Margaret, who had a history of sexual abuse, thought she didn’t like sex. She had no orgasms with her husband and after they split, in a busy life raising children, working and going to school, she didn’t even bother to masturbate. She didn’t care.
Then, in her late ‘40s, she met the man who became her second husband. They had sex every day, and still do, after five years. She consistently has climaxes that transport her to “another realm,” she says. “I see a blue light.”
Yes, things can get that much better—from zero to ten, from nada to the blue light.
Like Margaret, we tend to believe our sexual capacity won’t change. In fact, it evolves as we age, and with changes in confidence, health, medication and partners.
And you can take charge.
Some women aren’t sure what orgasms are. If you feel a surge of relaxation, that may be it, for you, right now. On the other hand, you’re probably not coming if sex leaves you feeling edgy.
To get past the problem—or to be multi-orgasmic and bathed in bliss—you may have to make it a project.
The key is to explore and learn what’s best for you, says San Francisco sex therapist Linda Perlin Alperstein. Sexuality is so “highly individual,” she says, that people can change their experience significantly by varying minute details. That exploration, for many people, takes courage, though it needn’t require a partner or trip to a sex shop.
Consider these moves:
Explore your breath. Many women hold their breath near climax without thinking. A deep exhale can intensify it. Some women say that moaning intensifies their orgasms as well. If you’re worried about waking the kids, experiment with moaning into a pillow. Moan when it will help you—many women do it near the man’s climax, in order to encourage him.
MORE: Learn to Breathe More Deeply
If holding your breath has become a habit, practice exhaling and moaning in private sessions. A technique from the Indian Tantric tradition is to take 15-20 panting breaths, followed by a long exhale. Repeat this three times, as you approach orgasm.
By contrast, some women find that intentionally cutting off their air supply intensifies orgasms, sometimes by hanging their heads over the side of the bed. Or just try not putting your head on a pillow.
Strengthen your vaginal muscles. While urinating, stop the flow of urine, release and stop it again—you’re squeezing the muscles that contract during orgasm. If you try contracting your vaginal muscles when you’re not peeing, you may find that you’re actually squeezing your butt and abs. The pee-test confirms that you’re using your vaginal muscles.
Don’t do the exercise every time you pee; you might end up with bladder infections if you don’t fully empty your bladder. Instead, squeeze and relax throughout the day—for example, while doing dishes or driving (you may know this as "kegel exercises").
Now that you’re used to the sensation, squeeze and relax those muscles while directly stimulating your clitoris. You can also do it during intercourse—each time he thrusts, you relax, and squeeze as he exits.
As with any muscle building program, resistance weights up the ante. GyneFlex sells plastic tongs that you close and release with your vaginal muscles, starting with a lightweight plastic good for new mothers to a stiff pair for champs. Pelvinn sells bulb shaped plastic weights in six weights. Silicone Benwa balls can be worn during the day, so you can squeeze whenever you’re bored.
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