10 Reasons You May Be Unable to Reach Orgasm

A woman in lingerie lays on a bed unable to orgasm

The end goal for sex is usually –climaxing – but what if you’re unable to reach orgasm? Here are some reasons this may be happening to you and what you can do about it.

Key takeaways:

  • Studies show only 10% of women can reach climax easily.

  • Little is known about female orgasms in comparison to male orgasms because of gender biases present in science and medical research.

  • Reaching orgasm is a very personal process and you may need to experiment to find what works for you.

  • There are many reasons you may be unable to orgasm. They can be psychological, physical, or a combination.

  • A history of sexual shame, trauma, or abuse can make it very difficult to feel safe during sex and relax enough to climax.

  • Sex therapy can help if you’re struggling to reach orgasm.

Difficulty climaxing affects people of all genders but research by the Cleveland Clinic reveals that only 10% of women can orgasm easily. That means climaxing is a little more complicated for the other 90% of women, who are likely affected by a multitude of obstructions to orgasm.

The female orgasm hasn’t been studied as extensively as the male orgasm – a consequence of the systemic gender biases present in both science and medical research. Exact data about orgasmic dysfunction is difficult to come by, largely due to the variability in how dysfunction is defined, who is sampled, and the phrasing of questions. One interesting finding is that women who live in countries with a negative cultural attitude toward sex report higher rates of anorgasmia, or difficulty orgasming.

Orgasming is very much an individual process and finding what works for you may just be an exploratory process. Or, it may be a process you should work through with a therapist because there may be outside factors, such as stress or relationship issues, that are affecting your ability to have a satisfying sex life. We talk about common reasons for being unable to orgasm, how you can attempt to fix it, and if sex therapy is a good option to consider.

Common reasons for being unable to orgasm

There are many reasons that women find themselves unable to reach climax. Here are a few: