Anxiety when trying to achieve sexual climax
Women who find it difficult to achieve climax usually find the problem is the
result of a combination of lack of stimulation and physical anxiety, and
possibly also too much effort and an expectation of failure.
Female arousal is a product of the
parasympathetic nervous system, and so if it is to be achieved, a woman must be
both mentally and physically relaxed -- that's an observation which almost
anybody who enjoys sexual relationships will know already!
Therefore excessive anxiety about
intercourse, or any kind of stimulation which causes women to feel irritated or
puts excessive demands and expectations on her will produce sympathetic nervous
system arousal and very probably an anxiety response -- exactly the opposite of
the parasympathetic state that she needs to be relaxed enough to achieve sexual
Sexual climax itself is a
sympathetic nervous system response of which the main characteristics are
deeper and faster breathing, an increased heart rate and some degree of
It's a paradox that this
sympathetic nervous system state needs to be reached via an adequate period of
parasympathetic arousal, one which lasts long enough to allow the women to let
go of inhibitions and stress, and allow her arousal to drive progress
toward climax to take over.
For a woman who is having difficulty in achieving
sexual climax there are strategies
that can be applied to reduce anxiety. First and foremost, of course, it's
important for women to be in an anxiety free state so that she is actually able to
become sexually aroused (and that includes self stimulation as well as partner
She therefore needs to be able to relax
for a few minutes (or longer) either during the early stages of intimate
relations, or before sex starts, so that any anxiety which she has developed
will dissipate. She can use quick relaxation methods for this -- these will be
especially effective if her partner is sympathetic and offers light massage to
the nonsexual parts of her body as she tries to relax.
The second part of the
strategy for achieving climax more easily is to use a process which can be
called "passive concentration". What this means is that instead of
trying to force herself to reach climax, or indeed assuming a negative
expectation about her chance of reaching climax, a woman can simply accept
whatever she is feeling and
allow herself to be enveloped by whatever stimulation and sensations she feels
while enjoying during sexual interaction with her partner.
It's a kind of focused attention that allows a level of arousal to build up; in
essence, it involves transferring her full attention to what is happening and
how she feels in her body.
Bringing her awareness to her body
and what she's feeling requires a degree of "passive concentration", but it
certainly assists the process of becoming aroused.
However, it can be very difficult for a woman who finds it difficult to stop the
rush of thoughts through her mind, or who has already been disappointed in her
ability to achieve climax. In the latter case, it is necessary to just keep
practicing the process of passive concentration until a shift occurs which
allows her to spend more time focusing on the stimulation she is receiving and
how pleasurable it feels rather than anything else that may act as a distraction.
it's worth remembering that distractions which come into the mind apparently
unprompted can be a psychological defence mechanism against anxiety produced by
sexual activity. In these cases, perhaps slightly more in-depth therapy
might be a good idea.)
Another thing that can be really
helpful is the co-operation and understanding of her partner, especially if
she's able to disclose how she's feeling at any point during sexual activity. If
she can disclose this it will certainly reduce anxiety.
key is that her partner must be accepting and non-judgmental, which is quite a
skill, and one which may in itself require considerable to practice to develop.
If self-disclosure of thoughts and
feelings proves difficult, or her partner is not sufficiently receptive or
understanding, then a good way for a woman to learn how to reach a climax is to
enjoy masturbation. This can be a much less threatening and anxiety provoking
activity, not least because there is no partner involved, and also because a
woman has complete control of her body and knows what is most likely to arouse
For those who don't
know, it's also vitally import to get the right physical stimulation, which for
women is focused on and around the clitoris and labia.
It's certainly true that the
opening and outer part of the vagina can be very sensitive to stimulation as
well, but it is extremely rare for women to reach climax through stimulation of
the vagina alone -- the implication being that there is little chance of
reaching the height of sexual pleasure during intercourse without additional
stimulation to the clit.
It's also clear that individual
women appreciate stimulation in different ways and different combinations:
so, for example, one woman might prefer the sides of the clitoral shaft to be
stimulated through the labia, while another may prefer the very gentlest of
touches on the clitoris.
Overall stimulation should include
the labia, the clitoris, possibly the anus, certainly her abdomen, and very
possibly the vagina and buttocks.
Even so, for all women, the centre of
arousal is always the clitoris. It's a very useful and beneficial experience for
women to develop familiarity and comfort with her own body, and possibly to learn
how to achieve orgasm without their partner present, if the presence of a
partner is anxiety provoking. You can read about a
way to offer women sensual massage.
During sexual intercourse there
are many ways the clitoris can be stimulated. As the man thrusts, he may be able
to press his pubic bone against the clitoris -- a certain amount of lubrication
on the pubic mound can be helpful here; or alternatively the woman herself can
reach down and massage her clit with her fingers; or the man can do this in
certain sexual positions when he is able to reach the clitoris with his fingers.
One point worth making is that
many women who haven't been able to achieve climax in any other way find that a
vibrator can be extremely helpful in doing this.
This can be used alone during
"practice" or with a partner once anxiety levels have reduced to a point with
which the woman is comfortable.
By the way, the final stage of the
female orgasm is actually one of the most interesting and important: it's the
phase in which a woman moves from the parasympathetic nervous system state
of being more and more aroused and relaxed into the sympathetic nervous system
state in which her body reaches orgasm.
This is a switch which the woman
actually has to consciously allow -- in other words, rather than forcing her
body towards climax, she should simply relax and let go into it.
The switch occurs at the point of
maximum arousal, but letting go in this way seems to be very difficulty for many
women: many women find it difficult to let themselves go because they are afraid
of losing control or perhaps because it all seems too intense.
loss of control in this way is a major cause of sexual dysfunction - see
www.male-sexual-dysfunction.com - problems for women, and the best way to
overcome them is to use the same strategy of passive concentration that we've
mentioned before, where increasing levels of arousal are allowed to flood over
the woman without her feeling she needs to control or evaluate them; she can
accept they are happening and enjoyable.
This does in itself depend on the woman's ability
to relax and let go of her need to be in control, which may in turn depend on
how safe she feels in her environment with her partner. That can be managed -
for example by choosing a place where there will be no disturbances - to
increase the chances of her reaching climax.
At the point where a woman feels
that she's about to go into orgasm, she may wish for her partner to alter the
type, pressure, or speed of stimulation. It's important that she actually
manages to convey her needs to him at this point, otherwise the chance of
reaching climax may be reduced.
She can always guide his hands or
his pelvic thrusting with here own hands; if he's pleasuring her orally she can
guide his head with her hands -- or indeed she can tell him what she wants if
she is still able to speak.
Another strategy that helps women
to achieve climax more easily is for them to encourage the sympathetic nervous
system features of orgasm -- which you might recall include increased
respiration, muscular tension and an increase in heart rate -- by deliberately
breathing deeply and holding her breath for a moment, or by tensing her muscles,
which, if she does this just at the point where she feels she must "let go" to
achieve orgasm, may trigger off orgasm spontaneously.
In practical terms, just at the
moment where a woman should let go she often thinks, "No, I can't do it, I can't
make it," gives up and relaxes so much that she loses the move through that
elusive "switch" into her climax. If she actually tenses her body, breaths
harder and faster (things that happen in orgasm) she may well facilitate her
achievement of climax.
Finally it's worthwhile observing that it may be necessary to practice this
passive concentration approach to the final stage of orgasm several times before
it becomes second nature and climax is easily achieved.
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