College Sex Talk

Real people real answers

A student from Miami University wants to know.....

I am never able to fuly attain an orgasm. Whether with my boyfriend, or while masturbating, I always reach the point where I feel an orgasm coming, and then my body becomes completely numb for a few moments. After, I feel overly sensitive, as though I've just had an orgasm.

What can I do to stop "freezing" and start feeling the orgasm? I've had orgasms in the past, but not in a few years. I've never experienced anything sexually traumatic, and my relationship with my boyfriend is very fulfilling, so what could the problem be?

Female, Senior

Dr. Caron's Response:

It is not uncommon for women to have problems reaching orgasm. It takes time to get to know your body and how it works - what feels good and what is a turn-on. You say you reach a point where things become numb. One suggestion is to move toward orgasm more slowly. Another is to stimulate the area around the clitoris ­ rather than directly. In fact, some women find that direct stimulation of the clitoris is way too sensitive, and they shut down. So try to begin by gently stimulating the area around the clitoris, and then "back off" every few minutes before returning to stroking your clitoris. Allow yourself to build toward the orgasm. The other suggestion is to purchase a vibrator (sold as body massager in most stores), and use that either alone or with your partner to explore what feels good. One book I would recommend is For Yourself, by Lonnie Barbach. It may offer you some valuable insight.

A student from BU wants to know.....

I have a problem. I think I come too fast. My girlfriend has never said anything, but I think I do. What should I do?

Male, Senior

Dr. Caron's Response:

I have a problem. I think I come too fast. My girlfriend has never said anything, but I think I do. What should I do?

A student from U W Millwaukee wants to know.....

I have been going out with my boyfriend for 5 years and we've experienced sex many times. I don't always orgasm and I know that is normal, but I want to know how if there is a way to orgasm faster without clitoral stimulation or using anything other than his penis and my vagina. I am not sure if there is a possible answer for this question, but it keeps getting harder and harder for me to orgasm. Thank you

Female, Senior

Dr. Caron's Response:

I think you raise a really good question: What makes someone orgasm? and we certainly have the extremes from women who say they can orgasm just by thinking about a hot passionate love women who can reach orgasm only after hours of touching and stimulation maybe. Most of us fall somewhere in between. For most women, it is stimulation of the clitoral area - whether indirectly through intercourse or more directly by someone actually touching the area. I am wondering if you might find it helpful to have either you or your partner stimulate this area during intercourse...possibly changing positions so it is easier to reach (for example, some people prefer what is commonly called "doggie style" to make it easier for her to stimulate her own clitoris). I also think this may be a good time to invest in a vibrator.... and bring this into the bedroom with you and making this a threesome... so to speak. The Sinclair Intimacy Institute ( also has a new video called, Toys for Better Sex, that may offer you some ideas beyond using a vibrator to stimulate both you and your partner. I am not saying all this because I want you to be able to reach orgasm faster... In fact, I think taking separate turns with your partner - where you each enjoy an orgasm at your own pace - is probably better and much more relaxing than feeling pressured to hurry up and have one... so maybe talking with your partner a bit more about this would be useful. Finally, I do not want to overlook the fact that you also brought up the issue of how long you have been in your relationship - and I wonder if you have found that over time - over your 5 years together – your sex life together has gotten a bit "stale" - which is not uncommon - and if so, that will take a bit of creativity on both your parts to bring the spark, passion, and surprise back into the relationship! Again, talking about your desires and how to keep the pressure off and the pleasure on will be useful. Best wishes!

A student from Duke wants to know.....

I was wondering, my boyfriend is able to give me great orgasms, but I always hear about multiple orgasms. Are they possible? He's tried, but after I orgasm, my clitoris is so sensitive that I have to tell him to stop. Also, it happens to me, but I never hear anyone talk about female ejaculation common?

Female, other

Dr. Caron's Response:

Multiple orgasm refers to experiencing more than one orgasm during a single episode of sexual activity. In fact, one of the most frequently quoted findings of Masters and Johnson (the famous sex researchers from the 60's) is their report of multiple orgasms in many of the women they studied. This phenomenon was seen in only a few of the men they studied. Because of this, some have interpreted this to mean that women are "more sexual" than men. And, believe it or not, others have suggested that women who are multi-orgasmic are sexually superior to other women who have only one orgasm at a time. The reality is the quality of the sexual interaction is more important than the quantity. Only a small percentage of women say they have experienced multiple orgasms - either through masturbation, partner stimulation, or sexual intercourse. For some women, the ability to reach multiple orgasms requires some "backing off" from stimulation of the clitoris once you reach orgasm. As you describe, the clitoris becomes so sensitive it may be impossible to endure continued touch. One suggestion is to continue stimulation around the area, but not directly on the clitoris, and then re-building to a second wave of orgasm.

In terms of the G-spot: Some experts claim there is an area on the wall of the vagina near the front that, if stimulated, produces intense arousal and orgasm. According to these experts, the Grafenberg spot is located in the front wall of the vagina, just under the bladder, an inch or two into the vaginal canal and about halfway between the pubic bone and the front of the cervix (are you still with me?). A woman may find the Grafenberg area or spot by inserting her finger into the vagina and pressing toward the pubic bone. When the area is stimulated with a finger, it may be easier to detect the G-spot. Tiny and soft before stimulation, the spot swells and becomes more defined when stimulated. A woman's first reaction to stimulation is a strong urge to urinate. This initial reaction is quickly replaced by strong and distinctly sexual pleasure. Associated with stimulation of the G-spot is female ejaculation of a fluid from her urethra during orgasm. There are many unanswered questions about the G-spot, including: Why are some women able to find their G-spot and others are not? What is the connection between the G-spot and ejaculation? Where is the ejaculate stored before it is released? How common is the experience among women? Estimates are that 10% of women have experienced ejaculation. What is the nature of the fluid? It does not appear to be urine.

A student from Harvard wants to know.....

Is it normal, or should I say common, for straight males to masturbate with and/or for other straight males?

Male, Senior

Dr. Caron's Response:

Let me begin by stating that just because something is not common does not mean it is not normal. And although we usually think of masturbation as a solo activity, it can be shared with a sexual partner in person, or via phone or internet. It also happens in groups. Please keep in mind that finding good research data on masturbation is difficult because many people are not comfortable reporting honestly about their masturbatory behavior. Having said that, when looking for data on straight males masturbating with other straight males, it does not appear to be a very common practice - at least in the published research arena. The little research found on this would fall into the category of group masturbation - also known as the "circle jerk" - where groups of boys form a circle and see who can masturbate the fastest or propel their ejaculate the furthest. One recent paper on this very topic was published by Cornog in the Journal of Sex Education and Therapy. An adult version of group masturbation occurs in organized clubs, sometimes referred to as Jack-Off or JO clubs. One example is the New York Jacks, a male masturbation club started in the 1980s. Although it is thought that this type of shared masturbatory experience most likely occurs between gay males, we know it also includes women and heterosexuals. This is seen in the rise in clubs now referred to as Jack and Jill Off or JJO clubs. Getting back to your question - I think it is important for the people participating to decide what they are comfortable with - and if this feels right for them - in terms of their own values and beliefs. That's something to consider when deciding whether to share this side of oneself with another person.

A student from Tennessee State wants to know.....

Me and my boyfriend have been together for 4 months. When we have sex I can't come. I think I can do it but I'm not sure, this upsets my boyfriend as he thinks I don't get pleasure from sex with him but I do. Can you help me??

Female, Sophomore

Dr. Caron's Response:

It is not uncommon for women to have problems reaching orgasm early on in a sexual relationship. It takes time to get to know what is possible when the two of you are together. It sounds like you need to spend some time finding out what is pleasurable for you.

Are you comfortable touching your own body? Once you know what feels good - you will be better able to point your partner in the right direction. It's also important to know that most women need direct stimulation of the clitoris for orgasm to occur.

As far as penis-in-vagina sex: this tends to be an ineffective method for many women to reach orgasm. The clitoris is located too far from the vaginal opening to receive adequate stimulation from thrusting alone. It is not surprising to hear you have not reached orgasm this way. Your boyfriend needs to know this and be educated as well.

I suggest you begin by familiarizing yourself with your own body. One book that has been helpful for many women in your situation is, For Each Other, by Lonnie Barbach (see suggested books on my website). Her book discusses female anatomy, pleasure, and touching, as well as how to communicate your needs and desires to your partner. I think your boyfriend would benefit from reading this with you.

Remember: Every woman is unique. The only way he will know how to please you is if you understand yourself. Best wishes!

A student from University of Maine wants to know.....

Some of the girls I have slept with have not been able to reach orgasm and others have. Why is that? Male, Senior

Male, Senior

Dr. Caron's Response:

Every person is unique. What is a "turn-on" for one person may not be so for another. I don't believe there is a magic universal formula that leads to orgasm for every woman. Certainly for many women, it means stimulation of her clitoris. You may want to explore with your partners what is satisfying for each of them and what they desire. This may increase your sexual repertoire and lead you to some new discoveries about yourself as well.

A student from Western Kentucky wants to know.....

When I am having sex with my girlfriend, I am unable to hold back my orgasm for longer than a few minutes. Is there something I can do to last longer and better please my girlfriend?

Male, Senior

Dr. Caron's Response:

Dr. Caron's Answer: It sounds like what you may be experiencing is premature ejaculation (which is also called early ejaculation). When a man ejaculates before penetration, at the point of insertion, within 2-5 thrusts, or within a minute or so, almost all couples will identify this as premature or early ejaculation.

I think it's important for you to know that it is the most common male sexual problem, especially among younger men. Fifty percent of young males report early ejaculation and one-third of adult males report they ejaculate more rapidly then they would like.

I really discourage "do-it-yourself" techniques such as wearing two condoms, using a desensitizing cream, biting your tongue, or thinking negative thoughts (such as how much money you have borrowed for college). These can be harmful in two ways: 1) These techniques serve to reduce arousal and can cause erection difficulty rather than lead to ejaculatory control; and 2) The man is isolating himself from his partner, which leads to further emotional alienation and can destroy the couple's bond.

THE KEY ELEMENT IN LEARNING EJACULATORY CONTROL IS TO IDENTIFY THE POINT OF EJACULATORY INEVITABILITY. Most often early ejaculation is due to lack of knowledge, attention, or skill. It is often a result of early sexual experiences (rapid ejaculatory response learned through masturbation/partner sex). If you were to go to a sex therapist for assistance, you would l find that the focus would be on helping you learn to identify the point of "ejaculatory inevitability."

In my own sex therapy practice, one procedure I use is the "stop-start" technique, developed in the 1950's by Dr. Semans (that's right, Dr. Semans). This technique asks the male to practice penile stimulation to the point prior to ejaculation, first through masturbation and then with his partner. The male with early ejaculation signals his partner when to stop so that his arousal level can subside. Stimulation is then resumed after a pause, and the process is repeated at least three times before allowing ejaculation to occur. It is important for the male to enjoy his sensations and to learn to identify the various levels of arousal that he experiences.

You need to learn to accurately identify the point of ejaculatory inevitability. This exercise should be practiced 2-3 times per week. For most men I see, ejaculatory control can be learned in 8 to 20 weeks. Another great resource is the book, The New Male Sexuality by Dr. Bernie Zilbergeld (listed under recommended books at my website), who talks about this issue in greater detail.

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