How to have a better orgasm – whether on your own or with a partner

How to have a better orgasm is easier than you think, all you need to do is follow our simple, expert rules...

How to have a better orgasm
(Image credit: Getty Images / Deborah Harrison)

Want to know how to have a better orgasm? Course you do. There's nothing worse than having an orgasm that leaves you feeling, well, a little deflated. But, sadly, it happens – even if you are using one of the best vibrators.

“No two orgasms are exactly the same," says Annabelle Knight, sex and relationship expert at sexual wellness brand Lovehoney. "Some feel so good that they blow your socks off but others, while pleasurable, may not have the same level of intensity."

But, luckily, there are things you can do about it to help. "The intensity of the orgasm is all linked in to the quality of the sex that proceeded it," says Annabelle. "The better the sex, the better, and often longer, the orgasm. Plus, an orgasm can often be more intense if you refrain from sex for a few days. And orgasms can be a little less intense if you have sex repeatedly over a short space of time."

Want to find out more? Here's everything you need to know about how to have a better orgasm...

How to have a better orgasm on your own

Going solo? Here's Annabelle's top tips for women for achieving a better orgasm:

  1. Try a toy
    "Toys are fabulous as they take all the hard work and do it for you, especially those with different settings and intensities. They allow you to tailor make your orgasm and can provide you with a variety of sensations each and every time."
  2. Use lube
    "Lubricant reduces friction and drag during masturbation. The slick sensations will make stimulation easier and lead to a far more indulgent experience."
  3. Get yourself in the mood
    "For many women reading an erotic novel is the best way to get them in the mood. A book is far less obvious than just watching porn, especially when you consider that on the whole the female mind is far more imaginative than the male counterpart, especially when it comes to sex. A sexy book is the perfect way to kick-start those creative juices and to get you in the mood."
  4. Explore your erogenous zones
    "Women have 25 of them. Yes, 25. Try stimulating some of the less obvious ones like the belly button, lower back, inner wrist and the perineum, the highly sensitive patch of skin between the anus and the vagina. Many of us are completely unaware of all the pleasure zones on our bodies and we are missing out on a lot of sexual happiness by not exploring them all. Everyone is different and responds in different ways to different kinds of touch. Knowledge is the key when trying to improve sexual experience.”

How to have a better orgasm with your partner

“There are lots of simple techniques couples can use to ensure they have better orgasms," says Annabelle. Here are her tips to try:

  1. Your most important sex organ is your brain
    "It sounds obvious, but the best sex happens when you have a deep connection with your partner. Half of men (48%) and 39% of women reckon that love is the most important factor in achieving sexual happiness, according to research by Lovehoney."
  2. Take on the mindset you had in your first week of dating
    "Remember those early milestones in the relationship: the first time you saw them, the first kiss and the first time you had sex. Cherish those memories and try to recreate the excitement you both felt."
  3. Variety is the spice of life
    "Eat the same meal every night and you will soon get bored of it. Why do you think that sex is any different? Too many couples get stuck in a sex rut where they do the same things, at the same time with the same results. Sex becomes routine rather than something special which you look forward to. Mix it up in whatever way works for you: pick a different room in the house to have sex each time; drive to the countryside and find a secluded spot for your passion; try having sex in the morning instead of the evening; or treat yourselves to a new sex toy. Anything which keeps things fun and breaks the routine."
  4. Don’t be greedy
    "Very few couples have consistently great sex every single time. Most of us experience a mixture of fantastically great sessions, ‘ordinary’ shags and the odd funny incident throughout our relationships. Even couples who rate their sex life as fantastic admit only 2-3 sessions out of every 10 are sheet-grabbing material, so yes, enjoy the phenomenal sessions, but appreciate the good ones just as much."
  5. Kissing is key
    "A lot of couples underestimate the importance of kissing, which is a shame because it’s the perfect way to establish intimacy, and is arguably the most important act of foreplay. Because kissing usually kicks off any sexual activity, knowing how to kiss well can set the tone for the whole evening. Whether it’s lots of tongue, no tongue, nibbling, light pecks or deep, romantic kisses, knowing what your partner enjoys is key to kicking things off right."

Techniques for how to have a better orgasm

The best advice for how to have a better orgasm? Try to relax – stress and orgasms don't mix. 

"Higher levels of cortisol are associated with anxiety and stress emotions, and high cortisol can suppress sex hormones that impact desire," says Annabelle. "Having sex when you’re feeling anxious is also basically like asking your mind to multitask, which is hard to do. You are faced with two competing interests for the same neurological system – your anxiety and your sexual activity. It's not surprising you may struggle to get in the mood."

But it is worth persevering. "Sex is a great way to relieve stress," says Annabelle. "The benefits include release of endorphins and other hormones that elevate mood. It's also great exercise, which itself is an effective stress reliever."

Here's Annabelle's tips to aid relaxation and improve the quality of your orgasms:

  1. Talk to your partner
    "Your partner may not be aware that you are feeling stressed, so by acknowledging that worry may be causing you sexual issues is the first step to regaining your sex life. It might also encourage your partner to take some responsibilities off your shoulders. Research has shown that sharing the chores is one of the secrets to a good relationship. Getting help at home can help you feeling less tired and more in the mood for sex. If you are on your own, talk about your issues with friends via Facetime or Zoom."
  2. Make time for sex
    "Making time for sex play and to feel sexual is essential. Enjoy prolonged foreplay, intimate massage or just kiss and cuddle to lower those stress levels. Set the alarm 30 minutes earlier and enjoy wake-up sex."
  3. Ditch the tech
    "Keep the phone out of the bedroom unless you are using it to film the action! One in four of us text before we go to sleep and over one third of people take their laptop to bed, so make sure you don’t fall into that trap to avoid stress before bedtime. Checking work emails before bedtime is likely to boost stress just when you don't need it. Leave them till the morning."
  4. Get more sleep
    "Stress can affect our sleeping patterns, but a good night’s sleep keeps our sexual engines humming. Healthy people who have good sleep patterns are going to be more open to being sexual."

What to do if you don't have a better orgasm right away

Try not to feel defeated if you don't have a better orgasm right away. "You shouldn’t ever feel deflated after an orgasm because sex should always be a positive thing done consensually," says Annabelle. "It’s just that some orgasms are better than others."

Try to distract yourself for a bit. "Orgasms are a huge part of sexual satisfaction, but focusing on them too much can actually prevent you from achieving regular orgasms," says Annabelle. "Instead, focus on your own individual pleasure and on what feels good in the moment. This is called ‘non demanding touch’ and is important in bringing you and your partner together through activities such as sensual massage or mutual masturbation.”

How to always have an orgasm

Just want an orgasm, and not necessarily one that's "better" than normal? 

"Nothing is ‘fool proof’ when it comes to sex," says Annabelle. "We are humans, not robots. The quality of the sex we enjoy is determined by so many things including physical wellbeing and the emotional connection you have with your partner as well as more practical considerations such as how much alcohol you have drunk beforehand."

Sounds familiar? "By using good sexual techniques and communicating openly with your partner you can certainly greatly improve the frequency and intensity of your orgasm," says Annabelle. "But it would be wrong to say that you could fool-proof the whole process. No one can do that, no matter how good they are at sex.”

What happens if a woman doesn't climax?

Been sexually active for a while and never had an orgasm at all?

"It’s uncommon, but not impossible for women to struggle to climax," says Annabelle. "Taking certain medications, stress, inadequate stimulation and some medical conditions can all contribute to difficulty in reaching orgasm."

Worried it's something more serious? "Anorgasmia is the persistent inability to achieve orgasm despite responding to sexual stimulation. It's a recognised medical term." Sounds like you? "A woman over 40 who doesn’t think she has ever had an orgasm should see her GP - she is denying herself one of the greatest pleasures life has to offer," says Annabelle. "Her doctor will be able to determine whether the root cause is physical or psychological. Sometimes there can be a very simple solution such as the use of lubrication to make foreplay and intercourse less painful, particularly in women who struggle physically to self-lubricate."

Why do some people struggle to orgasm?

Wondering if your problem with having an orgasm is physical or psychological? "Both factors are significant, but I tend to find that physical reasons are more common," says Annabelle. "It really comes down to poor sexual technique and a lack of stimulation. Remember only one in three women can regularly climax through intercourse alone without further clitoral stimulation. That means if you don’t provide some extra help, seven out of ten women are unlikely to have an orgasm during sex. That is an awful lot of women. Too many women are afraid to address this fundamental issue and enjoy the sex they deserve."