Is something up with your down-belows? Is your love life less ‘erotic’, more ‘emetic’? (That’s something that makes you vomit, by the way, and it’s not the kind of ‘totally sick’ you want your intimate moments to be). Do you have a problem getting it on, or getting yourself off?  Never fear: Woowoo’s resident ‘Shagony Aunt’, sex expert Alix Fox, is here.
Fresh from script consulting on Netflix’s Sex Education and helping to host shows including BBC Radio 1’s Unexpected Fluids, E4’s The Sex Clinic, and hit podcast The Modern Mann, she’s on a mission to help rid you of your sex and relationship gremlins.So, what’s on the vagenda this time..?

What's the throb-lem? “I’m able to climax solo, but I’ve never been able to orgasm during sex with any partner. We’ve tried different positions and toys but it’s still not helped. Both he and I are left disappointed when it doesn’t happen. Help a girl out?”


This problem is more common than spots on a dalmatian, and I’ve been asked about it at least 101 times, so you’re absolutely not alone. Let’s explore some of the factors that might be making your orgasm elusive when you’re part of a twosome, and what you can do to tempt it to make an appearance.


One of the reasons coaxing out a climax in company can be tougher than reaching O-Town alone is that while you’re masturbating solo, you can totally and utterly concentrate on yourself. You can let your mind and body really hone in on the build up of those terrific tingly feelings until you fall over the edge into glorious O-blivion. But when you’re under the covers with a lover, there’s a lot more to think about, and it can be far harder to focus in the way you need to. 

I find that when I’m with a partner, there’s so much INPUT: my attention is going to their gorgeous biceps, and their delicious bum, and their hips, and their lips, and how they smell and what they’re saying annddddd…sometimes all this onslaught of gloriousness gets me off, but at other times even though I still very much enjoy it, it’s almost like sexual ADHD – my brain is hopping between too many places at once and I’m too overstimulated to get that O. 

If you’re frantically switching between positions and picking up a different toy every two secs, that may not be helping either. Many women require sustained, targeted clitoral stimulation in order to come, and someone sweatily hopping about on you like Lee Evans doing a stand up set isn’t going to deliver that. Too much chopping and changing with toys isn’t helpful if you need them to be held solidly in one place to give your orgasm a chance to build.

During coupled sex, you’ll naturally be thinking about how your partner is feeling too, which is healthy; or maybe worrying about performing for them, which is not so healthy – but either way, their mere presence means there’s a lot more on your brain than just you. 

Try slowing things down. Simplify all the commotion into less frantic, calmer, rhythmic motions, and explain to your partner that you need to concentrate – closing your eyes or wearing a blindfold might help you to zone in.

You know that what you’re doing on your lonesome-yet-moansome ownsome has the power to make your flower bloom, so rather than trying to pretzel yourself into some complex new position with your lover, try making what you do in a duo as close as you can to what you do when you’re solo.  
If you copy, you’re more likely to end up with “paste”, if you know what I mean. Yes, I am outlandishly gross. You love it. ;)

If your partner doesn’t know how you masturbate, show him. In fact, if you can manage to make yourself come in front of him, even if it’s solely you doing all the touching and teasing and he is only watching, that can be helpful in overcoming some of the psychological barriers that are currently telling you “I can only get that boom in my womb when there’s no one in the room”. 

If you’re bold enough (and it isn’t too much of a distraction for you – see Tip 1), vocalise what you’re doing: describe out loud exactly how and where you’re touching yourself, how soft or hard you’re going, when you need to speed up or slow down – the more info you give him, the better he’ll be able to understand and replicate your preferred strokes. Plus, I can almost guarantee that he’ll find hearing you talk about pleasuring yourself to be the hottest thing to come out of your mouth since you accidentally coughed up that fiery chilli Dorito.


It’s GREAT that you’re using toys together – but is he using them on the right spot, and at the angle and power setting that actually works for you?

Let me tell you about a problem I’ve baptised “The Genie lamp Dilemma”. You know how Aladdin was only allowed three wishes from the genie in the magic lamp? Well, often people seem to think they have similar limits on how much direction they’re allowed to give on what they want in bed, or how many requests for a certain types of sexual touch or technique they’re allowed to make, before they fear they’ll look “difficult” or “demanding”. They worry about wishing for too much.

This dilemma comes into play a lot with toys. Some women feel they’re already asking for a lot by requesting that their partner use a toy with them. They then ask for the vibration speed to be increased, for example. And at this point the partner might be holding the vibrator at the wrong tilt, or have it set to an annoying pulsing pattern, or be moving it when she just wants him to hold it in one damn place… but she feels like she’s already used up her wishes. 

Ugh! So close…and yet so far.

You are allowed to make as many requests as you need to. Feel free to fine-tune the way those toys are being used. Give him as many pointers as you require to get you to that blissful point of no return. Tell him it’s like cracking a safe, if you like: he might need to follow plenty of instructions and make quite a few fine adjustments, but once’s he’s got that secret code – it’s Oooooooh-pen sesame, and you both get to savour the rewards. 


You say “We’re both disappointed when it doesn’t happen”. While that’s understandable, worrying that someone’s going to feel let down if you don’t climax turns up the pressure to the max…which is ironically going to act like the equivalent of turning an ice cold hose on your orgasm and telling it to shoo. 

Making orgasm too much of a goal you both feel you have to hit can be pretty unhelpful. Try to remember that the whole point of sharing a sexual experience together is to feel pleasure and have fun. If you don’t let whether or not you orgasm overshadow the whole shebang, you’re actually more likely to…well, shebang one out.
I hope this input helps your orgasm output. May your evil sex hex soon be lifted, and may your coupled sexperiences become more magical! 

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