Everyone experiences an orgasm differently, and the sensation can vary from session to session. Some don’t experience it at all. But regardless if you do or do not cum, there are always techniques you can learn to increase your pleasure during sex.
First, it’s important to recognize that sex does not need to be orgasm-focused. Instead, it can be pleasure-focused. Reframing the orgasm so it’s not the goal of sex can lift performance anxiety and help you be more present with yourself and partner(s).
To be primed for pleasure, your mind and body must connect so you can feel comfortable and aroused. Arousal is a mental state that can manifest physically: hard nipples, wet vagina, erect penis, etc. Listen to bodily cues — maybe your body is telling you masturbation is working for you right now, maybe it’s not. Pay attention to your heart rate and breathing. Be mindful of the kind of touch, positions and stimulation you’re comfortable with and wanting.
Little then discusses some techniques for strengthening your orgasm, such as edging. This is a type of “orgasm denial” that anyone can practice, even if you’ve never orgasmed before. Edging is when you approach your uppermost threshold of pleasure,” but then either pause or switch actions to slightly lessen the intensity, then build up the pleasure again. You may do this several times before letting the stimulation spill over to orgasm. The act of intensifying and denying pleasure over and over can make the orgasm that much stronger when it finally does happen.
Another way to strengthen pleasure is to be aware of your breathing and what’s going on physiologically as you’re approaching orgasm. If you are practicing edging, slow your breathing as you’re getting close, and then, as it approaches, let yourself have faster, harder breathing. You can also try holding your breath and then releasing to control the tension in the body. This can give you a stronger sensory experience.
“There's so much power in just focusing on the different parts of your body that is having a physiological experience of pleasure and connectedness and intimacy and all that,” says Little.
Now, think about what kind of orgasm you want. Do you want a layered experience, like with edging? Do you want gentle bubbling, rippling, etc.? Do you want a clitorial orgasm, g-spot orgasm, prostate orgasm, penetrative orgasm, anal orgasm? Do you want to use a toy, do you want a partner? All these different types of orgasms can create different sensations and there are so many techniques to practice for each one.
The best way to figure out what works and doesn’t work for you is to simply explore and practice. Exploration can happen by yourself, with a toy, with a partner, with porn — with whatever makes you feel happy and comfortable. Just remember, sex is about pleasure. An orgasm is just a happy byproduct of that pleasure.