Yes, That Was an Orgasm

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. 

Excited man and confused woman in bed © Andrey Popov |

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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5 Comments on “Yes, That Was an Orgasm

  1. I concur that many times a great O follows lovemaking without an O or non pleasure O. Many times after a work week of no sex, I just have hubby climax the first sex session of the weekend. He’s raring to go and has a hard time holding back. My body still has to be primed. I found that if I just let him go for it, his climax helps prime me for our next go-round of the weekend and my climax is more easily attained and enjoyable.

  2. I have visited my Gyn several times for this very problem. She tells me it is not at all unusual for women to find orgasms less intense and often harder to achieve when they enter

    Yes, it is annoying and very frustrating. I am on HRT but it hasn’t helped the big O problem. Often I just give up trying because I know when I’m not going to get there and it’s just not worth the effort to keep trying. I feel it is disingenuous to fake an orgasm.

    I wish my husband would realize that it’s my body not responding like it use to and quit taking it so personally.

  3. As Jolie mentioned, reaching an orgasm becomes harder and is often less intense when entering menopause. I’m there now and it’s not a lot of fun. It actually gets very frustrating because for us sex is only once a week, sometimes if I’m lucky twice, and reaching an orgasm for me seems to be more of a crap shoot whereas for hubby it’s a sure thing.
    Where I once wanted sex all the time, I could take it or leave it now. :(
    Amy recently posted…When life feels like a prison…My Profile

    • @Amy – I understand the changing hormones et. al. of menopause can be a huge frustration. I also know some women say sex AFTER menopause is the best of their life. So it may be a pause in good sex but not the end.
      Hang in there!
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Satan Has a Will For Your WifeMy Profile

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