Do You Just Need a Breakthrough?

by | Oct 27, 2020 | Sex | 18 comments

How to Experience That Orgasm Breakthrough

Do you wonder if orgasm will ever happen for you? Or whether it will ever happen without a vibrator, or during intercourse?

When I give my Girl Talk in churches (my sex talk for women!), I always pray over everyone at the end. And I try to mention in that prayer some of the concerns that were raised in the anonymous Q&A session.

Inevitably one of those concerns will be voiced by women who haven’t reached orgasm yet and can’t figure out how. And my prayer is always the same: “God, be merciful. Give them hope. Give them a breakthrough SOON.”

It’s very difficult when you’re hearing everyone else talk about how great sex is, and you feel pretty much nothing.

You try to get aroused, but just when something’s feeling good, it fizzles out. Or maybe just when something’s feeling good, he finishes and you’re left hanging. Or maybe nothing’s really felt good at all.

You feel cheated.

Many of you feel like God must like men better, because it’s so easy for them!

And many of you start to question God’s goodness. You waited until you were married because that’s what you were supposed to do. But great sex didn’t happen. In fact, sex has become one of the biggest disappointments of your life.

I hear you. In fact, I hear this from so many women, repeatedly, in emails and in comments. Women wondering, will it ever happen for me?

I want to give you some encouragement today using two numbers: 48 and 33.

What do those numbers mean?

In our survey last year of 20,000 married women (mostly Christian), we asked how often they reached orgasm during sexual encounters with their husbands, and here’s what we found:

  • Almost always or always reach orgasm 48% 48%
  • Often reach orgasm 19% 19%
  • Never, rarely, or only occasionally reach orgasm 33% 33%

Now, here’s why those numbers matter for you.

You are not alone if orgasm is elusive!

33% of women either never reach orgasm, rarely do, or only reach it sporadically. In fact, in our survey, 12% have never reached it at all.

And you know what? 12% of women are not broken. You are not broken if this is a challenge for you.

There is no “orgasm gene” that you don’t have. There is nothing wrong with your anatomy. You’ve just got some challenges! And these challenges are actually quite common.

But here’s the even more important part:

Many of the 48% of women who DO reach orgasm would have put themselves in the 33% category in the past.

Just because a woman can reach orgasm most of the time NOW does not mean that it was always this way.

When I did my surveys for The Good Girl’s Guide to Great Sex, I found that the best years for sex in marriage where between years 16-24. That’s when orgasm rates were highest and when sexual satisfaction is highest. It’s not the honeymoon years when you’re still getting used to sex. It’s after you’ve been married for a decade and a half, and you’re really comfortable with yourself and with each other, and the kids are sleeping through the night! That’s when things often get really good.

And when we did our focus groups after our big survey last year, we found that same thing, again and again.

Many women who actually are quite orgasmic now were not always that way.

Some suffered from vaginismus and had to get through that. Some had marriages without healthy communication, and they had to work on the relationship first. Many had problematic beliefs about sex that they had internalized since they were young, and those beliefs were keeping them from understanding that sex was meant for them, too; that their husband’s pleasure was not more important than their own; that they didn’t have to have sex just because he wanted it, but that their needs were important, too. When they were able to get rid of a lot of these unhealthy teachings, suddenly things clicked!

This week we’re launching the orgasm course, which we’ve been working on behind the scenes for the last few months.

It’s the most comprehensive course we’ve ever made, incorporating everything we could find in the scientific literature about what made women’s orgasms more likely, and also what we discovered in our own surveys and focus groups (and what we learned from listening to all of your comments!). We’ve got a course that will help you uncover your own roadblocks to orgasm, and then discover how your body works, what your body actually likes, and how to listen to your body!

We even have a men’s edition of the course that’s included in your bundle, with its own videos and lessons so that husbands can learn to be your knight in shining armor! They’ll be challenged to ditch the #1 belief and #1 attitude is that can stop their wives from orgasming, and they’ll learn what she actually needs to go over the edge!

And this week,  until next Monday at midnight EST, you get both the women’s and men’s editions of the course for just $49!



As I was writing the course, I was keeping the women who had had breakthroughs in mind.

I was remembering what we had heard in the focus groups, and remembering conversations I’d had with others who had shared their journey with me. They come from all different backgrounds–some abused, some not. Some with sexual pain; some not. Some waited until marriage and did everything the “right” way; some felt that their problems were because they didn’t. But the breakthroughs came in women from all backgrounds, beliefs, and even ages.



There’s Charlotte, who always enjoyed sex because of the closeness she felt with her husband, but never actually reached orgasm. Eventually she got so frustrated she started doing her own research, and figured out the missing pieces, 26 years into marriage. I’m forever grateful for Charlotte, because she encouraged me to make this course, and kept sending great resources my way for research!

Charlotte--Breakthrough at 26 years

LC struggled for years to reach orgasm, and found that while she could, it was very intermittent. She found herself very impatient with her husband as he tried to clumsily figure out what to do with his fingers. But now they’ve found a rhythm that actually works, after years of feeling frustrated! 

LC--Breakthrough at 15 Years

This listener never felt pleasure from sex at all. But then, after listening to the podcasts for the last 6 weeks as we’ve been in the middle of our libido and orgasm series, the breakthrough finally came. She realized that she had been carrying so many wrong beliefs about sex, and had never given herself permission to not just feel pleasure, but be assertive about getting it! And now things have finally clicked.

Podcast Listener--Breakthrough at 7 Years

What I want you to know is that a breakthrough is still possible.

Wait, that’s even wimping out a bit. A breakthrough is very probable. It really is!

I know so many of you are very discouraged. And it’s taking a big toll on your marriage.

Maybe he’s upset because you don’t want sex very much–but how can you want something that never gets you anything?

Or maybe you actually do have a high libido, and you keep trying, but your husband doesn’t “get it” that he’s got to make things good for you. And so you’re always left hanging.

All of this leaves you fighting about sex a lot. Instead of sex being this intimate experience that builds you up and makes you feel closer; instead of sex being this stress reliever that can help you smooth over some of the rougher edges of your relationship; instead of sex being something passionate that takes you to new heights together and leaves you breathless–sex becomes something that adds tension; makes you further apart; makes you feel defeated.

Then all the other, normal issues we deal with in life get magnified.

It’s really difficult when sex doesn’t feel good. It’s a lot for a marriage to carry.

It’s a lot of unmet expectations. It’s a lot of feelings of failure. It’s a lot of stress.

I really believe The Orgasm Course can help you reach that breakthrough–or at least get you on the road towards it! It’s really comprehensive, and helps you identify your own unique things holding you back, while also telling your husband, in the men’s edition of the course, how he can remove any barriers he’s set up, too. And there are all kinds of fun exercises that also help unlock your arousal!

The big reason I write this blog is that I want couples to experience passion and healthy relationships together. That’s what marriage is supposed to be about.

Orgasm, for many, is the missing piece. I want to help you find it!

Now, if you have figured out the orgasm piece, can you give some encouragement to the others reading the blog?

If it took you at least a few months before you figured out orgasm, or before you figured out how to orgasm during intercourse, can you leave a comment and let others know how you felt before–and how you reached a breakthrough?

So many couples feel defeated. Let’s help them see that many, many others have been there before, too, but have also gotten through to the other side!

Are you still waiting for an orgasm breakthrough? Or did you experience one? Let’s talk in the comments!

Written by

Sheila Wray Gregoire


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Sheila Wray Gregoire

Author at Bare Marriage

Sheila is determined to help Christians find biblical, healthy, evidence-based help for their marriages. And in doing so, she's turning the evangelical world on its head, challenging many of the toxic teachings, especially in her newest book The Great Sex Rescue. She’s an award-winning author of 8 books and a sought-after speaker. With her humorous, no-nonsense approach, Sheila works with her husband Keith and daughter Rebecca to create podcasts and courses to help couples find true intimacy. Plus she knits. All the time. ENTJ, straight 8

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  1. Jennie

    I have a tip for those ladies who may be uncomfortable touching themselves during intercourse. To me it felt very impersonal. Like I was just masturbating while he was thrusting and we were racing for the finish line. Try just putting your hand over your clitoris, but don’t move it. Instead, move your body against your hand. That was so much more of an enjoyable for us both because we were both being active and contributing to one another’s pleasure instead of racing after our own (while still giving that same helping hand).

    • Relieved

      Thanks so much for this tip. Exactly how I felt but after 22 years of no orgasm and reaching this 2x in a week, I’m ready to try all sorts of different ways!

  2. Justine M.

    We’ve been married almost two years and struggled enormously with sex. We couldn’t achieve PIV intercourse for six months due to what I thought at the time was vaginismus, but in retrospect I think was more was just ignorance… we didn’t know how to get me aroused, and we didn’t know what angles worked for our specific anatomies. I felt so discouraged and silly– a 30-year-old married woman who didn’t know how to have sex. But my husband refused to give up (even when I wanted to) and kept patiently stretching me out manually, experimenting with oral sex, and even just holding me when I was feeling too exhausted and angry to try anything. At the six month mark we had a huge breakthrough with figuring out a position that worked for pain-free, full penetration (my legs up over his shoulders and pelvis tilted at a specific angle). Now that we’ve got the hang of it, we’ve been able to do lots of other positions and can use much less lube than we used to (we used to basically swim in it every time, haha!)
    Now we’re working on the orgasm piece of it, and I have to admit that some of those same defeated feelings are coming back. Sex doesn’t feel bad– I generally feel happier and closer to my husband when we are having lots of sex, and it feels nice. But I’ve never come close to orgasming and I have no idea how to even tell what feels good… stimulation mostly feels extremely sensitive or even ticklish but not pleasurable. Focusing on arousal is tough too. Even though I know I’m capable of arousal, it seems totally random and elusive– it will start during some makeout sessions but not others, or it will start during sex and then stop, or I’ll get super turned on looking at my husband one day and then feel absolutely nothing the next day. Ugh!
    But I just listened to your latest podcast and was so encouraged by the thought that sex is about my orgasm too! I’m really hopeful that the orgasm course will help me figure out how to get consistently aroused and feeling really good. And having experienced one breakthrough (how to have intercourse) I’m eager to experience another one (how to have an orgasm!). Pray for us!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Yay! Oh, I certainly will pray for a blessing and breakthrough for you and for others just like you! I do think you’re exactly the kind of person who could benefit from the course, too. It sounds like you have an AMAZING husband who wants to take this journey with you, which is such a blessing as well.

    • D

      I have a story similar to yours and my monthly hormone cycle plays a huge role in arousal levels/desire. The day after ovulation everything plummets.
      If you have never looked into tracking your cycle either with symptoms or temperature, you may learn a lot!

  3. Justine M.

    Oh, a question I’ve meant to ask: do you think a vibrator is a good idea for women looking for a breakthrough? I’ve heard lots of secular women swear by their vibrators, both as an easy way to orgasm and a way to not rely on a partner sexually. On the one hand, I really want sex to be primarily about intimacy and oneness and not about a machine… on the other, I really want to orgasm. Can a vibrator be a stepping stone to non-vibrator orgasms?

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      We cover this a lot in the course. We’re not against them per se, and honestly, if it’s been years and you’ve never experienced an orgasm, it can at least tell you what they feel like!
      The problem is that learning how to orgasm with a vibrator does not necessarily translate into learning how to orgasm with your husband. It can certainly help if the issue is that you don’t even know what arousal is supposed to feel like. But just because you can orgasm with a vibrator does not mean that he’ll be able to bring you to orgasm.
      So we go over both the pros and cons if women want to use them!

      • AJ

        Regarding vibrators, for us, a vibrator was a breakthrough to the world of experiencing multiple frequent orgasms for my wife. For many years we had sex 2-3 times per week where she would experience an orgasm maybe once per week. After some deep conversation about sex and orgasm we decided we would buy a wand type vibrator that could be used on her clitoris during penetration. We only used it a few times and she began having multiple orgasms every time. She soon figured out that she no longer needed the vibrator and we haven’t used it in more than 2 years. I think it gave her the confidence to relax and enjoy herself. Prior to the vibrator, she had a pre determined view of orgasm that became a self fulfilling prophecy. Basically she believed she couldn’t experience an orgasm every time because she never had before. The vibrator provided enough stimulation to overcome her mental block and mentally change her mind about how she viewed sex. This then led to more sex and more orgasms. Pleasurable multi orgasm sex begots more pleasurable multi orgasm sex.

      • SSP

        My husband discovered your podcast about 3 months ago. Your statements make me raise my hand as I am in that group of no orgasm wife of 22 years. We bought the GGGtGS book. Thank you for understanding us 33 percenters. Looking forward to our breakthrough.

        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Just remember that! And you’re not broken. You’re really not.
          Best wishes to you! We’re praying for all of you for breakthroughs!

  4. Mari

    I just bought this course and am hopeful that it will help me. But I can’t help but feel a little embarrassed/ashamed that I need it. Everyone I talk (my sisters, my girlfriends, my doctor) to says I’m overthinking things and to just relax more. If it were that easy, I’d have it figured out by now… it just seems so unfair!
    Why am I so bad at this?? Am I ever going to have effortlessly good sex, or will it always be a huge mental, physical, and emotional effort?

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Mari! I really think you can have a breakthrough! And don’t feel like everyone else does this right. For a lot of women it takes a while to figure it out. It’s okay! I hope the course helps.

  5. Wondering

    I can orgasm pretty much every time, but I always tense up as I begin to orgasm. It’s like I can no longer handle the stimulation. Because of this, I have definitely never had multiple orgasms nor very intense orgasms. This even happens if I were to manually stimulate myself. Would this course help a situation like this? We’ve been married 18 years and sex keeps getting better but I wish I could get better at this. I’m stuck.

  6. Another Jennifer

    I’ve been wanting to share my story for awhile because I’m certain that I’m not the only one. My experience is about my lack of experience and lack of education: I didn’t know that woman orgasm or what that even meant! And I don’t really think it’s anyones fault except maybe mine because I was too embarrassed to let my mom really tell me anything about sex. So all I got was the book “Preparing for Adolescence” at age 13 and that was pretty much the extent of my education. I didn’t watch many sex scenes on TV and my church doesn’t touch the subject at all. So it wasn’t bad teaching or anything of that nature, it was just no teaching because I didn’t allow it.
    By the time I got married at 19 I knew what sex was but not much else. We had a great time and a lot of fun figuring things out but I didn’t know about female orgasms and he didn’t really have a clue either so we just enjoyed each other until he went.
    Fast forward twenty-two years and we had fallen into a boring sex life. One Sunday morning we had sex before we got up and I felt dissatisfied, again. Something in me said “there’s got to be more!” I wondered if I could find information online without falling into porn sites. I googled Christian sex blog and found another site (Hot, Holy and Humorous) almost immediately. I started to read and my eyes were opened!!!
    Long story short, that night I told me husband what I had learned and asked if we could start all over. My goal wasn’t really to orgasm because I still wasn’t actually sure what that was but rather for us to get back to enjoying each other and sex. After two hours of that, I suddenly orgasmed! I gasped and was like “that’s what that is!” My husband was like “you’ve never experienced that?!”
    That was a year and half ago and we have learned a lot about sex and each other since then. Orgasms are still a lot of work for me and I haven’t had a PIV once yet. But I can tell I’m getting there!
    Looking back I can’t believe how naive I was! I don’t blame anyone and I don’t feel like I was taught wrong messages or anything like that. I just allowed my own embarrassment to close my ears to learning and my mom wasn’t one to push it on me. I have determined that my kids will not have the same lack of teaching!
    Finally, if you too have been married for a long time and are like me, read and learn all you can and get your hubby on board. Mine was great, found his own podcasts to listen to, allowed me to read tips to him, etc. He was happy because he got to experience lots of new things too!

    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, thank you for sharing that, Jennifer! That’s wonderful. I’m so glad that things worked so well as soon as you realized there was something else. That’s amazing!

  7. Natalie

    “Many women who actually are quite orgasmic now were not always that way.”
    A very hopeful thought. 🙂 Thanks Sheila.


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