The journey of a thousand orgasms begins with a single quiver, or so they say.
Ever since I awkwardly lost my virginity (really, is there any other way?) to my college boyfriend in my freshman dorm room at age 18, I have always been the type to experience difficulty having an orgasm. For most of my sex life, doing the deed seemed to consist of doing a sort of finger/tongue dance on each other’s dangly bits before getting to the main event of PIV (that’s penis in vagina). In the back of my mind, sex was the act of some guy putting his penis inside me until he finished. Sure, I liked sex; I mean, who doesn’t? It felt good and sometimes even great. But it wasn’t until I began exploring my body a little bit more by myself that it dawned on me, “Wait a minute—I can use my vibrator on myself and help myself out at night when I’m all alone, so why can’t my boyfriend do that for me?”
It’s pretty sad that this was two years into my relationship that I started requesting more orgasms. I asked for them like a kid asks for dessert. My own sexual satisfaction was sort of like this magical Promised Land that could be traveled to if the circumstances were right, neither one of us was tired, and there was a harvest moon out on a Tuesday. I honestly don’t blame my college boyfriend, though. We were young and didn’t really get it. We were just doing what we thought we were supposed to do. We definitely tried; don’t get me wrong. We had sex in an elevator once and bought fuzzy handcuffs and massage oil to mix things up.
But I really have to thank my college boyfriend for being the guy to open me up to what I’m going to call “My Sexual Journey,” which sounds like a dusty book you would find in your parents’ basement written circa 1970. On this journey, I would say that most sexual partners I encountered were pretty focused on PIV sex with the requisite 20 minutes of foreplay. Sometimes I swear they set a timer.
There was the guy who told me that going down on me was only for special occasions like my birthday, and there was the dude who asked me every five seconds if I came yet. (News flash: After hearing those words uttered several times, I’m more likely to squirt lemonade out my vagina than actually orgasm.) Even the positive experiences were a bit tense. It always felt like there was an agenda. We were both just fooling around and getting each other ready before the entree, which was delivered on a silver platter with a side of lubed-up rubbers. Sometimes I was trying to get him off, sometimes he was trying to get me off, but it was all about a means to an end. That’s when I’d find myself on the receiving end of a tongue that was impatiently tapping my clitoris for 10 minutes, waiting for something to happen. And when it didn’t, that’s when I’d get mad at my body for not having multiple orgasms like normal women. That’s when I’d rely on Astroglide because I would dry out just hoping my body would finally do that thing it was supposed to do.
Since I’m the type of person who inherently loves sex, I’m pretty sure that’s why it took me six years (YES! Six! Years!) to figure out what the hell sex is actually supposed to be like and to take all that pressure off me and my partner. The first time my current boyfriend told me that he isn’t focusing on making me cum, or even on his own orgasm, warning bells went off in my head. Wasn’t getting each other off the point of sex?
But before long, we discovered our favorite type of sex. Let’s call it “touch each other because it feels good.” It’s primitive, and that’s hot. It’s a no-holds-barred kind of sex where I don’t care about hair and sweat, and he’s not counting to make sure he’s licked my nether-regions 99 times (because that’s how many licks it takes to get to the center of the pussy pop). There’s no time limit or asking if I came yet or wondering how long he’s going to last. And PIV isn’t the main course—heck, sometimes it’s not even on the menu. Sex works best if you stop trying to live by the rulebook and when you throw away the blueprints. We’ve both agreed that we like making each other feel good. If that leads to an earth-shattering, sing-from-the-mountaintop orgasm, then awesome! But it doesn’t need to be that. It doesn’t need to be anything more than lying there naked and lazily running our hands up and down each other’s bodies while we’re talking and lingering on the spots that make us all hot ’n’ bothered. And if we are having too much fun that we forget to even get to the intercourse part? I probably wouldn’t even mind that much.
If I had to give a sex novice some advice, I’d say don’t let some out-of-date sex education class, your parents, or worst of all—a Cosmo article tell you what sex is. It’s not a penis thrusting in and out of a vagina (shout out to my gay and lesbian homies) and it’s not about getting him to come or squeezing my kegel muscles to keep my vag lubricated enough. Bottom line: Sex is the mutual giving and receiving of sexual pleasure. And weirdly enough, now that I’ve had that phallic weight lifted from my shoulders, I can confidently say that my partner pretty much makes me orgasm at the touch of a button (yes, that button). How, you ask? Well, that’s behind closed doors ;)