Dear Alice,

My boyfriend and I have sex almost daily and I usually get on top so my clitoris is stimulated enough for me to climax. But I've noticed that when I come after having sex every single day my orgasm isn't as great as the day before. Can my clitoris desensitize from too much sex?

Thank You!!

Dear Reader, 

Thanks for reaching out with such a stimulating question! Put simply, there isn't any research (only anecdotal reports) to support the idea that having sex frequently might decrease your clitoral sensitivity. It's possible, however, that other factors are causing you to perceive or experience weaker orgasms. Read on for more about the anatomy of the clitoris, and how emotions, various aspects of your relationships, and different sex positions may influence orgasm frequency and strength!

Did you know that the majority of the clitoris is actually internal? Consisting of two clitoral bodies and two clitoral bulbs, it surrounds the vagina and rests above the vaginal wall (for more information on the anatomy of the clitoris, check out Planned Parenthood's Where are the parts of the female sexual anatomy?). When the vaginal wall absorbs force from a penis (or finger, or tongue, or sex toy), the internal parts of the clitoris are stimulated, which may create feelings of arousal and orgasm. Those with clitoral structures in a more compact volume of space in the body are more likely to experience increased sensitivity during penetrative activities, as their clitorises press closer to the vagina, leading to more contact between the vaginal wall and the internal clitoral structures. Due to this, each person may find different kinds of stimulation arousing. Some are able to reach orgasm through only clitoral stimulation or only vaginal stimulation, while others report both as the source of their orgasm. In addition, those experiencing menopause may find their clitoris to be less sensitive, due to vaginal atrophy, dryness, and changes in the vascular and nervous systems due to lowered estrogen levels. 

Using this knowledge, there are factors that partners may focus on to improve the orgasm for the partner with a clitoris. For those with a clitoris, research indicates that planning at least fifteen minutes for stimulation is more likely to result in satisfactory orgasm. In addition, switching up positions, particularly those in which a partner with a clitoris is on top, can lead to higher likelihood of orgasm for that partner. You mentioned that you're usually on top, but maybe trying a new position on top or taking more time will help increase the strength of the orgasms you're experiencing. Still curious? Feel free to check out the Orgasms section of the Go Ask Alice! Sexual & Reproductive Health archives.

Aside from anatomy, frequency and quality of orgasm are often tied to mental and emotional factors more than physical ones. For instance, partners that prioritize orgasms, feel intense sexual desire and high sexual self-esteem, and openly communicate with each other are more likely to orgasm more frequently. In addition, equality between partners may play a role too. When one partner is too worried about their orgasm or their partner's orgasm, they may not be able to fully relax, therefore leading to lower quality orgasms. In your case, Reader, is it possible that focusing so much on your orgasms is making it harder to relax and reach a stronger orgasm? Keep in mind that it's possible to have a satisfying sexual experience without reaching orgasm. You and your partner can be be intimate without the expectation or pressure of experiencing an orgasm, and this reduced pressure may in fact increase the likelihood of experiencing one. Additionally, focusing on the positives of your physical and emotional closeness may enhance your relationship overall.

If you feel that you're too worried about achieving orgasm, you may want to discuss your concerns with your boyfriend and work with him to communicate effectively about how to continue a fulfilling relationship for both of you.

Lots of sex may not lead to desensitization, but doing it in a certain way can help make your experiences with your partner "O" so good! 

Alice!

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