No-Orgasm Sex — Interview in Women’s Health Magazine

“No-Orgasm Sex” May Be the Hottest Sex of All

No-orgasm sex might sound like a recipe for frustration. And frankly most people enjoy having an orgasm at the end of good sex. But a great many women I talk to say they don’t absolutely need an orgasm in order for it to be great sex. in fact, taking the focus (and the pressure) off orgasm just might be one of the most creative things you can do in bed.

In Chapter 6 of my book, Love Worth Making, I discuss how there are really Two Roads to Orgasm — depending on how aroused you were along the way.

The “high road” involves getting deeply aroused first, and staying aroused for a good long while. Masters and Johnson called this “reaching plateau.”  As I’ve discussed elsewhere, in Sex Tips for Married Lovers, to get really good plateau you’ll want to focus on your own arousal. Not just whether you’re hard or wet, but really intense psychological arousal — often marked by such things as forgetting what day it is, or in extreme cases forgetting your own name.

Most of us though are perfectly capable of taking “the low road” to orgasm as well. Even if you’re not really all that excited, the right friction in just the right place, combined with novel-enough or intense-enough fantasy, can get you there. But those “low road” orgasms usually aren’t much to write home about.

Remember the most intense sex you ever had? Chances are what you’re remembering is how aroused you were — not the orgasm at the end. In fact, orgasms can be kind of hard to remember with any clarity.

So when Women’s Health writer Anna Davies asked me to answer questions about No-Orgasm Sex for her article, “Have Great Sex . . . Even When You Don’t Have an Orgasm,”I was more than happy to oblige. Orgasms get all the attention in the popular press. No-Orgasm Sex hardly gets any attention at all. Which is a shame, not least because that’s the kind of sex many women have most often.

The key to enjoying No-Orgasm Sex is to focus on arousal. To quote Davies’ article, “The key to a no-gasm experience that’s anything but “eh” is to amp up your arousal early and stay there as long as possible. You’ll know when you’re there by the text test: If your phone buzzed, you’d be more annoyed by the interruption than curious who it was, says Stephen Snyder, M.D., an associate clinical professor of psychiatry at Mount Sinai School of Medicine.”

As I explain in my book, and on a recent GOOP podcast, we sex therapists aren’t so interested in orgasms. Probably because the rest of the world is so focused on them —  which can be a distraction from having really good sex. One of my favorite definitions of a sex therapist is someone who spends most of their professional life urging couples not to make too big a fuss about orgasms.

Orgasm should be like dessert at the end of a good meal. Memorable, perhaps. But not the reason you went out to dinner.

In fact, one of the advantages of No-Orgasm Sex is that after a wonderfully arousing time in bed together, if you like you can take out the vibrator and give yourself an orgasm while your partner just holds you. Which to continue the meal analogy, is like enjoying the restaurant, then going out to Haagen Dasz for dessert.

No big deal, right?

After all, it’s just dessert.

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