almost guaranteed to sort itself out without any (extra) effort on your part. You gain confidence by finding success – so once you hit that sweet spot (or once she hits it – har har) you’ll be a lot more confident going into it the next time.

(Unless, of course, you’ve got some serious anxiety problems going on – which will likely result in it cropping back up every now and then.)

Possibility #4: You could be a giver. (Yes, even if you were a giver and a receiver with men.)

Sex with women isn’t the same as sex with men. The attractions often have completely different stimuli, and if you are attracted to both, you’re most likely not looking for the same thing in one as you are the other. This could extend to the bedroom, and you might be a giver when it comes to sex with women!

Personally, I usually get more pleasure from giving. Have you ever had an orgasm-induced-orgasm? That is, you got off on the idea of getting someone else off. Technically this is considered a “mental orgasm”, but the point is that there are a great deal of women who derive most of their sexual pleasure from giving pleasure to other women. (I guess there are some straight women like this, too, but I’ve got pretty limited experience with straight women.)

If you enjoyed giving her pleasure, and that’s really enough for you, then why bother with why she can’t get you off? You’re always free to try again later and see if things are different then. My current girlfriend is actually the one who broke me out of my “mostly-a-giver” routine. She’s mostly a giver, too, and we were actually sleeping together for several months before she let me touch her. Now, things are a little more equal, but it only took a little bit of compromise to make it work.

Possibility #5: You built it up too much in your head.

Sadly, there’s one ugly possibility, too: You built up the idea of lesbian sex in your head so much that the real thing just couldn’t meet your expectations. I know, lesbian sex is often paraded as the best-of-the-best, and under all the right circumstances, it’s pretty wonderful. But there are still limitations to what’s possible, no matter what anyone tries to say. It’s never going to literally make your mind explode. It’s not always going to last for days (in fact, the only time I had sex for more than 5-6 hours at a time was back when I was a heavy drug user). And you’re not going to get off every time.

You will probably get off most of the time – but with only one experience to draw from, it’s really all-or-nothing. Most people don’t have an orgasm their first time anyway – in a way, you have to learn how to get some from a woman, too. Often they’re softer than men, and generally just different. If you’ve only ever been with men, this can take a little longer to get used to than if you’d never been with anyone at all. In a way, you are losing your virginity, all over again. I had a friend who used to call it “girlginity” – your virginity as it pertains to sex with women.

(I bet you thought losing your virginity was only awkward the first time!)

While I really can’t tell you which situation you fall under, you should be able to understand for yourself, and choose the appropriate course of action. It’s quite possibly a mix of a few of these reasons, so feel free to play around with them and create a custom action plan for yourself. Remember, no two people are exactly alike, and no two situations are exactly alike, either. If you decide to give lesbian sex another shot, lower your expectations and find a way to relax first – that should do the trick. (It might not help right away, but practice makes perfect.) If not, maybe sex with women just isn’t for you, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.


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