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Ladies! 6 Reasons You Can't Climax

We've all been there. You can't climax in the moment and feeling really helpless. I'm sure many women you know have also had the same problem at some point. It's completely normal, but why does it happen? Knowing why could get you closer to orgasming in the future. GetLusty's Bethany Kibblesmith is here presenting research on why you aren't climaxing.

Disclaimer: This is not intended to be medical advice. As the article notes, if you're having physiological or psychological issues hindering your orgasm, we recommend seeing a physician. Whether it's a psychotherapist or your primary physician, it's important to understand both why you're having problems as well as how you can start orgasming. Have specific questions? Feel free to send it to, and we'll send them over to the therapists or sexologists in our network to get answers.

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You’re having sex, getting oral or being manually stimulated. It’s feeling amazing and you can feel your climax just out of reach. Try as you might, you can’t manage to seal the deal. In fact, the harder you try to orgasm, the more impossible climaxing becomes. You want to come. You’re having sex. So what gives?

Well, there are a couple of things that could be going on. First, if this is the only thing you take away from this article, I’ll be happy. Okay, ready? Know this above all else: it’s not your fault, you aren’t a failure, and absolutely nothing is wrong with you. Same goes for your partner.

So, there are two basic categories of things that are likely culprits hindering your climax. Something is going on, either in your brain or in your body. First, cover brain stuff first. Stress, distractions, and simple mental blocks. Next, we'll cover issues with your body.

Brain issues (psychology) 

#1 Stress

Stress is a total buzzkill in every aspect of life, and the poor orgasm is no different. If work or school or family is killer lately, and your time spent with your lover has you showing up zombie-like, drained, and flopping into bed or maybe it has your heart thumbing like a techno beat and your muscles are tight as an E-string, it’s not surprising that your O has become elusive.

Your stressful situation stays where you leave it. Don’t bring it into the bedroom, kitchen, living room or shower... Anyhow, the point is, focus on the matter at hand. Your attention should be on your body and your partner, and all the yummy sensations you’re sharing. If you really can’t shrug off the stress, consider taking a booty break until your stressful situation eases up. If sex is uncomfortable or feeling like something you’re doing to because you know your partner wants to, this is probably the best solution for your stress.

#2 Distractions

Distractions can also act on your ability to come, just like stress. Thinking about how loud the TV is in the other room and wishing you hadn’t forgotten to turn it off, or how you really should be doing the dishes, and crap, weren’t you supposed to call your friend back about Friday night? Or maybe it’s too dang cold, why is it so hot in here, have these sheets always been so rough? Slow down, girlie. Worrying about all the other things you also have to get done while you’re supposed to be getting down, uncomfortable conditions or temperatures, can make it impossible to focus on the physical and zone out mentally, both ideal for climax.

#3 Simple mental blocks: distrust

How you’re feeling about your partner is critical for comfortable sex. Have you been fighting, or nagging each other? Is there something you aren’t telling your partner about?

Anything you’ve buried, or left unresolved can cause you anxiety, emotional stress, and make you feel emotionally distant or disconnected from your partner. It goes without saying that these things make it harder to enter a state of vulnerability and openness that orgasm entails. A good relationship is always built on trust.

The other brain based thing that might be the culprit of your climax problems is how you’re feeling about your O. The critical moment is building, and you start thinking “I’m gonna come. Last time I didn’t but this time, it’s gonna happen. Oh, I’m close, why isn’t it happening? What’s going on? Ugh! Lost it! Again!?” Just know that not having one means doesn't mean never having one ever again. When it comes to brain-based orgasm blocks, just remember to relax, talk about your feelings and needs, and relax!

Now, if you read this next section and identify with any part of it, please see a medical doctor. I am an English major, not a medical professional. None of this is meant to constitute medical diagnosis or advice.

Physiologically, there are other reasons you may be having difficulty climaxing. The main culprits are injury or medications, but a physiological response to a psychological issue is also possible.

Physiological issues (your body)

#4 Medications

Have you recently gone on any new medications? Certain anti-depressants and anxiety medications, specifically SSRIs, and forms hormonal birth control, and most common oral contraceptives make climax difficult or impossible. Those medications can also lower your sex drive considerably. Talk with your doctor if this is the case, and determine whether a different medication would better suit your body and life. A word on recreational drug use: opiates and marijuana may dampen your libido and make orgasm more difficult to achieve. Opiates especially are associated with lack of sexual desire, and many prescription painkillers fall into this category. If this could be your problem, consider getting medical help.

#5 Injury (such as childbirth)

Any damage to your nervous system, especially damage to your spinal nerves, can cause a loss of physical ability to feel various sensations. Have you received any physical trauma recently? The other main physical issue is that of the pelvic floor. Are you experiencing pelvic floor issues, such as incontinence or excessive tightness?

Hip and back problems, as well as obesity and pregnancy/childbirth, can cause pelvic floor dysfunctions, which can make sex impossible or painful in the case of excess tightness, or uncomfortable and lacking in sensation in the case of looseness. Kegels and certain yoga poses can help, but always consult a physician if you think something is going on in your body.

#6 Trauma

This one straddles the psychological and physiological categories, but traumatic or negative sexual experiences. Even many years prior to your current sexual difficulties can unexpectedly impact how you relate sexually to your partner.

The effects of sexual abuse, an abusive relationship, or even a consensual encounter that had some sort of negative aspect or association, can all impact your sexuality, at any time. This is a completely normal response.

The body and mind in tandem can sometimes cause, in the most severe psychological reaction, vaginal muscles to become very tense and seize up, making penetration either very painful or impossible. Less obvious reactions to sex in the case of a negative sexual association can be a disconnected feeling to the body, inability to climax, and feelings of fear, guilt or aversion to sexual activities.

Whatever is causing your difficulties in climaxing, you’re a beautiful person who deserves awesome sex. If you keep relaxing, talking to your partner, trying and confronting your difficulties head on, you will orgasm! Stay tuned to GetLusty, as we'll have ideas especially for those of you who are having difficulties climaxing.

We're very excited to have Bethany Kibblesmith as GetLusty's newest writer. She's passionate about keeping it sexy inside and outside the bedroom in her own relationship and in yours.

Bethany is twenty-two and an English major. When she isn't scrambling to finish homework, she's with her boyfriend, reading, doing yoga or cooking. She enjoys the finer things in life like, secondhand clothes, warm showers, and socks without holes. She writes plays when she isn't writing for school or GetLusty. And if you meet her she will, without question, make a sex joke at some point. Email her at if you have any questions!
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