Do orgasms feel like something everyone else is having, but you’re missing out on? Do you find yourself wondering what everyone’s raving about because you find getting off to be less-than-mind-blowing? Or maybe you just want to make sure you’re having the best climaxes you possibly can. It’s normal for cisgender women to find orgasm difficult to achieve, or less intense than you’d like. But if you’re looking to add some bang to your, well, bang, you’re in luck. There are plenty of ways for people with vaginas to have better orgasms.
But let’s get one thing straight — there’s a ton of unrealistic expectations put on us when it comes to sex. All that pressure can make you second-guess yourself, and sex should be about feeling good, not beating yourself up. Whatever sex you’re having and however you’re getting yourself off, is wonderful. Small orgasms are great, big orgasms are great. They’re all great.
But if you’re wondering why your “Big O”s seem to be lacking in size, there could be several factors at play. There are many things that can affect your ability to climax that you may never have considered. Here are some reasons that you might not be having the orgasm of your dream.
1. Set the Temperature
A few degrees can be the difference between a peaceful night’s sleep and one spent tossing and turning. Dr. Christopher Winter, medical director of Charlottesville Neurology & Sleep Medicine, told The Huffington Post that the body undergoes a natural temperature change throughout the day, and sleep is initiated during the cooling off period. But if you have a higher core body temperature, then lulling yourself into dreamland may prove a bit challenging. To help with the process, Winter recommended setting the thermostat between 60 and 67 degrees F.
2. Get Physical
There are infinite benefits to breaking a sweat, and a good night’s sleep is one of them. A 2013 study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine found that engaging in 30 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week improves the quality of sleep. And for any new moms out there, a more recent study in the Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies found squeezing in a little Pilates helps postpartum women with their sleep.
3. Skip the Vino
If you’re anything like me, then you’re sound asleep after a glass of wine. But that doesn’t mean you’re sleeping well. A 2013 study from Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research notes that alcohol actually disrupts and decreases REM sleep. Take a cue from your little ones and trade your merlot for melatonin-filled milk, which helps you stay asleep.
4. Let the Sun Shine In
A good night’s sleep is only half of the equation. In order to wake up happy, you have to get your morning off to the right start. One way to do that is to make sure your room will be properly lit come morning, as light has the ability to lift our spirits. Before slipping into bed, raise the blinds to allow the sunshine to stream through your window in the morning. Or if you’re trapped in a windowless tower, invest in an artificial sun clock that you can set the night before.
5. Don’t Hit the Snooze Button
It’s amazing how quickly “five more minutes” turns into an hour, forcing you to run around the house like a madwoman. Dr. Robert Rosenberg, a sleep medicine specialist, told CNN that hitting the snooze button throws off your natural sleep cycle. This fragmented sleep often results in “moodiness, cognitive problems, and trouble paying attention.” Rosenburg suggested placing your alarm clock out of reach, as it forces you to actually get your *ss out of bed.
6. Pump Up the Jams
Still feeling groggy as you step into the shower? A little music could change that. Studies have found that listening to upbeat music instantly improves one’s mood. If your music is more heartbreaking than happy, here a few song suggestions to lift your spirits.
Abcotech Bluetooth Shower Speaker, $14.99, Amazon
7. Sleep on Your Right Side
No literally. Forget your left side, stomach, or snore-inducing back. A Turkish study discovered that when people slept on their right sides, they suffered fewer nightmares and scored lower on the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, indicating a better night’s sleep. Plus, with you and your partner sleeping on the same side, you’ll score some extra spooning time.
8. Power Down
Because technology plays a role in all of life’s problems, it only makes sense that it would inhibit our sleep as well. According to the National Sleep Foundation, cell phones, computers, and other devices emit a light that tricks your body into thinking it should be awake. Hence why you wake up in the middle of the night and throw a wrench in our sleep cycle. But many people, myself included, use a phone as an alarm, so shutting off our devices isn’t completely realistic. As a compromise, I’ve taken to covering my phone with a dark T-shirt before hitting the hay. This way, you block the disruptive blue light without running the risk of oversleeping in the a.m.
9. Enjoy a Morning Quickie
You and your partner will both benefit from this trick. Not only does morning sex give your body and brain a java-like jolt on par with the latest Starbucks concoction, but it prevents you from falling into a sexual dry spell that many face post-kids. To make up for the time you spent shagging, you and your SO can suds up together afterwards.