So many woman feel like the way they orgasm is “weird” when in reality it’s common.

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

I find myself reassuring women all day long in my sex therapy practice. Many, many, many women have orgasms while on their stomachs and not when they are on their backs. Really? Really and Truly? YES!

I don’t know what it is about the “stomach orgasm” that makes so many women feel like if they orgasm this way they are aberrant, when in reality it’s so common. I don’t have statistics but it seems to me, from my informal analysis, that at least 20% of women I see are more comfortable having orgasms while on their stomach. And some can’t orgasm in any other position.

So that leads me to ask the following questions:

Why do some women have orgasms on their stomachs only?

Why do women who orgasm that way feel there is something weird about it?

Is it “bad” or “problematic” to orgasm on your stomach?

Should you try to change the way you orgasm if on the stomach is your preferred posture?

And here are my answers:

Why do some women have orgasms on their stomachs only? It seems to me after years of seeing patients (although I have no hard data to back this up) that many women have a “learned method” for achieving orgasm and that quickly becomes imprinted on their brain. So, the first way you achieve orgasm can become the preferred way and your general “go to.” That becomes a reinforcing cycle and will often become the preferred method of having orgasms afterwards.

Many women start masturbating when they are very young and often do so on their stomachs rubbing a soft toy, pillow or hand beneath them. That creates pleasurable feelings. Ultimately that is how they have their first orgasms and that is how they learn to give themselves orgasm. Makes sense, no? I know we sometimes get uncomfortable thinking about children giving themselves sexual pleasure, but they do and that is often how our erotic brains get wired.

But once a pattern of pleasure is set in your neurology and your brain it can be a bit difficult to try to learn a new way to have an orgasm.

So now, why do women who orgasm that way feel there is something weird about it? Why do so many of them feel as though it is a deep dark secret that they can’t admit to. I would say “beats me,” as it’s not particularly weird, nor unusual. But if I’m being honest, I think that women are reacting to popular media which almost always shows sex as heterosexual, man on top with vaginal intercourse. Well, sometimes the woman’s on top. But either way, the woman is having an orgasm from intercourse, and she’d damn well not lying on her stomach rubbing her hand or a stuffed animal. So yes,there is little room for showing variations and it created a narrative that all women orgasm on their backs. I also have to add here that having orgasms on your stomach is just not a great way for videographers to portray women’s excitement and it’s nearly impossible to show a woman’s face in the throes of passion that way. So it feel understandable that it is just not the preferred means of showing women having orgasm in media.

But it breaks my heart when I see women so embarrassed about the way that they orgasm that they choose not have orgasms all with their partner rather than talk about it. And I see it all the time.

So, next question: is it bad to orgasm on your stomach? Or problematic? No. Not at all. It may be slightly more inconvenient but that is only because it’s hard to have your partner stimulate you to orgasm that way, and it’s harder to use your hands while you’re having intercourse if that is something you want to do. But an orgasm is an orgasm is an orgasm and there is no reason to think that a “stomach orgasm” is any less valuable, pleasurable, reasonable or intense than an orgasm on your back.

Should you try to change the way you orgasm if the stomach is your preferred posture? Hmmm… this is the first question which is tricky to answer. If you feel like your orgasm is working for you (say, you can orgasm easily by positioning yourself above your partner’s knee or penis)and you and your partner are happy to make sure that you have an orgasm in the way that is fun and easiest for you and it’s fun for you both, then I say, why bother? You go girl. Your sex life is working just fine.

But if you haven’t told your partner, it’s time to fess up sweetie. There is no way that going through your entire life pretending to have orgasms a different way, or giving up on orgasms entirely during partnered sex can possibly be a good thing. I promise you, it will soon become a drag and a deep dark secret you resent. If it hasn’t already.

You can always try to learn to orgasm on your back, of course. It may be just a matter of practicing. Usually, the best way to do that is to bring yourself close to orgasm, and then flip over and try to finish up on your back. And maybe hold off on having orgasms on your stomach for a few weeks while you try to learn a new neurological pathway. For some women the transition is pretty easy. For some it takes working on it longer. But here’s a word of advice: don’t do it if it’s stressful in any way or makes you feel bad about yourself. It’s true that learning to have orgasm while on your back will open up more options in terms of sexual positions and play with your partner. That’ s great. But it is most definitely not worth feeling bad about yourself or your orgasmic ability and it is not worth turning your sex life into “work” as you try to reorient yourself. Just remind yourself that there are some women who can’t orgasm at all. (The statistics seem to be around 5%) so you are lucky that you can and do!

My best advice to women who orgasm on their stomachs would be to embrace the way you orgasm. Make sure your partner knows what feels best to you. And just have fun. You know, that’s the general advice I always give women. It works here too.