Raven From Bachelor Is Proof That Not Orgasming Is Totally A Thing

Photo: Mitch Haaseth/ABC.
Raven from this season of The Bachelor has definitely been the "dark horse," and last night she surprised us again. She revealed to Nick pre-Fantasy Suite that she has only slept with one person before, and she never had an orgasm with him, either. "Lost for words?" she asked Nick, completely deadpan. It was a double-whammy of truth that Raven delivered flawlessly and Nick took maturely. And while the revelation may have given Nick pause, not being able to orgasm is incredibly common, says Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist who specializes in teaching women how to orgasm.
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"Women who I work with feel like they're the only woman who can't do it, and you feel not only bad because you can't orgasm, but shame because you're the only person who can't," Marin says. According to Planned Parenthood, 15% of women have difficulty reaching orgasm, and 10% report never having an orgasm during sex. Even women who do climax during sex only do so 50-70% of the time.
In a way, Raven — who clarified during a confessional that she'd never had an orgasm, period — is a voice for the orgasm-less: "This is a huge public forum on a TV show seen by millions, so it's great to see this totally normal person saying, 'This is a thing for me and it's not a huge deal.' It goes a long way to see you're not alone." If you're sexually active, Marin says not experiencing an orgasm can be really confusing and anxiety-inducing.
Marin is also down with how straightforward and unembarrassed Raven was when she told Nick about her past, and when she brought it up. "You should absolutely tell your partner," she says. "It doesn't have to be on the first date, but maybe when it seems like things are headed in the direction of having sex, that can be the perfect timing."
Saying something beforehand sets realistic expectations for both of you, and you can even literally tell your partner, "Let's not make orgasms a goal for tonight," Marin says. "Then you can focus on enjoying the experience and seeing how much pleasure you can feel, instead of being laser-focused on orgasms." The alternative would be waiting until you're in bed actually having sex to tell them, which Marin says can be much more awkward.
Even though some trolls on Twitter were shaming Raven for bringing up her lack of orgasm, Marin says there's nothing taboo about talking about it. While we don't know the details about Raven's sex life with her ex, it's worth noting that she specifically says, "My ex never made me orgasm" as opposed to, "I never had an orgasm with him." Your partner can be supportive and put effort into exploring what you like, but you shouldn't rely on your partner to "make you" orgasm, Marin says. "There's a myth that an orgasm is just supposed to happen when you have a partner, like it pops out of nowhere." Personal exploration, via masturbation, is actually the way Marin teachers her clients to orgasm. So, if things didn't work out in the Fantasy Suite, masturbation might be one step in Raven's journey (though, of course, we don't know if it's something she's already tried).
"Learning how to get yourself off is the most empowering experiences," she says. Raven, if you need ideas for how to start solo, come right this way.
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