What is a Ruined Orgasm? How Can It Increase Pleasure?
This article was scientifically fact-checked by Human Sexuality expert Dr. Laurie Mintz.
Surely this has happened to you: you’re coming to the end of a glorious masturbation session, you’ve got the video cued up to the exact moment and you can feel your orgasm coming on. Right as you feel your pelvic muscles contracting in climax, you drop your phone, tablet or laptop, perhaps even on your foot, and then it’s goodbye orgasm.
Sometimes it’s the unintended consequence or something going wrong, but a ruined orgasm can really put a dampener on your day. However did you know that some people actively seek out a ruined orgasm? Yes, to some, taking it to the limit and then yanking the rug out from under their climax is part of their sexual pleasure and if not theirs, then their partners.
The act of ruining a partner’s orgasm is used commonly in BDSM Dom/Sub relationships in which the Sub is meant to abstain from sexual pleasure at their Dom’s command. The ruined orgasm in this case is meant as a release without pleasure. The Dominant and Submissive interplay at work with ruined orgasms makes it very individual to those who are taking part in it and their reasons for doing it can vary.
For a Dom, ruining their partner’s orgasm reinforces the control they have over their submissive by deciding when they actually get to experience a full orgasm. And for the Sub, many enjoy the intensity of the tease and denial elements that come with their partner’s commands.
After having their orgasm ruined, the Sub can still maintain their arousal and use their feelings of frustration during some post-ruination sex*. Dominants can toy with ruined orgasms as a way to frustrate their Sub partners to the point of really savoring that final full release in which they are allowed to feel all the climactic pleasures.
As they continue to deny their Submissive with the full pleasures of climax, they can use it as a bargaining chip in other areas of their lives together in terms of household chores or sexual favors, all in the construct of a relationship between two consenting adults.
Again, the number of reasons for ruining a partner’s orgasm are as numerous as there are dynamics in Dom/Sub relationships. We all do it in different ways for different reasons, so here’s where you come in, dear reader. Do you and your partner engage in orgasm ruination? How do you do it, and why? Leave a comment before and let’s explore this further together!
*In this article, for ease of reader understanding, we are using the words sex and intercourse as synonymous, as is done in popular culture in general. Similarly, we use the word “foreplay” the way it is used in popular culture (i.e., the sexual acts such as oral sex that come before intercourse). However, as aptly pointed out by our sex expert Laurie Mintz, we would also like to acknowledge that such language exalts men’s most reliable rout to orgasm and linguistically erases women’s most reliable route to orgasm—clitoral stimulation, either alone or coupled with penetration. Indeed, only between 4% and 18% of women reliably orgasm from penetration alone. We look forward to the day when such language is not commonly used in culture.
Facts checked by:
Dr. Laurie Mintz
Laurie Mintz, Ph.D., is a professor at the University of Florida, teaching Human Sexuality to hundreds of students a year. She has published over 50 research articles and is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association. Dr. Mintz also has maintained a private practice for over 30 years, working with individuals and couples on general and sexual issues. She is also an author and speaker, spreading scientifically-accurate, sex-positive information to enhance sexual pleasure.
Colin Hanna is a Volonté contributor and freelance writer who lives in Shanghai, China with his wife. He’s written extensively about sex and human sexuality for LELO since 2010.