The human sexual experience is a deep and sophisticated form of communication between two people. And sexual climax is longer, stronger, and more frequent when partners have an equally positive experience during sex. A positive experience involves feeling aroused and then satisfied sexually—feeling that you’re with the right person, at just the right time—and sensing that deep connection. But how do you help your partner achieve an orgasm? And how do you know that your partner is truly aroused, and then climaxing? More than just about technique, it starts with paying attention to the whole person.
Paying attention to the whole person can start with something as simple as inquiring about your partner’s day and how the events of that day affected your partner. What’s energizing to one person can be draining to another. For example, if your partner’s day was defined by deadlines and meetings, perhaps ask your partner how satisfied he/she was with the results. If your partner has the same routine every day, or works without pay, take time to acknowledge your partner’s decision to devote their time to that kind of commitment. Your partner might talk about potty training setbacks with your child, for example, and this gives you the opportunity to acknowledge your partner for being a caring and patient parent.
Another important aspect of the whole person is the day-to-day worries and concerns your partner takes to bed at the end of the day. If it’s leftover chores, pitch in and help complete them. If it’s financial worries, give emotional support, and offer to go to a financial planner together. If it’s health, make sure you’re both doing something each day to address the concern. A clear mind can help pave the way to a positive sexual experience; and conversely, a burdened mind is not going to be able to fully relax.
Children and parents or in-laws can soak up every drop of emotional energy. Agree to invest yourselves, first to your children, and second to parents and in-laws, during the day. Then, reserve your lovemaking as a time to invest in only each other, without feeling guilty. This is important time for you both! If a true need arises, such as a baby crying, take turns attending to these needs as they arise. And as soon as the need is addressed, then take a deep relaxing breath and resume lovemaking, picking up where you left off. Giving yourself and each other permission to break away from all other outside concerns helps keep the focus on your relationship with your partner the way you did when you first fell in love.
Next, techniques matter, so get resourced on how-to’s. Try new things, and ask your partner if he or she likes what you’re trying. Your asking will make it easier for your partner to answer honestly, and show you how to improve the technique without sounding critical. A mix of new adventures with some tried-and-true favorite touches and techniques creates a nice blend of relaxation and safety with novelty and excitement. Early on in the arousal phase, new techniques can provide a jolt of excitement toward strong arousal. Then as climax nears, a familiar touch or technique can allow space for the relaxation and control your partner needs to reach a good strong orgasm. Sneak a peek at your partner’s face when he or she climaxes—what’s the reaction? Afterward, ask your partner about their climax. You might be able to tell if your partner had a good climax by how relaxed they appear; if your partner talks about what a great couple you are; or if your partner mentions a spiritual or liminal experience during orgasm. If your partner says something like, “You made my toes curl” or “You are amaaazing,” then you can guess you truly have given your partner an orgasm.
- Understand the four stages of sex. Notice your partner going through the four phases: desire, arousal, climax, and resting. Can you identify how your partner reacts physically or emotionally during each phase? Is there any phase in which you can help your partner?
- Appreciate your partner. Do you take your partner for granted? Or do you minimize yourself and your own needs? Couples with truly strong relationships usually know how to both give and receive pleasure and give and receive acknowledgement. Practice giving—and accepting—pleasure and acknowledgement.
- Forget the “movie orgasm.” Each person is unique in what their orgasm looks and sounds like, and similarly, each lovemaking session is unique. Noticing the little differences in your partner’s orgasms and what made their reaction and overall experience different can help you feel more connected and learn what techniques work best. If you can’t identify the difference on your own, don’t be afraid to ask your partner. This can open the door to an arousing dialogue of its own!