I wish I was one of those people who could orgasm in five minutes and every five minutes. But that’s just not me (it might not be you either) and that’s OK.

It’s not uncommon for people with penises to feel (or have their partners feel) they orgasm too quickly and for people with vulvas to feel they are taking too long. The opposite can also be true – people with penises can have partners who feel raw (or whose partners get lockjaw) because of how long their partners last and people with vulvas can feel embarrassed by their body’s quick ecstasy. Whatever your orgasm speed, there are multiple ways to have a satisfying sex life.

Your Orgasm Is Worth It (If You Want It)

If you’re someone who takes time, it can be frustrating. You’ve got a lot to do and you’re just trying to knock your socks off (or get them knocked off). I used to be a 3–8-minute masturbation “orgasmer,” but it feels like as I get older, my orgasms have become more of a journey.

As my partnered orgasms took longer, I became anxious about my partners’ well-being and the effort they were putting in. This would distract me and create undue pressure. Here are tips that help me tune back in and relax.

Ask for What You Want to Hear

When my orgasms started taking longer, my partner realized it made me feel self-conscious. In response, whenever it seemed that I was in my head, they would tell me something like, “I love how you taste,” or “I could do this all day.” This let me know they weren’t feeling tired and they were happy pleasuring me. This simple reassurance would help me live in the moment again.

Reduce (or Eliminate) Guilt

If you are worried about your partner’s wrist, tongue, neck, vagina, etc., that’s reasonable. In a recent study on pain during penetrative sex, 5% of men and 30% of women said they experienced pain during their last sexual event (Herbenick, Schick, Sanders, Reece, & Fortenberry, 2020). Unless it’s part of our kinks, pain should not be a normalized part of sex. The solution: set up honest and open communication. Make sure you and your partner feel comfortable saying when something hurts, or you need to rest. This can mean taking a break. You could also mix it up with the assistance of different body parts and/or sex toys. If you know your partner will ask for what they need, you’ll feel more comfortable sitting back and enjoying the sensations.

Chase Sensations, Not End Goals

Changing the goal of sex from reaching orgasm might actually help bring one on. You can get so caught up in one aspect of sexual play, you lose sight of other pleasures. Rather than concentrating on trying to make something happen, return to the basics. Ground yourself in your sensations. For example, in your head identify erotic sounds, views, smells, tastes, and feelings to bring you into the moment.

Techniques for Penises

Besides learning to orgasm without ejaculating, there are a few things you can try to slow down an orgasm.

  1. As the testicles rise towards the body, give a quick and firm tug downwards. This may take a few tries to learn, so remember patience is a virtue. You don’t want to tug to hard and hurt them/yourself. Additionally, you want to avoid increasing arousal that might push them/you over the edge.
  2. If you’re used to sexing bareback, try using a condom to reduce sensation.
  3. Creating some restriction at the base of the penis can help maintain a strong erection. However, make sure there isn’t too much restriction. Double Feature offers two different sized rings so you can avoid having a too tight or too loose fiasco.

Ask for What You Enjoy

For people who menstruate, sensations, erogenous zones, preferred touch styles, etc., can vary throughout the month. So, the thing you loved three days ago that easily got you off explosively, may not feel so hot today. This can be frustrating, especially if your partner is trying to replicate what happened. Instead of staying silent, or pretending that it’s working (to see why, check out The End of Faking It), suggest a switch or change. I have lots of things that I LOVE. If they aren’t doing it for me on a particular day, I’ll suggest positions shifts, changes in pressures, angles, level of lubrication, etc., until I can find a more satisfying option. There’s no reason to waste time if something isn’t working well – instead figure out what will!

Your Mind Is Your Most Powerful Sex Organ

Sometimes we can jump into sexy time too quickly and our bodies respond with delayed, slow, or sub-satisfying arousal. Start your mental arousal way before the genital touching so you can prepare your body for pleasure. This can include sexy texts, scandalous notes, non-sexual nudity and touch, as well as teasing touches. If your body is begging for release before genital touching begins, you are in a better position to orgasm.

Another way to incorporate your mind is to fantasize. In both solo and partnered sex, fantasy can be the difference between fun sensations and being pushed over the edge into climaxing. You may choose to start fantasizing anytime, from before you start to just before you want to orgasm – whatever works best for you!

Tell me some of your favorite methods for relaxing, speeding up, or slowing down the big O at [email protected].

Yael R. Rosenstock Gonzalez

Yael R. Rosenstock Gonzalez

Sex Educator, Researcher, Author, Speaker
Yael R Rosenstock Gonzalez is a sex educator, researcher, author, speaker, and curriculum developer. As a queer, polyamorous, white-presenting Nuyorican Jew, Yael has always been interested in understanding the multi-level experiences of individuals. This led her to found Kaleidoscope Vibrations, LLC, a company dedicated to supporting and creating spaces for individuals to explore and find community in their personal identities. Through her company, she facilitates workshops, develops curriculum, offers Identity Exploration Coaching, and publishes narratives often left out of mainstream publishing.

Yael has been engaged in workshop development and facilitation since she joined the New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) as a teen peer reproductive rights educator at 15 years old. Since then, she has served as an educator with children ranging from 10 months old to adults in their 70s with different organizations and communities. In her work as first Program Coordinator, then Director of Programming, and finally Associate Director of the Center for Ethnic, Racial, and Religious Understanding, Yael developed and led events, workshops, and programs with an intersectionality lens.