Sex Q&A: Why Can’t I Orgasm?!

    Because "oh, just masturbate more!" is not an acceptable answer.

    Welcome to the new BuzzFeed Sex Q&A, where you can ask us your awkward, confusing, gross, embarrassing, or thought-provoking questions, and we'll provide answers from leading sexual health experts. Have a question about sex or sexual health? Send it to

    This week’s question:

    Q: Hey. I am a sort of bi female (I've been with about 20 men and I've been with one woman, but am sexually aroused by both). My problem is that I cannot orgasm. I'm 21 years old, and I have only orgasmed once when I was 15 when I was masturbating (no toys involved). It was actually kind of a surprise, I had no idea it was going to happen until it did. Since then, nothing. I've had two serious boyfriends, many one-night stands and casual hookups. I masturbate quite a bit, so I don't think that's the problem. I asked a sex educator who came to my college to lecture, and she suggested I invest in a vibrator, which I did. I used it, but I don't particularly like it. It doesn't feel bad, but it doesn't feel good either. It's not arousing, and I find it quite boring.

    I'm honestly not sure what to do from here. Every time I try to talk about it with friends, they tell me I need to masturbate more or with a vibrator. And it makes me feel uncomfortable to talk about it, because I feel broken and my sexual partners aren't pleased that they can't make me orgasm.

    I know I like the feeling of dull or blunt pressure on my clitoris (such as the heel of my foot or dry humping through jeans). My clitoris is really sensitive, so I squirm a lot when fingered and don't like being fingered hard or with less than one sure inch of surface area doing the deed. The next time a sex educator came to my school, I asked again and she kind of blew me off and said I need to masturbate, which made me feel really defeated because I do masturbate but don't orgasm.

    What do I do from here? I feel like I've tried everything.


    Hey Anonymous!

    Thank you so much for sharing your question. To help answer it, we spoke with sex researcher Debby Herbenick, Ph.D., associate professor at Indiana University and author of The Coregasm Workout. Here's what she had to say:

    First of all, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you.

    It’s really not uncommon for it to take a LONG TIME for some women to have orgasms.

    No, vibrators do not always = orgasms.

    So about masturbation…

    When it comes to sex with a partner, focus on the pleasure more than the orgasm…and maybe don’t expect them to rock your world.

    The bottom line: It’s not a race.

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