#bodies

FACEBOOK

Twitter

WHAT'S ON YOUR MIND?

A Unified Theory of Orgasm

39 comments | October 3rd, 2011

(story by Clarisse Thorn)

NOTE: this story is rated R, and we just like to let you know that/  That said, the author (Clarisse) wanted us to let you know that she wishes she had read something like this when she was younger.  All this said, let's get to it:

 

I CAN’T COME.
and it’s poisoned
every romance
I’ve ever had.

masturbating doesn’t work. I don’t know why. I tried therapy too, but my smart, understanding, sex-positive, open-hearted doctor couldn’t help. drugs while fucking? check. I date attentive men who only want to make me happy, but no matter how fantastic they make me feel, I can’t get off. and believe me, I like sex. I love sex! how can it feel so good and not end in an orgasm? I tried experimenting, and I sure do love the kink. it feels great. but doesn’t get me off. I’ve tried everything. everything.

now I have the best boyfriend I’ve ever had. but just like every other one, he can’t get me off. big dick? oral sex? tons of foreplay? kink? it’s all there. nothing works. I used to lie to my boyfriends and say it was ok that I couldn’t get off. then at least they could enjoy sex without feeling guilty. but then they’d stop trying, of course. and this one is still trying … sometimes. I mean, it’s clearly never going to work. so I can’t blame him for not having the same passion for trying as he used to. and I keep thinking I should back off. after all, why put pressure on him to “perform”? he’ll just resent me if I keep asking for more, even if I’m gentle about it and compliment him and all that. since nothing he does works. it will never work.

and I try so hard not to get frustrated, but I can’t avoid the knowledge that I am fucked up, I must be broken. I mean, any normal woman would have come by now. so what do I do? I don’t know what I need. do I back off and focus on him? that’s what I end up doing, because I can’t face asking for a little more attention in bed anymore. what’s the point? he’ll just resent me when it doesn’t work again. so I back off. and I can’t help resenting him, just a little, for not noticing how much I’m hurting. and not trying, even if I am broken, and I will never ever come

 

* * *

 

Contents:

I. Vaginal Pain
II. S&M
III. Frigid
IV. The Fight
V. Men's Perspective
VI. S&M, Redux
VII. Figuring It Out
VIII. Study Questions

* * *

 

I. Vaginal Pain

When I wrote the above, I was actually pretty close to figuring out how to have an orgasm. But I didn't know that. I'd dealt with the anxiety of being unable to come for so long — and I'd also recently begun to understand that my sexuality is oriented towards S&M — and so anguish just flooded out of me, into those words. I craved S&M, but acknowledging the craving made me feel like a "pervert", a "freak". It contributed to my already-overwhelming fear that I was "broken" because I couldn't figure out how to come.

There's one thing I didn't mention when I poured out all that fear and shame: I experience rare vaginal pain — not every time I have sex, not even most times, but occasionally. Medical science has traditionally failed to care about how women experience our sexuality, so very little research has been done on the subject. As a result, it's impossible to say why I get that pain. Is it some kind of physical problem? That seems likely, because my psychological comfort level with a sexual encounter doesn't seem to correlate with whether the pain happens or not. But because female sexuality is often stereotyped as too mysterious and emotional to be worth rigorous medical investigation, I doubt I'll ever know for sure.

For a while I was sure I was allergic to semen, because I read a magazine feature by a woman who said she was. Aha, I thought. I stopped taking hormonal birth control pills. I made my trusted monogamous boyfriends use condoms. The pain became less common. Yet throughout that time — continuing through today — I still get the pain occasionally, very occasionally. Sometimes I even feel the pain during encounters that lack vaginal penetration, so it's clearly not about having a penis in me.

I can push through the pain; I can even have an orgasm, a reflex that feels good yet is surrounded by not-good; but I can't get rid of the pain entirely. Whenever I think I'll never feel it again, it sneaks into some sexual encounter.

The semen allergy theory has been ruled out, since I get the pain without semen contact. That doesn't mean that hormonal birth control didn't have an effect, though — the pain was definitely worse while I was taking it. The Pill intersects with sexuality in ways we still don't understand; one common side effect is that it reduces sex drive. Perhaps the Pill affected my sexuality in some physical-medical way, worsening the pain problem.

The long and the short of it is that I experience some vaginal pain; the pain is confusing and hard to predict, and there aren't any good medical resources on the matter. Maybe the pain points to something unusual about my constitution. Maybe there's a reason it's harder for me to have orgasms than the "average" woman.

But the vaginal pain itself is not overwhelming, on the rare occasions that it crops up. And the vaginal pain is not even close to the most central issue of my sexuality — or the biggest influence on my orgasmic ability.

 

* * *

 

II. S&M

I identify my sexuality as BDSM — a.k.a. kink, leather, fetish, S&M, or B&D. BDSM is a 6-for-4 acronym that encompasses a host of related activities, including bondage, discipline, dominance, submission, sadism and masochism. And yeah, I'm really into it: my desires are heavy and overwhelming; I dream of agony, of terrified screams for mercy. I've gone so far as to describe BDSM as my sexual orientation.

Before someone goes leaping to conclusions, there is a definite difference between "good pain" and "bad pain". The occasional pain I feel within my vagina is not good pain; it's not even interesting. It's just annoying. It's not sexy or enjoyable at all.

Some of us in the BDSM community have felt lifelong tendencies towards BDSM. We have conversations ending with thrilled exclamations: "You mean, you tied up your Barbie dolls as a child too?!" But BDSM is widely misunderstood and negatively stereotyped, and thus, many of us also went through periods of rejection. We've internalized so much anti-BDSM stigma from society that, at times, we freak out. We deny or erase our BDSM desires.

That's what happened to me when I was in middle school. As my sexuality made itself more and more evident, my anxiety peaked. I'd been producing secret sadomasochistic art and stories without labeling what I was doing, but I stopped. I blockaded my thoughts of violent power-play. I closed it all away as thoroughly as I could.

I still felt sexual desire — I mean, I was entering my teens, so of course I did. Sometimes I felt so much desire, like in the middle of some inconvenient class, that I'd have to rest my burning forehead on the cold desk. I would close my eyes, and breathe deeply, and wait for the erotic shiver to pass. At home, I'd lie around my twin bed and dream about kisses; imagine men's hair and skin and touch.

Yet it was hard for me to trace my desire, to take control of it. I thought I had no problem with the idea of masturbation, but when I touched my own lady bits, I went cold. Vibrators did nothing but bore me.

I had excellent sex education, thank goodness. I went through a Unitarian Universalist sex education program that talked carefully about different experiences, that made space for gay and lesbian and bisexual and transgender and queer folks. I didn't only learn about sexually transmitted infections and pregnancy and condom usage; I was also encouraged to explore my sexuality, to value it. But this marvelous curriculum did not include BDSM and other non-standard sexual identities. Nor did it include much advice on how to negotiate sexual encounters with my partners. So, although I internalized many positive and feminist messages about sex, my own sexuality remained invisible, bewildering and hard to talk about.

When I started having sex around my mid-teens, I liked it — I liked it a lot — but it seemed weirdly lacking. I'd never figured out how to masturbate, so I couldn't show my partners how to pleasure me. And although I occasionally suspected that I wanted something like S&M, I didn't understand how far I wanted to go.

A couple of teenage boyfriends tied me up … but then they acted solicitous and went down on me, which didn't send me over the moon (although it was fun). From this, I concluded that S&M was boring, but the truth is, I hadn't come close to the extremes that form my preferences. It was years later that I released my need for agony, tears, bruises and blood.

 

* * *

 

III. Frigid

As I got older and had more sex, my apparent inability to orgasm became the most toxic secret I had. Most of my closest friends didn't know. For a while I thought I must be "frigid", and ripped myself apart over the idea that I was a "frigid bitch", even though that made no sense. It was ridiculous to conceptualize myself that way — my sexual desire was undeniable, unavoidable. But I had no other words, no other images or stereotypes, that described a pre-orgasmic woman.

When I did tell my friends, it almost never went well. The best-case scenario was a conversation with anecdotal fragments: "I knew a girl," one friend advised, "who couldn't have orgasms. Then one day she was tripping, and having sex, and she fell asleep, and when she woke up she was having an orgasm."

I also found a book on my father's top shelf, written by a guy who said he could give "any" girl a squirting orgasm. The author claimed that the key was for the woman to be comfortable. He also claimed that the woman had to not know what he was trying to do. In fact, the book explicitly recommended that men prevent their girlfriends from reading it.

Needless to say, it was hard to extrapolate a Unified Orgasm Theory from these tales. The only things that seemed clear were that I somehow needed to both "let go" and to "keep trying". But how?

Every once in a while I made the mistake of telling someone who was convinced they knew the answer — which was: sleep with them. When I got drunk with one sexually experienced male friend and asked for advice, he insisted that if I'd just fuck him I'd be sure to come. "Anytime you want," he slurred, "I'll give you an orgasm. Guaranteed!" The fact that I was not attracted to him was, in his view, unimportant.

Worse was my lesbian female friend who declared that I had "issues". She said that I ought to sleep with a woman. Ultimately, she turned out to be right that the problem was one of sexual identity, but she was wrong that I was a repressed bisexual. Her campaign to get me to sleep with her ended in a threesome with a guy I had a crush on. I liked bits of that evening, but most of it was boring — if not distasteful. When I tried to talk to my friend honestly about it later, she insisted that I loved the whole experience. She said that I was merely feeling morning-after guilt. "You were totally into it," she informed me. She was clearly smug with victory, but angry that I resisted her version of events. I felt resentful for years.

I didn't even tell my partners about my orgasm difficulties until I'd known them for a while, because my secret felt like such Restricted Information: I couldn't give it to anyone I didn't trust. I couldn't abide the idea of "everyone knowing" how broken I felt. I couldn't stand the combination of pity and fascination that my problem evoked in the few who knew.

When I did get around to telling my partners, that was most complicated of all. I was quite unpopular in high school, and so I was something of a late bloomer — boyfriend-free until my late teens. It took years before I had any confidence in my boyfriend interactions. And because I had no idea how to come and no idea where to start and little idea of how to communicate about sex, I could not give guidance about what I wanted.

I also felt paranoid that lovers would resent me if they felt I was demanding something too "difficult" during the sexual "exchange", so I downplayed my feelings. I told awful lies like "it's not a big deal that I can't come" — lies that broke my heart as I spoke them, but felt safer than the truth.

I did manage to have one orgasm in my teens — one. I'm still not sure how it happened. It occurred one evening when I was incredibly tired, but went out with friends to get a fudge brownie sundae anyway. When I got back, my boyfriend came over and wanted to have sex, and I let it happen — despite being tired and uninterested and full of sundae — because I had not yet internalized the notion that my boyfriends wouldn't hate me if I denied them sex. I was barely present during the act, but I jolted into awareness when I realized I was having an orgasm. Afterwards, exhaustion overwhelmed me and I fell straight into sleep — so deep that my boyfriend was unable to wake me.

This was puzzling and hard to analyze. What aspects of my singular orgasm should go into my Unified Theory … and which aspects were irrelevant?

The chocolate? Well, chocolate is arguably a mild drug, and drugs help some people come. Also, there were studies that found mild aphrodisiac qualities to chocolate. So maybe.

The position? The position had felt really good but was somewhat awkward, and I felt weird asking my boyfriend to reproduce it, so I didn't let myself think about the position. (I'm much better at communicating with my partners now.)

What about the exhaustion? It made sense that being very tired might help me "let go". But I hadn't been very turned on or enjoyed the rest of the encounter, mostly because I was so exhausted; and I didn't want to deliberately force myself to have sex while tired. So while the exhaustion might have been a factor, I filed it under "less-than-useful" as well.

I didn't worry about the problem too much for a while, because I figured that now that I'd had one orgasm, surely it would become easy. I didn't tell my boyfriend it had happened, either, because I didn't know how to describe exactly how. I thought I'd figure it out as we went along, and then I would tell him exactly what it took.

Unfortunately, it wasn't that easy. Months and years passed without replicating the incident. Anxiety began seeping back. My Unified Orgasm Theory was not doing well.

My fear of being perceived as "demanding" during sex and relationships was at a ridiculous extreme back then. For example, I'd heard over and over that boys don't like girls who are "high-maintenance", so I told my boyfriends that I never wanted them to buy me flowers. I thought that men would feel relieved that they didn't "have to cater to me", but they were just puzzled. (One responded by buying me fake flowers.)

Because of the awful shaming stereotypes around cunnilingus, I sometimes refused that too. I couldn't believe that the boyfriends who were willing to go down on me were actually enthusiastic about it, enjoying it — and when my anxiety became too painful, I inevitably stopped them. I always stopped them long before I stopped enjoying the act, because I was so scared that they hated it, and hated me for wanting it. I was scared that they resented me more and more, the longer they did it and I didn't come. My fear crept up my spine and twisted around my heart until I had to make them stop.

Sometimes I felt trapped between love and disgust, like with the boyfriend who constantly complimented me on how great in bed I was, but who seemed unaware of how much I felt missing. The worst was when he went off on a rhapsodic list of my wonderful qualities ending with: "… and I don't even have to worry about giving you an orgasm!" He didn't see the bind he was putting me in, the awful self-suppression and self-wounding that he encouraged. He seemed unaware that I heard him telling me: "You're great in bed because you are constantly disappearing your own needs, and never asking anything complicated of me!"

In fairness, I wasn't giving him any guidance on how to do better with me. In fairness, I had no idea what kind of guidance to give.

They had their own social programming, and I didn't communicate well. But sometimes I still have trouble forgiving my early boyfriends.

 

* * *

 

IV. The Fight

Not all my boyfriends were willing to do as little as going down on me. One, in particular, resisted very strongly; never did it at all. This was an especial problem because he was one of the men I've loved most in my life, and our relationship lasted for years. I think well of him when I think of anything other than sex. But when I remember having sex with him, I feel echoes of sick panic and heartbreak.

By the end, every time I slept with him I felt nothing but disgust.

He seemed to prove all my fears: that the men in my life would loathe and resent me if I tried to discuss my confusion and desperation; that they would loathe and resent me if I asked for help with my sexual needs. Towards the beginning of our relationship, I tried asking him (very timidly) to go down on me, and he simply refused. In later conversations he insisted that cunnilingus was "too degrading", an assertion he made with a weird lack of irony, given that I was going down on him regularly.

As the years passed, my frustration deepened and I started thinking about experimenting more sexually, but I was terrified of mentioning it. I didn't know what I wanted to experiment with — I really believed that I'd "already tried" BDSM, and that I didn't like it — but his initial rejection of mere cunnilingus didn't make me feel confident.

Finally, I got to the point of directly asking for sexual experimentation, and we had the worst fight ever.

I recall that our relationship was somewhat rocky already. One of my journal entries from that time contains the sentence, "I can’t seem to not make him angry when I’m trying to discuss our relationship." For this particular fight, we were sitting in his room reading when I scraped together my courage and asked for his help in figuring out my sexuality. "Well, what do you want me to do?" he demanded.

"I don't know," I said, "but I think there must be some way to find out — I don't know, there have to be books?"

"That's ridiculous," he snapped. "I love you, but I'm not going to read books in order to figure out how to have sex with you."

It got worse from there. I was crying within the first few sentences. At one point, he outright shouted at me "I don't care about your satisfaction," at which point I said, "You can't mean that," and he repeated it. Eventually, I simply turned around and walked out of his room. I had nowhere to go; it was a long train ride to visit him, and the trains had stopped running that day. It was mid-winter, and freezing cold. Crying, I put on my coat and shoes and exited the house, onto his suburban street.

I walked completely at random. I was hardly able to see. Fortunately, because it was so cold, no one else was out and about. I muffled my sobs by bowing my head into my collar. After fifteen minutes, I discovered my cell phone in my pocket and tried to call my best friend, but she didn't answer. I was still walking around crying an hour later, when she returned the call.

She calmed me down and got the story out of me. It was the first she'd heard about my inability to orgasm, and she didn't know how to advise me because she didn't have the same problem. Also, it was obvious to both of us that trying to communicate with my boyfriend wasn't working. It was obvious that there might be no way to successfully communicate with him on this topic at all.

Eventually, after she'd managed to quiet me into a trembling jellylike mass, my friend said gently, "Okay, hon, you need to hang up and go back inside." She was right. So I did.

When I stepped back into my boyfriend's room, he was still reading. I could sense from the texture of our silence that he felt bad, though. I was exhausted, I felt like a stiff breeze would blow me apart, but I told myself that I had to set a line. I was sure my voice would waver as I made myself say: "If you're going to tell me that you don't care about my sexual satisfaction, then I can't do this anymore …."

"I never said that," he said softly.

I closed my eyes. He would do this sometimes, insist that he hadn't said words I was sure I'd heard, and it always made me feel like I had gone insane. I knew he'd said it. I'd even responded with, "You can't mean that," and then he'd repeated it. But I felt so tired. It had been hard enough to start the conversation. Hard enough to walk around the streets crying for hours.

Maybe I really did misunderstand him somehow; I've been over those moments in my head a million times, and I don't know anymore. Maybe I misunderstood. Or maybe he was falling into a classic pattern of emotional abusers. Maybe he insisted that I was hallucinating in order to confuse me out of protesting: abusers do these things because they work.

What I do know for sure is that when he halted the conversation with a flat denial, I couldn't bring myself to even try to talk about it again. Couldn't bring myself to resume the conversation. But I also couldn't bring myself to break up with someone I loved so much. We talked about other things instead.

And, of course, nothing about our sex life changed at all.

When my best friend called me the next day to check in, I said, "Well, he says that he didn't say what I thought he did."

Her silence echoed with disbelief.

"Maybe I just … didn't understand what he actually meant," I said, but my words sounded weak even to my own ears.

"Maybe," she said doubtfully, but she didn't press the issue.

Even after that fight, I continued dating that man for a long time. I look back now and I can't imagine how I did it.

 

* * *

 

V. Men's Perspective

The gendered societal pressures that affect men are worth discussing, and worth analyzing, and I often do just that. There is undeniable pressure on men to "perform" sexually, for example. I try to have sympathy for men who feel this pressure — but it is difficult sometimes, because its major effect on my life has been to silence me. To make me feel as though I couldn't ask for anything sexually. As though I couldn't express my needs without hurting my boyfriend's feelings or making him angry.

And even now, when I talk about this stuff, I am as vague as I possibly can be about the exact timeline. The last thing I want is for people who know me to read this and know exactly when I started having orgasms. I don't want anyone to know exactly which partners "couldn't perform". Because I know those men might feel it as a social punishment, and as much as I hate the dynamics at work, I can't hate the men who were part of them. They had their own social anxieties and their own blind spots and if I didn't understand what was wrong, how could they?

I recently had dinner with a former partner. At one point we found ourselves having a very explicit conversation, and I mentioned that I've figured out how to come. He looked sad and apologized: "I'm sorry I was never able to get you there." I had no idea what to say.

 

* * *

 

VI. S&M, Redux

I finally came into my BDSM identity around age 20. At first, when I was faced with the fact that I wanted to be hurt until I cried and begged for mercy, I freaked out. I had no idea what to do about BDSM, no idea how to feel about it. The only thing I knew for sure was that I'd found something I really needed. But what did that mean for me, when I was also trying hard to be an independent, rational feminist with self-esteem and integrity?

It took me years to parse out my thoughts on feminism and BDSM, to feel comfortable with BDSM, and to talk openly and comfortably about it. During that process, I got better and better at finding partners who were interested in my sexual desires and willing to experiment. I also got to the point of reading sexuality advice books on my own, including books specifically on BDSM (I recommend The New Topping Book and The New Bottoming Book by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy; here are some other resources).

And I gritted my teeth, forced down my anxiety, and looked into books about the female orgasm.

One book that came highly recommended from Amazon.com was Lonnie Barbach's For Yourself. By the time I was halfway through the first chapter, I was crying because what she wrote felt so true. At the end of the first chapter, I put it down and was never able to pick it up again. Barbach wrote compassionately about experiences very similar to mine — for instance: [Are you afraid to talk to your partner about your problem] because you're embarrassed to ask for what you want at a particular time; afraid your partner will refuse, get angry, or feel emasculated?

But she also ended the first chapter this way: You have to assume responsibility and be somewhat assertive. Our culture has taught us that a woman should depend on a man to take care of her, which means she can blame him for any mistakes. It's nice to be driven around in a car, but it's also nice to be able to drive yourself so you can go where you want to, when you want to. But to do that, you'd have to assume some responsibility.

It was the same "let go" and "keep trying" advice I'd been coming across for years, except that now it was wrapped up in a nice package of assumptions about me: implications that I wasn't assuming responsibility or being assertive. I felt like she was telling me that I chose to depend on a man to take care of me.

Maybe it would have been okay if the rest of the chapter hadn't been so miserably true, but the combination of reading a bunch of truth about how I was feeling — then being told that I wasn't trying hard enough, that I was choosing to avoid responsibility …. It was toxic.

I also had the bright idea of asking my gynecologist. The doctor rolled her eyes as I spoke, then told me that the problem was obviously my partners. When I insisted that I needed more guidance, she referred me to a center that gave orgasmic dysfunction "evaluations" at $1,500.00 a pop. I was earning $7.50 per hour at the time. I didn't go.

I got up my nerve and talked to my mother, who had been extremely helpful and caring when I came out to her about BDSM. During the BDSM conversation, I'd been scared — then I felt immense relief as Mom told me that there was nothing wrong with me, and reassured me that I wasn't "giving up my liberation". When it came to orgasms, though, she seemed unsure of what to say. She did at least tell me that she, too, couldn't come easily, which made me feel a little better.

Most helpful was the therapist I found on the Kink Aware Professionals list — a list of doctors, lawyers, and other professionals who believe they understand alternative sexualities such as BDSM. I tried one therapist who didn't seem to get it, but the second therapist I saw was wonderful. He helped me through an enormous amount of my BDSM anxiety. The orgasm problem was thornier, but he didn't make any assumptions, and he did listen carefully, which was more than most people did.

My therapist gently encouraged me to get a second opinion about my how my body worked, from a new gynecologist. Irrationally, I didn't. I suppose I still felt crushed by how the first gynecologist had reacted. I also hoped I'd learn to come as I explored BDSM more — which turned out to be true.

 

* * *

 

VII. Figuring It Out

In retrospect, I recognize that I went through a brief period where I had orgasms sometimes — weak ones. But the orgasms were hard to hang on to because they happened during sex with my boyfriend. This would be the same boyfriend I described at the beginning of this piece, when I wrote: now I have the best boyfriend I’ve ever had. but just like every other one, he can’t get me off. big dick? oral sex? tons of foreplay? kink? it’s all there.

Now I see, in retrospect, that not everything was there: neither of us had questioned our sexual assumptions, our societally-determined sexual scripts. And one of the biggest sexual scripts is that sex ends with the man's orgasm. That the man's orgasm is the goal.

It's very hard to think around these scripts. It's very hard to even be aware of them. So, since my paramount goal during sex was obviously "satisfying my man", I often pushed my orgasm away due to my focus on him. I knew that if I came then I'd feel tired and less interested in sex (at least for a while). And obviously, if he were to have his all-important manly orgasm, I couldn't go falling asleep on him could I? I couldn't even pause to mentally process my sensations if he seemed to be enjoying himself, now could I? Plus, once he'd come, I certainly couldn't expect him to stimulate me any more than he already had, because he was tired; he'd just had an orgasm!

(These days, one of my #1 judgments of whether a new partner could be good for me is this: if I didn't come before he did, then does he take a moment to catch his breath, and then turn to me and smile and offer to do what it takes?)

In the end, figuring it out was almost anticlimactic.

I saw an online video from sex educator Betty Dodson called "Did I Orgasm?" … and I realized that I'd been occasionally having weak orgasms already. I was also experimenting more and more with BDSM; simultaneously, I put more and more power into the hands of my fantasy men; and once I had compelling private fantasies to feed on, I couldn't help masturbating. Here was the key: initially, I'd felt that masturbating in itself involved having too much control over the situation. And that's not how my sexuality worked.

Oh yes, in practice I take responsibility for my pleasure; and now I'm pretty good at clearly discussing what kind of role my partners will take ahead of time, describing what they'll do with me. These days, I sometimes take the dominant role, too. But even now, it's hard for me to come if I feel like I'm in control.

On some level, even if it's the most tissue-thin fantasy, I usually have to convince my emotional-sexual self that I'm not in charge. It helps if I have an emotional connection with whoever I'm fantasizing about, too. If I don't have an emotionally involved romantic partner, I seem to automatically create BDSM-themed fantasy worlds with hilariously ornate storylines. Years ago, it never occurred to me that I couldn't reach orgasm because my internal characters weren't compelling or my plotlines weren't dramatic enough … but sometimes it's true!

In my case, I believe that BDSM is the key to my sexuality. It is as close to the core of my sexual identity as I can get; close enough that, like some other BDSMers, I occasionally call it my "orientation". But I don't think BDSM is like that for everyone, and I don't even think that's the whole story with me — because during the whole time, this self-discovery process, I was doing things like eating more regularly, keeping a healthier diet, putting some weight on my previously stick-thin frame, and exercising more. Health plays a big role in any kind of sex, and it's important to think about. Still, even now I can't come without some thread of dominance and submission, even if it's an entirely internal fantasy that I imprint on whatever is happening.

When women ask me for advice on how to have orgasms, I feel helpless because there is no "one true way". I don't want to fall back on the old "let go" and "keep trying" that I received — it's decent advice, but it's so vague. Perhaps something more useful would be this: first, it really helps to have an idea of what you want. I know this can be hard in a society that soaks us with sexual images designed for stereotypical men, rather than images for women (and especially not for non-normative women like myself). And I feel so aware of how patronizing and useless the "you aren't in touch with your sexuality, that's why you can't come" argument can be. Remember, I had that argument used against me by my lesbian friend. But it was, in fact, kinda true for me — just in a different way: I need BDSM.

If you're not sure what you want, don't panic. Just keep your eyes and ears open, and try to monitor your reactions. It may surprise you. If it does, don't worry — just research it! No matter how unusual your sexuality, there is probably information on the Internet about it. (And even if your sexuality is unusual, odds are it's not nearly as unusual as you think it is.)

My personal favorite sex education website in the entire world is Scarleteen.com, a grassroots feminist effort with an amazingly comprehensive perspective. Scarleteen has an incredible impact on many, many lives. Sometimes I read it just for fun!

Secondly: it may help not to prioritize orgasms. I am not saying orgasms aren't important; I just don't want the importance of orgasms to wound you, the way it wounded me. For me, it is helpful to imagine sex as a journey. For me, it helps to focus on having fun throughout, instead of doing what it takes to reach the "goal" of orgasm. If you're not taking pleasure in the journey — or at least indulging some curiosity — then why keep going? Why not stop and try something else?

Experimenting sexually in an open-ended way has been, for me, the most productive possible attitude. And in fact, once I knew how to make myself come, I discovered that — though it's helpful to be able to attain that release if I really want to — orgasms aren't actually my favorite part of sex! There are lots of other things I like better.

It's also worth noting that our definitions of "orgasm" are fairly narrow. Some research indicates that there may be other ways to conceptualize orgasms than the stereotypical genital-focused approach.

Thirdly, although it's possible for a person to explore sexuality on her own, relationships can make or break the process. We all make some compromises for romance. But when we compromise, we should know what we're compromising, and we should think about whether the compromise is worth it.

For me, sexual exploration and satisfaction are incredibly important — but it took ages to develop the courage to put my foot down about them. After my boyfriend shouted at me that he didn't care about my sexual satisfaction, it took me an embarrassingly long time to end things with him; I really was in love, and we'd been together for years. But my sexuality wasn't even close to a priority for him, and breaking up with him was one of the best decisions I ever made.

After ending that relationship, I was able to build my self-confidence and self-esteem with new boyfriends surprisingly fast — and my boyfriends helped me more than they probably know. I owe countless small debts to men who accepted my inability to orgasm, took my anxieties about it into account, and sometimes gently pushed me to try new things.

One particular guy comes to mind: I told him I couldn't come, but that I wanted to experiment with S&M, so we arranged to buy rope and some painful equipment. During our conversation, he gently drew me out on my history, and then he said, "You know what I think we need to go along with this rope? A vibrator."

I blinked and said hesitantly, "I don't know, I've never really liked vibrators." But I was willing to try it again, and that's when I learned that vibrators are awesome. That's when I learned that what I really need is to convince myself I'm not in charge — that once the correct fantasy is in place, vibrators make everything easy.

Even today, few things make me happier than a man who grasps the tension I still sometimes feel about "being demanding" or "asking for too much". I communicate with straightforwardness that amazes most partners, but it's crucial for them to understand that I still have hesitations. That even I, sometimes, need a moment to articulate what I want — or need to be asked whether there's anything he can do.

Lastly, and most importantly: don't let go of your boundaries unless you're sure you're ready. If you really don't want to do something, you don't have to make yourself do it. I'm writing this because when I was growing up, all the sex-positive work I read encouraged exploration at the cost of boundaries, and I think that's wrong. There were times when that attitude hurt me — for example, I did things I didn't like because people claimed I hadn't yet gotten over my sexual "issues", like my lesbian friend in college. And I know that attitude has hurt other women, too.

I don't like seeing sex-positive feminism equated with making oneself freely sexually available. Exploring sexuality does not mean you have to ignore your warning bells.

Sexuality is so complicated. Sex cannot be reduced to bodies, or hormones, or psychological stereotypes. Sex cannot be reduced to certainties, to shoulds and shouldn'ts. If I could destroy every force in our lives that drives home ideas of sexual "normality", I would. Which leads to my final piece of advice: don't let me tell you what to do. This is just my experience, just my ideas. As with everything, I want you to do whatever feels right for you — as long as it's among consenting adults.

* * *

 

VIII. Study Questions!

Here are some things that might be interesting to reflect on:

1) What questions do you have about your orgasm?

1a) Where have you researched the answers to those questions?

1b) Have you ever discussed those questions with your partners?

2) What questions do you have about your partners' orgasms?

2a) Have you ever asked your partners about their orgasms?

3) What's one thing you wish you'd said in bed to a partner?

3a) What would have made it easier to say it?

4) What are your favorite sexual acts? Are there other ways you could perform them?

5) What's the best sexual experience you remember? What made it great?

6) What's the hottest thing you've seen or read? What made it great and are there ways you could participate?

7) Does anything from this article resonate with you? What?
 

(READ MORE Clarisse here.)

39 comments

  • Lady Marmalade

    Posted on October 4, 2011

    Sometimes the hardest words to say are “I like it like that” and “I don’t really like it like that.”

    Report this comment

  • KSE

    Posted on October 4, 2011

    I have always been orgasm lucky. I lost my virginity when I was 15, and even from that first time have never had any trouble cumming through intercourse. I know that’s strange, but I can almost always have 2-3 when I have sex, but rarely have one when a guy goes down on me. Some of my friends are in their 30s and have never had one, or can only orgasm when they’re masturbating. kse

    Report this comment

  • K.

    Posted on October 4, 2011

    This line “my apparent inability to orgasm became the most toxic secret I had” resonated so strongly for me. I’ve always had trouble getting to orgasm and thought it meant there as something wrong with me. It made me ashamed. I’d pretend I’d come and then lay there wondering why I hadn’t and what was wrong. Thank you for your story.

    Report this comment

  • Blue Bell

    Posted on October 4, 2011

    I didn’t have an orgasm with a man until I was in my 30s and finally got comfortable enough to literally take matters into my own hands when I was with a partner.

    I have always loved sex. Even my first time was pretty fun. Getting over that hump though, the one from really liking it to really coming, with just the attention of my partners (mostly men but a few women too) has been hard for me. It’s happened, but not a lot.

    Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on October 4, 2011

    The ? about what I wish I’d said in bed to a partner really struck me. I think I’m too ready to accept what is given – or not – and not willing enough to coach or show or, even more directly, ask for what I want.
    Sometimes I’m worried it will hurt their feelings. Sometimes I’m worried I’ll seem to aggressive. Sometimes I worry I’ll seem “weird.” Most of the time, I do not come.

    Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on October 4, 2011

    Im in my mid twenties and only just discovered how to come via masturbation. Literally three months ago I wrote on my facebook about how I never bothered cos nothing happened. I’ve had a few with guys, but it’s only been recently where I figured out about my gender identity and have been able to put myself in the sexual encounters and fantasies I like.

    Also, it takes a lot of work. Sometimes I’m willing to go “okay, I’m tired, this has been nice, I’ll do without it.”

    Report this comment

  • Clare

    Posted on October 4, 2011

    These days I orgasm fairly easily, but when I first started having sex, that was not the case. I’ve always been able to orgasm while masturbating, but some of the things you said sound EXACTLY like what was going through my head when I had my first experiences with partnered sex. Particularly the part about it breaking your heart to tell a partner that the orgasm didn’t really matter. And various men insisting that they, of course, would be able to make you come.

    My current partner is amazing and has helped a lot with my new ability to orgasm easily. For me, I think the big thing was that he prioritized my pleasure, which helped me accept that it was also okay for me to do that.

    Report this comment

    • OOC

      Posted on October 5, 2011

      Thanks so much for sharing with us, Clare. Question…what do you think kept you from thinking you could (should) prioritize – or at least consider – your own pleasure before your new partner came along? Xo, OOC

      Report this comment

      • Clare

        Posted on October 6, 2011

        This is something that I have yet to fully unpack, as it is still somewhat recent. However, my basic feeling is that it was combination of the way society treats sex, with the (extremely heterosexist) notion of the man’s orgasm being the goal, along with several partners who fully bought into that idea.

        “And one of the biggest sexual scripts is that sex ends with the man’s orgasm. That the man’s orgasm is the goal.
        It’s very hard to think around these scripts. It’s very hard to even be aware of them. So, since my paramount goal during sex was obviously “satisfying my man”, I often pushed my orgasm away due to my focus on him. I knew that if I came then I’d feel tired and less interested in sex (at least for a while). And obviously, if he were to have his all-important manly orgasm, I couldn’t go falling asleep on him could I? I couldn’t even pause to mentally process my sensations if he seemed to be enjoying himself, now could I? Plus, once he’d come, I certainly couldn’t expect him to stimulate me any more than he already had, because he was tired; he’d just had an orgasm!”

        This pretty much exactly says it I think, especially “pushing my orgasm away to focus on him.”

        Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on October 4, 2011

    Goddamn, this resonated like whoa. I’ve had one orgasm ever – over ten years ago now. I’ve had an emotionally abusive relationship which was not identical to the experiences you describe, but I could broadly relate all the same, and it was painful to read (but I’m glad I did). And my fantasies are submissive. I’ve enjoyed being submissive in real-life sex, but I’ve also enjoyed being dominant, and vanilla. I still struggle with my fantasies a lot as I don’t tend to identify with BDSM. But if I could deal with my fantasies in some way, maybe I could at least enjoy orgasms by myself. I don’t know the answers, I’m still working on it, but I’m okay with taking it slow. Thanks for the solidarity.

    As an aside, though, you seem to describe your friend interchangeably as bisexual and lesbian. Which may be totally valid, but it seems a little confusing here.

    Report this comment

    • OOC

      Posted on October 5, 2011

      Thanks, Anonymous. What’s your struggle with your fantasies? Getting comfortable with what they are?

      We bet you’re not alone, so anything (more) you want to share may help someone else. Thanks for adding to the conversation.

      Report this comment

  • Sage

    Posted on October 4, 2011

    I’ve always been good at asking for what I want and knowing what that is, but a shocking number of guys really don’t care. I think mainstream film depictions of what sex looks like really mess with our heads. PIV sex never gets me anywhere. His idea of foreplay (the typical idea) is what I call sex. That’s what works for me. The fact that all women love PIV sex in movies, means the movies are full of crap.

    I really believe people should talk honestly about this stuff, and I recently mustered the courage to self-published a book about my varied experiences learning how to push past stereotypes of sexuality (among other things). There’s a link to the book on the sidebar of my blog if anyone’s interested. (sagesymposia.blogspot.com)

    Report this comment

  • Clarisse Thorn

    Posted on October 4, 2011

    To the person who noted that I described my friend’s sexual orientation wrongly — oops. Thanks. I fixed that, and I meant no disrespect.

    Report this comment

  • Lidia-Anain

    Posted on October 4, 2011

    Clarisse, thanks for such a thorough post about your journey to the big O. I have never had a problem having an orgasm but I can relate to some what you have written here. The part in which you talk about sexual scripts and the man’s orgasm being the end goal – yup that part. I am a woman with a very high libido that really enjoys sex – a lot of sex (preferably with one person at a time). So, what I related to was your silence and guilt. I too felt guilty about telling my husband what I needed. Before getting married I had no trouble telling men what I liked and didn’t like. I didn’t have trouble telling him (my husband) during the early years but as time passed I grew silent about my desires and needs. Your post has helped me realize that I still have some growing and speaking up to do. Thanks again for sharing your story because it definitely is going to help me change the personal narrative that is my life.

    Wishing you many orgasms!

    Report this comment

    • OOC

      Posted on October 5, 2011

      THIS is exactly why we started Off Our Chests:

      “Thanks again for sharing your story because it definitely is going to help me change the personal narrative that is my life.”

      Wishing you many orgasms too…

      Report this comment

  • Would rather be anon for this

    Posted on October 5, 2011

    My experience is very, very different, but there was a period in my life where I was trying to orgasm and not able to (by myself, however, and essentially solely because of curiosity as to what one felt like.) But somehow, every time I tried I eventually got bored and stopped.

    At this point, a friend told me “When you do that, is there ever a point where you feel as if a switch has been flipped and you’re just not interested in continuing? Because orgasms can feel like that.”

    “No way,” said I, “that’s it?

    More experimenting proved that yes, that was in fact it. I’d actually been orgasming the entire time (I seem to orgasm relatively easily, as a matter of fact) but hadn’t realised because they were very… underwhelming.

    I was reminded of this when you talked about having been experiencing weak orgasms in the time period you wrote that at the start of your post. Because when you hear about orgasms, they sound like these amazing earth-moving life-altering experiences where the world goes white and the heavens open and a choir of angels sing over your head. And maybe they can be like that, but they can also be just a… blip. And if you’re trained to think of them as amazing earth-moving etc. etc. etc., then it’s easy not to realise what those blips are.

    Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on October 5, 2011

    I too haven’t had orgasms but it hasn’t caused any serious trouble like some of the previous posters since I haven’t ever had sex with a women. (Mostly I’m just undable to notice who’s flirting with me so nothing happens. One of the few drawbacks of Aspbergers)

    However reading this suggests it might be worth perusing the possibility I have Orgasms, just really underwhelming ones.

    P.S. If it means anything to anyone, I’m male.

    Report this comment

  • @ZJSimon

    Posted on October 5, 2011

    I’m glad to be reading from you again, Ms. Thorn. Even if it is more ‘how I got here’ than where I’ve been lately or where I’d like to go. I am disappointed, though, that I seem to be the only man here, married or otherwise. Not disappointed in YOU, of course, but surprised that you don’t attract more responses from men who cannot reconcile their desire to be domestically/verbally supportive but also sexually dominant.

    I doubt this is a new, or even helpful question, but I wonder how many emotionally abusive men are suppressing their urge to dominate sexually. Likewise, how many sexually submissive women maintain abusive relationships out of a misdirected urge to be dominated sexually.

    Report this comment

    • OOC

      Posted on October 5, 2011

      really interesting, ZJ. Thanks for representing.

      Report this comment

    • Anonymous

      Posted on October 28, 2011

      “how many sexually submissive women maintain abusive relationships out of a misdirected urge to be dominated sexually.”

      That was me, for the vast majority of my life. Took an amazing man, incredibly supportive & caring, intensely focused on my pleasure in a way I initially found terrifyingly awkward, willing to experiment, who discovered a taste for sexual domination, to show me just how different nurturing, caring domination is from a sort of careless abuse.

      Report this comment

  • Anon

    Posted on October 5, 2011

    I’m 30 and I just recently discovered my orgasm. For years and years I discounted my little ones as not counting because of the fireworks we hear about and because at about 16 I randomly had a big one. For years I felt something was wrong with me, and would get very frustrated. Most boys were initially helpful- but only because they felt optimistic that they’d be the one to lift the curse. Like pulling the sword from the stone or something. Then they always gave up hope and quit trying. Hell, one even quit sleeping with me altogether. He told me it was “demoralizing”. I should say so!

    With the help of a slightly different outlook, and the luck of a new boyfriend who honestly cares (I’m not one to make emotional connections with my boyfriends – I tend to be bottled up – but his emotional availability seems to be really helping that) I’ve begun having better, different orgasms. These are from sex and tend to feel like I’m floating over that magic point of no return. I assume that some luck of anatomy is helping too, because I rarely got close before. This only works on top, mind you. Otherwise I’m still enjoying my rather tiny ones from pleasuring myself.

    Anyway, you aren’t damaged, and you can probably get there. Clarice helped me by pointing out some great articles, and fun Betty Dodson videos.

    Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on October 5, 2011

    Thank you for writing this article. I needed to read something like this.

    Report this comment

  • Altarego

    Posted on October 5, 2011

    This whole article resonated with me. A lot of it reflects my own experience with difficulty achieving orgasm. Especially the part about guys who think they can “make you come.” I know they mean well, but it’s not helpful for me at all to have someone tell me he knows more about how to get off than I do.

    I also appreciate your writing about your experience coming into BDSM and how you accepted it. I’m married, so it has been hard, but I have had more and more fantasies and thoughts about being submissive and about being hurt. I feel like this article gave me a starting point for where to look for resources.

    To the person above who stated that your idea of “sex” was the stereotypical straight man’s idea of “foreplay,” I totally agree. :)

    Report this comment

  • amy

    Posted on October 12, 2011

    Thanks for writing this.

    The thing that makes me crazy here is that no matter who is unable to come in the situation, it always seems to be the woman’s job to manage and soothe the man’s feelings. During my dating history, when a man couldn’t get me off, I found myself saying, “Hey it’s not a big deal, don’t worry about it.” When he himself couldn’t get off, I found myself saying the EXACT SAME THING. What is wrong with this picture?

    Even among women who consider themselves to be in perfectly equal relationships, you will hear so many of them say they occasionally fake orgasm just to keep from hurting their partner’s feelings. We internalize masculine entitlement so thoroughly that we actually have to protect them from our own lack of pleasure. Nuts.

    Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on October 16, 2011

    im able to make myself orgasm, but I’ve never had one with a man nor have I ever come, aka had a burst of vaginal fluid. Do you need to cum to have an orgasm? If not, how can you make yourself come, since this is what the guys are expecting, some type of squirting action.

    Report this comment

  • Ty

    Posted on October 18, 2011

    This was a very interesting read for me.

    The first time I became aware of women faking their orgasms was when I was having sex with a prostitute. I was about 20 (7 years ago). She faked an orgasm to make me cum faster since we were running out of time. Sex was never the same for me after that episode. Her fake orgasm was very convincing. I assumed since then that all women fake their orgasms all the time during piv sex.

    A couple years later, when I was about 25, I was at a gangbang and same thing happened. She said she was getting sore and conveniently came soon after. I confronted her about it when we were sitting around the pool. She admitted that she couldn’t go on any longer (the pain) so that’s why she faked it. We got into a looong discussion about what it takes to make a woman orgasm. She brought up many of the points that you bring up in your unified theory.

    I’m still not sure what a man can actually do to make a woman orgasm. Can he do much about it? how much of it is him and how much of it is her? Play the blame game? It’s a difficult discussion to have in a relationship. Who wants to think that they’re compatible relationship-wise but not sexually? At the same time though, a woman not getting off can only be a bad thing for the relationship.

    Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on October 28, 2011

    Thanks for sharing that. Might as well have been readin my own life story, right down to not finding masturbation interesting for years because of control issues, to experimenting with girls looking for the right thing, to struggling with communicating what I wanted to partners & always feeling like I had to look after their needs, pushing my own aside & never let it show how much it hurt that they weren’t looking after mine, to impossible conversations with men I loved – and who I think loved me – trying to explain what I needed & ending up in tears feeling rejected and judged for my desires. Took me ’till I was 30 to figure out how to orgasm, and then all thanks to a man who was willing to grab the reins & take me to depths of depravity I had hardly dared dreamed of. It’s changed my life. I used to say sex wasn’t important, but only because I’d never had great sex!

    Report this comment

    • Anonymous

      Posted on October 28, 2011

      The going to doctors to find out “what was wrong with me” because I didn’t orgasm & didn’t want sex with a long term partner was also pretty damaging. I don’t know how we both ended up with the belief that I was faulty, rather than our relationship. When we had sex I would go out of my way to make sure he enjoyed it, while getting no pleasure myself, and somehow it was a mystery why I had no sex drive & wasn’t interest in repeating this experience several times a week. I cried when the doctor said, after some examinations & blood tests, that there was nothing physically wrong that could be fixed with a tablet or an operation, & went on to have therapy, trying to “fix” what was “broken”. Looking back I can’t believe I was so stupid!

      Report this comment

    • Good Girl

      Posted on October 28, 2011

      Well let’s be honest, time, care and even duplicitous psychology (we won’t bother with a cum marathon, mwah ha ha ha) mutual consideration and interests all helped. All of which you are so worth – your beauty, intelligence and grace so incredible. But you know, you are such a wonderful lover I will always be grateful that together although on the first time you on your own, we found it, an everest conquered togther and yet it is now a damn burst of fluids, that was always there for the taking. But it is only one of many adventures taken and so many yet to go…

      Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on December 23, 2011

    I feel a little bit confused. Is this about achieving orgasm through intercourse alone? Or just orgasm by any means necessary?

    I have never experienced orgasm through intercourse alone and it has made me feel incredibly resentful, heartbroken and I can hardly see the point in sex at all despite the fact that I do feel that emotional connection and sometimes it is “nice” or even “really great”.

    I do regularly experience orgasms through manual clitoral stimulation and oral sex but how would a guy like it if sex was nothing more then just in and out and “nice” and they had to only get off through oral or manual? I have been trying desperately to have an orgasm through intercourse alone, even just have my partner move the skin in a way it can stimulate my clit but it never happens with or without trying. I have done the whole, letting it go, focus on what does work and just have my clitoral orgasms and not expect anything more but that only worked for a few years.

    Does any other woman feel unsatisfied that she cannot experience that same orgasm a man can through intercourse? I feel completely cheated.

    This whole article resonated me and I felt so disgusted and disturbed by the man who actually said he didn’t care about your satisfaction. I have also been in relationships where they told me they never said things like that.

    I hope that all the women out there can practise speaking up for themselves every encounter and in all circumstances in life.

    Report this comment

  • alina

    Posted on January 18, 2012

    Wow this article is awesome! I totally understand the feeling about thinking something is wrong. I have put my own needs and satisfaction on hold my entire life because every time i’ve opened up and told a partner that i can’t cum they just stop trying. I’m 25 and i still haven’t figured out how to make myself satisfied. I get really horny and no matter what i do to myself or someone else does to me i can never be satisfied. So i just end up frustrated or faking it. I’m wondering if i’m just maybe going after the wrong sex. I think i like being submissive and i love making the other person happy. I wish i knew how to fix my problem. I’ve tried pretty much everything. Back in my teens i was with a female. I’ve even tried drugs during sex. I still strougle with my fantisies alot.

    Report this comment

    • Anonymous

      Posted on February 6, 2012

      I think that’s awesome! Why would any guy “try” to make you orgasm/ give up? It seems like you enjoy the simple act of it and crave for it. I’m a guy and I feel the same way. I obviously know how to get myself off but when I’m with a woman I somehow don’t get off as easily… I just don’t want to get off, I want it to go on forever and even when I do I keep on going until my partner can’t take it any more. I really don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. I don’t care if my partner orgasms or anything. And I hope they don’t feel pressured to do so. After reading the article and your comments I guess I’ll try being a bit more conscious about how it can feel from a woman’s point of view

      Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on February 6, 2012

    From a male perspective this is very interesting. I will share that I personally get off on pleasuring a woman and doing what I can to make her feel cared for. It probably shows in the way I feel and act that I don’t ask for much from them, I just enjoy making them feel like “the one”. I just enjoy the whole male-female thing too much to care whether its PIV or teasing and cuddling and whether it finishes with a “happy ending” or not. I don’t assume that I know much of anything but I believe one of the main elements in having enjoyable sex or relationship is in enjoying to please the other person. Even though I can cum rather fast I tend to take forever when I’m with a woman. I don’t want it to end and now that I read many of the comments above I think I’ll make sure to mention that because I don’t want them to feel like they haven’t done “enough” for me, if I keep on going it’s because they’re doing more than enough to keep my desire burning! Orgasming is definitely not the goal, pleasure in the present moment is.
    Just to say I’m very open to listening to the wants of my partner (verbally or physically) and I have a really hard time seeing myself being dominant as in porn movies and such, much in the way many of you seem to describe your submission to that “image of sex”. I would also add that it’s not only in porn movies. You see it in clubs and in the simple way people interact. It’s kind of sad. I could go in lengths of my view on society but in general I think people ought to be more open to discussion and deriving pleasure from providing sexual and psychological stimulation to the other person. Basically that’s all that turns me on and even more when the feeling is reciprocated.
    I think being comfortable with yourself and doing everything for the other person to feel that same way is key to healthy relationships. Just the simple attempt to do that goes a long way when the other person acknowledges that and does return the feeling.
    I hope my male perspective and point of view could possibly shine some light on this for women; on the fact that some men enjoy doing their best to please their woman. Because their’s nothing hotter than making a woman feel like she’s “the one” that she’s worth every motion, every effort to be pleased.

    Report this comment

  • Anonymous

    Posted on July 17, 2012

    This question may be too personal, but I figure if there is a place to ask, this is it. I have difficulty having orgasms as well. Sometimes I feel like I’m almost there but I lose it. Maybe because I start thinking about it too much. One time I think I almost had a vaginal orgasm when I was on top, but the feeling of having to pee was too much and I had to go to the bathroom. (Even though I don’t think I really needed to relieve my bladder). How do you push through that? Is it worth it to keep going? I’m kind of new at having sex, so I guess I’ll just figure it out as I go, but I’d really love to hear other people’s stories. It was a weird feeling, similar to having an itch that needed scratching, only I couldn’t push through.

    I have had little clitoral orgasms, but I really want to have a “normal” one (whatever that means).

    I love love love this website and this entry. So helpful!

    Report this comment

  • Lovelygirl22

    Posted on January 10, 2014

    I loved reading this but I wish I could actually use what I’ve heard. I’m in my late teens and I’ve been with my boyfriend for over a year now. He cares so much for me and tries his hardest especially when we have hours to ourselves. I just get so bored with it after a whole because I either can’t cum, lose feeling or the feeling becomes strangely uncomfortable. I wish I could just come. I do relate with you in the way that I prefer the guy to be in charge and I’ve never been one to masturbate. I’ve come very close to reaching orgasm just once and I’m pretty sure I’ve experienced one weak one. But I just need to finally have the actual orgasm and it’s the most frustrating thing ever.

    Report this comment

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. A UNIFIED THEORY OF ORGASM by Clarisse Thorn ~ Lidia-Anain: writing about sexuality, love, relationships, motherhood & introspection. Sex, love & joy uncensored! ~ - [...] 17, 2011 by Clarisse TweetThis is a guest post by Clarisse Thorn. It was originally published at the …
  2. » [storytime] A Unified Theory of Orgasm Clarisse Thorn - [...] was originally published at the girl-power site Off Our [...]
  3. » Marriage, Singledom, Social Evolution, and that Kate Bolick piece in “The Atlantic” Clarisse Thorn - [...] and post this today, because this is more pressing. The other post was a repost of my article A …
  4. A Unified Theory of Orgasm | Alas, a Blog - [...] is a guest post by Clarisse Thorn. It was originally published at the girl-power site Off Our [...]
  5. A Unified Theory of Orgasm | Good Vibrations Blog - [...] is a guest post by Clarisse Thorn. It was originally published at the girl-power site Off Our [...]
  6. I lied » Dumb Domme - [...] again, each time thinking it won’t make my heart hurt as much as it did the last time: “A …
Have a Comment? Share It. All opinions but NO judgments allowed.

MORE STORIES