This is Why You Can’t Have Orgasms: Anorgasmia

When we talk about the inability to have orgasms, we need to be clear about what we mean. Is it possible for you to have orgasms regardless of sexual activity? I’m referring to anything sexual that can make you feel pleasurable sensations to the point of climax. It can be solo sex (masturbation), oral sex, penetrative sex, nipple play, spanking, ear play, or erogenous zone stimulation.

Contrary to popular belief, both people with penises and people with vaginas can have difficulties experiencing orgasm. In penis owners, it’s usually associated with delayed ejaculation, where men take far too long to ejaculate during sex. They experience sexual desire and erections, but they may not be able to have orgasms, usually during partnered sex.

Ejaculation and orgasms typically occur at the same time, but they are not the same thing.

Your inability to experience orgasms can impact your sexuality in several ways. 

can't have orgasms

Your inability to experience orgasms can impact your sexuality in several ways. Your partner might feel responsible for your inability to have orgasms and reproach themselves. It can make them feel embarrassed and less capable of pleasing you because they use an orgasm as a yardstick for measuring how good they are in bed. You might also feel sexually incompetent, thwarted, or anxious, and it can make it harder to let go and be present in the moment during sex to enjoy pleasurable sensations. Absence of orgasms can also inhibit sexual desire and lead to a loss of sexual motivation.

Remember that while orgasms can be nice and beneficial, sex can be enjoyable without them. Learn to revel in the pleasurable sensations created by the stimulation of your senses and various sensitive spots. 

You might never have an orgasm unless you can appreciate the journey to it.

Different forms of Anorgasmia 

The inability to experience orgasms comes in different forms: 

  • Lifelong – if you have never had an orgasm
  • Acquired – if you used to experience orgasms but can no longer have them
  • Situational – if you experience orgasms in certain situations or because of certain stimulation techniques 
  • Generalized – if regardless of the situation or stimulation technique, you can’t have orgasms. 

Coital Anorgasmia: When You Can’t Have Orgasms During Sexual Intercourse

Several people are unable to experience orgasms during the penetration of the vagina and/or anus but can have orgasms during solo sex (masturbation), manual stimulation (using fingers or hands), and/or oral stimulation from their partner(s).

So Why Can’t You Have Orgasms? Causes of Anorgasmia 

1. Insufficient Stimulation

If you are not being stimulated enough, you might not experience pleasure that is intense enough to reach a climax. That is why arousal needs to be sustained. Do things that feel good and explore various stimulation techniques for pleasure. Once you start feeling pleasure, continue doing what you are doing, and you might experience an orgasm. 

2. Idiosyncratic masturbatory style

For people who experience orgasms during solo sex but not with a partner, the cause is sometimes their masturbatory style. If you always use techniques that are not easily replicated by your partner’s hand, mouth, or genitals, you might find it harder to experience orgasms during partnered sex. An example is rough masturbation in penis owners, like the humping of hard surfaces or beds to experience more intense pleasure.

For vagina owners, using sex toys (vibrators) all the time can affect your ability to have orgasms during partnered sex with the hand, mouth, or genitals. For that reason, you need to occasionally use your fingers during masturbation to make it easier for your partner to please you to the point of orgasm.

Another example in vagina owners is the squeezing of thighs to experience orgasms. If that’s the only way you masturbate, you might make it harder to experience orgasms during sex with a partner. 

3. Spectatoring During Sex

Experiencing an orgasm relies heavily on your ability to let go and be present in the moment in order to feel sensations in your body. Relaxation, mindfulness exercises, and foreplay can make it easier for your mind to be in tune with your body during sex.

  • Sources of Distraction

Negative body image, lack of sexual confidence, perceived partner attractiveness, anger or resentment toward partner, unresolved conflicts, infidelity or breach of trust, anxiety, or depression can all make being in the moment extremely difficult. You have to address whatever is causing you to be distracted during sex.

If you don’t love your body, you need to try out the mirror exercise that involves standing naked in front of a full-length mirror. What you have to do is say something positive about each part of your body. Think hard and find anything positive about them, like how your partner enjoys sucking on your nipples, how your partner enjoys spanking your buttocks, how you enjoy it when your nipples are played with, etc.

Get naked the next day, and every day after that, stand in front of the mirror and say the nicest things you can possibly say about your body. The more you do it, the easier it will be to believe what you say about your body, and it will boost your self-esteem. After that, you might find it easier to have orgasms.

You will find more of these exercises in my book – HOT SEX EVERYDAY

Sexual shame, guilt, and negative messages and feelings about sex can also be sources of distraction during sex. The negative messages can be associated with religious and cultural beliefs. Replacing those messages with accurate information about sex can be helpful.

4. Partner’s Sexual Concern

If your partner experiences erectile difficulties, it can make it harder for you to experience orgasms during sexual intercourse.

5. Illness and Side-Effects of Medications

Several illnesses and medications inhibit sexual arousal and can make it hard to experience orgasms during sex. Examples are diabetes, hypertension, overactive bladder, multiple sclerosis, antidepressants, antihistamines, diuretics, etc.

It’s important that you discuss your sexual functioning and the sexual side-effects of administered medication in order to find ways of enjoying sex regardless of the medical limitations.

Medical treatments such as prostatectomy (prostate cancer surgery) and hysterectomy can impair your ability to have an orgasm during sex.

6. Vaginal Dryness

Vaginal dryness because of hormonal changes, smoking, insufficient lubrication, etc. can make it harder to experience an orgasm during sex.

7. Lack of Emotional Intimacy

Emotional intimacy can make you feel more connected to each other, make you trust your partner, and increase your chances of letting go and feeling pleasurable sensations.

  • Alcohol and smoking
  • Sexual trauma or history of sexual abuse 
  • Vaginismus (involuntary tightening of the vagina

Do You Find It Hard to Get Orgasms? Talk to a SEX COAC 

Hot Sex Everyday Book


Ami Shikah is a Certified Sex Coach, clinical sexologist, and radio personality with an Advanced Postgraduate Diploma in Global Sexual and Reproductive Health Management. She loves anything and everything sex as long as it is consensual, pleasurable and free of any form of discrimination, harm or violence. On this blog, her aim is to promote sexual literacy, provide a source of arousal, and promote sexual wellness. If you need to talk to a sex professional about your sexual concerns or issues, she is the one to talk to. She can help you solve your sexual problems. She will help you have the most amazing sexual experiences and live the sex life of your dreams. Sex is a basic need and a natural part of who we are as human beings. Exercise your right to sexual pleasure today! Email her at for a complimentary sex coaching session.

One Comment

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