Over half of Christian women report that orgasm is, at best, a hit and miss thing. Many can’t reach orgasm at all.
This month, I want to dedicate my series to orgasm–understanding what it is; understanding why we have roadblocks; and culminating in the release of our Orgasm Course at the end of the month (with an add-on for husbands, too!)
In the survey we conducted of 20,000 Christian women last winter, we found that 48% of women usually or always reach orgasm. That leaves the rest going into a sexual encounter not knowing if this will be the time or not. And for 24%, orgasm never happens at all–or almost never happens.
That’s a lot of women. And I think they’re over-represented on this blog (since people who have an easier time with sex don’t read me as much!)
I was trying to figure out how to launch this orgasm series, and one phrase kept coming back to me:
You are not broken.
I think so many women need to hear that.
You are not broken.
Orgasm isn’t automatic for women, and just because you may find it difficult does not mean that your body is broken. It doesn’t mean that you can’t get there. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t sexual.
It just means that you have challenges. And I hope I can give you some hope this month.
Let’s start with the way that God made orgasm.
As I’ve talked about before, orgasm is the ultimate in letting go. God created orgasm so that at the height of passion, we would be feeling and experiencing more than just thinking. We don’t have to stay in control. We don’t have to have it all together. In fact, if we do try to stay in control or have it all together, orgasm will be elusive. Instead, we’re to surrender to the moment and let feeling carry us along. It’s really the ultimate in trust and vulnerability, because we can’t let ourselves be carried along unless we can let down all pretences, all guards, all fences.
To learn more about orgasm like this:
- Why You Can’t Be a Control Freak in the Bedroom
- How Sex is the Gift of Being in the Moment
- The Theology of the Clitoris
Orgasm is about celebrating a safe, vulnerable relationship–an act that leads to us feeling truly “known”.
And being “known” is actually the Hebrew word that God uses to describe sex. It’s an intimate longing to be truly connected to one another (as I spoke about at length in The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex).
If our sexual response were automatic, then sex would no longer be about relationship or intimacy.
Think about that for a moment, because it does matter. If both men and women could reach orgasm automatically, with ease, with little effort, then orgasm would no longer be a deep “knowing”. It wouldn’t be about having to be vulnerable, about having to feel safe, about having to communicate what feels good (and what doesn’t). It would simply be about two bodies joining.
And then intimacy would be taken out of the equation.
God made sex to be a deep knowing, which means that women’s sexual response in particular is tied up in having to feel safe and having to be vulnerable (including how to communicate what feels good, which means letting down all pretence). I know it can be frustrating, because men’s sexual response does seem to be easier (and we’ll talk about the frustration many women feel about that next week), but I do believe that God’s design was that intimacy would be the fuel that propels women’s sexual response, rather than just the physicality of sex. He wants sex to be more than just physical. And so he asked us to keep sex within an intimate, committed relationship so that men could experience true intimacy as well (and, indeed, men often find merely physical sex leaves them missing something important, too).
Because sex is so vulnerable, and so intimate, then sexual response can be fragile
That which is closest to our identity and our emotions and our sense of self and who we are is the most vulnerable to issues, like:
- Sexual shame: If you feel awkward talking about sex, like it’s somehow dirty, then it’s going to be harder to figure out what feels good
- Body image issues: If you feel awkward or embarrassed about your body, it’s difficult to let go and allow yourself to enjoy your body
- Relationship issues: If you’re feeling distant from your husband, it’s hard to let go and feel safe with him in bed
- Identity issues: If you feel as if sex is something you owe your husband, rather than an important part of you, too, then embracing sex can be a challenge
- Trauma issues: If sex has been distorted because of past trauma, it’s hard to relax and allow your body to see it as a positive thing now
And so, so many more.
It’s easy to look at that list and say, “See, Sheila! I have some of those issues, so I obviously AM broken!”
But what I want to tell you is this:
Having those issues doesn’t mean that you’re broken. Having those issues means that your brain and your body have been guarding yourself for very good reasons.
They’ve been acting exactly right based on what they’ve been taught to believe, or what they’ve been taught is safe.
The route forward is not only to figure out the sexual technique piece of orgasm (although that is important). But it’s more important to figure out what messages your brain and body have been acting out, and address those things.
And I want to reiterate this, because it’s so important: If your body hasn’t been able to reach orgasm, and the main reason is because you were taught the wrong things about sex, and you feel so shy that you don’t even know where to start, this doesn’t mean that you’re broken. This means that your body and brain are working exactly the way they’re supposed to based on what they were taught.
The same thing is true no matter what message or issue we’re dealing with.
Your body and brain, which determine your sexual response cycle, are acting in accordance to what they have been taught and what they have experienced.
It is not that your body and brain don’t work; they do!
It’s just that often the messages that we’ve been taught about sex, and often the dynamics of our relationship, make it so that sexual response is elusive.
The solution, then, is to change what we believe, and to change relationship dynamics.
You’re not broken. Your body and brain work just fine! We just need to change the messages, the dynamics, and sometimes even the stimulus.
And then your body and brain will start working TOWARDS orgasm, instead of protecting yourself FROM vulnerability, embracing your sexuality, and letting go of control (along with other things).
As you think about orgasm, keep these two things in mind:
- If orgasm and sexual response were automatic, then sex would only be physical, and not about intimacy
- The fact that orgasm is so dependent on how we feel and think about ourselves, our bodies, and our relationship means that, when orgasm is elusive, you’re not broken. You’ve simply got messages or dynamics that need to be dealt with so that intimacy and sexual confidence are easier to embrace.
If you have a hard time reaching orgasm, I know that can still be frustrating.
I really do get it. Believe me; I’ve been there.
But I want to assure you: Your clitoris is not broken. Your vagina is not broken. Your brain is not broken.
YOU are not broken.
And this month, I hope we can dismantle some of the beliefs that have made it difficult to be vulnerable or embrace sex, and put us on the road for better relationship dynamics.
I want this to be a hopeful month; a practical month. And so, as we start, please have hope! You can get there. You aren’t broken. Many have been where you are, and many have experienced breakthroughs.
Now let’s see if we can put you on that road, too!
Want to Experience that Orgasm Breakthrough?
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Have you ever felt broken because you can’t reach orgasm–or rarely do? How has that affected you? Let’s talk in the comments!
The Orgasm Series:
- You Are Not Broken if Orgasm is Elusive
- When You’re Frustrated that Orgasm is Hard for You–and Easy for Him (October 12)
- How Do I Not Feel Self-Conscious about what it Takes to Reach Orgasm? (October 13)
- What if My Husband Feels Self-Conscious about Talking about Sex? (October 14)
- Figuring out What’s Holding You Back from Orgasm (October 19)
- The Orgasm Course Launch (October 26–we hope!)
- Start Your Engines Podcast: When your wife has difficulty with orgasm (October 29)
And don’t forget to check out:
Sheila Wray Gregoire
Founder of To Love, Honor and Vacuum
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