Is there pleasure without orgasm? Is orgasm the only way to have a successful sexual experience?

This post is part of the series “Dare to ask”, if you want to ask something about this theme, you can leave a comment or write me an e-mail. We can talk about your questions more extensively also in therapy or counselling.

Talking about arousal first, many people think of a cinematic image of a couple tearing apart each others’ clothes and, in a burning desire peak, immediately get into intercourse in the middle of hallway, maybe against the wall… All this can belong to the sexual experience, but arousal may not be so automatic nor “burning” for everyone. What arouses me can be another’s brake.

Sexual excitement and pleasure are personal experiences, influenced by both mental moods and external factors. What if you don’t feel like having sex at the moment or even in general? Maybe it is time to think about whether there’s something that easily activates your brakes or maybe there’s something missing that could start your engine.

Have you ever wondered what is that you desire when you feel having sex, in other words, what kind of sex do you want and with whom? But also did you ever wondered about what kind of sex / sexual partner/s you don’t want?

A “sleepy” desire can be awakened by starting noticing your own little everyday pleasures and desires (a good smell, a feeling, a sunset….) Your ability to feel pleasure can be developed and expanded in different directions by feeding this pleasure deepening your awareness of yourself and your partner/s.

Over the years we have been told that a successful sexual experience needs to end up in penetration and to culminate with a wet orgasm. The person (usually a female) who did not achieved the orgasm did not enjoy. It’s a myth.

Sex can involve more than just penetration. Sex can be enjoyed without reaching the orgasm, which, if and when it comes, doesn’t necessarily have to be due to penetration to be genuine and worthy of its name!

If you don’t reach your climax thanks to penetration, there’s nothing wrong with you. Some of us (a large number of us!) needs different stimulation to come. Looking for to reach the orgasm is fine, but orgasms do not necessary need to be achieved in one and only way.

Difficulties reaching orgasm may be caused by psychological factors and/or external circumstances. Your counselor can help you understand and figure out these factors. Sometimes the cause can be physical, i.e. a sexual dysfunction. In this case, your counselor can help by referring you to the right health professional.