I am a 19 year old female who has been sexually active for almost two years now, but I have never been able to orgasm. I have researched all over the internet and bought books and toys but none have proved useful. From what I have learned, most problems having to do with the inability to orgasm have to do either with a lack of confidence, knowledge of your body and what you like, or even an unconcerned partner, however I do not have any of these. Even when I am alone and masturbating I can feel like I am getting close but then it starts to either hurt or completely disappear into no feeling at all. When I am with my boyfriend (poor guy) all he ever does is attempt to help me in whatever way he possibly can, but still nothing. I am worried that maybe there is something wrong with me. Is it possible to be physically unable to orgasm? If not then what do I do?! This has been going on even before I became sexually active and I have become hopeless and concerned. How can I fix this? My boyfriend always tells me I am perfectly fine and not broken (as I argue) but I am not so sure…

A: At only 19, deciding you’re “broken” is way, way premature. I understand you are concerned. I’m worried that you are so concerned you are defeating yourself. Orgasm requires you to be relaxed, not worried that it won’t work.

By all means, talk to your gynecologist. It’s unlikely but still possible that there is something medical going on. It’s always good to check. But it’s more likely that you are putting too much pressure on yourself or you are trying too hard. Many, many young women report the same concerns. Here’s a website from the UK that you might find reassuring.

I’m very glad you have a loving partner. I encourage the two of you to get the focus off orgasm. Focus on the process of pleasuring each other and loving each other, not on the goal of getting off. My guess is that you’ll eventually find out what brings you to climax if you’ll just give yourself time to explore without judgement and pressure.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Oct 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). Is it possible to be physically unable to orgasm?. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/10/02/is-it-possible-to-be-physically-unable-to-orgasm/