A woman with pink hair titlt her head back the word yes floats from her mouth


Ammanda Major is head of service quality and clinical practice at Relate and an experienced relationship and psychosexual therapist. She says:

Appreciate that orgasms fluctuate

‘Understand that sometimes it might be easy to orgasm and other times it might not. It can depend on whether you're worried or anxious about something, for example, so don’t be critical of yourself. If you managed to have several orgasms last time, but at the moment it’s proving more tricky, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem. It just means that’s how it is today; it might be different tomorrow. Be kind to yourself and know that it’s OK for things to be up and down.’

Discover what makes you tick

‘Sometimes, difficulty orgasming is about not knowing your body very well. The remedy to that is taking time to pleasure yourself and understand what works for you. If you are in a relationship, if you know what works for you, you’re better able to help someone else understand that.’

Consider talking to an expert

‘Where there are ongoing difficulties in orgasming, it may be worth coming to talk to somebody about that. If you go to a qualified sex therapist, they will usually be able to address any aspect (physical or psychological) concerning difficulty to orgasm, so it’s important to see someone who has the right qualifications and training. Any sex therapist would normally expect to support you with either practical work or talking about issues that might be troubling you.’

A couple embraces in bed

Identify any distractions

‘There are some medical conditions that affect orgasming, but it can also be linked to state of mind. If you have a partner, how are you feeling towards them? What’s going on around you? Some people have a real difficulty staying in the moment during sex, so there could be issues around that. Staying with your body can be really difficult for many people. Understandably, in the world we live in, where there’s so much demand from everything, finding that space to absolutely focus on yourself can be difficult. Sometimes that can become habitual, so very often it’s about making the time, making sure you’re able to shut everything else out, feeling in tune with your body and having your partner feel in tune with it, too.’

Don’t put unrealistic pressure on yourself

‘There’s no one reason; there’s no one answer. It’s often a combination of things that helps people get to where they want to be. The other thing to remember is that, because of what we think we know about everyone else’s sex lives, people often have very high expectations of themselves and then feel disappointed and upset when they don’t meet them. If they just were able to go at their own pace and stay with what suits them, they may feel more comfortable.’

Accept what works for you

‘There are cases of people who feel aroused consistently and they find that difficult. But if you orgasm easily and it feels good, then there’s not a problem. With all these things, if it’s feeling OK, then it’s probably working for you – it doesn’t matter if it meets the national norm, or falls below or above.

‘Bear in mind that the orgasm experience is so different for many people. We tend to think of it as one overwhelming sensation, and often it’s written about like that, but actually it can range through a number of different phases, and can be equally pleasurable however it presents itself to you.’