There’s this idea that the female orgasm is really hard to figure out. Here’s a secret: it’s not. (But it’s nice that you’re thinking about it!) This isn’t to say it doesn’t require effort. There are different areas you can stimulate to help a woman climax and mapping out which one she prefers takes communication — and practice. It also requires understanding — really truly understanding — that, in general, it takes most women a little longer to get aroused and that the start to an orgasm often starts outside the bedroom. Keeping these important facts in mind, here, per a leading sex therapist, are some ways to help take her orgasm to new heights.
It’s Not All About Sex
If you’re in a long-term relationship, you’ve almost certainly seen one another come undone at one point or another. Life is stressful. Work is hard. Kids are exhausting. But we have to find ways around these obstacles; we have to work to find our way back into the bedroom. “It’s important for couples handling the many stresses and responsibilities of parenthood to sexualize each other, and to do it every day,” says Dr. Chris Donaghue, a sex and relationship therapist, author and television sexuality expert. “This doesn’t necessarily mean having sex. Handholding, romantic gestures and affection help couples reignite intimacy. The goal is not sex, but eroticism and romance, which sometimes means sex.”
Seriously, It’s Not All About Sex
“Penetration alone does not get most people off,” Dr. Donaghue reminds us. According to the Kinsey Institute, women are more likely to experience orgasm after engaging in a multitude of sexual stunts. A lot of folks gravitate towards the clitoris when aiming for orgasm. In fact, research shows that upwards of 70 percent of women require direct clitoral stimulation to achieve climax. With that, it might be time to start incorporating other forms of play into your bedroom routine. “Hand massages, oral sex, and using sex toys are great alternatives to intercourse,” says Donaghue. “It’s important for couples to be creative. Not everything needs to be done the ‘standard way.’ It’s okay to do what you need to do to make it work.”
Masturbation is fun, but it doesn’t exactly inform us on how to engage with a partner. A lot of guys seem to have adopted the “quick and quiet” when jerking it, which is plenty convenient when you’re 14 years old and your mom starts banging on the door to tell you dinner is ready. It is not, however, the most favorable approach for an adult man to apply to partnered sex. “I try to remind guys that women’s arousal takes far longer,” says Donaghue. “If the way you generally masturbate is all rush get it done, then you’re not training yourself to have the skill-set needed to be with a partner.” Remember, sex is all about the experience, not a means to an end.
Embrace the Sex Toy
Somewhere, somehow, sex toys got swooped up into our pile of problematic constructs of masculinity. Researchers suspect the reason some men avoid bringing toys into the bedroom for fear of being replaced, or rendered superfluous. Of course, there is no replacing live flesh for a rechargeable device. Though, combining the two has proved fruitful. Tenga, a male pleasure products manufacturer, recently released its 2018 Global Self-Pleasure Report. They compiled data from more than 13,000 respondents ages 18-74 across 18 countries and found that women whose male partners used a sex toy rank their orgasms 20 percent higher than those whose partners do not. If you’ve never used a toy on your partner during sex, fear not. According to Donaghue, newness and novelty are key components to sex and arousal. “Habits and patterns kill sexual arousal,” he says. “Try all the sexual things that make you anxious. This will not only increase eroticism, but will also be therapeutic and build more intimacy between you and your partner.”
Focus on More Than One Area
There is an abundance of erogenous zones located around the body. These areas are highly receptive to touch and can help bring about a sexual response when stimulated. The genitals, of course, fall under this umbrella. But there are other and more obscure areas of the body that we might find pleasurable to touch. “Focusing on her highly sensitive areas, like her nipples or thighs, can help make her orgasm more satisfying,” says Donaghue. If you’ve still got that toy lying around, use it to your advantage. “Take your time and touch her whole body with it,” Donaghue suggests. “Focusing on her highly sensitive areas can help make her orgasm more satisfying.”