Why Orgasms Shouldn't Be Your Only Goal During Sex

In a study published in 2019, it was estimated that 22% of vagina havers don’t have orgasms during penetrative sex. The study, published by Kinsey Institute, surveyed more than 1,400 vagina havers and asked about what percentage of time they achieve orgasm during vaginal intercourse, assisted vaginal intercourse with clitoral stimulation, and unassisted vaginal intercourse. The percent changes depending on whether it was assisted or unassisted, but the fact remains the same: not everyone is having orgasms as often as we want

Orgasms are a great part of sex, but they shouldn’t be the only goal of sex. It doesn’t matter if the sex with a committed partner, an occasional play partner, or someone you just met. Pleasure can still be achieved without the end goal of making someone cum. 

In my experience, people often conflate pleasure with orgasms, and sure, orgasms are a form of pleasure!! But pleasure is still achievable without them. By making orgasms less of a priority during sex, you may end up finding that your pleasure increases as well as communication and connection with your partner. 

“Karezza” is the practice of placing emphasis on spiritual love for another person instead of sexual passion. Discovered by John Humphrey Noyes in 1844, Karezza (pronounced ka-RET-za), is now thought of as a non-orgasmic sexual experience. 

The goal of Karezza is to boost that feel-good brain chemical Oxytocin, which is often referred to as the “love” hormone. It’s released during social bonding, cuddling, breastfeeding, ejaculation, and more. Basically, we want a regular flow of Oxytocin in our brains, and Karezza is aimed at helping us achieve that! 

Before you read this next paragraph, I want you to pause for a moment, close your eyes, and imagine feeling a partner’s hands on your body in a sensual way. Keep reading when you’re ready. 

I bet just the thought of a partner’s hands on you was enough to send shivers up your spine or get your mind wandering towards pleasure. The sensation of touch is a love language for many people, even those who don’t realize how important touch is. Without sex, touch on its own is a way to create intimacy and make someone feel more comfortable. But you also can’t have sex without some form of touch! 

Next time you’re getting ready to pounce on your partner for a romp, try to hold back your excitement and passion so you can enhance your experience. This can start as early in the day before sex as you want! As you’re making dinner, take a moment to plant a long kiss on your partner's lips as you hold them against you, heart to heart. I want you to start trying to physically connect with your partner as often throughout the day as you can! 

When you’re ready for the fun to begin, grab some massage oil and work your way from their feet to their thighs to their shoulders and neck. Or start by sensually, slowly kissing them instead as your bodies lay intertwined. You could even take a shower or bath together and give your partner a fresh shave or grab a loofah as you slowly wash them from head to toe. Focus on the sensation of touch and how it makes your body & mind respond. Your goal here isn’t an orgasm, but I’d guess that you’d start to feel pleasure from this sensual means of foreplay

By this point, I bet your partner is aching for more of you. But also remember, it’s ok if they still need more before they get to that point! Sexual stimulants are a great way to bump up the pleasure factor as you continue. 

Once you’re both feeling the connection from touch, start to incorporate more sexual pleasure. You don’t have to jump to penetration, in fact I’d recommend continuing to slow it down before you get to that point! There are lots of ways to have sex that don’t focus solely on penetration. Personally, I love to go from sensual kissing to humping or hand sex before oral or penetrative sex. As grinding toys grow in popularity, humping is especially exciting! 

Talk to your partner during sex, whether it’s during foreplay, penetrative sex, or any alternative forms of sex. Tell them what feels good or ask to switch it up if it doesn’t. The bonus of talking during sex, especially telling your partner what feels good, is it doubles as dirty talk! Focus on helping your partner feel sexy and pleasured. Orgasms may still happen, and that’s cool, but by taking away the pressure of achieving orgasms, you’re bound to feel more connected to your partner! 

Slow down, savor your partner. Relish in their pleasure. Take pleasure & power in knowing what makes your partner feel good. As you explore Karezza, talk with your partner about it! What feels good, what doesn’t feel good. Listen to them and ask them to listen to you too. The point is to feel good together. 

Our lives are already so busy! We as humans are always thinking about what’s next, how can I get to my end goal, what show should I binge next... Sex is fun! Sex is pleasurable! Why not spend some time enjoying it rather than rushing through it as if you’ve got better things to do. There’s a time and place for a good quickie, but connecting with your partner ain’t it.

Whether you want to practice Karezza or just find better ways to connect, remove the end goal of orgasm and take time to strengthen your relationship, even if it’s purely casual. Explore different pleasurable sensations together and connect with your partner in new ways.




Sydney Screams (she/they) is a plus size adult performer, cat parent, and potato enthusiast. She believes in creating inclusive, sex positive content that depicts pleasure in an authentic and fun way, without fetishizing or stereotyping her scene partners. Her goal is to educate her fans, colleagues, and friends that pleasure and love are for everyone, regardless of gender, size, sexuality, disability, or race. Follow Sydney on TwitterInstagram, and her blog

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