Q&A: “I won’t be able to climax. But it’s not just that…”

Decreased sensitivity

Decreased sensitivity

Hi Marna!
This has happened to me every now and then with a partner and alone. It’s unusual but it can happen: I won’t be able to climax. But it’s not just that, it’s like my sensitivity is decreased in general. I know there’s emotional stuff behind it but sometimes it’s not so obvious what it is (there wasn’t a fight or an identifiable resentment/etc.). Then maybe the next day my partner and I will have amazing sex, but 3 days later the problem returns. He’s now abroad and I won’t be seeing him for another few weeks… I’m hoping this isn’t an issue when we reunite.
I’m afraid of this because I don’t understand it and wish to feel more in control of my own body.
Thank you, Marna.
- a Friend

Dear Friend,

Thanks so much for your question. And your vulnerability. I hear you.

My answer to you has several facets:

Notice what *is* happening

Notice what *is* happening

1) It may be that, in moments, you are unable to climax. I don’t think there is anything wrong with you. I think this is in fact very very normal. In my experience, the most likely path to climax from that point is to breathe, relax, and accept that you may not climax. And introduce a mindset shift: Can you begin to notice what is happening, rather than what is not?

Your energy system is always in flux. You are impacted by what you ate, how you slept, and how much stimulation you’ve experienced in the past several hours. Infinite factors, actually. Your system may not always be ready to *do* this particular genre of experience.

When I first began learning how to make love to myself, I became enthralled in the experience of my energy building, like a dance, until it reached a crux – a peak followed the crash of a wave. It felt like an electrical discharge. It was and always is extremely compelling.

I don’t always experience this kind of orgasm. It’s frustrating sometimes, especially when I really want to but feel like I can’t.



What I’ve discovered is this: like many ephemeral tenants, the more I crave and chase it, the harder it is to catch. The more I relax and allow myself to enjoy whatever is happening in the moment, the more likely the wave will find, flood, animate, and take me over. Or something else will happen. My enjoyment is only limited by my attachment to have something happen other than what is happening.

2) It may be that in moments you are less sensitive.

As far as I can tell, it’s the nature of living things to expand and contract. This applies to social as well as experiential contexts. The nervous system is like any other functioning system in the human body, and goes thru natural cycles of activation and restoration.

For example, I feel differently in different moments. Sometimes I need to be alone for a while, sometimes I like tender touch, sometimes I want to be around more people or want a more firm or energized touch. All different ingredients and variables for the “meal” of experience that sounds really yummy in the moment. If I have been being more expansive; very social, out, meeting people, or in a loud place, chances are I will soon desire alone and quiet time to balance that. It’s like my body says, “Enough!”

Energy flowing

Energy flowing

3) Regarding “emotional stuff behind it,” it may be emotional or it may be energetic. And it may or may not have content, as in a reason or back story. The human system is intelligent but, in my experience, doesn’t always make sense.

One powerful tool for helping clear the energetic channels is yoga. In yoga they say there are 72,000 energetic channels called nadis. Any of these may be more or less flowing at any given time.

And it may be that there are blockages or constrictions, or it may be that the way you are energetically activated in the moment is in a less receptive way. For example if you, as a woman, are oriented into your inner masculine (getting shit done in the world) you may not be able to access your receptive softness to truly and viscerally appreciate all the wonderful sensations available to your woman body. Try taking a shower, getting a massage, or engaging in some sort of ritual that helps you release the wonderfully masculine ways of being long enough to enjoy your feminine essence.

4) I hear you that you’d like to feel more in control.



Here’s how I see it. I like to think of it like my body is a Lion, and I am a lion trainer. Regardless of how much I will it, I can not actually make the Lion do anything. There is art, skill, principles, and practice that help us to work together in concert.

The best I can do is verve to understand the Lion, celebrate her for all her fantastically wild ways, and support her in having what she needs to feel available for alliance with me. Every system has it’s own precious sense of balance. I wouldn’t starve my lion for weeks and then stick my head in her mouth.

Just like I wouldn’t overstimulate my nervous system and then expect to feel sensitively. But that’s my nervous system. Yours may really be different.

What does your lion most like? Do you find after a period of rest you are more or less sensitive? How about following a period of stimulation? How about after you eat pizza? Etc….


Stars & Constellations

I get that it may seem like a problem in the moment, but before deciding any particular thing is wrong, begin to notice… You. Allow yourself to learn new things about your unique system all the time. And allow that although you are in a constant state of flux, you may discern some guiding principles and patterns over time, like constellations to guide your journey.

Make sense? Leave a comment below with your thoughts, ideas, and anecdotes.

May the rightness of who you already be light your way and guide your pleasure path.

With Love,


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