Orgasmic Disorder

Women often suffer in silence without realising how prevalent sexual issues – such as orgasmic disorder – are amongst the female population.

About 10% of women of women are unable to reach an orgasm, with close to a third of women being unable to achieve an orgasm easily.

For women who have never experienced an orgasm, it can be difficult to know if this is because of biological reasons or whether techniques may improve the chances of an orgasm occurring.

Often partners can feel inadequate when their female partner is unable to climax – after all, couples never seem to have a problem climaxing simultaneously on the TV screen!

Real life of course is very different. Relationships matter and sex is not about “performing”, it is about sharing physical and emotional intimacy with someone that you care deeply about.

upset coupleCauses of Orgasmic Disorder

There are many possible reasons for a woman to have difficulties achieving orgasm:

  • Some women have never and will never have an orgasm, therefore I would think this is a biological condition.
  • Medications like anti-depressants can cause orgasmic disorder.
  • Fatigue and stress are the most common reason for being unable to become aroused.
  • Boredom and monotony in the relationship.
  • Conflict and lack of emotional support.
  • Lack of physical and/or emotional closeness.
  • Medical conditions.
  • Anxiety and shyness.
  • Lack of skills.

What help is available?

Psychologists can provide counselling around living with orgasmic disorder.

You can be taught skills to help keep your relationship satisfying, even if experiencing an orgasm isn’t possible. The experience of sex is often about the physical and emotional closeness – orgasm is not always necessary for a satisfying sexual experience!

Possibly the worst outcome for a couple, is when a woman avoids sexual contact because she is worried about pleasing her partner.

For women that fall into the category of being able to orgasm, but finding it difficult to achieve, there are many helpful ideas.

Here are some of the strategies I commonly use in therapy sessions, to help women learn to climax more frequently and sooner:

  • Discuss the mental barriers, thoughts and emotions that prevent the experience of sex being fun.
  • Discuss the art of self-pleasuring (masturbating) – what to try and what doesn’t work.
  • Discuss the environmental triggers for increased libido and arousal – usually having the children awake and knocking on the door affects most women in a negative way.
  • Use of a vibrator in particular a clitoral vibrator – this is often important for women with medical conditions, post menopausal or post surgery. Yes, we have these at the office and as part of counselling provide advice on what to purchase. (Tip: small and the more vibration the better!)
  • Education on the female anatomy – I can share with you books and diagrams that are very helpful.
  • Normalise the experience, as it happens to so many women – hopefully this article has helped you!

The Role of the Clitoris

It’s handy to know that the clitoris is several inches long, attached to the vaginal wall and was only discovered in 1998. Yes, nobody looked for it till then!!!

Once you realise that is an internal penis of equivalent dimensions it is much easier to find. Basically the entire world has been thinking it was a small button. You can read more in this post, and find out more by watching the YouTube video, for the real facts. Please share this information to women in your life – it is something we all should know!

Please don’t hesitate to visit for a single session and to learn more about how to overcome the effects of orgasmic disorder. I’m also available for phone consults if you live outside the Brisbane area.

Author: Vivian Jarrett, B Psych (Hons), MAPS, MAICD

***Finalist Telstra Business Women’s Awards Qld – Entrepreneur

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or  Online Booking – Loganholme  or call Vision Psychology (Mt Gravatt) on (07) 3088 5422 or M1 Psychology (Loganholme) on (07) 3067 9129.


O’Connell, H., Hutson, J., Anderson, C., & Plenter, R. (1998). Anatomical relationship between urethra and clitoris. The Journal of Urology. 159 (6). 1892-1897.