The truth about orgasms

Married couple looking at each other lovingly under bedsheet

Did you know that it typically takes a woman 10 to 20 minutes to orgasm during sex? Compared to men who usually take 7 to 14 minutes, women generally require longer. This is based on averages and can of course vary from one experience to the next. There are so many truths as well as myths surrounding orgasms that you may not be aware of, especially if you are just starting out on your journey in understanding the truth about sex and what this means for your marriage.

I am more than happy to hold my hands up and say that my own journey in truly understanding sex has only reached a point of intentionality in the past year, after being married for 3 years. I can say this without any sense of shame because I know that so many people are yet to find their sexual truth in marriage, and sadly some never do! So, as I continue on this journey, I hope that you will also join me in trying to be intentional about understanding what sex should mean for you and your spouse, despite your past experiences.

The sex lives of far too many married couples have grown dim as a result of unmet needs, and sexual baggage collected before both of you said “I do”. These truths should be an encouragement to show you that there is still so much to learn; and that with the right help, support, and vulnerability, you can do better for the health of your marriage:

Men can still experience an orgasm even if they don’t ejaculate

An orgasm and ejaculation are not the same thing, although they are often experienced at the same time. A man may ejaculate less after the age of 40, but he can still experience orgasms. This just goes to show that there are bodily changes that we will undoubtedly experience with age that it helps to be aware of beforehand, rather than to allow any change in “performance” to knock your confidence and affect your capacity to be fully vulnerable when having sex with your spouse.

Only one-third of women orgasm from just having penetrative sex

Unlike the typical portrayal we see of those passionate movie scenes (that we’d rather not fall victim to watching alongside our parents!), women are unlikely to experience explosive orgasms at the “perfect” moment during sex. In reality, this is uncommon and the majority of women need more than penetrative sex to reach a climax. The position that you choose to have sex in can help, but the real fireworks are mostly achieved as a result of stimulating the clitoris. If you are one of those women who just doesn’t orgasm during sex, know that this is a normal experience.

There are many couples who fall into the damaging cycle of faking orgasms during sex. Reasons for this include:

1. The most popular reason was to provide positive feedback—to convince a partner that he or she had done a good job.

2. The second-most-popular reason—sexual boredom.

3. Reason number three: to enhance enjoyment. These volunteers reported that simulating satisfaction would arouse their partner, thereby leading to a more fun experience for everybody: Essentially, fake it till you make it (for real).

4. The fourth-most-popular reason was to avoid the unpleasant consequences of a disappointing lovemaking session. No one asks, “How was it for you?” with the hopes of hearing, “It was appalling and also tedious.” Some will claim the earth moved, even if it didn’t, to sidestep conflict in favor of a post-coital cuddle.

5. The final cited reason was to deceive a partner. Some of these dissemblers might be planning to cheat on their partner. If so, then what better way to allay suspicion of their designs than convincing the partner that their relationship still has a sexual spark?

Faking an orgasm doesn’t lead to anything other than a greater sense of discontentment with what you have. It doesn’t improve your experience in sex, but instead it delays the issue between you both and will increase it in the long-term. Lies never make for a healthy relationship, so if you are unhappy then you need to tell your spouse. Sex is supposed to be an experience that you are discovering and growing from together, not an experience that leads to resentment and frustration. If you don’t communicate, then you can’t expect anything to change.

The G-Spot is apparently still yet to be proven

Finding the G-spot will take your sex life to the next level! Or so some think… In truth, the Grafenberg spot – the infamous G-spot defined as a highly sensitive spot inside a woman’s vagina – hasn’t actually been proven to exist. At least one study claims to have found it, but whether it exists or not there is no guarantee that a woman will be sensitive to it during sex. It’s important to understand that not all women experience the same sensitivity.

The issue with the media portrayal of sex is that the narrative tends to include couples who have the same type of sexual experiences – nothing short of amazing! Yes sex is amazing, but in truth it doesn’t just “happen” without understanding, especially within marriage. Regardless of your sexual experiences before marriage, none of those other men or women are the same as your husband or wife. Now you are required to understand the way that their body works, and to explore sex together in ways that bring satisfaction to you both. Goodbye selfishness, hello selflessness! This transition is a shock to most when they get married, which is why it is so important to understand what sex was always intended to be long before you get married.

When you both understand this and can be entirely vulnerable yet entirely secure when having sex in your marriage, your marriage will grow and strengthen in entirely new ways.

A woman can have an orgasm without even realising

Common reactions to an orgasm can include sweating, panting, moaning and body vibrations. Did you know that some experiences can be less obvious? Instead of feeling an explosive high, you may instead climax and then feel a sense of calm and contentment. Only you know your body and how it feels after an orgasm, so focus on your own reaction instead of trying to create a false experience to massage your partner’s ego.

Ultimately, it helps to look at married sex with tunnel-vision. If it wasn’t for all the messages that society is bombarding you with on a daily basis to try and define sex for you, how would you define sex? All you would know is what you know! Just you and your spouse, figuring out the pleasure of sex together without the weight of external influences. I believe that God’s ideal was for us to be able to do just that – to grow in the newness of sex within marriage together, and to gain a new perspective on His character through the ultimate connection that two people can experience.

We were created with the ability to enjoy sex, whatever that looks like for us as individuals. No two people are exactly the same, but it would be boring if they were! God loves variety, and He also loves sex in the right context. As you grow in your understanding of sex, may you also grow to appreciate that a healthy sexual connection with your spouse will require honesty, insight and vulnerability. You won’t always be on the same page, but as long as you have those three things in mind then you will find it easier to grow with and through each other.

YOUR THOUGHTS

If you are yet to have an open conversation with your spouse about your sex life, then sharing these truths can be a good conversation-starter. There are so many misconceptions that we have picked up along the way in life (me included) that stem from the lack of honest conversations on all things sex. If we don’t learn from the right places, then we will still learn from somewhere… the following sentence-starters can help with normalising this topic in your marriage:

  1. Before we got married, I believed that sex was…
  2. Now that we are married, I understand sex to be…
  3. When we have sex, I feel…
  4. Next time we have sex, I would like…
  5. In future, I hope our sexual connection will be…

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