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13 Mar 2020 (Last updated 05 Feb 2024)

How to climax with a partner

Pleasure Tips 4 min read
Expert Charlotte Creplet
Smile Makers Author
two people holding a clit suction toy

Finding it hard to reach an orgasm with a partner, especially in the context of intercourse (thus, with a penetrative partner), is very frequent among vulva-owners. Here's some advice from a sex therapist...

Partner sex is a moment of intimacy, where desire, emotions and, in some cases feelings, are shared. But unfortunately, pleasure isn’t always shared.

Having an orgasm is so often presented as the whole point of sex. And TBH, when, thanks to the orgasm gap, men and people with penises are having orgasms way more than the women and vulva-having folk they're having sex with, it's no wonder we're so bloody obsessed with them and learning how to orgasm. While you shouldn't consider climax to be the end goal of sex, or the marker by which you measure how good a sexual experience is, they are kind of important (Cosmopolitan, 2020).

Pleasure during partner sex vs solo sex.

While many of us do not have difficulty reaching orgasm when we are masturbating, orgasms seem harder to come by during partner sex. Not everyone dares to talk about it, and that's where the discomfort sometimes settles: some end up simulating, out of concern for our partner’s ego. What triggers this is the belief that orgasming during partner sex should be easy and frequent, even though reality is quite different. When alone, orgasm might be easier to reach because there is less pressure to do so, and because women who masturbate know their body well.

Shared pleasure is possible.

As common as it is for vulva-owners to find it harder to orgasm with a partner than alone, it doesn't mean you have to settle for an unsatisfying sex life with your partner. If you feel this is something you can relate to, here are a few tips to change things around.

3 tips to orgasm during partnered sex.

To improve your sexual experience with your partner, you just have to start by reflecting on the following:

1. How well do I know my body?

Knowing your body well is a real gateway to pleasure. Explore your body on your own, with no pressure to reach an orgasm, simply being curious. Many of us are familiar with the external areas of the clitoris. Nevertheless, it can’t hurt to repeat how important the clitoris is to female pleasure. Its glands is accessible externally and is highly sensitive to touch. The inner and outer labia of the vulva are also very sensitive. It is worth exploring how and where you like to be touched on the vulva.

Moving on to the vagina, fewer are familiar with the internal areas that can give us pleasure, and which would therefore be likely to react to penetration. The inner structure of the clitoris wraps around the vagina like a wishbone, and can therefore, for some, be stimulated internally For this, there’s nothing like exploring with your fingers or a sex toy, focusing in particular on the upper inner wall of the vagina, towards the belly. The goal is to test the stimulations that please you - friction, pressure, ... - the rhythm - slow, fast, alternating, ... - and other sensitive zones - the entrance to the vagina or a little deeper.

2. How do I communicate about my pleasure to my partner?

Knowing the moves that bring you pleasure is great, and even better if shared with your partner. Indeed, when it comes to sexual pleasure, we are all different, and explaining one's preferences to the other is fundamental for a great, shared experience of pleasure.

To convey your preference, you can obviously use words ... but not only: body language can make a lot of things happen. It can be a change of position to guarantee easier access to a certain area, or a hand placed on theirs to make them slow down, or a moan to signal that you are enjoying the type of stimulation. What matters is getting the message across rather than missing out on the moment or, worse, putting up with unpleasant sensations.

3. What room do I make for my own pleasure during sex?

In order for pleasure to be experienced, we need to make space for it. However, it seems that we sometimes put the pleasure of our partner before our own, and to focus on the experience of our partner’s at the expense of our own. There is nothing wrong with this if this is a mindful choice, but if this triggers a feeling of dissatisfaction, it’s worth having a think about how to change that.

Indeed, an important ingredient for being sexually satisfied, that doesn’t get enough promotion is... self-focus. Without it, we are not present enough to our body and our sensations to reach orgasmic intensity.

In a nutshell, climaxing when having sex with your partner is not as easy as it is shown in movies, far from it. Keys to better shared sexual experiences is not only body awareness, knowing your erogenous zones externally and internally, but also explaining your preferences to your partner, in words or else. Finally, it is essential to focus on yourself and your senses during sex, rather than being solely focused on the pleasure of your partner. These combined can help you find your way to share pleasure with your partner and, why not, to simultaneous orgasm!

Using vibrators to orgasm during sex.

Sex toys are a fun way to take the pressure off of orgasm, and makes things much more playful! Plus, introducing a vibrator in to partnered sex is a great way to prioritize both your pleasure and the ways you like to be stimulated.

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