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Can’t cum

Dear Sasha, My fiancée and I have been together for a long time and we have a great relationship. We’ve always been open with one another and we’ve explored our sexuality together, leading us to do things we had once considered taboo. Over the last few months I simply haven’t been able to properly satisfy her. When we make love, she’ll be about to climax and then it just stops for her. She says that the climax builds intensely and then just turns off.

Normally, after an orgasm she’s very sensitive and we don’t always continue. On the occasions that we do continue she can’t reach that peak again. She has become frustrated and upset because of this and I want to satisfy her again like I used to. We’ve tried changing things up a bit, using different techniques and positions and so on but it still happens frequently. We are both busy people so I figure maybe it’s stress related. I was hoping you might have some idea as to what’s going on or what might help. I want to please my fiancée the same way she pleas­es me.

—Returning the Favour

Dear Returning,

Stress can certainly impact climax, both for men and women. So can anti-depressants, depression itself and pressure to sustain the exact same sexual response for your entire sexual develop­ment. Many of us have complicated histories with orgasm: the shame and covertness that mark our first experiences often lead us to feel that this pleasure can easily be snatched away at any time. We feel as though we’re lacking in any logical and carefree connection with our bodies. As though we are stealing orgasms from it, to some extent.

As I’ve said before, “A watched twat never boils.” Nothing really makes sex more stressful then a sudden terror that it is changing and we have no agency over this fact. The first thing you need to know is that you do. You are explorers and your bodies are your own personal landscapes to discover. This is just a part of the trek that’s a little craggy. So perhaps it’s time to call in a Sherpa or two.

If you haven’t introduced sex toys into your life, please do. A vibrator is a great way to assist in your efforts. Visit some local sex stores as part of your mutual adventure. Some quality vibrators I’d like you to look out for are Lelo, Jimmyjane and The Hitachi Magic Wand. Lelo and Jimmyjane have models that can be pressed against the mons pubis and clitoris so as not impede penetration, though most vibrators can be held in a way and during various positions that they aren’t terribly disruptive during partner sex. Do some advance research on websites like SexToys247.net.augoodforher.com and comeasyouare.com. These sites offer community feedback and reviews on their products.

Introduce other types of intimacy that expand on your affection and by extension, your mutual relaxation. Massage (YES massage! Learn it, do it, share it), touching without the goal of orgasm or even full sexual response, hugs and snugs. If your lives are stressful then finding comfort in one another is imperative.