Today, 31 July, is National Orgasm Day in the UK.
The commemorative day, which occurs annually in ode to the Big O, is also celebrated in America and Australia.
Yet, while many of us aim to achieve orgasm during sex, the reality is it doesn’t always work out.
Some 58% of men say they always orgasm when they have sex – and, when it comes to women, fewer than a quarter (24%) said they manage to climax every time they have sex.
This is according to statistics from the Lovehoney Sexual Happiness Study, which analysed the sex lives of 3,000 people.
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But don’t let those stats deter you. According to sex and relationships expert Annabelle Knight, who is also an ambassador for adult toys business Lovehoney, it’s completely possible for men and women to finish every time they have sex.
So, what’s the problem?
Why couples aren’t achieving orgasm
There is one prevailing reason which stops both men and women climaxing when they have sex, according to Knight – and that is old, humdrum routine.
“Routine is the biggest barrier I find in couples both orgasming,” she says.
“I meet so many couples who say: 'We used to have great sex when we first meet but no longer.”
“I then go into the reasons why the fireworks are no longer sparking and they admit that their sexual routine has not changed for years - same time, same place, same position.
She adds: “If you have the same meal every night, you soon get bored of it. Why do you think sex is any different?”
As for overcoming this issue, Knight advises it is all about “trying new things”.
“Couples need to mix things up, break that routine, try new things and work as hard on their sex lives as they do on other aspects of their relationship.
Here are her practical tips on how to mix it up:
Live out your fantasies - “Each write your 10 favourite sex fantasies on post-it notes and put them in a jar. Take it in turns to pick one out every week and live it out for real.”
Set your alarm 30 minutes early for morning sex - “It’s probably the last thing you are thinking about when you wake up bleary-eyed dreading another day at work. But engaging in a bit of loving action first thing in the morning will leave you both with with lasting benefits throughout the day.”
Be strangers - “Book a room at a local hotel. Then call your partner and tell them to pack a bag and meet you at the hotel bar. Give each other fake names and pretend you're meeting for the first time, before you head up to the room.”
Try new positions - “Make sure you try at least one new sexual position every week or few weeks. This will get you both thinking about experimenting sexually and hopefully looking at new locations to enjoy sex outside the bedroom.”
However, being stuck into rut isn’t the sole reason why people can struggle with orgasm. Here are the other most common factors:
Less than one in three (30%) of women can climax without added clitoral stimulation, according to LoveHoney research – making the absence of this the number one reason why women don’t come during sex.
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In order to tackle this issue, couples need to prioritise adding foreplay to their lovemaking sessions, says Knight.
“Too many couples are fixated on intercourse being the be-all and end-all of sex,” she says.
“It's just one part of it - a very important part but not everything. And if you progress to intercourse with little or no foreplay don't be surprised if your partner fails to orgasm.”
Knight has suggested two sex positions to increase clitoral stimulation during sex, illustrated below.
“To start, you will both need to get into the spoons position (where she lies on her side while he curls around her and penetrates from behind),” explains Knight.
“She gets into position by lying on her back with her legs crossed and drawn up to her chest. He then kneels above her and enters her, with her feet resting either side of his midriff.”
The negative effects of stress can often seep into all areas of our lives – and our sex life is by no means immune to it.
“Stress is a huge factor [in not achieving orgasm],” says Knight. “To have good sex, you need to be concentrating on the matter at hand - not what your boss said to you at a meeting earlier.”
Practising mindfulness and being in the moment is key to overcoming the effect stress has on your sex life.
“Try to be block out negative feelings from the day's events and focus on you and your partner and what brings each of you pleasure,” recommends Knight.
Last but not least, body confidence is another reason why you might struggle to achieve orgasm – perhaps unsurprising, given that sex is generally done in the nude.
“Body confidence is another issue for both sexes. If you don't feel good about how you look, enjoying sex becomes more difficult,” says Knight.
The solution? Rather than embarking upon a gruelling fitness regime, according to Knight it’s all a matter of learning to love your body.
‘We all suffer from low body confidence at some point in our lives,” she says.
“If your relationship is strong it should not be an issue and your partner will desire just as you are, particularly if your sex life is good.”