You may be giving it your all in the bedroom, but sometimes your best just isn’t good enough when it comes to pleasing your partner between the sheets. A recent survey found that 57 percent of women have orgasms most or every time they have sex, while 95 percent say their partner orgasms most or every time. To make matters worse, when you may have thought she was achieving the big O, it really was just a big NO. This study highlights that up to 80 percent of women fake orgasms.
The good news is that all may not be lost with your sex life, even if your partner isn’t always climaxing, according to sex and relationship expert Megan Fleming, Ph.D. “Not all women orgasm during sex and yet the majority would still say they enjoy sex, feel pleasure, and happily participate without feeling frustrated, cheated, or physiologically ‘pent up’,” Fleming says. “Unless the woman has persistent genital arousal disorder, women don’t have the ‘blue balls’ equivalent that men sometimes experience if they don’t ejaculate.”
What’s a man to do then? Dorian Solot, co-author of I Love Female Orgasm: An Extraordinary Orgasm Guide suggests continuing to help your partner reach an orgasm, even if you’ve already reached completion. “If she wants an orgasm, too, a caring guy can help with fingers, tongue, sex toys, or licking/kissing/stroking her favorite erogenous zone while her fingers finish the job,” Solot says.
You can also focus on getting her off every time by steering clear of—or modifying—these four sex positions that will most likely come up short in the end—at least if your main is goal is to help her orgasm.
1. Missionary position
A Trojan survey revealed that the missionary position is a favorite for both women (45 percent) and men (27 percent). Since that’s the preferred method of sex for many couples, maybe that’s why a lot of women still aren’t having orgasms. “It’s probably because their clitoris gets little or no direct attention,” intimacy expert Allana Pratt says. “So while you may love gazing at your goddess in missionary position, it’s actually one of the worst positions for her to orgasm.”
The coital alignment technique (CAT), a variant of the missionary position, may deliver better results for you and your partner and is one of the go-to favorites for women, according to Fleming. “This position allows for deep penetration and ability to stimulate the clitoris at the same time,” Fleming says. By modifying the standard missionary position, the ending this time may be a happy one for both parties involved.
2. From behind
“Anytime you enter her from behind, if you don’t pay attention to her clitoris chances are she won’t be able to orgasm,” Pratt says. “Encourage her to pleasure herself in this position, or use some lubricant (please!) and touch her clitoris for her.” This position isn’t as intimate as missionary since it’s more difficult to make eye contact with your partner or kiss, but doggy style is the second favorite sex position for men, according to the Trojan survey. Pratt says trust is the key to successful sex from behind. “Does she feel safe with me?” Pratt says a guy should ask himself. “If a woman can’t let go of inhibitions, open up emotionally, feel beautiful and connected to you, this won’t allow her to climax.”
3. Standing up
While Tom Cruise and Kelly Preston’s standing up sex scene in Jerry Maguire certainly was steamy and led to one hell of an orgasm for both characters, it turns out it may not be the most practical or beneficial way to make love. “I have yet to hear any woman say standing up is her favorite way to have sex,” says Solot. “It’s impossible to relax, and most height combinations don’t work.” Leave it to Hollywood to make something so difficult seem so easy. I guess that’s why they call it movie magic.
4. Anything acrobatic
“Any sex position that requires seven steps of instructions is guaranteed to be an orgasm fail,” Solot says. If you have to read a manual before (or during) sex, it’s probably going to kill the mood. So, while it may be tempting to tell your buddies that you experimented with the Kneeling Pretzel Position, Crazy Upside-Down Squat, or The Rainbow Arch, you may want to focus on the classics and work towards helping your partner reach an orgasm that way. “Only 30 percent of women reliably have orgasms from intercourse alone,” Solot says. “That means that even if your sex position could qualify you for the Olympics, odds are it won’t result in a female orgasm.”