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Sex + Relationships

I’ve Never Had an Orgasm During Sex: Erasing the Stigma

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

College is a time to explore your body, especially in terms of what you like sexually. But plenty of people don’t know where to start or how to communicate to their partners about what they like, thinking it’ll be embarrassing or awkward. Or maybe you do know how to communicate with your partner: they just don’t get it. Either way, it’s time to erase the stigma around an orgasm being your end goal during sex. 

Firstly, it can be totally awkward to tell your partner what you’re into, especially if it’s your first time with them (or your first time ever). But the worst-case scenario is that they’re not into it, and then you know that for good. Or maybe they don’t know much about it, but they’re willing to experiment; this is one of the best possible scenarios! It might be hard if you’re prone to being self-conscious in bed, but experimentation can lead to the most mind-blowing sex you’ve ever had — you might discover things about yourself and your partner(s) that you would never have known otherwise! 

It’s much easier said than done, but put yourself in their shoes: if they don’t tell you you’re doing anything wrong… how are you supposed to change that? 

On the other hand, you could be cursed with a bad partner. Maybe you’re incompatible with them sexually, or maybe they just don’t listen to what you say you like and do whatever they want instead. You should feel safe in bed, not worried or disappointed! If this is the case, you might want to have a serious talk about this with them and the future of your relationship, depending on how important being physical is to you and your partner. Remember, you shouldn’t feel like your relationship is lacking in a way that makes you want to seek out that missing piece elsewhere. 

To this day, I have never had an orgasm while having sex with a partner. I am not ashamed to say that I have had sex with multiple people, all of whom were very different and had very different habits in bed. There was one who was into very soft, romantic sex, one who only liked one position, and one who knew nothing but was very willing to learn, among others. In the beginning, I shunned my own advice and stayed quiet even though I was unsatisfied every time, but after a few partners, I learned that nothing would get better unless I said something about it — and I was right. As soon as I told my partners what I liked, the experience became a lot more enjoyable though I still am unable to have an orgasm thus far, which brings us to our final point — it’s okay not to orgasm when you have sex, let alone every time. 

If your sex education consisted mostly of bad porn from the internet and, perhaps, badly written fanfiction by teenagers who had no clue about the human anatomy, it’s okay — me too. But contrary to what that Wattpad author or that PornHub star said about orgasms, it’s completely normal not to have one every time you get intimate with someone, especially if they’re a newer partner. What really matters is that you’re enjoying yourself. Oftentimes, AFAB people especially feel pressured to have an orgasm when in a sexual situation, which is why faking orgasms is so common. At least from my experience, faking it comes from a mixture of wanting to boost your partner’s self-esteem as well as worrying that they’ll find you weird if you’re unable to finish — especially if they’re doing everything you tell them to. But the truth is that human bodies are finicky, and it’s nothing like pornography where everything progresses at the perfect speed, where the actors are perfectly in sync. Penises won’t always get or stay hard, vulvas won’t always lubricate themselves, and what usually feels good might feel bad that day. 

Truthfully, sex can be awkward. Things don’t always go the way you expect, whether it’s because of a mishap or a miscommunication. What really matters is that you trust your partner and enjoy yourself. That being said, here’s my final advice: 

  1. Don’t make an orgasm your final goal: though if you do reach that… no complaints there. 
  2. Be confident and comfortable with your partner, especially when it comes to communication! 
  3. Have fun with it! Experiment, try new things. You never know what you’ll discover. 
Sko Buffs!