O, The Oprah Magazine: Sexual Confidence: Beverlee

Faking It for 15 Years
Dr. Phil and O, The Oprah Magazine team up to explore the nature of sexual confidence and how to put a little strut in your stuff!
Beverlee writes:

Dear Dr. Phil,

I'm a 36-year-old single mother with no sexual confidence, and I've never had an orgasm. Men tell me I'm beautiful, sexy, desirable, and one man told me I was drop-dead gorgeous. I've even won titles in beauty pageants. I like all the things that lead up to sex, yet when I'm having it, I feel inadequate to the point of not ever, that's right, never having an orgasm. I feel pressured to perform and please and overwhelmingly self-conscious and I've faked it more than once just to have the whole thing over with. Dr. Phil, how can I learn to enjoy sex so I can have a healthy relationship?

Thank you,

"This spells lack of confidence for you because you say you're not doing it right. You're not responding right, it's not happening right," clarifies Dr. Phil.

"Exactly," says Beverlee. "I don't know what to do."

"Because you've had orgasms, but not from intercourse itself?" Dr. Phil asks. Beverlee confirms this is true.

"So, it gets to that point, and what happens?"

"Oh, my mind just races," says Beverlee. "Every little tiny thing just goes through my head, like, 'What is he thinking? What does he want? How am I supposed to respond? Am I acting like a porn queen?'"

"Here's the good news," Dr. Phil tells her. "Ninety percent of women who report problems with orgasm have a psychological reason for that happening. In other words, it's not that things aren't working physiologically; research shows us that it's psychological."

Dr. Phil reiterates that Beverlee's problem starts when she's with a partner. Her mind starts to race and she starts fretting about it.

"Exactly. I put pressure on myself. It's never been the man. It's always been me," she says.

Dr. Phil brings up the fact that Beverlee, a former beauty queen, used to get performance anxiety when she was in a pageant. "Because there was an audience. Somebody's going to sit in judgment of you," says Dr. Phil. Beverlee agrees. "Do you see any correlation between the two?" he asks her, adding that what runs through her mind in a sexual situation is exactly what would run through her mind when she was on stage.

"Yes, I do," responds Beverlee.

"In all the times that you've had relationships with men, have you ever said, 'Let me tell you what I want'?"

"Oh, God, no!" laughs Beverlee.

"See, the message that I'm wanting you to hear is this is good news because it's all about you," Dr. Phil tells Beverlee. "I want you to go at this with an attitude that says, 'You know what? I do have the right to say what I want here and there's no expectancy here. They're not going to hold up an eight or a nine when I'm through.' ... You've got to give yourself permission to relax and go with the flow."

Dr. Phil explains that anxiety is a tension response, and an orgasm is a relaxation response. "Those are incompatible. So your problem is not sexual, it's anxiety." Dr. Phil notices Beverlee's expression and says, "You're sitting there thinking, 'It ain't ever going to happen.'"

"I will work on it. I promise," says Beverlee.

"Will you really?" he asks.

"Give me a practice man and I'll do it!" she jokes. The audience cracks up.