I can’t seem to let myself come
posted: 10/14/2008 12:00 am
Dear Sex Counselor,
For some reason, even though the physical stimulation is there, mentally I’m guarded and I can’t get off very easily with my partner. What can I do?
Many women find that it’s difficult to allow themselves to have orgasms when they are with a partner. It’s hard to lose that much control, particularly if you are with someone new, or you are struggling with any issues of trust between you.
Some women are also afraid that they will look ugly or strange during orgasm. All of us have different expressions on our faces as we approach and go through orgasm. You’ll want to think about whether you are afraid of your partner thinking you look strange, or if you are worried about letting go in front of someone else.
It’s also true that those who are survivors of sexual abuse often find it hard to completely let go into orgasm. Part of the process of surviving abuse involves your mind building walls to protect you. Once you are an adult you may have to "deconstruct" those walls. This will take time, and may go more smoothly with the help of a therapist or counselor who is experienced in helping survivors reclaim their sexual selves. We also recommend the wonderful book Healing Sex by Staci Haines, as a resource to help you let your sexual self out to play.
What can you do if it’s an issue of not being able to let go?
That will depend on you, and on your relationship. It’s always good to practice having orgasms. Start out with self-pleasuring sessions where you really build up your arousal and then let yourself come with as much intensity as you can manage. Moan, scream (if you don’t have kids or neighbors or roommates who would be bothered), move around during orgasm, and breathe deeply and fully. During that time, recognize that nothing bad happens when you let go, and that your pleasure is intensified when you breathe, move, and moan along with it.
Once you’re more comfortable, spend some time working on your emotional connection with your partner. Be sure to clear the air of any anger, resentments, suspicions, or distrust. There are some wonderful exercises in The Couple’s Comfort Book designed to get you communicating better and to deepen your emotional connection. The idea is to want to feel close and trusting, and to want intimacy.
Then make love, and try to allow yourself to let go into orgasm. If you succeed, talk with your partner about how it felt for each of you. Hopefully your partner will feel the blessing of your trust and intimacy. If it goes well, that will help you repeat the experience. If it doesn’t go well, consider getting some help from a therapist, since you two may have some issues that need some outside assistance in order to be resolved.
As with most things involving human emotions and sexuality, it may take some time to get through whatever holds you back. But the outcome is certainly worthwhile!
The Sex Counselor
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