If an orgasm was the only measure of sex, then you’d have to say there’s lots of thrusting, humping and grinding going on out there that doesn’t actually count.

A recent survey of a thousand women conducted by the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy discovered that 80% of women don’t orgasm from penetrative sex (If you’re a woman, the chances are you’ll have known that already).¹

But this article is about more than just a shortage of clitoral stimulation and a lack of men’s finesse in the bedroom (or wherever else you choose to do it).

Many women struggle to orgasm for reasons that have nothing to do with how much skill and consideration their lover shows. Anxiety, depression, physical problems, a previous bad sexual experience and issues within the relationship are just some of the reasons that can prevent you from disturbing the neighbours with ear-piercing screams as you reach the Big-O.² ³ Orgasms are elusive. Most women don’t have one every time (or maybe even most times) they get down to sex.⁴ For some, enjoying intimacy, love and sensuousness can be every bit as pleasurable as having an orgasm. Particularly if all this can be enjoyed without the feelings of guilt that come from believing you might be falling short of your partner’s expectations.³ The first thing you and your lover need to do is stop obsessing about ‘happy endings’ and spend more of your energies on relishing every moment of the journey.

Great un-orgasmic sex

If you haven’t discovered the joys of these activities already, here are a few things you might want to try to increase the pleasure you and your partner enjoy:

Stay dressed

Having your kit on is a simple way to take the focus off an orgasm and keep it firmly on foreplay. Of course, if you ever feel it’s time to move things on to the next stage, then you can have all kinds of sensual fun undressing each other. Win win.³ ⁴


A good old-fashioned massage can work wonders for your libido, as well as the knots in your shoulders. Take time to explore each other's bodies and enjoy the sensations. If your hands start to wander, and the massage becomes a little more erotic than you’d originally intended, you may as well just go with the flow.³

Bubble bath

Try taking a bubble bath together. Sponge each other all over and just lie back and enjoy the view and the hot water working its wonders. Turn your phones to silent, light some candles, take your time and just appreciate some uninterrupted relaxation, as well as each other.³

Share a shower

Or, if conserving water is your thing, you might prefer to take a shower together. Depending on the size of your shower cubicle, it will probably give you a bit more freedom of movement. Getting wet and soapy helps you find erogenous zones you may not have realised you had. Rub your lover’s back and shoulders with a sponge, then switch to your bare hands as you move to her (or his) chest, before working your way lower.⁴

Take the pressure off

Putting pressure on yourself to come could mean you're missing out on all the pleasure that comes before that moment. Try and linger for as long as you both can on the plateau of peak arousal that comes before the “yes, yess, YESSS!” Practise makes perfect. The longer you can stay at this tantalising level, the less important an orgasm will become.⁴

Try somewhere different

One more tip, and you’ll need to be a little careful with this one. (We really wouldn’t you getting in trouble.) Have you ever thought about being a bit more adventurous about where you do it? We’re not suggesting a park bench at midday or in aisle 10 of your local supermarket, but just adding the thrill of we-could-be-caught-at-any-moment into your relationship. How about just keeping the bedroom window open so there’s a slight risk that unsuspecting passers-by might hear what’s going on? Or maybe you could climb into the back of your car down Lovers Lane? With minds focused on the risk of being caught, thoughts of having an orgasm can also take a back seat.⁴

A helping hand

Whether orgasms are important to you or not, visiting the Durex website is another sure way to spice up your love life. We have a variety of products from condoms to lubricants, and sex toys.

Experiment all you want and make the most of every moment with your partner. It’s funny, the less you obsess about having an orgasm, the more likely you are to have one.²

Always read the label. Use only as directed.