Ladies, raise your hand if you’re a victim of this unholy crime: You’re in the sexual zone, on the verge of achieving the ultimate. It’s right there and you’re ready to go. And then, all of a sudden...you’re not. Poof, orgasm gone.
It’s pretty much the worst possible thing that can happen to a woman, amirite? A veritable vaginal "womp, womp." Most women have been there, and subsequently hope to never return.
“The most common reason why women get close to reaching orgasm but then ‘lose it,’ is fear of the unknown, or fear of losing control,” says Leah Millheiser, M.D., clinical assistant professor of obstetrics & gynecology at Stanford University. “Typically, this is more of a mental phenomenon than a physical one. Most women are not cognizant of the fact that they are doing it.”
So in order to prevent your from ever denying yourself the right (not privilege) to an orgasm again, here are some of Millheiser's tricks to help you make it all the way to the finish line.
1. FANTASISE, FANTASISE, FANTASISE
Picture this scenario: You're masturbating, and you can feel the promise of your orgasm building. Then, suddenly, you remember that you forgot to send an email at work, or that you desperately need to do laundry this week. Suddenly, that orgasm is slipping away, and fast.
If you find yourself in this predicament, whether you're going at it solo or getting it on with your S.O., think dirty thoughts. Like, ASAP. Whatever turns you on—whether it's a BDSM or threesome scenario—focus all your attention on that sexy fantasy. This method helps you stay focused on the act and to facilitate sexual arousal. So keep thinking about what gets you going, and ride that wave all the way to O town.
2. MEDITATIVE MASTURBATION
Masturbation or sex should be a form of meditation in its own right. This is your time to relax and do something nice for you. But, again, it can be difficult to focus on the task at hand when your mind is drifting to that overdue assignment, or the stack of bills you have yet to pay.
That's where mindfulness comes in. Meditative masturbation helps you get out of your head and into your body. Here's how to try it: The next time you masturbate, really focus on everything you're doing, and try your best to stay fully in the moment. Pay attention to how it feels when you stroke your clitoris in different ways, or when you incorporate some nipple-play into the mix. And hey, you can even try lighting some candles, dimming the lights, or getting down with yourself in a hot bath to really help set the stress-free scene.
By staying present, you not only help tone down your angst, but also give your body a chance to totally surrender to pleasure.
3. GET A GOOD TOY
If you can’t get there on your own, there’s no shame in turning to a toy for assistance. Using a clitoral stimulator like The Womanizer can work wonders. Its unique way of stimulating the clitoris (via gentle yet rapid air suction) feels incredible for most women. (Reminder: the clitoris is essential for female pleasure!)
The compact Eva vibrator is also a great choice to use during couples play. It's small enough to slip right into your usual routine (its wings wrap snug around your labia), and helps stimulate just the right spot.
Both these toys will give you an extra physical boost, which can help you avoid losing that O.
4. MIX IT UP
They say no one likes change, but when it comes to sex, change can often be a good thing. No one ever got off on monotony. If the same constant, steady stimulation is leaving you feeling bored and numb, consider changing it up right before climax.
For example, if you're doing it doggy style, flip over and take control on top. Or if you're feeling your orgasm start to build during missionary, ask your partner to switch it up, and go down on you until the finale.
Sometimes trying something completely different right at that critical moment can shock the body into total bliss.
5. TALK IT OUT
If losing your orgasm is a consistent problem, where it seems to be cramping your style more often than not (and it feels like you've tried EVERYTHING), consider cognitive behavioral therapy or sex therapy. Maybe you can't quite get there because you fear losing control, maybe your anxiety is getting the best of you, or maybe you just don't feel comfortable with your current partner. Whatever the reason, chatting with an expert can help you find the root of what's going on, plus the best way to deal with it.
This article originally appeared on Women's Health US