Ask Joan: Why no orgasms?

Every month in Sex at Our Age, award-winning senior sexpert Joan Price answers your questions about everything from loss of desire to solo sex and partner issues. Nothing is out of bounds! To send your questions directly to Joan, email sexpert@seniorplanet.org.

I’m a woman who loves women. I’m 60, and it’s been a decade since I’ve had a partner. Recently I got involved with someone new. We don’t get to see each other face to face, but our phone conversations and texts are really hot! I’m good at setting a scenario of what I’m going to do to her. I’m horny as hell, and she gets excited just hearing me talk sexy to her. It’s very new and the build-up has been amazing.

We will steal some time for each other very soon. In the beginning, I will take the reins and make love to her. I know I’ll be able to satisfy her, and her pleasure will satisfy me. She can’t wait for me to do the things with her that I describe in extreme detail. 

The problem is this. I used to have orgasms, but now, as horny as I am, I can’t come, not even when I masturbate. I don’t want to make her feel that she’s not turning me on because I am really aroused by her, and it’s all I can think about. I love sex, especially that exciting lovemaking with a new lover.

What is happening to me, and what can I do? I don’t even know what to say to her if she wants to make love to me. Should I fake it, so she doesn’t feel uneasy? Things are going to be cooking relatively soon. I need some guidance, and if I can’t climax anymore, that would just make me sad.

I just don’t understand what’s happening to me. I love to come gloriously. There is no more glory.

— Why No Orgasms?

Joan responds: 

How wonderful that you’ve met a woman who excites you so much! Phone sex, sexting, and sharing fantasies can be very arousing. I hope your face-to-face, body-to-body encounter is everything you hope!

No, don’t fake it if you don’t have an orgasm with your new lover. Starting a relationship with dishonesty is never a good idea. How can she learn how to pleasure you if you’re faking your reactions? I suggest instead that you give her honest feedback about what sensations feel good, how to touch you, what you’d like her to do to you. Just as you take great joy knowing how to excite and satisfy her, give her that opportunity to do the same for you. Respond to her with words, shudders, smiles, and moans, so she knows what you enjoy.

Worrying about reaching orgasm results in performance anxiety, preventing you from relaxing, enjoying, and letting your body take over. Instead of seeing your orgasm as the absolute goal, make pleasure and sensation your goals. You can tell her that you don’t reach orgasm regularly, despite your excitement and your attraction to her. Assure her that your experience together won’t be defined by whether you climax.

It’s best to explain all this before you get naked — not in the middle of your sexual playtime. Try to understand in your own mind, as well as communicate to her, that orgasm is not the goal of your sexual expression. It will be a lovely gift if it happens, but sex with your new lover is a perfect gift in itself.

It’s normal for our sexual responses to slow down. Our hormones retreat and blood flow to the genitals slows down. Reaching orgasm takes longer and can be difficult. Sometimes it just doesn’t happen. Here are some tips for readers to help speed up arousal and orgasm:

  • Masturbate frequently.
  • Indulge yourself with racy fantasies.
  • Use vibrators and plenty of lubricant for extra intense stimulation.
  • If you smoke, quit. Smoking limits blood flow to the genitals.
  • Limit alcohol, which can interfere with orgasm. (Even Shakespeare knew that: “It provokes the desire, but it takes away the performance.” —Macbeth.)
  • Exercise regularly and engage in sex (solo or partnered) after exercising, when the blood flow is increased, making arousal and orgasm easier.
  • Don’t try to make orgasms happen after a meal, when the blood flow is going to the digestive system, not the genitals.
  • See your doctor if these tips don’t result in easier orgasms.

You’re already masturbating, and you have exciting and confident fantasies of being with your new lover, so your lack of orgasms doesn’t seem to be psychologically based. If you used to have glorious orgasms and now you don’t have them at all, despite your best solo efforts, I’m concerned that there might be a physical cause. That’s why I recommend seeing a doctor.

You might be a candidate for hormone replacement therapy. Or your problem could be an early sign of a medical condition that interferes with arousal and orgasm, such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and others. A medication that you take could have sexual side effects. Find a sex-positive doctor that you can talk to about your sexuality and your lack of orgasms, who will help diagnose or rule out medical conditions that may be causing it and maybe change your medications.

I wish you great delights with your new lover. May you find that elusive glory!

Send Joan your questions by emailing sexpert@seniorplanet.org. All information is confidential. Joan can only answer questions that are chosen for publication.

Joan Price is the author of several books including “The Ultimate Guide to Sex After 50” and the award-winning self-help book “Naked at Our Age.” Visit Joan’s  blog, “Naked at Our Age” and her Facebook page. For senior sex news, tips, event and webinar announcements, and special offers, join Joan’s mailing listView Joan’s new free webinar, “Safer Sex for Seniors.”

 

7 comments
  • Kim
    REPLY

    Hi Joan,
    My issue is not orgasm, it’s loss of libido since menopause. I am 60 years old, and reached menopause 5 years ago. My husband is 56, and for the past several years his libido has all but disappeared. Because of thinning vaginal walls, sex without some kind of hormone cream is quite uncomfortable for me. Also, my husband has an enlarged prostate that causes him a lot of discomfort, so I don’t think either of us feel particularly sexual as a result. We love each other very much, but I still have that feeling that something is wrong because we’re not having sex as a married couple. It’s been close to 4 years since we had any kind of regular sex. Otherwise, we love each other very, very much and are each other’s best friend. Have you heard of this type of situation from other readers? Thank you so much.

  • Helen
    REPLY

    Keep encouraging people to not focus on the orgasm. My husband and I are just restarting a physical relationship after a long period of issues due to his weight, diabetes and low testosterone induced impotence and his emotional affair with a woman from his distant past after 43 years of marriage. He keeps telling me he just wants to give me orgasmic pleasure and I keep telling him I just want to feel loved and pleasured.

  • Rita
    REPLY

    Hi Joan I enjoy reading your blogs. It is easy to forget we need to
    Be flexible in all areas as we age and how important sex is in
    Older years. Thank you for your groundbreaking efforts..

  • Raven
    REPLY

    Good Advice Joan. I enjoy your writing – and that you are continuing to speak up for sexuality being totally acceptable, and so enriching to our lives.

  • Tawny
    REPLY

    Joan, I really do enjoy your columns very much! They are so informative and helpful to us folks over 50 years of age. Finding your platform, and a couple of others has made it much easier for me to muddle my way through a sometimes challenging time of life. Keep them coming!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

To complete your subscription, click on the Submit button and look for a confirmation email in your inbox. If you do not see our email in your inbox, please check your spam folder.

See our privacy policy