I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read something like the following:
Woman One: “How do I know when I have an orgasm?“
Woman Two: “Trust me, if it happens you’ll know!“
Another version is the woman unsure if she’s having orgasms being told she’s not, because if she did she would know it.
This sounds good, but it’s not accurate. It’s possible for a woman to have an orgasm and not feel the physical pleasure we think of as part of orgasm. She gets aroused, feels the build up, then there’s a release and relaxation, but no pleasure. A few unfortunate women always have this kind of orgasm, a condition known as orgasmic anhedonia or pleasure dissociative orgasmic disorder. (Men can have this too; they ejaculate but feel no pleasure.) While this condition is rare, many women occasionally have a no pleasure orgasm.
If you are used to orgasming with pleasure, a no pleasure climax is no doubt confusing. You feel like you usually feel after you orgasm, but you felt none of the good stuff. I recently read about a woman who had such an orgasm for the first time when she masturbated in an MRI machine. (There’s a research group doing this to map what women’s brains looks like during orgasm.) She told the researchers she was unsure if she had orgasmed. They assured her their readings showed she did. They also said they see this from time to time. (Perhaps trying to climax in a noisy machine with several folks in white coats milling around increases the odds of a no pleasure orgasm.)
Something that seems to increase the odds of this is not having sex for a while. Some women have learned to expect a weak at best orgasm if it’s been too long. Other common results of going too long without orgasm are finding arousal difficult or needing far longer than usual to get to climax.
The reason I bring all this up is to say it’s perfectly normal. Annoying, but normal. If you experience this, explain it to your hubby so he’ll understand. Tell him it’s got nothing to do with him, your body just forgets how to enjoy sex if it goes too long without. This will seem backwards to him because men are the other way; the longer it’s been, the faster we climax and the better it feels.
One tip: Some women find when they have a no pleasure orgasm they can have a pleasurable one shortly after the first. Even if a woman is usually one and done, she may find it easy to have a second when the first is pleasureless. Again, explain what’s going on to your husband and ask him if he’ll go again or do something else so you can have an orgasm with the good stuff.
Of course, the solution to this issue is to climax regularly. If he’s not always available, you might ask how he feels about you doing it yourself to keep your body ready for making love with him.
~ Paul – I’m XY and female sexuality both amazes and confuses me.
The TMB Survey for this week is How Do You Orgasm? What gets you to climax?
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