“Having an orgasm generally has more to do with what’s going on in your mind than your body.”
An orgasm involves your mind and your body, but it often has more to do with what’s going on in your mind than your body. Women who struggle to reach orgasm often feel as if something’s wrong with their body, but the reality is that their thoughts are probably getting in the way. So let’s talk about some ways to use your mind – and develop a mindset – that makes it likely that you’ll reach orgasm more often and enjoy it more.
1. Let go of anxiety. If you’re anxious, you’re likely to struggle with orgasm. Studies have found that as women become sexually stimulated, two areas of the brain that affect alertness and anxiety, the amygdala and hippocampus, become less active. And some scientists believe that those areas essentially shut down when a woman has an orgasm. So it makes sense that if you can’t shut down anxiety, you’re likely to have difficulty reaching orgasm.
The kinds of fears and anxieties that can get in the way of orgasm include fear of letting go or losing control, fear of doing something wrong, worry that something is wrong with your body, worry that it’s taking too long, and many others. Some women may also worry – deep down – that sexual arousal and release are something that “nice women” shouldn’t do, even within marriage. And let’s not forget the regular old everyday kinds of worries that take up a lot of headspace for women – worry about kids, jobs, in laws, money – oh, and a pandemic.
There’s a saying that “women are always ‘on,’ and that can keep us from getting ‘turned on.’”
So, given that your brain can work against your efforts to have an orgasm, let’s talk about ways to create a mindset that may help you overcome anxiety and move toward orgasm.
2. Remember that it’s about the journey and not the destination. Working toward having an orgasm more frequently (or, for some women, for the first time) is a great goal. But remember to enjoy the journey as you’re moving toward the destination. If you (or your husband) focus entirely on getting to orgasm (the destination), you may lose the pleasure of sexual intimacy and the enjoyment of having fun together (the journey).
And, focusing exclusively on orgasm can create performance anxiety – if one or both of you is focused solely on getting to the finish line, you can end up feeling more stressed. You may even get stuck in a “performance loop” of trying harder and harder to reach the goal and feeling more and more tense about it. I’ve definitely experienced that feeling, and you probably have too – it definitely does not promote an orgasm mindset!
So let go of a performance mindset, and encourage your husband to let go of it too. Yes, it’s great to have a husband who’s committed to helping you orgasm, but if you feel like you’re “letting him down” (you’re not), that feeling can actually get in your way.
3. Allow yourself to focus on sensual feelings and erotic thoughts. One way to enjoy the journey more (while on your way to the destination) is to allow sensual feelings and erotic thoughts to enter your mind and stick around for a while! Studies have shown that women who use their minds to focus on their body’s sexual sensations are more likely to experience orgasm. So, both inside and outside the bedroom, begin giving yourself time and space to develop a sensual mindset.
Start paying attention to both sensual and sexual sensations, and practice embracing them. Rather than thinking, “I don’t have time for that” – make time! The idea is to train your mind to recognize that you’re a sensual woman who deserves to enjoy, embrace, and act on sensual and sexual feelings. (And yes, that’s is hard to do for busy wives and moms! You have to be intentional about it and make time for it, because you’re worth it.)
Also, work on allowing yourself to enjoy erotic thoughts in the bedroom. This is hard, I think, for many Christian women, because they’ve learned that anything “erotic” is dangerous and something to be avoided. But I’m not talking about erotica or porn, but rather about allowing your mind to think and enjoy erotic thoughts about you and your husband. These can be thoughts about something the two of you have done, something you’d like to do, or something you may never do!
As long as the focus is on the two of you, there’s nothing wrong with those kinds of thoughts – and they can help increase your level of sexual stimulation and help you move toward orgasm. Practice cultivating sensual and erotic thoughts in the bedroom, but also outside the bedroom – to help you move toward orgasm, but also as a way to embrace your sexuality become an important part of your life.
4. Practice self-care for your mind and your body. It’s very difficult to develop and nurture a mindset that promotes orgasm if you don’t feel good – in terms of your overall health and energy – or don’t feel good about your body. So part of developing an orgasm mindset is accepting the fact that you need and deserve to spend some time and energy caring for your mind and body. This might mean that you need to start exercising regularly (yes, you do!), eating a healthier diet, getting more sleep, taking regular breaks from the daily grind, or getting outside in nature and sunlight more often. It may even mean that you need to begin pursuing one of your dreams or passions – even if for only 15 minutes a day.
5. Use deep breathing to let go of worry – inside and outside the bedroom. In the long run, the things we’ve talked about will help you let go of anxiety and create a mindset that promotes orgasm. But, sometimes you need a solution in the short run – both inside and outside the bedroom. And when you do, few things are easier or more effective than deep breathing. When you feel anxious your breathing tends to be shallow – which feeds anxiety. But taking the time to slow down and focus on breathing deeply can help to dissipate the anxiety you’re feeling, regardless of the reason. Experiment with a few deep breathing exercises in the bedroom as a way to help you relax and to set aside any anxiety you feel about trying to have an orgasm.
Want more information on how to reach and enjoy orgasm? Check out the new Orgasm webinar by the For Christian Wives podcast team. It includes information on the anatomy of an orgasm, mindset, problems, and practical tips for success. It’s a one-hour webinar video plus a list of orgasm resources for just $10. Or get the entire 2020 3-webinar series for just $25. And, if you want to take a deeper dive into learning about orgasm, Sheila Gregoire has a new orgasm course, with videos for wives and husbands, for $69.