For the vast majority of the sexually-active population, the orgasm is the cornerstone of any “good” sexual activity.
Even though everything leading up to the orgasm (usually) feels pretty good too, getting stuck right before the climax really stinks.
There are a number of different reasons why it might be more difficult to get off, but they’re all pretty equally frustrating when they start to ruin the moment.
Thankfully, most of them are temporary or fixable problems. No matter what you’re going through, we’re going to walk you through 10 of the most common reasons it might be a little harder (and some things you can do to try and help).
1. Are you trying to rush things?
When one partner is significantly more enthusiastic than the other, there’s a good chance that things are going to get rushed along (however unintentionally it may be). It can also happen if one partner takes a little longer to warm up than the other – creating conflicting timelines as far as the ideal pace. Most of the time, this can be fixed with a little communication from the partner who feels rushed.
2. Are you trying too hard?
Similar to rushing, we can sometimes get too anxious about “getting the job done” that we actually gloss over all the parts that help get there. When the primary focus is the orgasm itself, rather than the things leading up to an orgasm, your body is significantly less likely to respond the way your partner would like it to. This can occur if either partner is trying too hard, so you’ll both need to make sure you keep things in perspective. Try taking the orgasm out of the equation entirely – many people find that they’re more aroused if they’re “not allowed” to climax.
3. Are you setting the wrong mood?
Believe it or not, bad lighting can seriously put a damper on your sex drive. Many women choose to have sex in the dark or under harsh overhead lighting, but that’s not necessarily the most conducive to great sex. Instead, try a more romantic atmosphere, such as twinkle lights or a soft red. Avoid any vibrant colors, as they can be distracting, and in some cases even cause added stress and depression.
4. Are you too drunk?
It’s one of the cruelest tricks of the human body: Intoxication makes your brain super horny, and your sexual organs totally useless. It happens most with depressants, such as alcohol and marijuana, but can happen with some prescription medications as well. While it might be tempting to have a go once you’re wasted, your experience will be a lot better if you wait until you sober up.
5. Are you distracted?
Once we transition from hormonal teenager to productive adult, our sex drive and our priorities make a mad dash in opposite directions. Remember back when sex was a distraction from the other areas of your life? Unfortunately, that’s usually not the case when you’re an adult. If you’re thinking about work, or your body image, or what you’re going to make for lunch tomorrow, you’re probably not going to orgasm. Try to clear your mind with a warm bath, a sensual massage, or a quick jog. If you’ve got the television on, turn it off – or switch it to music. Right now, your focus should be on each other – not on the problems of the day.
6. Are you at risk of being interrupted?
Unless you and your partner live alone, without any pets, or phones, or neighbors… You’ve always got some risk of being interrupted, but if the risk is so high that it’s keeping your attention other places, you should address the issues before trying to get intimate. Lock the door, close the curtains, and silence your cell phone. If you have pets, put them in the other room. You need to allow yourself a sexual sanctuary – so create one!
7. Are you stressed out or anxious?
Yet another cruel joke our bodies play on us, the chemicals and hormones produced in the brain during an orgasm are pretty much an immediate stress-and-anxiety buster. The only problem is that, for most women, stress and anxiety make orgasm pretty much impossible. Thankfully, if you practice some of those not-quite-as-effective stress-relieving techniques before you dive in between the sheets, it’s a little easier to get the process started, making it that much more likely that you’ll be able to finish.
8. Are you dehydrated?
Believe it or not, dehydration could be causing a number of problems in your life – even if you don’t really feel thirsty. Since the human body is made up almost entirely of water, staying hydrated is essential. Try keeping a bottle of water or Gatorade on your night stand to refuel before, during, and after, as necessary. Sex tends to be a particularly wet activity, and if you’re not producing enough moisture, it can seriously impact your ability to climax.
9. Are you having trouble breathing?
When you feel yourself start getting close, it’s normal to hold your breath, cover your face, or simply focus on what’s going on and totally forget to breathe. It’s not exactly ideal, though, because oxygen is literally just as important to your body as water – and you really aren’t going to be able to climax without breathing. Make sure you can breathe comfortably, and try to take yoga breaths as much as possible. It’ll help keep you in the moment and make sure you don’t pass out – it’s a win-win!
10. Are you in an unhealthy relationship?
Finally, there is a very unfortunate possibility that your relationship is why you can’t orgasm. If you or your partner is feeling guilt, shame, or jealousy surrounding your relationship, your conscious brain is going to try to keep your unconscious brain from releasing those bonding chemicals. Its easiest way to do that is to block you from having an orgasm – so that’s what it does.
Sadly, some of us choose to stay in relationships that we know are unhealthy, just because the sex is so good. But, over time, the sex isn’t as good, because somewhere in your mind, you know that your partner is wrong for you. Your brain is battling it out and trying to make you not want to have sex with this person anymore. The only solution in this scenario is to consciously choose not to have sex with people who aren’t good to you – and that can be a really, really difficult choice to make. Trust me, though – you deserve it!