The good news is, we’re talking about sex a lot more openly than we used to. The bad news is, sex is still portrayed in a pretty unrealistic light, especially if you believe everything you see about screaming female orgasms on movies and TV. That’s not to say that your orgasms can’t be hot and heavy with a partner, but most of the time, you’re not going to get off the moment a P enters your V.
Penetration does not always an orgasm make. And because this common myth has been perpetuated about penetrative sex (that intercourse equals skyrockets in flight), many ladies have thrown in the towel. Other women have been told by their solemn sisters in the girls’ locker room not to expect an orgasm — ever — during sex. It’s not happening. Pretend to like penetration and hope it doesn’t suck, they said.
As of 2009, we knew that up to 75 percent of women couldn’t get off through good, old-fashioned thrusting. Cosmo’s more recent 2015 sex survey showed that as little as 15 percent of women could orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone, without clitoral stimulation. Sex Therapist Vanessa Marin, who is actually launching an online training program to teach women how to orgasm (bless her heart), says these statistics shouldn’t make women feel helpless. “The most valuable thing you can do is find ways to bring more clitoral stimulation into your sex life,” Marin says. There is a universe of sexual possibilities that some women never explore. Here are eight of the best ways to get started so you can get off without sex.
1. Masturbate in front of one another
Instead of treating your partner like a machine whose job it is to give you an orgasm, heed the advice of Dr. Carlen Costa, a sexologist and relationship expert from Canada, and change your attitude first. “You are supposed to own your orgasm,” Dr. Carlen says.
And the number one way she suggests increasing your sexual confidence and taking control over your orgasms is by partaking in a naughty bit of “adult show and tell” and masturbating in front of one another. Whether you choose to discuss in advance the fact that you’re about to give your partner the thrill of his life or surprise him by letting him come home and “catch” you rubbing yourself on the couch, is entirely up to you. And though you may be tempted to let him jump in and finish the job, Dr. Carlen suggests restraining your passions and enforcing a “no touching” rule for as long as possible — which will only make things hotter.
2. Sex toys
Sex toys have come a long way since your mother’s dildo (sorry, not a sexy image). Marin suggests trying a couples’ toy like the We-Vibe or, if you prefer going at it alone, the Eva by DAME products, which is an actual hands-free vibrator that stimulates the clitoris with zero effort — yay for that!
Kait Scalisi, a sexual and reproductive health educator, writer and consultant, is also a huge fan of toys like the We-Vibe Touch, as well as G-Spot toy Je Joue Uma and arousal oils like ON Arousal Oil, which she says brings blood flow to the vaginal area and makes it easier to become aroused and achieve orgasm. “I highly recommend all women have a high-quality lubricant,” Scalisi said. “Water-based lubes like Sliquid Organics are great for toys while silicone-based lubes like the one by Pjur are better for intercourse, oral sex and fingering. The amount of natural lubricant a woman produces is not indicative of her level of arousal as everything from stress to dehydration to medications can affect the body’s ability to get wet.”
3. Direct stimulation
Ugh, how many times have we been told the number one way for women to achieve orgasm is by getting oral sex? It’s as if some sexperts have never been inside of the mind of a woman who has insecurities. Look, we’re not saying to stop your partner when they wants to go down on you because cunnilingus can be one of the most pleasurable experiences on the planet. But so much attention has been put on oral sex that Dr. Carlen says it’s easy to forget that women don’t always come this way. “More women are more self-conscious when they have someone in between their legs,” Dr. Carlen says. “They worry about what they taste or smell like. Instead, direct stimulation is the number one way women orgasm.”
Chances are, you are well versed on all things clitoris and know both light touching and applying more pressure to this sensitive spot can result in orgasm. But Dr. Carlen reminds us to encourage our partners to explore the entire vagina — including the labia and vulva, which has the second-most nerve endings after the clitoris and the U-spot, the area on and around the urethra.
4. Dirty talk
The brain is our largest sex organ and we’re doing ourselves a huge disservice if we ignore this fact. It’s completely possible to orgasm or get so worked up you could come in seconds without any physical contact at all by taking the time to engage in a little filthy talk before or even instead of sex.
If you’ve never tried this before with your partner, Dr. Carlen says to take your time and take it slow. “You don’t have to jump in with the dirtiest thing because it can come across as awkward or unauthentic,” she says. Instead of whispering in his ear that you want to have an orgy with him and 15 members of a football team, Dr. Carlen saystried-and-true dirty talk includes saying things like “I love it when you do (fill in the blank),” and the universally hot, “Oh baby I’m coming.”
And if you’re feeling shy about it, the expert says a great way to build your sexual confidence and test the waters is by sexting your partner. Setting up a scenario via text like, “When you get home tonight (fill in the blank)” is a surefire way to fan the flames.
Nope, this isn’t the name of a decadent dessert — it’s something many of us probably did when we were teenagers. I’m talking about good ole dry humping, rubbing and grinding — the kind that takes place when both partners are either fully or partially dressed — or, oh what the hell, totally naked works too.
The beauty of frottage is that it’s exciting because it’s an unexpected thing to do with your partner when you’re over the age of 21. There’s no pressure to perform, no worries about birth control (assuming all of your clothing is on!) and a rare opportunity for both you and your partner to get off at the time from the very same act.
6. Tantric sex
If you haven’t heard of the ancient Indian tradition of tantra, brace yourself: There are some fortunate individuals and couples out there who have tapped into sexual energy in a way that can result in them having an orgasm within minutes — with absolutely no physical contact. But Patricia Johnson, who has 15 years of experience teachingtantra with her husband Mark A. Michaels and with whom she has written a book called Partners in Passion: A Guide to Great Sex, Emotional Intimacy and Long-Term Love, says anyone can learn how to channel that energy we all have into a powerful orgasm.
“First of all, imagination is the key,” Johnson said. “Studies show that orgasm actually originates in the brain, so attitude matters more than technique. Imagine that you’re having an orgasm and that will get you on the road to the real thing. Tantra is more about attitude than a particular skill or past experience.”
7. Breast orgasms
We pay so much attention to how our breasts look that some of us forget these babies are not only lovely, but — regardless of our cup size — functional and one of our very best friends when it comes to orgasm. Our breasts actually swell up to 25 percent when we feel aroused and even change color, according to Dr. Carlen. When our partner stimulates our nipples by licking, massaging or even tapping them rhythmically, it can have the same exciting effect on our brain as clitoral and vaginal stimulation.
8. Spanking/role playing/BDSM
Big fan of Fifty Shades? If you’ve been wondering how it feels to get spanked or act out your submissive fantasies, Scalisi highly recommends that women fill out a yes/no/maybe list of options that exist in order to get ideas about what they could do in the bedroom and decide if it’s right for them. Thanks to Christian Grey, Scalisi says there’s never been an easier time to broach this topic with a partner.
“A woman could say, ‘You know how in the book Christian did X? What do you think of that? Would you be open to trying it?'” Scalisi said. You don’t have to go to extremes while experimenting, either. A great pair of leather handcuffs by Crave provide the thrill of being tied up without it being too intense, Scalisi said. It’s all about doing what makes you comfortable and exploring a side of you that you didn’t know existed — and that can tip the excitement scale to instant orgasm.