Listen to “184: Anorgasmia in Women – Dr. Rachel Needle”

Anorgasmia in Women 

Dr. Rachel Needle joins me in a discussion about anorgasmia. We speak about how it manifests, what we can do about it, and if it’s something that can be turned around. We answer questions that most of us have asked at one point or other in our lives.  

What is anorgasmia? 

Dr. Rachel defines anorgasmia as ‘a sexual dysfunction characterized by a persistent or recurrent delay in the absence of achieving an orgasm. Some women with anorgasmia have never had an orgasm, and others have experienced a delay. She says that 5 – 10% of biological women have life-long anorgasmia, whilst others have orgasms depending on the situation or the person. She addresses anorgasmia by studying the person’s sexual and relationship history. 

What does an orgasm feel like?  

Dr. Rachel says that one can recognize an orgasm when one has an involuntary muscle contraction. It can be felt throughout the whole body and can sometimes cause you to lose control of your body. However, recognizing it can depend on whether you’re focused enough to experience all of the sensations that are leading up to it. 

Struggles with orgasm & treatment options 

She talks about the importance of exploring and experimenting with your body. We miss different sensations when distracted and when we’re thinking only about orgasming. Communicating your needs to your partner and practicing mindfulness can help one to be in the moment. She gives some effective tips to keep yourself and your partner engaged throughout. 

Women who have trauma related to sex are prone to life-long anorgasmia. This makes it difficult to be vulnerable during sex; obstructing arousal and orgasm. Biological issues, medications, and the kind of language we use are some contributing factors that can prolong arousal and orgasms. 

Acquired and situational anorgasmia 

People with acquired anorgasmia used to have normal orgasms, but now cannot. Dr. Rachel suggests figuring out and understanding what and how things have changed since the diagnosis. Those with situational anorgasmia might have difficulty reaching orgasm with one partner, but not face the same difficulty with another partner. They could easily reach an orgasm by themselves, but not with a partner. This happens when one is not comfortable letting themselves be vulnerable experiencing things with a certain partner. 

Faking an Orgasm 

Dr. Rachel urges people to focus on figuring out how they can achieve an actual orgasm. Instead of telling your partner that you’re faking it, communicate with them about trying new things until you are comfortable enough to experience the orgasm. 


Dr. Rachel Needle is a Licensed Psychologist and Certified Sex Therapist in private practice and the founder and executive director of the Whole Health Psychological Center, comprehensive psychological practice with therapists with a broad range of specialty areas. Dr. Needle is an Adjunct Professor of Psychology in the Department of Behavioral Sciences, in the masters in forensic psychology, and the Doctorate in Criminal Justice programs at Nova Southeastern University. She is the founder and CEO of the Advanced Mental Health Training Institute and Co-Director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes which provide continuing education to Mental Health and Medical professionals and Sex Therapists around the world. 

Dr. Needle has specialized training in the area of substance use disorder. She is a professional consultant to facilities specializing in the treatment of substance use disorders and assists them in expanding and enhancing clinical programming. She also does expert training for staff members at residential and outpatient facilities that specialize in alcohol and substance abuse. Dr. Needle is a business coach and consultant and helps therapists build and thrive in private practice both in-person and online! She is the co-owner of My Private Practice Collective which offers a course on how to start, grow, and thrive in private practice. 

Resources and links 



Training & certifications:  


More info and resources:
How Big a Problem is Your Sex Life? Quiz –
Access the Free webinar: How to make sex easy and fun for both of you:
Secret Podcast for the Higher Desire Partner:
Secret Podcast for the Lower Desire Partner:

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