To acquire wisdom, one must observe


Welcome back to the Student Sexuality Information Service (SSIS) column, where we answer any and all of Brandeis students’ questions about sex, sexuality, identity and relationships. If you have a question you’d like answered in our next column, email ssis@brandeis.edu or leave a question in our Google Form: https://tinyurl.com/AskSSIS. Any and all questions are welcome: there are no bad, stupid or weird questions! 


(Note: These answers are good-faith attempts by SSIS to be helpful to the Brandeis community, and are by no means exhaustive or to be taken as universal. If these answers don’t resonate with you, either pay them no mind or reach out to us with suggestions for improvement!)


Q: Is it normal to have never experienced an orgasm?


Thank you for asking SSIS! It is absolutely normal to have never experienced an orgasm. Let’s talk about it! 


Orgasms are defined differently by everyone, but physiologically consist of rhythmic muscle contractions accompanied by fast breathing and rapid pulse rate, typically after prolonged stimulation. 


Since orgasms typically vary for folks, there are some ways to narrow down the different kinds of orgasms, depending on the location and type of stimulation applied to the body. There are clitoral orgasms which are usually felt more on the surface of the body. Vaginal orgasms are felt deeper and more widespread, and can produce a pulsating feeling. Orgasms from stimulation of the penis are often localized and can occur with ejaculation, but not always. Anal orgasms can differ depending on whether you have a prostate or not, but are often described as a lot more intense than other orgasms. You could also have combination Os where multiple regions of the body feel pleasure at once!   


With that being said though, sex does not need to include any of these orgasms! One really helpful tip could be reframing ideas of sex to focus on the benefits aside from orgams. This can help alleviate some of that pressure to have an orgasm because you’re focused more on the pleasurable journey along the way. Orgasms don’t need to be the be-all and end-all of sex! Sex can be a great means of stress relief, mood improvement and a space to explore your interests. 


There are many other benefits of sex for people that have nothing to do with orgasms! It can provide a space to be vulnerable, communicative, intimate and honest with a partner. Having conversations about sexual interests and desires can help build intimacy and connection with a partner. Exploring each other’s bodies, gaining confidence and finding new ways to cultivate pleasure can be equally as rewarding as achieving orgasm. Focusing on what feels good to you and what you want more of. Seeing your partner feel pleasure and other feelings that sex can spark can be the things you look forward to instead.


If you would like to work towards being able to experience orgasm, or if you just want to find ways to make sex more pleasurable, here is some more info! 


Masturbation is a great way to explore your body on your own terms and figure out what you like and what you don’t like sexually. You have the power to stop whenever you want and also continue whenever you want. Being in the right mental space is also crucial for many when it comes to experiencing an orgasm. It could be helpful to set some chill vibes when you masturbate to help with relaxing your mind in addition to your body. This could mean dimming the lights, playing some calm or sensual music (check out Super Sexy Intimate Songs on Spotify!) or wearing some lingerie. If incorporating sex toys is of interest to you, vibrators, dildos, butt plugs and masturbatory sleeves can all be used to increase sensation externally or internally and increase pleasure. 


It can also be helpful to explore your erogenous zones. These exist all throughout the body, differ for everyone, and are areas that may be a lot more sensitive for you and can heighten arousal. These can include the genitals, anus, perineum, inner thighs, nipples, neck, ears and many more areas. Stimulating these regions with varying pressures of touch, vibrations, kissing, sucking or licking could feel really good and may lead to orgasm!


Lastly, for some people, the inability to orgasm could be due to a medical issue. Many medications such as antidepressants and antipsychotics can affect sexual desire and performance. However, there are steps that can be taken if the cause is medical and achieving orgasm is something that you want! Talking to your primary care physician about these concerns can help you get closer to that stage. 


If you ever want to chat more about any of this or want to check out some of the pleasure products we sell, come visit our office in SCC 328 or text our hotline to schedule an appointment! 


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