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Food and Drink

Navigating ‘Bad’ Orgasms: Unravelling Desire, Excitement, and Recovery


A “bad” orgasm refers to a negative or non-pleasurable experience of orgasm during consensual sexual encounters. It typically occurs in situations such as coerced sex (where one is persuaded or pressured into intimacy), compliant sex (when sex is had to appease a partner rather than out of desire), or pressured orgasm scenarios (where the orgasm is considered the pinnacle of sex and its absence is perceived as a personal failure). In these circumstances, while the sexual encounter may be legally consensual, it is not emotionally satisfying or enjoyable, leading to the experience of a “bad” orgasm.

The importance of studying negative orgasm experiences

The study by Chadwick et al lays out the definition of a “bad” orgasm as a negative or non-pleasurable experience of orgasm in otherwise consensual sex. It was an online survey where the participants were asked to describe their experience of an orgasm during coerced sex, compliant sex and pressured orgasm situations. Now, while all of these sexual encounters can be classified legally under consensual sex, none of them can be expected to be happy occurrences.

Coerced sex, compliant sex, and pressured orgasm situations

Coerced sex is someone who’s cajoled, convinced and peer-pressured into intimacy; compliant is when sex is had to pacify the partner rather than out of desire; and pressured orgasm is where the orgasm is considered the pinnacle of sex and its absence somehow a personal failure. So, no, not particularly happy or desirous encounters. But orgasm did occur.

In my opinion, these orgasms occurred because you know an orgasm signals the end of sex. It’s done; now you can get up, get dressed and get out of this uncomfortable situation. In men with premature ejaculation, this is sometimes the underlying psychopathology too.

The Concept of Orgasm as the End of Sex

I guess here we need to look at the concept of why an orgasm is considered the end of sex, the “finishing”. Research has found that both men and women take offence at not being “able” to induce an orgasm in their partners. Somehow, it hurts their ego, their sense of self. And in this chase behind the orgasm, every other aspect of sex gets left behind.

DEOR – Desire, Excitement, Orgasm, and Recovery

From a therapeutic standpoint, sex is an amalgamation of DEOR- Desire, Excitement, Orgasm and Recovery. It’s only when all of these elements are on point, that sex is good and satisfactory. So, the “big O”, as it’s called, is only an element. In the absence of desire, or scarcity of excitement, the big O will be nowhere to be found.

So, if a patient came to me with an experience of a “bad” orgasm, I wouldn’t question the orgasm. Rather, I would like to explore the D-E-R elements in its vicinity.

Was desire present? Did you really want to have sex at that moment, at that place?

Was Excitement present? Were you able to get aroused by your partner, in that moment, in that place?

Was Recovery present? What happened once it ended? Were you happy, satisfied, relaxed?

Seeking Help and Moving Forward

If you answered no to any of the questions regarding Desire, Excitement, and Recovery, it is possible that your orgasm wasn’t as enjoyable as you had anticipated. Various factors can contribute to this less-than-satisfying experience, such as your partner, gender identity, sense of self, or peer group influence. Your partner’s role, communication, and emotional connection can significantly impact your sexual encounters. Gender identity, self-esteem, and body image also play a crucial role in shaping your sexual experiences. Peer pressure and societal expectations can create unnecessary stress and unrealistic standards, affecting the quality of your orgasms.

To address these factors and improve your overall sexual satisfaction, consider consulting with sex therapists or counsellors. A professional can guide you through self-exploration, help you understand your emotions, and teach you communication techniques for better sexual experiences. Engaging in therapy can provide you with the tools and support needed to work through these issues and ultimately enhance your overall satisfaction in sexual encounters.

Author Bio: Anoush Gomes, a trailblazing writer and healthcare advocate at Allo Health, combines empathy, wit, and charisma to create engaging content that simplifies complex medical concepts and inspires readers to prioritize their wellbeing. With a background in Biomedical Sciences and journalism, Anoush has contributed to various health publications, becoming a beloved storyteller with a loyal following. Their passion for preventive medicine and holistic wellness drives them to empower individuals through informative and entertaining articles. Anoush Gomes is a force to be reckoned with in the health writing community, consistently breaking barriers and redefining the role of health writers in the modern age.

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