Orgasms are awesome. Even shitty orgasms are pretty good. Whether you make yourself orgasm by yourself, or your partner makes you orgasm, or you accidentally orgasm on the bus because you were sitting in the seat that is right on top of the hot roaring engine and you just couldn't control yourself, orgasms are awesome.

Not everybody, however, has an easy time orgasming. Women in particular are less likely to experience orgasms during sex, and are more likely to have difficulty bringing themselves to orgasm through masturbation. Some women (10 per cent in America) go their whole life without being able to bring themselves to orgasm, often having no idea what they are even missing. Cases of anorgasmia are much less common in men, particularly young men, like those at Capilano University.

Even the actual act of sexual intercourse between straight people is almost entirely geared towards male orgasm, as only the minority of women can orgasm from penetration. Not only that, but incorporating female orgasm into straight sex can be complicated, as men generally lose interest in sex after they come, and may find it hard to “get into” pleasuring their partner. The solution to this would seem to be a “ladies first” policy, but I personally have better orgasms after there has been some penetration, and the satisfaction of my partner is also a huge part of the experience for me.

Getting women to orgasm can be difficult. Though some women don't have such a hard time, others can try all sorts of things until they eventually just get too tired or irritated and give up. Some days oral might be the best thing, other times a vibrator, others times digital stimulation or penetration. Where penises usually respond to the same kind of stimulation every time (not suggesting there isn't more you can do), vaginas are often temperamental and picky, and require more attention and effort in order to please. This makes having a quickie sex romp into something that most women don't orgasm from, which sucks.

The pressure to have an orgasm can also become an issue. If your partner has stopped their own stimulation in order to get you off, it's often hard to lose yourself in pleasure, rather than concentrate on “getting it over with” so you can get back to making them feel good. It's very hard to come under pressure, especially since if it doesn't work it's easy to feel disappointed. From disappointment comes complaints of having a poor sex life.

Lesbian sex, on the other hand, is of course geared almost entirely towards female orgasm. Although one partner may receive or give more in different sessions, the general idea is that both partners will achieve something like satisfaction. Women are less likely than men to immediately lose sexual desire after they orgasm, so it's easier to incorporate both partners into orgasmic bliss. However, it can be a major letdown if one or both partners can't come.

My ex-girlfriend was basically unable to orgasm. It was really frustrating because it became this huge goal that both of us had, and every time we had sex and tried and tried and it didn't work, it was supremely disappointing, and almost became a point of resentment. Although it's nobody's fault, it's easy to blame each other when orgasm isn't achieved.

For couples of every orientation, difficulty achieving orgasm can lead to relationship stress. One way people have thought to solve this is by faking orgasms. Both women and men do this, but the stats for women are significantly higher. 48 per cent of American women report regularly faking orgasm, with 11 per cent for men. Of course, this does nothing to solve the real problem of why these people aren't orgasming, and just leads to the partner thinking that what they are doing is working and there is no need to change. Faking orgasm is never the answer, but good communication is.

People have a hard time communicating what feels good and what feels bad to their partner, for fear of hurting their feelings. “Oh yes you are just a natural at eating pussy! Totally knew exactly what to do. Remarkable!” Never happens. People get good at sex by learning what works and what doesn't work. This learning process has to basically start again with each new sex partner, though layers of experience can sort-of add up to someone who seems like “a natural” in bed.

Everyone makes mistakes. What feels good for one person may not feel good for the next. Your last partner might have been able to take three fingers in their ass on the get-go, but your new partner may not be so keen. Communicate, and a house of sexual knowledge will be constructed.

Build it, and they will come.

//Sarah Vitet, Columnist

Sarah Vitet has been writing about sex for the Courier for a long time, and has been reading about sex in the Courier for even longer. When she's not doing this, she's editing our arts section.

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