Your Top Real-Life Sex Questions, Answered

Experts tackle five of the biggest questions you'd like to ask—but often don't.

holding hands in bed

Updated on December 20, 2022.

Having sex is one thing. Talking about it is another, especially if something is interfering with your ability to enjoy sex. In many cultures, women and girls are not encouraged to explore their sexuality, and sexual pleasure and problems with sex can even be taboo subjects.

Because of this, it can be awkward to talk about sexuality, and you may have questions that you find too uncomfortable to ask anyone, including your healthcare provider (HCP). 

Rest assured, whatever your problem is, you’re not alone and there is no reason to feel embarrassed. We talked to top experts to get answers to the sex questions you would love to ask—but often don’t.

I can’t seem to have an orgasm. Is something wrong with me?

Many people 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 respond to an urgent email. 

How to get your mind off day-to-day worries and onto the task at hand? It may help to spice things up a bit. Consider trying something new, like a sex toy or vibrator, to help you get and stay aroused.

Also worth noting: Some medications, such as antidepressants, can make it difficult for people to climax, says Jessica Shepherd, MD, an OBGYN 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 HCP to rule out a medical reason or to get a referral to a licensed sex therapist.

Am I taking too long to orgasm?

There is no such thing as “too long.” Some people climax quickly, while others do so more slowly. You may respond to some kinds of stimulation more than others.

Many people need more than penetrative sex to orgasm. According to a 2018 study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, in heterosexual couples, about 51 to 60 percent of women reported climax with clitoral stimulation during intercourse, while only 21 to 30 percent reported climax through vaginal penetration alone. 

That same study also found that straight men tend to overestimate how frequently their female partners reach climax during intercourse. The 1,500 male respondents estimated that their partners reached orgasm 61 to 70 percent of the time with clitoral stimulation and 41 to 50 percent of the time through vaginal penetration alone. 

A different 2018 study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that lesbian women tended to climax significantly more often than either bisexual or straight women during sex—86 percent of the time versus 66 percent and 65 percent, respectively. As with the other Archives study, women were generally more likely to orgasm if sex included more than vaginal intercourse, such as oral sex or clitoral stimulation. 

Sometimes, people orgasm faster when they masturbate. In a 2018 study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, women reached orgasm faster during masturbation (average 8 minutes) compared to sex with a partner (average 14 minutes).   

Sometimes I pee a little during sex. Why?

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. If you have given birth, you might 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.”

Is there really a G spot? If so, how do you find it?

According to Sari Cooper, a licensed couples and sex therapist in private practice in New York City, 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 anterior wall, 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.”

Why am I dry? It can make vaginal sex painful.

If dryness is an issue, 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. 

Menopause can also be a cause of increased vaginal dryness. In these cases, there are various ways to replenish vaginal secretion, says Shepherd. Some people may be candidates for menopausal hormone therapy. Estrogen medications for vaginal use include tablets, creams, and suppositories.

Whatever your concern may be, make time to speak with your HCP. There’s no shame in asking questions—or asking for help.

Article sources open article sources

National Health Service (UK). What can cause orgasm problems in women? Last reviewed November 20, 2019.
National Alliance on Mental Illness. Medication Frequently Asked Questions. Accessed December 19, 2022.
Shirazi T, Renfro KJ, et al. Women's experience of orgasm during intercourse: Question semantics affect women's reports and men's estimates of orgasm occurrence. Arch Sex Behav. 2018;47(3):605-613. 
Frederick DA, John HKS, et al. Differences in Orgasm Frequency Among Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Heterosexual Men and Women in a U.S. National Sample. Arch Sex Behav. 2018 Jan;47(1):273-288. 
Rowland DL, Sullivan SL, et al. Orgasmic latency and related parameters in women during partnered and masturbatory sex. J Sex Med. 2018;15(10):1463-1471. 
Serati M, Salvatore S, et al. Female Urinary Incontinence During Intercourse: A Review on an Understudied Problem for Women's Sexuality. The Journal of Sexual Medicine. January 2009. 6(1):40-48.
Moran PA, Dwyer PL, Ziccone P. Urinary leakage during coitus in women. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 1999. 19(3):286-288.
Jannini, E., Buisson, O. & Rubio-Casillas, A. Beyond the G-spot: clitourethrovaginal complex anatomy in female orgasm. Nat Rev Urol. 2014. 11, 531–538.
Planned Parenthood. What is foreplay? October 13, 2010.

More On

How can negative emotions affect a couple's sex life?


How can negative emotions affect a couple's sex life?
It can be hard to go from hot under the collar to hot between the sheets, but when stress and conflict threaten your sex life, but you can get your mo...
How to Talk Politics With Your Partner When You Don’t Agree


How to Talk Politics With Your Partner When You Don’t Agree
It’s possible to discuss the issues without creating issues for your relationship.
How to Have Healthy, Satisfying Sex at Any Age


How to Have Healthy, Satisfying Sex at Any Age
Expert tips for every decade of a woman’s life.
Are There Alternative Treatments for Low Sex Drive?


Are There Alternative Treatments for Low Sex Drive?
Watch as Naturopathic Doctor and Licensed Acupuncturist Dr. Peter Bongiorno discusses some alternative treatments for low sex drive and libido.
How yoga can improve your sex life


How yoga can improve your sex life
Want to improve your sex life? Take a yoga class! In this video, Kevin Soden, MD explains how the ancient practice can boost sexual desire, arousal, l...