Ask Sex Coach Leigh: My best friend isn’t having orgasms

Question: My best friend since the third grade has been in a relationship with a guy for the past five years. Today she told me they don’t have sex that often, and to top it all off she hasn’t had an orgasm since she was 19 – she is now 43!! This blew my mind! So I asked her if she masturbated and she said yes, but not to the point of climax. She has some self-image issues with her weight and such which I believe is causing her not to completely relax and let go during sex… so I was wondering what I can do to help her (besides licking her pussy for her)? I’m desperate to help her – I feel like she needs this in her life to be a healthy 43-year-old woman.

Hi lovely! It’s beautiful how much you care about your best friend’s happiness and sexual fulfillment. May we all have friends who celebrate our orgasms and high-five our hickeys.

I wonder how often your friend is having sex with her partner, and if that has changed over the five years of their relationship? For some folks, not having sex “that often” could mean twice a week instead of four times a week. For others, it could mean once every few months. (In the sexology world, we consider couples who have sex six or fewer times a year to be in low sex/sexless relationships.) But the more important question isn’t how often they’re having sex, but how she feels about it – both the sex and the frequency. Long term relationships can go through energetic ups and downs, and maybe they’re just going through a minor lull. But if their communication has broken down, or sex has been deprioritized for awhile, it might be time for them to make some changes.

So how can you help? When it comes to the sex she’s having (or not having) with her partner, the best you can do is encourage her to communicate with him, and to listen when she vents her frustrations. A sex coach could work with them together or individually to identify blocks and get that spark back, so feel free to share my information with her. #shamelessselfpromotion

But let’s talk about those orgasms. Not all sex is penetrative and not all sexual acts culminate in orgasm. The narrative that they SHOULD is a major source of performance anxiety, especially in heterosexual relationships. Men feel like it is their responsibility to get hard, engage in enough foreplay to get their partners wet (but not so much that they lose their erection), get their P in her V, and make sure they don’t come before she does. And women feel that pressure, too. There’s nothing less relaxing than trying to will yourself to chill the fuck out so you can come already.

You mentioned that she has some body image issues, which can only make that chill even more elusive. And no chill often equals no orgasm. Everyone has their own path to self-love, but some suggestions to support your friend’s body positivity include planning a trip to a day spa, attending yoga or meditation classes, going dancing, or even just committing to not engage in diet talk.

I don’t know if the orgasms she was having back at 19 were solo or partnered, but now that she’s not having either, I can only assume that she is experiencing a lot of frustration. Masturbation is the best way to learn what really gets you off, so she’s on the right path there, but let’s help her kick it up a notch. You could take her on a friend date to your local sex shop for a new toy. Most cities will have some type of adult store, and the people who work there are usually knowledgable and open-minded. If online shopping is more her speed, I highly recommend the Le Wand cordless massager, which has multiple settings and attachments for both clitoral and G-spot stimulation – think of it as an updated Magic Wand. And if she’s more the cerebral type, I can’t recommend a better book than Emily Nagasaki’s Come As You Are. It should be required reading for everyone who has sex as a woman or with women.

Again, I just want to say how awesome it is that you’re looking out for your friend. I encounter so many people who have never talked to anyone about their sex lives, so the fact that she has you as a safe space to be authentic makes my little heart sing. I wish you both a lifetime of amazing sex.

If you have a sex or relationship question you would like me to answer (anonymously), please contact me.


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