Sunday Star-Times - Sunday Magazine - - NEWS - Robyn Sal­is­bury is a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist. Email ques­tions to MrsSal­is­bury@sex­ther­

I am a 38-year-old woman and I have never had an or­gasm. In the past, I have had a long-term highly sex­ual re­la­tion­ship where I was a man’s mis­tress. We had sex very fre­quently, and I faked an or­gasm ev­ery sin­gle time. A big part of his sex­ual plea­sure was feel­ing that he had sat­is­fied me, and I wanted to keep him happy, be­cause I liked most parts of the re­la­tion­ship apart from the sex. Sex was the price I paid for hav­ing him as a boyfriend.

I have had other part­ners, male and fe­male, and have had the same ex­pe­ri­ence. I love the per­son, I love be­ing in a re­la­tion­ship, I en­joy sex­ual con­tact where I am able to fo­cus en­tirely on plea­sur­ing my part­ner... but I do not like to have re­cep­tive sex with the per­son.

I have been sin­gle and en­tirely chaste for over a decade now so the is­sue of achiev­ing or­gasm is en­tirely in my hands. For me, it feels like this: I’m run­ning up a hill, I can see the top and I’m feel­ing strong. I re­ally want to get to the top! I can feel my heart rate go up and my skin flush­ing. Then, sud­denly, it’s like the hori­zon is mov­ing swiftly away from me. The hill be­comes a moun­tain, the top dwin­dling into a speck amidst the clouds, and I slowly come to a stop, sweaty and frustrated and a bit be­wil­dered.

I don’t un­der­stand why mas­tur­ba­tion does not al­low me to cli­max. I have tried ev­ery sex toy and aid I’ve come across that does not look il­le­gal or deadly, and had no suc­cess. Pornog­ra­phy turns me off. I don’t know what else to try. What would it mean for you to be a sexy woman who is read­ily or­gas­mic? At the risk of con­firm­ing read­ers’ worst stereo­types about what ther­a­pists do, I need to ask you what your mum mod­elled for you about be­ing a sexy woman and about get­ting her needs met. You’ve fo­cused on giv­ing a lot and try­ing to avoid re­ceiv­ing – what is that about?

I’m pleased that for now you’re fo­cus­ing on achiev­ing or­gasm for your­self; that sim­pli­fies things. From your de­scrip­tion I’d say you are try­ing too hard. Swap your im­age for rolling in a soft grassy meadow on a warm day, no hills in sight, just you im­mersed in your sen­sual ex­pe­ri­ences, breath­ing in na­ture’s en­ergy and on the out breath ex­press­ing your sex­ual en­ergy.

Use both hands to be touch­ing var­i­ous parts of your body in ways that feel en­joy­able. Make sure you pulse the cli­toral stim­u­la­tion as oth­er­wise it’s easy to numb your gen­i­tals. Think sexy thoughts rather than think­ing about or­gasm.

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