Why don't I feel physical pleasure from sex?
ImageI'm a 22-year-old, straight woman who has never experienced any (physical) pleasure during sex. This goes for vaginal intercourse with my partner, oral sex, and masturbation. I am able to get aroused by kissing (after a while), but nothing beyond that seems to feel good or arouse me further. (Sometimes my boyfriend strokes my back, which I enjoy, but that's more likely to put me to sleep than to turn me on.) I have seen a lot of advice for people in a situation similar to mine and usually the answer is to masturbate, to learn what feels good. I have tried, but I've never been able to find anything that feels good while trying to masturbate. It is also nearly impossible for me to become aroused when I'm on my own. I don't think my problem is psychological because I was raised in a sex-positive family and community, have no history of depression or other problems, and generally feel good about my body. That said, I'm certainly not ruling anything out. My boyfriend is very supportive and tries to do everything he can, but I don't even know where to start, so I don't know what to tell him.

My gynecologist, whom I trust, is aware of this problem, but so far, her advice has not been helpful to me. (She recommended books such as Becoming Orgasmic, which I don't feel applies to my situation). Also, I have been examined by her and she didn't find anything obvious that would contribute to this problem. I would so much appreciate any advice that you could give me, anything at all. Should I just be trying harder at solo sex? Is there anything else I can do? Thank you very much.

 

ImageThe first answer Im going to give you is to see a sex therapist. With a professional getting feedback from you, I would think that you could be helped, given that your gynecologist has ruled out any physical problem. Thats the solution thats most likely to work. That said, Im going to give you some other advice that you could try on your own. The first is to get a vibrator. Some women need very strong sensations to trigger the orgasmic response and they just cant do that with their fingers, and nor do the fingers or the tongue of a partner help. The other aspect of successful masturbation is concentration. Some women need to be alone in order for it to work. You say you dont, but I would advise trying alone first. And they need to concentrate on some sexy thought, usually a fantasy. So what Id suggest is that you develop a fantasy that you find arousing and elaborate on it so that it will last a while. If need be write it down. The point is to have enough of a fantasy developed that your mind doesnt start wandering before the fantasy and vibrator have a chance to get you sufficiently aroused. Alternatively, sometimes reading other peoples fantasies is effective. A book like Nancy Fridays My Secret Garden might be helpful. But dont give up if you cant do this on your own. Instead find a sex therapist in your area and make an appointment.
 
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