The PODCAST Extras: The One Big Roadblock to Orgasm

by | Oct 15, 2020 | Uncategorized | 29 comments

One Big Roadblock to Orgasm Podcast
Merchandise is Here!

With all the things that harm a woman’s chances of orgasm, does any one thing stand out?

We’re in the middle of our orgasm series on the blog this month, and for this week’s podcast I wanted to elaborate on something I said in last week’s podcast. Last week I introduced the analogy of the restaurant dinner out, where she gets to eat, and he gets nothing, to show us what sex is like for women who never orgasm.

I brought that up again this week on the blog, and a bunch of interesting comments came in that I thought warranted more discussion. 

So here we go!

What happens when our definition of sex has to do with intercourse alone?

THAT’S the big roadblock–that having sex is about intercourse, an act which almost guarantees his orgasm, but which (usually) leaves her wanting. Then she feels selfish for wanting anything else, and guilty if she doesn’t give him one-sided sex. 

We looked at three comments in particular:

I need an actual explanation of why sex is intimate. There is nothing “intimate” about my husband using my body for pleasure that I have never experienced. That is literally the opposite of intimacy.

Socially, we condition women to expect all of their gratification from emotional connections, as if we are not also fulfilled by career success, intellectual pursuits, athletics, etc. “But you enjoy the emotional closeness!” is just another way of telling women that we aren’t important enough to ask for the things men consider their birthright.

Thank you for starting this series! I’ve been married a decade and I’m just starting to truly understand how badly my sexual response to my husband has been affected by messages I learned in childhood. Growing up in church, I learned very “clearly” that sex is something women do to keep their husbands’ lust at bay, and it’s something that every wife owes her husband to keep him from being miserable. My husband DOES care about me enjoying sex, but it’s hard for him to wrap his mind around the thinking I grew up with.. and honestly, it does feel like I’m broken and missing out on what everyone else is enjoying. It’s like.. I followed purity culture and did everything “right” and all I got out of it were these stupid issues.

There’s a ridiculous amount of mental barricades to trying to fix this problem. I know I have extra ones, since years of associating sex with pain is really hard to turn off. To be blunt, I very rarely even want to have sex at all just from that alone. When we do, it takes a ridiculous amount of time to even get aroused, like an hour or more, and then no matter what we try, any pleasure just stops abruptly and everything gets irritating with no payoff. Throw in factors like the exhaustion of parenting little kids, trying to keep the house just passably clean (which my husband does split the work well on), homeschooling, all of the extra stress of just living through this year… it honestly seems insurmountable. So if we tried to prioritize me reaching orgasm, we’d probably end up having even less sex than we do now, which already is infrequent. And then there’s a level of guilt about having a sexless marriage. It’s just SO many negative thoughts and feelings to untangle, and I don’t even know where an end of the yarn ball is to start.

Do you see the commonalities here? I’d love to talk about this more on the comments!

Katie joined me to talk about how the effects of negative messages about sex affect her generation vs. older generations.

It was great to have her on the podcast again! And she eluded to this YouTube video she made a few years ago, which is awesome. You are not a half-eaten chocolate bar, non-sticky tape, or dirty water:

 

God made sex to be AWESOME!

It’s supposed to be great physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Feel like something’s missing?

Things Mentioned in this Podcast

I’d love to know–what do you think happens when we think that sex=intercourse? Can we create a definition where intercourse is a PART of it, but women’s experiences are still considered? Let’s talk in the comments!

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Sheila Wray Gregoire

Founder of 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

Related Posts

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

Related Posts

Is Someone Stepping on Your Air Hose?

So many women--and many men as well--honestly feel like the church is hurting them. I do not believe that it is Jesus that is hurting them, but the things that the church teaches, especially around sex and marriage, do cause harm. Our surveys have shown that...

Can Sex Be Hot and Holy at the Same Time?

Can sex be hot and holy at the same time? One of my big picture passions that I want people to understand is that sex is more than just physical--it's supposed to be deeply intimate too. And maybe to understand that, we need to take a step back to see what God thinks...

Comments

We welcome your comments and want this to be a place for healthy discussion. Comments that are rude, profane, or abusive will not be allowed. Comments that are unrelated to the current post may be deleted. Comments above 300 words in length are let through at the moderator’s discretion and may be shortened to the first 300 words or deleted. By commenting you are agreeing to the terms outlined in our comment and privacy policy, which you can read in full here!

29 Comments

  1. Phil

    Becca – I am not done listening to the podcast yet but I am unsure when I will get time to comment today other than right now: Can I reframe something for you? When your friends and or others ask you what you do for a job tell them this: I help deliver the message of Jesus by erasing wrong messages about sex. Can you imagine the dialogue? This is so important Becca. And you know who I learned that from? You. Your Moms blog was the vehicle and then a lady named Leah knocked me upside the head and then Your Mom Helped watered my garden. Your book on why I didn’t Rebel and listening to you speak has helped me changed my perspective on what my role is for my life. My job is to deliver the message of Jesus. I just happen to do it while selling stuff and you just happen to do it by working with your Mom on a blog called To Love Honor and Vacuum. I have more to say on this and the other stuff your Mom was talking about this morning but I just needed to get this message to you. I just had to tell you – Thats really what is happening around here.

    Reply
    • Phil

      So apparently I had a brain diffusion This morning. My message was for Katie – not Becca – then I transposed some thoughts…my message is still the same….sorry about that was running late and just shoulda waited to comment. Now my day was blown up by a covid 19 outbreak at the plant I was supposed to work at….nope the pandemic isnt over…..

      Reply
  2. AJ

    I will preface my comments by saying, as a man I’m not the most qualified to speak about woman’s roadblocks to reaching orgasm. However, I am a man who has been married to the same woman for almost 20 years and I firmly believe that it’s my responsibility to help my wife experience all the sexual pleasure that her beautiful body is capable of. I have had many conversations with my wife about her orgasm. What I’ve learned from our conversations is her single biggest road block is ‘mindset’. Whether or not she is ‘in the mood’, how long it takes her to reach orgasm and what stimulation is required for her to reach orgasm all depend on where she is mentally. If her mind is not in the right place she will NEVER reach orgasm no matter what stimulation she is given or how much foreplay occur. If her mind is in the right place she will sometimes reach orgasm without me even touching her genital area. Her ability to enjoy sex is almost entirely dependant on how she thinks about sex. I can’t control her mind. It’s all up to her to decide how she thinks about sex. For my wife, a big part of having a right mindset depends on her not thinking about how I feel at the moment. Not worrying about how she looks or whether I am enjoying myself. She has to think only about how her body feels. I realize having the right mindset is a very tall order for many woman. If there has been sexual abuse, the relationship between the husband and wife is generally not good or there have been many years of bad information about sex being proliferated from authoritative figures it’s very difficult to have a positive view of sex at all.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      AJ, I think this is absolutely true. Mindset is the biggest roadblock. Absolutely. But PART of mindset is also what you think about sex, and many women perceive of sex as really intercourse (which doesn’t do much for them) and then they feel guilty or selfish if they need something else. So part of mindset is also adopting a healthy, holistic view of what sexuality is supposed to be.
      But your wife’s experience is really very normal!

      Reply
    • Rebecca Lindenbach

      I think you’re totally hitting the nail on the head about how important the mental piece is for women. Totally. My only pushback is that although for many women, even the most skilled technique couldn’t overcome the mental blocks they may have, there are also many, many marriages where technique is lacking and that simply cements the negative beliefs. If she’s been told, “sex is for him, you just need to do this because he needs it” and then he’s, frankly, selfish in bed and does nothing to help her out, or even if he tries but he has no idea how to actually touch a woman and is not willing to accept correction, that can contribute to her not orgasming as well.
      So for marriages where the husband is able and willing to bring his wife to orgasm, yes, her mind can definitely be the biggest roadblock. But as I’m sure you’d agree, it’s also really, really important that the husband puts in the time to become a really good lover because it’s not ALL in her head! 🙂

      Reply
      • Phil

        Hey Becca – so without being graphic – recently I was doing something with my wife and she stopped me and said. Just because your doing X doesnt mean it is good. Communication during sex can be uncomfortable and difficult. So for me – knowing if she wants to go for an orgasm or not can be disruptive to even my thinking. Also seems to me that a woman’s sensitivity and the way “she wants it” changes pending well… a lot of stuff LOL. But I cant read that. I have to be told. Maybe over time I could learn the signs….which would make sex even more awesome right? But first I have to be told. So the Intimately Us app has helped us in this area. Sheesh. You know I have been around here for a while now…and there seems like there is still so so much to learn! 😬

        Reply
      • AJ

        As a husband, I think the only way my wife can be in the right mindset is by her knowing that I want to please her and I want our sex life to be about her experiencing pleasure. It’s then on her to be of the right mindset to be willing to allow herself to enjoy sex. My wife struggled with orgasm for many years. It was only through a lot of conversation between us that she made a complete mental shift in the way she views sex that allowed her to orgasm more easily. When her mindset shift occured, the technique and actively became irrelevant. It now doesn’t matter whether it’s intercourse, outercourse or simply her buttocks and thighs being stroked gently, she now always experiences orgasm(s). She often orgasms without her genitals even being touched. She says just the anticipation of thinking about how good it going to be arouses her enough to orgasm. When her mindset shift occurred, she literally over night went from experiencing an orgasm about half the time to always experiencing several orgasms every time. The only thing that changed was how she views and thinks about sex. I guess I’m just saying this because I know there are (many) marriages out there where the husband really wants to please and pleasure his wife but she doesn’t experience orgasm because her mind is not in the right place. I also think there are many husband’s would desire to please there wives but they are completely ignorant about sex and don’t even realize that she might need something other than intercourse.

        Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          AJ, that’s wonderful that she’s that orgasmic and that you’ve seen such a change.
          The rest of my comment here is not to you personally, but just for the edification of others who may read this and feel guilty that they require any stimulation from their husbands, or that their legs being stroked is not enough to bring them to orgasm.
          Many, many women can orgasm through fantasy alone, or through “thinking” sexy thoughts. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing–it really depends what they’re thinking about, and whether they’re still mentally present with their husbands. But the vast, vast majority of women who want to experience orgasm with their husbands, while still being mentally present, will require some sort of stimulation. Getting in the right “sex positive” headspace where you’re anticipating sex is wonderful, but for most, it doesn’t get you all the way to orgasm without more explicit fantasy. However, it does lay the groundwork for a great sexual encounter with your husband, where stimulation is involved from both parties!

          Reply
  3. Active mom

    I really liked the podcast and I am excited for the orgasm course. I wanted to clap my hands when you challenged the traditional definition of a sexless marriage. The idea of using two different words (sex/intercourse) is also good. It’s been hard to grow up with the message that we are supposed to be satisfied with “emotional closeness”. The first commenter I felt hit the nail on the head. That shouldn’t be socially ok but in a lot of places it is the standard way of thinking.

    Reply
  4. Phil

    So I was put in my place a while back about giving tmi around here. Rightfully so. That being said I want to share on the topic cautiously. I want to say that originally when I heard about the book The Great Sex Rescue my first thought was I am really glad for you Sheila and your team. My next thought is – well that wont help me and my wife with our issues. I have worked through a majority of my stuff and my wife was never abused and so well The Great Sex Rescue is for those who have major trama or something like that. However – this is not true. Both me and my wife have received wrong messages about sex from our life experiences from different sources and have responded differently. And both of us have grown in that area. Here is the thing. We both can benefit from reading this book to change our thinking. Becca mentioned EMDR a week or so ago. The purpose of that type of therapy is to change your beliefs about the wrong messages you have received in said areas of your life. I was about to go through with that therapy due to the struggle I was in this past year and then God just removed my struggle – poof gone. So my prayer was answered . Apparently I dont need to go through that process. However, I still need to do the work to grow. Reading this book is an option. I would venture an acurate guess that everyone could bendit from reading The Great Sex Rescue as sex is one of the oldest sins in the book this world has an extreme amount of wrong messages About sex – therefore I am sure we have all been effected negatively. I really have to say that when I first came here it was how to get more sex for self. Then I found out that Sex is a Gift from God To enhance your marriage and an expression of God to your spouse. Yeah I knew that but I really didnt KNOW that. I just knew of that thought. So I have grown while reading and listening around here. Today I would say that I am more concerned about my wife’s orgasm than she is. I certainly would like to change that but it really isnt up to me. I dont know the exact content of The Great Sex Rescue but I got to believe that when she reads this book it just might change her thought process about sex. Aka – Go get that Oragasm! Thats my hope for her. For me – I can only hope to be less selfish and more giving and more understanding and LISTEN particularly in the area of sex.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Oh, Phil, that’s exactly what we hope the book will do for women! We want women to understand that, if anything, God made women MORE orgasmic than men, and that sex was not designed for men, with women as an afterthought. We’ve believed so many messages which have made sex rather distasteful to so many women, and it’s no wonder we have so many issues. So let’s get back to what it was supposed to be! (PS: I’m so glad your prayer was answered so dramatically. That’s one to remember in the future when you’re having problems–that God is there and that He does care!)

      Reply
    • Lisa M

      Same for us! I didn’t realize how many false teachings that I didn’t even believe still affected me! Just reading some of those books and throwing them in the trash planted nasty seeds in my brain.
      My husband never read any of those books and thought I was overreacting when I told him how bad they were. He especially thought I was overreacting when I said some were outright misogynistic.
      Then we read TGSR together. Which had quotes but not even all the horrible quotes! He was incredibly angry at what those authors are teaching and how it hurt me. He’s now fully in support of helping me get the word out there.
      We didn’t grow up in purity culture and our families of origin were Christian but not conservative. Still, some of that legalism around sex and marriage still crept in. We are so thankful for TGSR.

      Reply
  5. Anon

    Ummm, as a newbie to the whole sex thing…how do I actually know if I’ve had an orgasm? Had a few things that we both think ‘might’ have been, but we’re not sure (can’t believe I’m actually asking this question…!!!) And it’s not something they tend to cover in detail in the marriage prep course (or not the one we did, anyway!)

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      No problem! Generally, after orgasm you feel very relaxed and very sleepy. If you were really aroused and didn’t orgasm, you don’t tend to get that hormonal rush that makes you relaxed and satisfied. You also often have vaginal contractions after orgasm (where it feels like your vagina is squeezing involuntarily). Plus, of course, it feels very good! Often your legs tense up, and your head may move involuntarily as well, and your pelvis tends to tilt upwards involuntarily, too!

      Reply
      • L

        Sheila, any advice for those of us who have felt our body bow with tension (pelvis tends to tilt upwards involuntarily), but no vaginal contractions or sense of sleepiness or relaxation? This has been my only experience. I am starting to wonder if I somehow trained myself to not think that was an orgasm, but it is?

        Reply
        • Andrea

          According to Psychology Today “all orgasms result from serial contractions of the pelvic floor muscles” and it’s “usually four to ten contractions separated by less than a second.”
          I don’t know about posting outside links here (especially since some of them also include material I find slightly offensive), so I’ll just mention the names and people who are interested can look it up.
          The Psychology Today article has the wonderful title “All Orgasms are the Same, but Different” — turns out they’re physiologically the same, but the feelings are different.
          I also find the research of Dr. Nicole Prause interesting; she says that “there are lots of pleasure peaks that happen during intercourse” and women sometimes mistake those for orgasm.
          If you read about her, you’ll quickly find out that Christianity does not have the monopoly on denying women’s pleasure. She left a secular university because they wouldn’t find her research into female orgasm (though they’ve poured millions of dollars into researching erectile dysfunction) and started her own institute.

          Reply
        • Sheila Wray Gregoire

          It sounds like you may be getting really close, but not quite there yet?

          Reply
          • L

            Thanks for responding. What if after that, all the good sensations fade? What do you do then? I wish I could figure out what would make it happen! Sometimes I feel frustrated; other times, glad I made it that far.

          • Sheila Wray Gregoire

            For a lot of women, it’s understanding what the roadblocks are–what’s hitting the brakes when you want to hit the accelerator? That’s a lot of what our course will help you uncover! And then how to understand arousal and work WITH arousal, rather than only aiming for orgasm (since it’s arousal that’s the key to orgasm). It’s hard to know specifically in your case, but I think we cover a lot of this sort of thing in the course!

      • Anon

        Thank you for explaining so clearly. That does sound similar to how I feel, although I tend to feel more ‘wiped out’ than sleepy!

        Reply
    • Lisa

      You’ll know! If you’re not sure, keep at it.

      Reply
  6. Anonymous

    One of the biggest frustrations to me about sex is my husband not understanding it will never mean as much to me as it does to him. I see men on here comment all the time, “When we have sex I make sure my wife is satisfied so why doesn’t she want to do it more??” and I wonder if their wives are like me. I orgasm every time, great! I still don’t need sex very often, it just doesn’t really do anything for me. It doesn’t make me feel closer to my husband or happier or anything like that. I understand that’s not true for every woman but I very much relate to preferring a nice long, in depth conversation. Maybe if intercourse was the main event for me like it is for my husband, sex as a whole experience would be more interesting but after a few times I kinda thought, ok so we’re really just gonna rub this tiny body part of mine followed by stimulating this bigger part of yours every few days until we die? Hmm weird haha. Wish my husband would prioritize talking as much as I do but society acts like that’s boring and not as “essential” as orgasms.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Anonymous, I hear you. Perhaps the reason that sex isn’t that big a deal, though, is BECAUSE that emotional connection is missing. Study after study has found that women who feel really intimate and close with their husbands enjoy sex so much more. It could be that it doesn’t feel that special because it is only physical. I do have a free email sequence on how to grow emotional connection, if that may help. But I hear you. Without that connection, it can seem kind of empty and boring.

      Reply
  7. Tonya

    So I absolutely love this blog and I especially have greatly benefited from the posts on sex being from God for both men and women. I could share endlessly how learning the true gift God has created in sex for our marriages have benefited our marriage now that I have allowed myself to enjoy it. However that is not what I wanted to talk about here.
    Listening to this podcast I heard the thing about kissing before marriage isn’t wrong and how it’s not biblical to require that of couples. So what do you all think that does with the scriptures that say “it is good for man not to touch a woman” ? I don’t mean this is condemnation or to pick you apart because I have benefited so much from BIBLICAL insight into sex in marriage. I just would like to k ow what you think that scriptures applies to since you must not think it applies in the case of kissing and hugging before marriage.

    Reply
    • Sheila Wray Gregoire

      Great question, Tonya! I just simply don’t think that the Bible speaks to it. I mean, it’s not like men were never to touch women–Paul himself said to greet one another with a holy kiss, and that included women. So we need to make sure we don’t make the Bible say more than it does, that’s all!

      Reply
    • Jane Eyre

      1 Corinthians 7:1 is not about premarital kissing; it’s followed up immediately by “but because of immorality, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband.”
      Paul was talking about how he “wish[es] that all men were as [he himself] is,” i.e. celibate, but if they could not be so, they must marry. This was not a prohibition against kissing your boyfriend!

      Reply
  8. Lisa M

    I love the date night restaurant analogy! Only I would add a few paragraphs to it.
    Husbands, your wife NEEDS these restaurant dinner dates in a way you will never understand. You need to make it work in your budget, even if it means less sleep for you ( you may need a second job to pay for it), even if you’re exhausted from your day. If you don’t do this, if your wife doesn’t get this every week, she may turn to an emotional or sexual affair with another man who DOES take her out to dinner. While she shouldn’t have an affair and it’s her fault of she does, she will not bear all the blame if she does have an affair. It will be partly your fault.
    Also, some women need dinner dates more than once a week. Some may need two, three, even four nights a week of dinner– and some need dancing! You may have to up your game and learn a little French so you can order properly from the menu. You may need to take dancing lessons. Just because she needs more than other women doesn’t mean she’s asking for too much. This is the way God made her. You must meet her needs regardless of how much she asks for.
    Husbands, you are her methadone against all the romance in novels, movies, and her fantasies as she sees other men (real and fictional) being romantic. Of course we wish other men wouldn’t be romantic in public where other women will see and struggle! Men, cover up your romance! But, until our society embraces modesty in romance, she needs you as her methadone. God created her to desire to be pursued and rescued and there are so many men out there looking like they are just ready to pursue and rescue! Do the right thing. Meet her dinner date needs. Or God will consider you a failure, your family will fall away from the faith, and it will be your fault. Stop complaining and do your duty with a cheerful attitude.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *