Maybe you’re one of the few lucky women who has never faked an orgasm in her life, but many of us have either faked a handful (and given quite a performance) or don’t fake it but aren’t sure we’ll ever have a real one. Or we have them, but they feel like near misses, and every time we’re building to one, a familiar question arises: Will this be any good? It should feel more than good!
The good news is that you’re not destined for a lifetime of mediocre sex. You actually can take control of the situation and here your list.
11 Ways to Have Better Orgasms
Stop Faking It
First, be honest if you’re not getting there. How will your partner ever know what satisfies you if you’re straight-up lying about it?
The only thing lying about it does is actually condition him or her to keep on doing whatever they’re doing that is not getting you off. Make sure to speak up after sex, rather than pseudo-moan your way through it. Letting them know what turns you on and pushes your buttons will mean you never have to fake your way through it again. Dr. Ian Kerner Ph.D., a sex therapist and author of She Comes First, explains that while many women fake the big O to avoid bruising egos, in the end, it’s just putting off the conversation about sex, and communication is the key to better sex (and bigger orgasms).
Understand How It Works
Let’s take a moment to stop and ask: What happens to our brains when we orgasm? Understanding what’s going on in your body when your climax will help you figure out what makes the experience better for you and can be your first step to enjoying better orgasms. So, you’re having sex. The pleasure center of your brain lights up and tells your body that it’s receiving stimulation.
That’s when your brain’s reward circuit kicks into action: The cortex takes that feeling of stimulation and sends messages to a part of the midbrain, the ventral tegmental area. The VTA’s activity starts increasing, and then dopamine (the pleasure hormone) gets released, and that’s when you’re like wow, this feels good.
You need proper stimulation to get the dopamine flowing, which is ultimately what’s going to lead to a powerful orgasm, so it’s important to find out what gets you turned on. Without stimulation, there’s no activating the reward circuit, no dopamine, no orgasm.
Learn What You Like
You can’t tell your partner what to do if you don’t even know your own body. Masturbation can actually really help you with your sex life. By knowing what turns you on and makes sex explosive for you, you can instruct your partner on what they need to do for you and consistently enjoy better orgasms. Dr. Laura Berman Ph.D., renowned sex expert and relationship coach, says that touching yourself in front of a mirror will help you get to know yourself, overcome any shyness or embarrassment you feel about your body, and figure out exactly what you like.
Work Your Sex Muscles
Muscle tension is key to reaching climax, so it’s time to do some toning. Kegel exercises tighten the muscles that allow for the contractions to happen during orgasm. To do them, you squeeze together those muscles in your pelvic floor that you use to stop urine flow.
By doing Kegels every day (like while you’re sitting at your desk, on the train, eating a sandwich, whenever), you get your body in better shape, and while doing so, gain more control over the muscles involved during sex, which can help you turn OK orgasms into amazing ones.
Berman suggests holding the muscles for three seconds and then releasing them for three seconds, and to repeat it ten times, three times a day, and to try to work up to holding it for ten seconds. You can even do this during sex for an even more intense orgasm.
Trust Dr. Ruth
Dr. Ruth Westheimer (you know, the famous Dr. Ruth), says that foreplay is incredibly important because it takes women much longer to reach arousal than men. So if it’s taking you some time to get warmed up, don’t feel bad about it. Unlike men, women can’t just think about sex and be in the mood immediately; there has to be stimulation. Focus on the clitoris — blood flows to it the way it does to a man’s penis, and you know how a guy would respond to sex if you completely ignored his penis during sex? You need stimulation, too!
Use Your Words
They don’t have to be porn-y (or they can be if you like!), but being comfortable saying naughty things to your partner, or just telling him or her what you like is huge when it comes to sex. Why? Because, as stated previously, arousal happens as much in the brain as it does elsewhere. Berman suggests moaning or telling your partner what you want, and later, saying what you’re doing to him or her while you do it. This will only build up arousal and lead to a bigger orgasm.
Bring Out the Toys!
According to Berman, vibrators and toys can help you reach your orgasm faster. In addition to that, you can use sex toys together because it’s important to share the fun. Sex toy purveyors like Babeland are great for providing you with ample options, plus a lot of helpful sex information and tips.
Maybe you’ve heard that being on top ensures a better orgasm during heterosexual sex, but another position may be best. Coital Alignment Technique is actually designed to improve the overall experience and have better orgasms. It’s basically missionary, but when the male partner enters, he lifts himself further up, so that as he thrusts, he makes contact with your clitoris. The idea here is that intercourse isn’t just about penetration, it’s about stimulating the clitoris, which is vital to a woman experiencing an orgasm.
Kerner says that exercise is key to good sex life, including better orgasms. Not only does working out make you feel better about your body (and being comfortable with yourself is such a key part of good sex), but aerobic workouts help the body produce nitric oxide, which is the stuff the makes sexual arousal happen. It’s also imperative to eat well — if you’re eating poorly, your desire will drop, and less arousal = less stimulating sex = fewer orgasms.
You need vitamins to be able to reach the levels of arousal that will prompt a mind-blowing orgasm: Omega-3s, for instance, reduce the build-up around arterial walls that can slow blood flow, and vitamins C and E are powerful antioxidants. If you needed a little extra motivation to make it spin class drink a glass of LaVie. Not only will it boost your energy level but also your libido.
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help
If none of the steps above help, something else could be going on. For instance, antidepressants can make orgasming difficult — SSRI’s limit the production of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that helps you feel pleasure. However, according to Psychology Today, medication isn’t necessarily a death sentence for your sex life.
Talk to your doctor about finding a medication that allows you to manage your depression and experience the pleasure you crave. If the issue is psychological — maybe something in your past that makes letting go during sex especially hard — it can be useful to see a psychologist. A sex coach can also be incredibly helpful and can give you (and your partner) exercises to increase your pleasure.
Yet another option is to see a pelvic floor therapist. Dr. Lauren Streicher, associate professor of gynecology at Northwestern University, told Refinery29 that visiting one of these experts is like seeing a personal trainer for your pelvis. The therapist can diagnose problems relating to the pelvis, including the inability to orgasm, and help you strengthen your pelvic floor. Think about it this way: If you couldn’t ride your bike anymore because of a knee problem, you’d see a PT. The same thing goes for sex and orgasms.
Remember when we discussed how tension is essential to climaxing? Paradoxically, so is relaxation and allowing your body to have better orgasms. You want your muscles tense and your mind chilled out, and your best tool for calming your brain is your breathing.
According to sex and tantra expert Suzie Heumann, conscious, rhythmic breathing helps you focus on the pleasure you’re about to experience rather than the outside stressors (credit card statements, rent checks, feeding your fish!) which can be an enormous buzzkill. When your mind wanders, your breath can bring you back to what’s going on in the moment and how it makes you feel. The type of breathing Heumann encourages here increases the flow of oxygen and our friend nitric oxide to the brain.
Think of this breathing as an act of control — you’re taking conscious steps to ensure your own pleasure — that also allows you to let go. You’ve got nowhere to be, nothing to do but enjoy every minute of this.