Dear Alice,

I've been with my current boyfriend for almost three years. A few months ago I came clean and told him I have been faking orgasm the entire time we've been together. I also told him that I've never had an orgasm from sex even with my previous partners. Now that he knows my secret, I can't even begin to think about how to approach sex. I feel like every moan would be a lie!

He was very understanding and even said it made him feel more confident because he was a virgin before me so now it's like we can start from the beginning. Except now it's like I have this mental block that prevents me from getting aroused. I don't have the slightest idea of where to start to fix this situation. I almost feel like I shouldn't have told him...

Please, any words of wisdom?

Dear Reader,

First, it’s awesome that you opened up to your boyfriend. That’s a difficult discussion to initiate. Not only is clear and honest communication the foundation of a healthy relationship, but for many folks, it can also be integral to a satisfying and fulfilling sex life. Second, it sounds like your boyfriend is being supportive, which is also awesome. These are good first steps. You mentioned that you feel like you shouldn’t have told him. Here’s the thing — not telling him would probably have meant more of the same thing in the bedroom. It would’ve been very difficult to seek your own pleasure without him knowing something was up. In other words, by faking orgasms, your boyfriend was under the impression that whatever you two were doing was satisfying to you. And maybe it was pleasurable, but from your question, it appears that maybe it hasn’t been as satisfying as you would like. You are both on the same page now and, as your boyfriend said, can “start from the beginning.” Now, let’s talk about this mental block you’re having.

You say you are having problems becoming aroused. What made you aroused before you told him? It may just be that you need a little time to get back there. Be patient with yourself. Many women find it hard to orgasm, either on their own, with a partner, or both. Some women can orgasm through oral sex or masturbation, but not intercourse. Other women only get off through manual stimulation. Still others can orgasm when working solo, but not with a partner. When you say you’ve never had an orgasm “from sex,” are you referring to intercourse only or oral sex, too? If this is specific to intercourse, you should know that most women have relatively few nerve endings in their vaginal walls, making it more difficult to come without at least some stimulation of the clitoris. In fact, for most women, sexual pleasure comes from direct or indirect stimulation of the clitoris. Can you get yourself off through masturbation? If so, it may be worth showing your boyfriend how you do it. Each woman is different in terms of what brings her to orgasm, so giving your boyfriend a “how-to” lesson may help. Some couples also find it useful to bring a vibrator into sex play. Many women find a vibrator can help them reach orgasm.

Easing orgasms for women offers many potential reasons for difficulty in reaching orgasm, such as worrying about not having an orgasm, being unable to focus on the sensations you’re feeling, and not wanting to ask your partner for too much. It sounds like you’ve felt a lot of pressure to climax lately, and perhaps fear that you won’t be able to. This could be distracting you from getting aroused and causing your mental block. Try to relax and concentrate on what you’re doing with your boyfriend — the excitement, the sensations, the atmosphere — instead of what you expect to happen at the end. If you like something, don’t be afraid to tell him and ask for more. You might find that staying “in the moment” relieves some of your anxiety and allows you to have an extremely pleasurable experience, regardless of whether you end up having an orgasm or not. Climaxing doesn’t have to be the be all and end all of sex — getting there can be exciting, too! 

The Go Ask Alice! Orgasms archives also contain a wealth of information and suggestions on how to achieve an orgasm, and ask your boyfriend if he would be willing to help you test out some new strategies. Just remember to have fun trying!


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