How to Overcome Orgasm Anxiety (Yes, It's a Thing)

how to orgasm - how to have better sex
Photo: Urban Outfitters

Welcome to The V, our weeklong series devoted to all things sex and reproductive health. This is a safe space free from "taboos," because there's no reason anyone should feel awkward talking about their bodies. That said, we'll be clearing up any misinformation on the subject, starting with this huge misnomer: The "V" in this case doesn't refer to the vagina, but the vulva, which is the anatomically correct term for external female genitalia (including the opening of the vagina). Stay tuned all week for need-to-know guides on birth control, tips for taking your orgasm to the next level, real-life stories about endometriosis, and everything in between.

Photo: Original Illustration by Lauren Johnstone

Even in 2018—and in some ways, especially in 2018—we're living in a culture that works to suppress female empowerment—in the workplace, the bedroom, through government legislation, you name it. All you have to do is turn on the news to hear the message that our bodies are not our own and our sexuality is solely meant for male consumption. Women are oversexualized and exposed to the male gaze every single day, but once the tables are turned, we're chastised and shamed. It's that contradiction that creates the confusion surrounding a woman's understanding of her own sexuality and how to feel pleasure free from judgment. As such, orgasm anxiety is not only common but expected. In order to climax, we generally have to feel open and vulnerable—yet, the way we exist in society has taught us to be anything but. Below, two female experts discuss the causes of orgasm anxiety and how to help when you feel stuck.

This story was originally published on November 24, 2017.