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3 women who didn't orgasm until their 30s on how they finally got there.

When all you've got to go off is some dodgy classroom sex ed, glamorised Hollywood movies, and a dark web full of porn, you could be excused for thinking that an orgasm is as easy as lights, camera, action. 

But the reality couldn’t be further from it. Because for a whooping 82 per cent of women, they just can’t climax through penetrative sex alone, according to PleasureBetter. Which makes a whole load of sense when, for many women, the clitoris is the key to pleasure town

Now (try to keep your cool) and compare this to our friends with penises of which 95 percent of heterosexual men will orgasm through partnered sexual activity. 

(First the gender pay gap and now this…)

Watch: There are some really interesting ways women reach orgasm. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia.

But while society may skim over the details of just how hard it is for women to reach the big O, there is a silent minority (about five to 10 percent) who have never experienced an orgasm. 


“Reaching orgasm is harder for some women for all sorts of mental, emotional, cultural, hormonal and physical reasons,” Sydney sexologist Alice Child told Mamamia. She said these can range from a lack of sex education and not knowing your own pleasure anatomy, to a shame or stigma around masturbation and anxiety or social expectations. 

“And the more women put pressure on themselves and get into their head and out of their body, the harder it becomes,” she explained. 

Even if you’re a confident comer, we all know that an orgasm is never guaranteed, and all it takes is a little stress to kill your vibe. 

But for women who’ve ever reached an orgasm, it can leave them feeling “broken”.

“The truth is they’re not — they often just need a bit of sex positive education and a new mindset,” Alice said. 

“Achieving an orgasm often takes time, practise, patience, and of course, pleasure. After all, you’re teaching your body a new skill and it takes the neural pathways time and practice to form.”

So we spoke to three women who’d never had an orgasm until their 30s, and quizzed them on exactly how they got there. 

Lucy had her first orgasm at 33.

Before they separated last year, 33-year-old Lucy had been with her husband (the only man she’d ever slept with) since she was 16 years old. And for the last 16 years, she’d been faking an orgasm during sex every single time. 

“I just did what I saw in the movies or had been told,” Lucy explained to Mamamia. “I didn’t want my ex to feel like he’d failed, but he also never asked too.”

For Lucy, sex before she had kids was always painful and “not pleasurable at all”. 

“I really hated it because of how much it hurt and I was embarrassed and felt weird,” she explained. But after the birth of her second child, the pain disappeared and Lucy started to enjoy sex. 

“It felt good and sometimes even a bit better than good, but never great. I didn’t know what I did or didn’t like, and I didn’t have the courage to say it to my then-husband.”

After the couple split up, Lucy said she “really changed as a person” and “let down a lot of walls”. Then six months ago, she opened up a drawer full of sex toys she’d been given by friends over the years. 

“So I got the vibrator out and thought, I’m just going to give this a go,” she said. “After trying and failing, I started to Google and learn the basics and looked at my vagina in the mirror for the first time in my life! I then discovered porn.”

The first time she came was “amazing”. 

“I finally felt that my body was normal and could do it,” Lucy explained. “And after that the orgasms just got better and better.”

She now describes her sex life as “incredible”, and tells her dates “straight up” what she likes. 

“I haven't had an orgasm through penetration yet, just masturbation, but I’m going to continue to work on it,” she said. 

Grace came for the first time at 34.

Grace had always loved sex. 

“I got a lot out of it,” she told Mamamia. “Feeling close to someone, intimacy, feeling loved.” 

But when her friends would talk about the orgasms they were having, she wondered why her experience wasn’t matching up. 

“At around 30, I started questioning if I had even had an orgasm,” she said. 

“I enjoyed sex and often would feel an intense feeling, like reaching the top of an (underwhelming!) mountain, which I assumed was an orgasm. But when I spoke to my friends they would explain that they could 'hover' around the top of the mountain with lots of pleasure and other feelings that I was sure I hadn’t felt.

“I felt broken. Like I never would be able to feel what they described.” 

Then, after 15 years of sex with her husband, Grace spoke up at last. 

“When I finally told my husband what I had been telling my girlfriends, he made a huge effort and made me orgasm through oral sex, and said, ‘See, you’re not broken!’” she said.

“It was very sweet and made us closer, but from then on I would always feel bad at how much effort and how long it would take for me to orgasm, so often I would fake it out of guilt. Or he would just get bored and tired and give up anyway.”

But then 12 months ago, Grace and her husband separated, and her life between the sheets has never looked better. 

“I’ve had amazing sex and multiple orgasms with each of the new people I’ve been with,” she said. 

“I’m learning so much more about myself and my body with each new experience, and I’m so much more confident in my needs and expressing them.” 

Amy was 35 when she hit her first climax.

Ever since she lost her virginity at 17, Amy had been waiting for this “big fireworks moment” in the bedroom. 

“And it just… never came,” she told Mamamia. “No pun intended.”

She’d had three boyfriends in her 20s, but hadn’t orgasmed with any of them. (Not that any had actually tried to get her there, or even asked what she liked). So she was left feeling like something was wrong with her. 

“I truly believed that it was a physiological issue with my body,” the now 38-year-old said. “I even had one boyfriend (who was actually a box of red flags in disguise) tell me that there was something wrong with me.”

Amy even ended up at her GP looking for advice. But instead of referring her to a sexologist or anyone who could help in that arena, the doctor recommended… a book. 

“Which I bought, read one chapter, and never opened again,” said Amy.

But then she turned 35, met a man who actually cared about her pleasure, and added a vibrator into the mix. 

It was a “game changer”. 

“Turns out I need that direct clit stimulation,” she said. “I definitely can’t come without it.”

“Luckily, my ex was really keen on making sure that I got all the way to the finish line, and wasn’t threatened in the slightest. He encouraged me to bring toys into the bedroom and was always really chuffed when I’d come.

“And if I ever didn’t, he would insist that he shouldn’t either!”

Image: Getty/Mamamia.

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