Orgasms have always been a problem for me. First I thought it was my fault, then I thought it was the fault of everyone I had ever been to bed with, and then I decided it was the fault of the entirety of recorded history. Now that I’ve got that figured out, I feel a whole lot better.
I first learned to get myself off with a Pocket Rocket at the age of 17. Then I got teased a whole bunch by my best friend for hotwiring the Pocket Rocket with a paper clip and some electrical tape to make it run on two AA batteries instead of one. The following few years were characterized by ever more powerful varieties of vibrators, culminating in a knockoff of The Rabbit, which ran on four AA batteries. At some point shortly after this purchase I discovered I could get myself off using only my fingers. What! Turns out it’s super easy, and all that preliminary electronic assistance just helped me figure out where and where not to expend my energies.
I could make a map right now in pencil crayons demarcating my no-fly zones and sensitive spots, were someone to ask for one – but that has never happened. I have also considered a colourful tattoo of borders and targets, and maybe supplying pen-lights for any visitors to the area. The moral of the story is that the oft-quoted advice for dudes, “Don’t masturbate too much or you’ll desensitize yourself and real sex will suck,” is completely inapplicable to chicks with vibrators. Thank god.
Despite having finally figured out the process, I’m still unable to make myself come in the presence of other people. I think I can count four times where I’ve orgasmed because of self-stimulation during sex with someone, and two memorable times when an amazing partner made me come from oral. I should probably marry that guy, come to think of it. For the most part, though, whenever I’m not alone, the whole thing becomes a performance, even when I’m trying my hardest to squeeze my eyes shut and pretend no one’s around. Whether my partner’s involved – lying next to me, grabbing a tit, sucking on an earlobe – or asleep and oblivious, it is almost always a waste of time. And it’s nobody’s fault: it’s just that orgasms don’t have anything to do with being with somebody. Orgasms are the Debbie Downers of intimacy.
Telling your sexual partners that you’re anorgasmic is possibly the nicest thing you can do for them and the meanest thing you can do to yourself. Somehow the admission puts the onus squarely on you, the anorgasmic, and your chosen method of psychiatric therapy. It’s like being a hipster: it does nobody any good to own up to it. It’s better to let your partners try all their best moves first – and if they don’t bother, that too is useful information.
I think of orgasms now as one of those body-maintaining rituals that just have to happen, like flossing, or getting eight hours of sleep – you know you’re supposed to keep up with them, and it nags at you if you haven’t bothered in a while. It’s well documented that going without orgasms, like getting shortchanged on shut-eye, leaves me cranky and bitter and more dependent on mild intoxicants.
Most of the time my masturbation routine is just about as mundane as can get. I’m in bed, it’s the end of the day, and I’m reading. Anything – murder mysteries, magazines, memoirs, manuals –whatever. It’s not supposed to be sexy: it’s supposed to waste a few minutes until my fingers get me in the mood. That’s not to say that orgasms aren’t fun, or that I don’t eventually put the book down and start thinking about sexy-times. It’s just that everything anyone has ever told me about sensuality and eroticism is inimical to my own experience
I think I’d like orgasming more if we could all embrace it as the challenge it is. Maybe if we used the scientific method – you know, you put that thing in there and then I’ll mix this fluid with those and then we’ll take some measurements, post some documentation online, and ask for feedback from the community – then things would be better. That’d be fun.