The Girl Is Great. The Sex, Not So Much.


I have a hell of a relationship conundrum and need some no-BS advice. I recently met a girl via We’ve dated for 5 weeks and we’re basically gf-bf. She’s a great gal, ideal companion, affectionate, great conversationalist, and fun to be around.

I really can’t say enough about her, except for one thing. The one thing is that the sex is awful. Not mediocre, not so-so, but awful. The crux of it is that she doesn’t have orgasms at all. I strongly believe it’s psychological and not an issue with me. My primary piece of evidence here is that she’s stated her inability to climax has been universal with all her partners (FYI, she’s in her thirties).

Suffice it to say, it’s extraordinarily frustrating for both of us to have sex, to the point where I don’t look forward to it at all. Ugh. I’m considering dumping her. Advice?


Dear Lance,

Do you stay with an otherwise perfect partner if the sex is bad?

My answer is – not surprisingly – a nuanced one: yes, and no.

It’s your responsibility to make the most of this burgeoning relationship before tossing in the proverbial sticky towel.

Yes, you stay with her, at least for the time being. It’s your responsibility to make the most of this burgeoning relationship before tossing in the proverbial sticky towel. It may be frustrating for you, but, if you’re like most guys, you’ve done the hot and crazy thing before. You know how that ends. And with you throwing around terms like “ideal companion” and “fun to be around,” you better give this girl the full benefit of the doubt.

To that end, you need to focus on things that you can control and let go of the things you can’t.

Take the orgasm thing, for example. Here’s some stats that my man (and my wife’s crush) Dr. Drew had to offer about the percentage of women who climax:

• 50-60% of women will never have an orgasm via intercourse and will require clitoral stimulation to climax.

• 30% of women will have a reliable orgasm with intercourse.

• 10% of women will orgasm with intercourse and could possibly have sequential orgasms.

• 5% of women have true multiple orgasms only through intercourse and these women typically find oral sex uncomfortable.

Other research, Lance, shows that 12-15% of women don’t have ANY orgasms. This linked study suggests that it’s genetic, but it may, in fact, be psychological as well.

The real question, then, becomes: why is it so important for you to make your girlfriend come? Ultimately, she’s the one who’s responsible for her own orgasm, and if unlocking that mystery isn’t a priority to her, there’s not much you can do about it. So let me ask you, my friend: does she ENJOY sex? Does she growl and moan and scratch and bite and make you feel like a man? Because if so, you can have a perfectly incredible sex life without having to say “I made her come five times”. Really. That’s just your ego talking.

This is where you really need to communicate with her – not as a finger-pointer, but as a problem solver.

However, because I know a little more about this situation, I know that it’s not just that she doesn’t climax – that’s just symbolic. The real issue is that she doesn’t provide any passion in the bedroom. She giggles when you dominate her and she doesn’t carry herself with the sex appeal to which you’re accustomed from previous (and admittedly toxic) girlfriends.

This is where you really need to communicate with her – not as a finger-pointer, but as a problem solver. It may not be easy for her to hear, because she will then feel very self-conscious and judged, but it is imperative to the health of your relationship. This is what makes sex questions such a quandary. You’ll spend 1% of the rest of your life having sex…but because theoretically, this is the ONLY person with whom you’ll be having it, you at least want to make sure it’s decent.

How do you quantify “decent” sex? Probably the same way you quantify “decent” chemistry. If you can find someone who stimulates you as a 6 or 7 on a scale of 1-10, and she’s also an “ideal companion”, I’d say that’s a relationship worth investing in. If you dump her, realize that the women with whom you had the best sex have, traditionally, NOT been the most reliable life partners. There IS a tradeoff.

But it doesn’t have to be SUCH a tradeoff.

Let her know that you want more passion in the bedroom – be very specific about what turns you on – and give her the opportunity to attempt to please you. Maybe you’ll awaken something in her. Maybe not. But at least you will not be giving up on the most promising relationship you’ve had in years without putting up a fight. Keep us posted.

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  1. 31

    @Janet #25

    The way I see it, if the problem is with me the only way it is going to change is if I chose to do something about it. If the problem is consistently with a number of other people it isn’t realistic for me to expect a number of other people to change, even if they are the cause. If I want the situation to change I have to do what I can.

  2. 32

    @ Janet – thanks!

    I also remembered that I have another friend in her early 30s who has never had an orgasm, AT ALL. So whatever the cause, I’m sure there are tons of women out there who have trouble getting there. I’m sure I know many other women who haven’t had one, we’re just not close enough friends that they would necessarily share that with me. I also briefly dated a guy when I was in my early 20s who was in his late 20s, and he said that HE’D never been able to climax with a partner, and that was certainly true the one and only time we slept together (I would’ve continued to date, but he broke up with me, I think because he was embarrassed).

    And if you really think about it, if it’s psychological that’s almost an easier issue to deal with than if it’s physical. If it’s physical then you have to get super creative to try and find a way, and there might not even be one. If it’s psychological, then you just have to be an awesome partner worthy of her trust and passion, and those doors will start to unlock.

  3. 33

    Well it seems like it must be REALLY bad sex for a GUY to say sex is bad. Or maybe this girl isn’t just pretending the sex is fabulous for her because let’s face it, sometimes it is not so great for us either. Only once I met a partner where the sex was amazing pretty much every time that I started realizing that a lot of people who say sex isn’t all that important in a relationship are just not having good sex. That said, well sex with some people can be awesome from the beginning, for many, a 5 week relationship is not really that much time. Is the girl more on the shy side? Inexperienced? I know for many, many girls, they do not feel fully comfortable and able to just let go and have fun with it until there is a certain comfort level with the person. Maybe she’s between waxes, maybe she didn’t get a manicure, maybe she’s not sure exactly what she’s doing. The biggest question is she willing to keep at it. I think it’s better at this point that she is being honest about her orgasms and not pretending to have them. I also think it is a lot of pressure and annoying to feel like if she doesn’t have one it wasn’t a successful encounter. Of course it’s important, but if you take the pressure and judgement off and just let her have fun with it and enjoy the intimacy she will probably get more comfortable to explore what works for her eventually.

  4. 34

    @Janet #11 “Men get aroused and come quickly in about 7 minutes”
    While this may be the text book statistical analysis of how the average male performs sexually. I can assure you and I sure hope some of the guys back me up on this. At 49 yrs old I can’t remember the last time I got it up and over with in 7 minutes…lol
    Especially if I’m wearing a condom. Sure there’s the rare “quickie” but even then…. I know for a fact there are a lot of variables in everything in this thread but all men or women are not the same.Believe it or not some men can last a long time and assuming their women CAN have an orgasm we try to keep everything on an even keel as far as fulfilling needs etc. The problem I’ve run into recently is these women that can’t have an orgasm without a vibrator. So I tell them problem bring it along next time and we’ll work together on it. 🙂 Weeeeee !!!!!!!!!!!

  5. 35

    After 5 weeks, the sex is horrible and you are going to give up? You honestly don’t sound like you care about her very much at all. You like her, but you dont’ “care” about her yet.

    FIVE WEEKS? Good God. That’s nothing. I’d be concerned after maybe months and months of trying to please each other, not weeks.

    For a lot of women that I’ve spoken to, the biggest issue is trust. If she doesn’t trust you, and sex is an emotional and intimate experience for her, she may not orgasm(let go around you) until she trusts you. And if she’s got a history of men, where they basically haven’t waited UNTIL the trust has occured, before they begin to become physical, she may end up with a mental block that basically stops her from ever trusting in that way.

    I know, because that’s what’s happened to me. Too much sex, too soon and guys just expecting it all to happen quickly. They never want us to become emotional dependant on them, or share too much personal information, but boy do they expect physical intimacy immediately. It just doesn’t work that way for some women. It was horrible for me, because I ended up feeling like I’m “irritating” them, by not being able to orgasm. Even an attempt to talk about it, was met with “it’s your problem, no other girl I’ve known had this issue”.

    Now I wait. I do not persue the physical side, until the emotional side has caught up and I trust the individual enough to talk, have fun, goof off, make mistakes and general enjoy sharing the experience together. And no I still haven’t had an orgasm “during” sex, but I have had them with a guy now, so it’s much better.

    Guys pushing for an orgasm and pushing for sex before some-one is truly ready, can be the biggest turn-off of all in my experience and just because a lot of women have sex very quickly in a relationship these day’s, doesn’t mean those women are actually ready for it. I thought I was, but I realize now, I wasn’t.

    For any woman struggling to orgasm or enjoy sex the way they are ‘supposed” to(according to the male standard anyway), don’t get physical too soon. Find out if, he’s really going to be some-one you can trust and who will make the effort with you, even if it takes time because it’s YOU he cares about, not just the sex. If he wont’ do this, he’s the wrong guy.

  6. 36

    In my experience, a lot of women have hang-ups that prevent them from enjoying sex. Like? They think they’re fat, or they’re conflicted about the Madonna/whore thing or they fear pregnancy or they feel like it’s “dirty” or they say they’re OK with NSA sex but really aren’t OK …. And, a lot of women haven’t taken the time to explore what feels good for them and what doesn’t. So, how can they share that with a partner if they don’t even know that for themselves?
    And, maybe guys aren’t selfish; maybe they’re ignorant, too ( I think a lot are).
    I do agree that it’s troubling if a guy calls the sex terrible if the woman can’t orgasm; there are lots of ways to have fun and intimacy without an orgasm. Still, that may get old after a while and obviously there’s some ego involved.
    But five weeks is an awfully short time to abandon someone who, in all other respects, is a good partner (although how can anyone even know that so soon?) If you’re both open to talking and exploring, then that’s a great start.
    I once dated a guy who didn’t like to go down on women. I love oral sex, giving and receiving. I wondered how long I’d be OK with it. We were together about 10 months; whatever he lacked orally he made up in other ways. We ultimately split, but it wasn’t because of that. However, I think in the long run it would have become an issue.
    Maybe you need to reevaluate what “great”sex is. Sometimes, it really isn’t the hanging off the chandelier kind of sex …

  7. 37

    I’m so bookmarking this just for the comments alone…I’ve seen this same subject discussed a hundred times where it was the man that was awful in bed and the advice from women always amounts to…”welp, he’s gotta go, sex is too important!!” Come now ladies let’s have some consistency.

  8. 38

    One other quick thought – When you discuss sex you have to remember many people have unrealistic or unhealthy views of sex due to, porn, pop culture, the media, movies, television, magazines, the whole nine yards. Our society ruined sex in a way.

  9. 39

    Janet, #11, a womans side to side movement will keep a man going, longer than seven minutes.


  10. 40

    I have with a number of, not so good partners in bed, and none were my own private discovery. I remember, one even had two previous engthy marriages, before I met her.

    I agree, that some women need professional help, ’cause, I remember trying to teach/talk to them about bedtime techniques, to no avail……….they just felt judged, or hurt by what I said…..

  11. 41
    Dot LeSage

    It’s definitely too soon to be giving up! Have you really tried everything to please your partner? Given the wide variety of options I doubt you’ve had time in 5 weeks! I think it’s easy for guys to get caught up in the idea that sex means one thing: your penis in her vagina. But shouldn’t it really be about the two of you enjoying yourselves and each other? Have you tried toys? Manually stimulating her? Mutual masturbation? Is it possible for her to give herself an orgasm? If it is, then it’s possible for you to give her one too. It will just take patience and practice. And what a fun thing to practice!
    It sounds like the two of you get along great in every other way. Don’t you think it’s worth the effort to fix this one issue?

  12. 42

    one of the best books i’ve ever read on sex is John Gray’s “men are from mars” in the bedroom.
    He explains how to approach these problems and how to fix them, how to really please a woman.
    another good one — more technical, but still good, believe it or not comes in the four hour diet book.
    you would be surprised how many men, even 40 year olds, have no idea what to do. after a lifetime of sleeping with men who have no clue what to do or how to bring a woman to orgasm, we women sometimes give up and say it’s not important, and it’s only important to please you.
    i bet if you read these books and applied some of their knowledge on how to please a woman, things would change.

  13. 43

    Seems like they both just benefit from trying to open up more and communitcate to each other as well as try different things to arouse both of their interests and enjoyment.
    And if those do not work and they stay together they can see a sexual counselor to see if the problem is more psychological.

    As far as young men being ignorant that is true.

  14. 44

    So many negative comments in here from what is very obviously people who have not personally been in this situation.

    I have been in a relationship for 6 years with this problem of her not being able to orgasm via clitoral nor g-spot stimulation, whatsoever. I don’t believe you have expressed this situation in the best words, but I certainly know how this feels and can affect the relationship. For my partner, this for a long time has been a non-issue, she enjoys vanilla starfish sex and little thought is invested into how I feel. She gets little physical enjoyment out of sex, and only does it for the emotional connection. I feel like a failure because I have little effect on her during sexual activities, so this in turn effects my enjoyment, and at times I even lose my erection. This is becoming more and more an issue as time goes on. People (females with this problem) likely ask, why is this important to a man? Well, it is important because it feels as it should be a deeply shared aspect between the couple. An important part of the relationship is missing.

    Is she conservative in the bedroom? Does she never masturbates and thus doesn’t know her body? Does she have difficulty talking about sex? These are all very prevalent with my partner and regardless of some advice that has been given here to the contrary, her inability to orgasm is NOT a reflection of you, and she cannot orgasm because she is not sexually mature. She is the one that needs change to correct this situation, and simply talking about it will not change anything, after 6 years believe me! Now what will change this situation is a correctly qualified sex therapist, however after only 5 weeks this may not be a suitable option for you.

    1. 44.1

      “she cannot orgasm because she is not sexually mature”
      Wow.  What an ignorant statement.  There are many reasons different women cannot orgasm.  To conclude that a woman cannot orgasm because “she is not sexually mature” shows that you know little about women’s bodies and minds.  I pity your girlfriend more for having a dismissive boyfriend than for not being able to orgasm.

  15. 45

    Evan, why do you assume that having an orgasm is not a priority for her, just because she’s not experiencing them. Maybe she’s anorhasmic, but perhaps there’s something he’s doing or not doing that is making it more difficult for her to climax. Perhaps she’s just like him, in that she’s not satisfied yet doesn’t know how to talk to him about it. This is the reason I think she should communicate with him, and vise-versa. He is not satisfied in the bedroom. She’s not satisfied in the bedroom either. You say that she’s responsible for her own pleasure, which I agree with, but so is he. It takes two to tango.

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