Oops I didn’t orgasm, I’m sorry

Published on June 13, 2017

no orgasm during sexSurprising that someone would apologize for not orgasming during sex. Yet , this is surprisingly a common apology I’ve heard given by a person to their partner in a long-term relationship after they have sex.  Unfortunately, usually for complex reasons, one person feels a sense of responsibility and/or guilt for not orgasming during sex with the partner. Conversely, The partner decides to feel like a failure or badly because their partner wasn’t able to orgasm.


What is going on that people are so focused on orgasm? Is this even helpful?


These answers to the questions become less important if we step back and examine what an individual or the couple is looking to get from sex and the experience and feelings they want.  Almost every couple or individual, that I work with, will state that what they want from sex is to have fun, feel connected and feel special or desired by their partner.


Never is orgasm one of the first things that a couple is stating they want or are they focused on during sex.  Yet when they get down to having sex they become overly preoccupied with having an orgasm. Paradoxically, this orgasm focus reduces the fun, connection and feelings of being special and desired!


In fact, being overly focused on the orgasm often produces performance anxiety for one or both people. Focusing on an orgasm gets in the way of what people really crave from sex which his closeness, feeling special, desired and having fun.  


If you think about it; if you have fun, stay connected and in the moment and enjoy the whole process of sex which is the hugging, kissing, talking laughing and intimacy that can come from sharing in this act, a nice by-product will likely be orgasm for one or both parties. And if one or both of you don’t have an orgasm, there will be the next time.


So why do some people feel so much pressure to have an orgasm when they have sex?


Well this can be for a variety of reasons. A common myth is that sex only is good or “counts” if everyone orgasms. But this is simply not true. I have equal numbers of men and women that have perfectly wonderful and hugely enjoyable sex and they do not orgasm each and every time. Good sex does not equal an orgasm. Conversely, I’ve had both men and women describe “bad sex” but they did orgasm. Orgasm doesn’t mean good sex.


Individuals who didn’t orgasm during a particular night of sex, didn’t feel that it  the fun they had, the closeness they felt or the pleasure or intimacy of the time they spent with their partner, unless of course their partner made a big deal out of it.  Sometimes orgasm doesn’t happen for a variety of reasons that has nothing to do with the enjoyment of sex or the effectiveness of your partner.


Another reason for the over focus on orgasm is that directly or indirectly an insecure or anxious partner may want or even demand their partner orgasm so that s/he can feel validated that s/he  is an effective and good lover. They need this proof of orgasm to validate their own ability as a lover.


However, paradoxically, this pressure to orgasm that they put on their partner, limits their partner to enjoy sex in any way s/he wants. This may mean a person doesn’t feel very orgasmic but they still want to have sex and this is perfectly fine for the individual.  However, when an individual demands (directly or indirectly) that your partner has to orgasm each time; It changes the purpose and enjoyment of sex. Now the orgasm is not about the recipient’s enjoyment but about the other party’s insecurity or anxiety. So you see, paradoxically, orgasm, in this case wouldn’t mean you are good lover but perhaps an insecure or anxious one. There are better ways to deal with your insecurity or anxiety about your sexuality.


Often people are not aware of their own beliefs or thoughts about sex. They may not be aware that their unrealistic or inaccurate beliefs about sex are causing them problems or limiting their enjoyment of sex.


 Many times people do not need an orgasm but think that for sex to be good that they should have an orgasm. They create pressure on themselves or the partner. This over focus on an orgasm paradoxically reduces or distracts them from the wonderful journey of sex they could be having. Sex can last ten to twenty to two hours and an orgasm is only 2-7 seconds.  So when you focus on the destination you miss the journey, which is the best part!

Focusing on orgasm as pass/ fail will produce anxiety and worry about his or her body “doing sex right” …as though there is a right way to have sex. The right sex is the one that you enjoy. Focusing on sex as though there is a right way and orgasm is a mandatory requirement  makes sex like a job  with KPIs (key performance Index).


So if you find yourself overly focused on orgasm to the point where it reduces the sex you have with your partner, perhaps you can evaluate where this belief comes from. Start to think about what you want from sex and the experience you would like to have. How much does this have to do specifically with orgasm.


If you need help improving your relationship or your sex life with your partner, consider sex and relationship therapy with Tammy Fontana at All in the Family Counselling Centre Pte Ltd. Call us at +6590307239 or email tammy@allinthefamilycounselling.com


Category(s):Couple Counseling, Family Problems, Marital Counseling, Men's Issues, Pre-Marital Counseling, Relationships & Marriage, Sexual Problems / Sex Therapy, Women's Issues

Written by:

Tammy M. Fontana, MS NCC CTRT Sex Therapist USA

Ms. Fontana is a relationship counsellor specializing in helping people with their relationships whether it is dating, marriage, parenting or with their extended family. Her clients call her approach practical and found solutions to their problems. Ms. Fontana has obtained her Master Degree in Mental Health counselling from the United States and is a USA Nationally Certified Counsellor. She is also a Certified Choice Theory Reality Therapist and is USA trained Sex Therapist.

Tammy M. Fontana, MS NCC CTRT Sex Therapist USA belongs to All in the Family Counselling Centre, PTE LTD in Singapore