Women's Embarrassing Sex Questions, Answered

Women's Embarrassing Sex Questions, Answered

Having sex is one thing—talking about it is another, especially if something is interfering with your ability to enjoy sex. In fact, you may have concerns you find so embarrassing that you don’t want to ask anyone, including your doctor. Rest assured, whatever your problem is, you’re not alone. We talked to top medical experts to get answers to the sex questions you would love to ask—but don’t.

Q. I just can’t seem to have an orgasm. Is something wrong with me?
A. Many women have trouble climaxing. Most often it is caused by an overactive mind and not something medical. You may be fully enjoying the moment when all of a sudden you remember you forgot to pick up the dry cleaning. Our brains are orgasm killers! It may help to spice things up a bit. Consider trying a sex toy, like a vibrator, to help you get and stay aroused.

Also, “some medications, such as antidepressants, can make it difficult for a woman to climax,” says Jessica Shepherd, MD, an OB/GYN at University of Illinois College of Medicine at Chicago. In addition, anxiety, body image concerns, hormonal changes and other factors may play a role. If you continue to have problems, talk to your doctor to rule out a medical reason or get a referral to a sex therapist.

Q. Is there an average amount of time it takes a woman to have an orgasm?
A. “Research says that it takes, on average, 15 to 20 minutes of sustained, direct touch to the clitoris for a woman to have an orgasm,” says Sari Cooper, a licensed couples and sex therapist in private practice in New York City. In heterosexual couples, about 75 percent of women can climax with clitoral stimulation and 25 percent through vaginal penetration, according to Cooper. Don’t worry about how long it takes you. Just relax, enjoy the intimacy with your partner and forget about the time—along with everything else—for the moment.

Q: Sometimes I pee a little during sex. Why?
A. There are three main reasons, says Dr. Shepherd. The first has to do with the proximity of the pelvis to the bladder, urethra and rectum. “During certain sex positions, the uterus may spasm, tighten or contract, causing the release of a little urine,” she says. Women who have had children may also experience some urinary incontinence. And the relaxing of the pelvis during sex can also relax the urethra, the tube that takes urine from the bladder to outside the body.

“If there is a severe loss of urine, see your doctor,” says Shepherd. “Medication may help if you have an overactive bladder. You may also be referred to a pelvic physical therapist who can teach you exercises to strengthen the pelvic muscles.”

Q: Is there really a G spot? If so, how do you find it?
A. According to Cooper, there is a G spot, but the name is a bit of a misnomer. “It’s not one ‘spot,’ but an entire area,” says Cooper. “There are tons of nerve endings inside the vagina. It’s the interior wall on the other side of the stomach, a few inches up from the urethra. If you put your index and third finger inside your vagina and make a ‘come hither’ hook with your fingers you would feel it.”

Q. Why am I so dry? It can make sex painful.
A. You may not be spending enough time on foreplay, which stimulates lubrication and heightens arousal, says Shepherd. You can also try using an over-the-counter lubricant. She recommends choosing a silicone-based lubricant.

Another common cause of dryness is the drop in estrogen women experience during menopause. “There are various ways to replenish vaginal secretion,” says Shepherd. “Some women may be candidates for hormone replacement therapy.” For others, estrogen medications for vaginal use include tablets, creams and suppositories.

Medically reviewed in January 2020.

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