The Big “O” is a big deal. Couples ask me all the time: How can she become orgasmic?

Much to my delight, it’s often the men seeking advice. They’re concerned about their partner's pleasure and take her inability to reach that passion peak personally. They want to know how to rock her world and bring her to that state of ultimate bliss.

As reported in “The Guide of Sexual Medicine,” it’s estimated that about 24 percent of women experience difficulties with orgasm at some point in their lives. This percentage declines with age, with married women having lower rates compared to never married, divorced, separated, or widowed women.

Some of those women have never had an orgasm, and others report having lost their ability to climax.

But what most don’t realize is that a woman has to be in charge of her own pleasuring.

In her efforts to climax, a woman has to remember that she is in the driver’s seat. We’re all responsible for our own sexual satisfaction. And while we can give our partners credit for their invaluable assistance, no one gives an orgasm to another.

It’s a major blow when a woman finds herself suffering from female orgasmic disorder — the difficulty or inability to attain climax after sufficient sexual stimulation and arousal.

Here are some of the reasons why a woman may not be able to climax:

She doesn’t know her body. Learning how to bring oneself to orgasm can be beneficial to learning how to climax with a partner. According to “The Hite Report,” women have a significantly high rate of attaining orgasm when they masturbate.

Huh? Data indicates women may not realize they are climaxing. Apparently some physiological data has indicated that there are a few women who don’t even realize they’ve had an orgasm. They just don’t recognize the signs, having quite different expectations. Therefore, they don’t identify orgasm when it occurs. A little bit of education should nip such sexual ignorance in the bud.

She’s stuck in her head. Instead of enjoying the moment, she’s thinking about it way too much: What does he think of me? Are we moving well together? Am I doing this right? When am I going to reach the Big O? Instead of focusing on her thoughts, she needs to surrender herself to the moment, embracing the sensations.

Foreplay is no more than a fleeting encounter. Some couples rush into sex, failing to give the woman enough time to become fully aroused. The average woman needs 20 minutes of foreplay to ready for sex. So explore the various ways she can get turned on in a relaxed atmosphere, taking your time.

Intercourse is not where it’s at for her. According to sex therapist Laura Berman, only 30 percent of women orgasm during sex and 40 percent have difficulty hitting climax from sexual intercourse alone, i.e. sex without foreplay. Most women need clitoral stimulation during lovemaking in order to climax. Couples need to explore her erogenous zones before jumping into intercourse.

She’s repressed. Discouraged and frustrated from her lack of response, she’s afraid that she won’t orgasm, so she doesn’t even bother trying. The result: A totally repressed sexual response.

Her partner is not able to satisfy her sexually. While there are some lousy lovers out there, almost anybody can be trained. Instead of blaming her partner, she needs to step up and communicate. She can’t be bashful in telling her partner what she wants, what feels good, what to do.

She thinks that love should be enough. Despite popular beliefs that a woman’s romantic attachment to her partner will make for mind-blowing sex, the frequency of her orgasm is not dependent on love. It’s reliant upon her ability to yield to physical pleasures, her desire, and her sexuality.

She’s fallen victim to negative messages from her childhood about sex. Too many people in this country are raised to think that sex is something dirty or something that you shouldn’t enjoy. Their upbringing has been rigid and sexually repressive. Guilt over being sexually attracted to her mate gets in the way of a woman truly enjoying sexual moments.

Sex is a goal. Too many couples see orgasm as the main aim of intimacy. What lovers need to realize is that great sex doesn’t necessarily mean having an orgasm. While it’s natural to want to reach climax, a woman – and her partner – need to put that pressure aside and focus on the fun and bonding at hand. Remember, when it comes to orgasm, “achieve” is a dirty word. Don’t put pressure on each other.

Now, the reasons for a lack of orgasm don’t stop there. There’s a whole shopping list of etiologies, giving couples the answers they’re looking for. Other reasons include:

— Health ailments, including pituitary adenoma, diabetes, heart disease, pelvic conditions, hormonal changes, including menopause, and genetic factors

— Insufficient mental arousal

— Lack of permission to be with partner

— Stuck in a pattern of faking it

— Sexual trauma and withheld feelings, especially rage

— Giving into pressure to have sex before she’s ready

— Relationship difficulties, including fear of intimacy and lack of partner trust

— Alcohol or drugs

— Medications, including antidepressants

— Poor body image, including how she feels about her genitals

— Mood disorders

— Low self-esteem

The large majority of women with orgasmic disorder overcome this issue once they’ve consulted a physician and/or sex therapist. If you, or your partner, are suffering from a lack of orgasm, there are things you can do to overcome this condition:

1. Try positions where you’re going to get maximum pleasure. Don’t be afraid to switch things up by switching places with your mate.

2. Strengthen your PC (pubococcygeus) muscle. Exercising your pelvic floor muscles can increase sexual sensations.

3. Experiment with sexual enhancement products.

In the Know Sex News …

— Mass treatment recommended for Aborigines. Authors of a paper published in the Medical Journal of Australia are bringing attention to the high levels of sexually transmitted infections amongst some Aboriginal communities. Their suggestion: Mass treatment, even for children as young as 10, as the only way to deal with this health crisis. With one in four residents in the indigenous communities of Australia’s Northern Territory having either chlamydia or gonorrhea, including some children, traditional methods of containing diseases are not working.

— Let’s rethink this. UNAIDS and the World Health Organization (WHO) have responded to the Swiss AIDS Commission’s claim that HIV-positive people taking antiretroviral drugs cannot transmit the virus during sex under certain circumstances. The Swiss commission holds that couples with one HIV-positive partner, who is adhering to treatment regimens, do not need to use condoms to prevent transmission since suppressed viral loads completely eliminate the risk of transmitting HIV. UNAIDS and WHO are standing by their original safer sex recommendation. We "strongly recommend a comprehensive package of HIV prevention approaches, including correct and consistent use of condoms," the organizations said. Both organizations cite the need for more research and proof for such claims.

— Male circumcision provides no HIV protection to female partners. Researchers at the 15th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections say that circumcising an HIV-positive male can increase the risk of HIV transmission if a couple has sex before circumcision is healed. If a man gets snipped, both he and his partner need to be educated on the risks involved.

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Dr. Yvonne Kristín Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."