I am a 26-year-old female who masturbates regularly. I have great orgasms quite easily by simply rubbing my clitoris. When I am having intercourse, however, I almost never have an orgasm. Could this be because of the way I masturbate?

It is highly unlikely that your manner of masturbating is the reason you find it difficult to have orgasms during intercourse. Most women masturbate by stimulating their clitoris in some way, either through the use of a vibrator or their own hand.

The clitoris is the center of sexual pleasure for most women, which is why so few women can have orgasms from intercourse alone. The fact is, when having sex, a man’s penis doesn’t spend much time around the clitoris. And what little friction there is between the clit and penis is offset by the amount of lubrication typically generated by sex.

So while most women need direct and indirect stimulation of the clitoris in a rhythmic fashion in order to achieve orgasm, most sexual positions involve little stimulation of the clit. Some sexual positions provide for more direct stimulation — and control — of the clitoris’s contact with the penis, such as the woman being on top (cowgirl position). You could be more adventurous with trying out different sexual positions to find whether there may be one that works for you.

But keep in mind, according to research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, surveys have found that as many as 80 percent of women do not regularly orgasm during sex. Cosmopolitan’s Female Orgasm Survey of 2015 found that approximately 57 percent of women usually have orgasms when they have sex with a partner. That leaves a significant group of women who simply won’t have orgasms during sex no matter what position they try.

This is not a problem unless you or your partner believes it to be. There are many other ways to achieve orgasm, and orgasm can readily become a part of your sex play with your partner without it needing to be an actual part of intercourse itself.

You should also count yourself lucky. Because you can have orgasms easily by yourself, it may also be possible to teach your partner. Simply show him or her how you like to be stimulated, and incorporate that into your sexual activities — whether it be before, during, after or instead of intercourse!

Remember, with sex there comes no judgment. You do whatever feels good and right in the moment. While achieving an orgasm is considered important to many who enjoy sex, it doesn’t have to be that way for you. Keep open-minded and be willing to try different things, and you will likely find a fun and creative way to incorporate orgasms into your sex life that works for both you and your partner.