I’m A Woman And I’m Embarrassed To Admit I Just Don’t Understand How To Masturbate

Milly Cope
Milly Cope

FADE IN: It’s Sunday night and I’m very, very single. I’ve just finished watching Magic Mike XXL for the third time and, for lack of a more refined word, I’m horny.

Dude, I’m super horny.

I never saw the original Magic Mike and don’t really feel like I missed much. I’ve seen enough of Matthew McConaughey in those weirdly moody car commercials. But the sequel? My god. I walked out after seeing it like I finally understood religion. Matt Bomer singing D’Angelo’s “How Does It Feel” was my hymnal and I knew I’d never be the same. The Lord had spoken to me and She said, “Channing Tatum dancing to ‘Pony’ is the way, my child.”

Suddenly I’m wondering if I should take all this pent up sexual energy into my bedroom. Party of one, please! It’s never been a strong suit of mine, but I just watched insanely chiseled men grinding and thrusting for an hour and a half, if there’s any time to test out my masturbatory skills, it would be now.

And then the same thing happens that always does.

I let myself down.

Pop culture is full of jokes at the expense of men for failing to bring women to orgasm. Only 57% of women consistently have orgasms through vaginal sex, and I’m ready and willing to laugh/yell at this atrocity towards women’s pleasure because Down With The Patriarchy. But truthfully? I just can’t relate.

Men have always been imperative to my pleasure. I have relied a great deal on whoever I’m with to feel good. Even bad sex for me is good sex. Even bad sex is something. Because I just don’t know how to do it on my own.

And nothing has made me feel more like a failure than that.

I get scared that I can’t authentically call myself an empowered woman if I need a man for this. I shouldn’t need anyone, especially for something concerning my own body.

It’s not from lack of trying. Every few months, I decide I haven’t given porn a fair chance. I watch. And I am never turned on. Not once. Which leads me to wonder if something is just…wrong with me. Shouldn’t I like this? I’m a sexual being. Ask any of my ex boyfriends! I’ve always had a healthy sex drive, even my antidepressants can’t keep me down. YA CAN’T HOLD ME BACK, ZOLOFT!

But when I’m by myself? I’m like some sixteen year old boy trying to locate the clitoris. It’s a pathetic sight. I’m touching and dry humping and hoping something will click.

It doesn’t.

It never does.

I joke with one of my best friends and she’s shocked that masturbating isn’t in my wheelhouse. So like an erotic Fairy Godmother, she buys me a top-of-the-line vibrator because she says I should be taking care of business. And she’s right, I should! I should be blowing my own mind whenever I want! So, yet again, I try.

It feels good. In the same way a massage feels good. I’d give it a solid review on Yelp, but I’m still not wet. I’m just…there, waiting for some magic to happen.

I feel worse.

Does saying something you’re ashamed of out loud take away some of its power? Does admitting something you hate make it better? I’m not sure. But I could try.

I’m 24 years old and I’ve never brought myself to orgasm by myself. Ever. Not once.

I know I can’t be totally alone in this. But considering it’s such a primal and instinctual thing that humans seem to just know how to do, it can 100% feel isolating. And during periods of being single, it means I’m not orgasming at all. It means I’m sexually frustrated without a release. Not ideal.

But above all else, I’m tired of beating myself up over it. Because you know what? I might need an extra hand when it comes to getting off. For now, that’s just how it is. And if in the future I figure it out, if my fingers pull the right trigger and “Hallelujah” starts echoing in my ears, then fan-f*cking-tastic. But in the meantime, I won’t punish myself for not being there at this moment. I’ll thank my body for even existing in the first place. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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