Are you a woman who cannot orgasm in some or all situations, and have discussed this issue in psychotherapy/counselling? If so, volunteers are needed to take part in a confidential research interview about women’s experiences of counselling when discussing their inability to orgasm.

Help with research - About you:
I am looking for anorgasmic (cannot achieve orgasm in some or all situations - * - see below for a definition) women to discuss what being anorgasmic means to them, how they have experienced discussing this issue in counselling, and how anorgasmia could be influencing their experience of counselling. This activity would suit women who would find discussing their experiences and the meanings they attached to anorgasmia to be cathartic. This research study will contribute towards a MA degree in Clinical Counselling.

*Anorgasmia/inorgasmia/female orgasmic disorder is the “persistent or recurrent delay, infrequency, or absence of orgasm, or markedly diminished intensity of orgasm, despite adequate sexual stimulation.

To diagnose FOD, the symptoms must:

  • Be present on all or almost all occasions of sexual activity
  • Cause clinically significant distress in the individual
  • Have persisted for a minimum duration of approximately six month

Not be better explained by:

  • A nonsexual mental disorder
  • Being a consequence of severe relationship distress or other significant stressors
  • The effects of a substance/medication or another medical condition.
    (American Psychiatric Association, 2013)

The research aims are to explore:

  • What the experience of having anorgasmia is like for women;
  • How women with anorgasmia have experienced counselling in relation to their experience of anorgasmia;
  • Whether they have found counselling to be useful, and if so, how they have experienced the benefits of counselling in relation to their experience of anorgasmia;
  • Any barriers which may have arisen during counselling with regards to anorgasmia;
  • How practitioners could develop their practice from the experiences of participants, in order to support women with this issue more effectively.

I would be interested in exploring your view on, and experience of, this. Please take time to discuss the information with relatives and friends and to ask questions of the researcher.

You would be invited to a one-off, confidential, interview using Microsoft Teams, lasting approximately 1-1½ hours. Before the interview, you would be asked to read through the questions and reflect upon your experience of anorgasmia in relation to yourself and to counselling. During the interview, your experience will be explored with the researcher. All data collected will be anonymised, so as to protective participant confidentiality and privacy.

You are likely to be eligible for this study if you:

  • Are aged 18+
  • Identify as a Cis-gender woman
  • Have been diagnosed with, or must self-identify as having, female orgasmic disorder/anorgasmia/inorgasmia
  • Can speak English fluently enough to understand the questions and to discuss the details of your experience without difficulty
  • Are a non-vulnerable adult who has the psychological or emotional capacity to discuss the issue
  • Have discussed anorgasmia in counselling (even if it is not the primary issue that you sought help for)
  • Are able to discuss the issue without experiencing high levels of distress

About me - the researcher:
My name is Helen, and I am a final year MA student in Clinical Counselling at the University of Chester who has worked with clients who have anorgasmia. Perhaps, most importantly, I am a woman who suffers with anorgasmia. I believe that anorgasmia is an overlooked and stigmatised issue with which many women suffer, and I want to empower those women by giving them the opportunity to discuss their issues in a supportive, safe, and meaningful environment.

If you are interested, and would like more information, please contact: 1718595@chester.ac.uk. There is no obligation to take part. This study will be conducted to University of Chester Ethics Committee’s Standards

thank you

Helen.