How to have an orgasm – for women who never have

There’s a lot written about the orgasm gap – how men almost always achieve orgasm when having sex with their partner and women often don’t.

But what if you don’t have any orgasms at all? During partner sex or solo?

This is a step-by-step guide to helping you achieve orgasm for the first time. All you need is an open mind, some lube, a vibrator – and privacy.

Your first orgasm is almost 100% likely to be achieved solo.

This is because when you’ve got your ‘L’ plates on, you feel a lot less self-conscious on your own because you have complete control over what’s happening and you’re not worried about what your partner’s thinking or how you’re looking.

I have actually never met a woman who didn’t have her first orgasm solo through masturbation.

It’s pivotal – not just for having your first but for keeping them (and you) coming. Practice makes perfect.

One of my girlfriends can take herself from a completely non-aroused state to orgasm in 20 seconds using her fingers.

“I’ve been doing it every day since I was a kid – or course I’m good at it’, she says.

The more you masturbate, the easier orgasm becomes.

Before we launch into the practicals, there’s one question I have to ask….

Are you sure you haven’t had one?

Yes this is rather an odd question since your answer is probably, ‘Like, if I had, I’d hardly be reading this would I?’

But the thing is, thanks to porn where orgasms are both explosive and desperately dramatic, some women imagine it to be something far more intense than it actually is.

Have you felt a build up of pressure and any contractions at the peak of arousal, no matter how small those contractions are? If so, you might be having orgasms, just ‘small’ ones.

You can build the intensity of your orgasms by improving the strength of your kegel muscles or building up to higher levels of arousal before letting go.

Are you willing to have an orgasm?

Willingness is the first stage of sexual arousal. You must want to have feelings of sexual pleasure for them to happen. If you’re focusing on negative thoughts – sex is bad, I shouldn’t be doing this, my body isn’t good enough – of course it’s not going to happen.

The brain is a sex organ.

How’s your body image? Women who are anxious about their bodies tend to have lower sexual desire and enjoy sex less.

Do you secretly think sex is dirty?

Most women learn how to orgasm through masturbation, as I said. If you come from a strict religious background or had parents who told you touching yourself was ‘wrong’ or ‘disgusting’, chances are you didn’t do it.

If you still find it hard to masturbate, try normalising it by calling it (and sex) by another name. Using a word your brain doesn’t instantly associate with ‘bad’, makes it less threatening. Try calling sex ‘having fun’ and masturbating ‘giving myself a present’ or ‘making myself happy’.

Educate yourself about your body

Google a clear image of the female vulva.

Armed with a good diagram, take a mirror, have a good look at your genitals and find what is the tip of your clitoris (the bit you can see). Have a good look around, identifying the inner and outer labia and familiarising yourself with what you look like. (I had a mirror out when I was about six, having a curious look at what was ‘down there’ but you’d be amazed the amount of adult women who never have!)

While you’re at it, search ‘female sexual response system’ and read a little about how your body works.

I’d also suggest you go online and buy a simple but powerful vibrator (my bullet vibe and pleasure vibe are both good choices and inexpensive) and some good quality lubricant. You’ll need both to…

Have a vibrator orgasm

This is so you know what you’re aiming for.

Some therapists will advise you not to do this and to try with your fingers first, leaving the vibe as a last resort. Reason being fingers are partner friendly.

I agree it’s crucial you are able to orgasm using your fingers but a vibrator is indisputably the easiest and most efficient way to let you experience the feeling of orgasm.

It’s pretty impossible NOT to orgasm using a vibrator.

Add some lube to the area or the vibe and hold it against the closed labia (lips of the vagina) at the top end (near your tummy) so you’re vibrating the clitoris underneath. Try rolling it, holding it at different angles and varying the speed and pressure, until you orgasm. It really is as simple as holding it where it feels good – and keeping it there.

Fight the urge to stop when pressure builds

The feeling of orgasm is frightening the first time you experience it. I was scared too – I seriously thought I was going to explode and that I’d weed myself. But all that’s happening is lots of blood is pumping to your genital and clitoral area. An orgasm is simply the moment when your body releases the blood back into the body, which feels euphoric. Once you understand what’s happening, you’ll (hopefully) feel less freaked out by the sensation.

Can’t orgasm even with a vibrator?

The vibe might not be strong enough, it might be too strong (try putting a T-shirt between you and it) or there may be deep, psychological factors at play.

Sometimes, an early traumatic experience you don’t remember can still influence you. Our brain will ‘hide’ information from us if it thinks it’s too painful to recall. Sounds clever, and it is to a point, but your brain isn’t the only thing that remembers: your body does too.

If you feel there’s something wrong but you’re not sure what or feel generally uncomfortable about sex, arrange to see a therapist. A visit to a good sex therapist will usually cure any problems quickly and efficiently. Only a tiny percentage of women never orgasm without professional help – you’re unlikely to be one of them. (Find one at, or

Say bye-bye vibrator and hello fingers

Once you’ve had an orgasm via the vibrator and know what you’re aiming for, it’s banished to the bedside drawer.

Now let’s try to orgasm using your fingers.

Put some lubricant on your inner lips or your fingers and first find your clitoris – the pea-sized bit, hidden under a protective hood, at the top of your vagina. Try gently stroking near or around it with your middle finger or the pads of a couple of fingers. Try moving around it in circles then gently rubbing directly across it, back and forth, once you feel more aroused. Experiment with different strokes – hard, soft, fast, slow, until you find what suits you best. Try to at least get to the point where you’re really excited before either giving up or giving in (and letting those fingers slide over to the bedside drawer where your vibrator lives).

It often takes longer with your fingers until you’ve got the technique mastered, so be patient.

Keep trying with your fingers

Aim for about six or more 15 minute sessions over the next two weeks. If it’s not working try alternative ways to masturbate – try a new position (try lying on your tummy or sitting in a chair rather than lying or sitting on the bed with your legs apart) or rub your clitoris against something (like the arm of a sofa). Focus on enjoying any sexual feelings you are experiencing rather than fiercely concentrating and thinking ‘I must have an orgasm’.

The harder you try, the further away it will seem.

Add erotica

Fantasise in your head about something you’ve done sexually that turned you on or would like to do. Read a sexy book, watch porn or listen to audio porn (you’ll find some female friendly erotica here). Try squeezing your pelvic floor muscles and remember to breathe deeply.

One last word of encouragement: the first solo orgasm may take ages to work up to, but it gets easier and faster the more often you have one. Promise!