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12 Secrets to Making a Partner With a Vulva Orgasm Every Single Time

Try these moves to bring them over the edge.

african couple of lovers relaxing in bed at home
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"DID YOU FINISH?" Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but if you have to ask your partner if they had an orgasm, odds are they did not. This is especially true if, like the average man, you took between 5 and 7 seven minutes to finish. According to 2019 research published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, it takes the average vulva-owner around double that time—13.41 minutes—to orgasm during P-in-V intercourse. It's also worth pointing out that the vast majority of people with a vulva can't cum from penetration alone; they need external clitoral stimulation.

All of this contributes to what’s commonly known as the “orgasm gap”: the proven fact that straight, cisgender men orgasm during sex significantly more often than their partners do. A 2017 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that straight, cisgender men orgasm 95% of the time, whereas straight, cisgender women only orgasm 65% of the time. And the disparity has nothing to do with vulva-owners’ anatomy—that same study found that cisgender lesbians orgasm 86% of the time during sex, and additional research shows that vulva-owners have no problem reaching orgasm during masturbation.

Now that you know this, you're probably wondering: how can I make sure my partner orgasms during sex? Fortunately, stepping up your game isn’t going to require any acrobatic moves. Communicating with your partner, making sure they feel safe and comfortable, and learning what they like can make a big difference in their sexual pleasure.

Of course, everyone is different. That said, there are a few ways you can tune into your partner’s pleasure—so if your partner is having trouble getting to the finish line, try these tips from vulva-owners and sexual health experts.


1) Don't race toward your partner’s orgasm.

“Try to remember the goal of sex is pleasure, and orgasm is one kind of pleasure that is significantly shorter than all the rest of it,” says Shadeen Francis, LMFT. That’s why Francis recommends slowing down. Take your time with your movements, and don’t focus on the end game. There is a slight irony to it—the more your partner thinks about orgasming, the less likely they will be to orgasm. So take the pressure off of your partner and focus on making them feel as good as possible for as long as possible. (We refer to this slow-down technique as closing the "pleasure gap.")

2) Incorporate external clitoral stimulation.

First thing’s first: the vast majority of vulva-owners require external clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. In fact, a study of more than 1,000 vulva-owners in 2017 revealed that only 18% of participants could orgasm through vaginal intercourse alone. So when you're having sex, you want to focus on external stimulation alone or in combination with some form of penetration.

If you want to stimulate your partner’s clitoris during P-in-V intercourse, some sex positions make it easier to do than others. Rachel* is a fan of the coital alignment technique, or CAT: "When a guy is on top of you in the missionary position, have him shift his body slightly forward so that, every time he thrusts, his penis rubs against your clitoris." This tactic is even more orgasmic if your partner’s legs are together and you’re straddling them, says Ellen Friedrichs, M.A., a health educator who also teaches at the City University of New York's City Tech campus. You can achieve the same effect when they’re on top by propping yourself up on your elbows, which places your abdomen in closer contact with their clitoris.

3) Pay more attention to their butt.

Unless anal is on the menu, butts are typically sidelined during sex. And that's a shame, because "the buttocks are packed with nerve endings," says Gilda Carle, Ph.D., an internationally-known relationship expert. To give your partner “a surprising jolt of pleasure,” spread your fingers wide and squeeze their cheeks.

That said, you should ask your partner if they’re into booty squeezing first. If they’re down, be gentle, and take it one step at a time. Yes, of course, there are people out there who crave a good, hard spanking, but that needs to be discussed and agreed on before the butt smacking begins.

4) Learn what your partner likes, and follow their lead.

As we mentioned above, direct, external clitoral stimulation is the most surefire way to bring many vulva-owners to orgasm—and oral sex is a pretty good way of going about that. Sex therapist Ian Kerner, Ph.D., LMFT, says that using your mouth is the best way to get a sense of what your partner likes at every stage of arousal, including the stage just before orgasm. You’ll know your partner is becoming more aroused if you notice increased vaginal lubrication or if the external portion of their clitoris or their entire vulva swells. The clitoris—including the wishbone-shaped portion that’s underneath the skin—is made of erectile tissue just like the penis, so if your partner’s genitals increase in size, you’re doing a good job!

To find out more about your partner’s preferences, let them take the lead. When you're giving them oral sex, get between their legs and give them a solid base of lips, tongue, and even chin (if you have a clean, smooth shave, that is) to rub against. While your partner does the grinding, note how hard they’re pushing and in what direction. Use that information later when using your fingers or mouth to please them.

5) Don't stop kissing them.

Once things get more heated, you might be tempted to focus less on kissing in favor of more X-rated pleasures. But deep kissing is often a must for reaching orgasm, according to a 2017 survey of more than 50,000 adults. The findings revealed that vulva-owners were much more likely to reach orgasm if their sexual encounter included a combination of deep kissing, oral sex, and genital stimulation.

6) Indulge their fantasies.

Ask your partner if they have any fantasies they’d like to explore. “Fantasies can increase arousal during a sexual experience,” says Francis. “Finding a fantasy that really turns your partner on can add another layer of pleasure during sex.” It’s also a way to get your partner more psychologically aroused, which is just as important (if not more important) than physical arousal when it comes to having an orgasm. One study found that vulva-owners with lower sexual desire tend to require mental arousal in order to recognize their physical arousal. Try role play or tell your partner an erotic story to kick their pleasure up a notch.

7) Talk dirty to them.

Dirty talk” doesn’t have to include four-letter words. Describe what you’re doing to your partner, or say what you want them to do to you. If you're hesitant, a simple compliment about how attractive you find your partner will do the trick. “Saying something specific about me is sexy while we're in bed,” says Emily*. And if your partner has told you in advance that they’re turned on by specific words and phrases, pepper those into the dialogue, too.

8) Lube up.

No matter how hot and heavy you’re getting, without adequate lubrication, it's easy for sex to become uncomfortable or even painful for your partner. While lube is absolutely necessary for anal sex (butts don’t self-lubricate like vaginas do), it’s helpful for vaginal penetration and external stimulation, too. "Lubrication increases the comfort and speed with which you can penetrate the vagina and grind against the clitoris," says Friedrichs.

Remember that needing lube doesn’t mean your partner isn’t turned on—some bodies just get wetter than others. Plus, medication, hormonal imbalances, menopause, stress, and dehydration can all decrease the body’s natural lubrication, so there’s nothing wrong with needing a little extra slippery stuff. Using lube makes sex more comfortable for everyone involved. In fact, a 2011 study found that using lube enhances sexual pleasure for vulva-owners. Just remember that if you’re using condoms, you should stick with water-based or silicone-based lube, since oil-based lube can damage latex.

9) Focus on their neck.

Our necks are highly responsive touch pads: the skin is thin there, and the blood vessels are close to the surface. So it's not surprising that researchers have found that the neck is one of the best places for stimulation using light touch (so no hickeys, please—unless your partner asks for one).

When you're having sex and your partner is clearly moving toward orgasm, brush your lips from their collarbone to their jaw, then give their neck soft, warm kisses to drive them wild.

10) Break out the sex toys.

You can’t build a house without a hammer, and for many vulva-owners, you can’t build an orgasm without a vibrator. More than 50% of vulva-owners use vibrators to help them achieve orgasm, according to a 2009 study, so welcoming pleasure tools into the bedroom should be a no-brainer. If you still need convincing, a 2019 study found that vulva-owners who used vibrators both alone and with a partner reported greater sexual satisfaction compared to those who only used a vibrator by themselves. Now are you ready to reach into your partner’s bedside drawer?

Let your partner hold a vibrator against their clitoris while you penetrate them with a dildo, your fingers, or penis; or operate the toy yourself. Just remember to ask about their pressure and speed preferences: you don't want to start too fast and heavy right off the bat.

11) Let your partner take matters into their own hands.

Remember when we told you that most vulva-owners have no problem reaching orgasm during masturbation? Let them take the wheel. Encourage your partner to touch their clitoris while you penetrate them or incorporate mutual masturbation into your romp. If your partner enjoys exhibitionism, offer to watch them masturbate with their hands or their favorite toy. Make sure you’re taking mental notes on the ways they like to be touched.

12) Ask your partner what they want.

This might sound obvious, but asking your partner exactly what makes them hot is the best way to help them orgasm. In fact, studies have shown that people who are more comfortable talking about sex have better sex, because they feel less anxious between the sheets. Discussing your partner’s fantasies, preferences, and turn-offs (without judgment) will make them feel more comfortable—which will, in turn, lead to more satisfying sex for both of you.


*Names have been changed to allow subjects to speak freely on private matters.

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