I am currently undergoing chemotherapy and was circumcised as a child. Can you advise me?
I’ve never had an orgasm and would like to experience one once before I kick the bucket. I’m 56 and am undergoing chemotherapy treatment for breast cancer. I was circumcised at four years old, but I do have a small clitoris. I sometimes get my toes and body tingling but then I switch off.
Many women who were formerly anorgasmic have learned to achieve orgasm through a process of self‑exploration, self-pleasuring and by working through psychological blocks. Your own path to orgasm may partly depend on what kind of genital alteration you had and if there was any nerve damage but, with perseverance, it should be possible.
You are more likely to become orgasmic once your treatment is over, but in the meantime you could begin to learn more about your body and how it works. Try some whole-body self-pleasuring and allowing yourself to enjoy different types of strokes and touches in a multitude of sites, gradually leading to an exploration of your genital sensations.
Notice the thoughts that arise, write them down, and think carefully about where some of your negative attitudes and fears about letting go might have come from. Whenever you notice yourself “switching off”, deliberately relax your body and mind, and tell yourself something soothing, such as: “It’s OK for me to enjoy sexual pleasure – I deserve it!”
• Pamela Stephenson Connolly is a psychotherapist who specialises in treating sexual disorders
• If you would like advice from Pamela Stephenson Connolly on sexual matters, send us a brief description of your concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org (please don’t send attachments).