Six Years After Losing My Virginity, I've Just Had My First Orgasm
The Debrief: …and it was actually pretty good
I’ve been having sex for a long time. I’m not saying how many guys I've had sex with because my mum might be reading this. So let me put it another way, if all the dicks I’ve ever seen were laid end to end they wouldn't reach the moon, but they’d have a pretty good chance of towering over a double-decker bus.
But up until six months ago, I had never had an orgasm. I’d tried – of course I’d tried. I rubbed and poked and invested in sex toys that looked like medieval torture devices. But nope. Nothing. The mystical climax remained tantalisingly out of my reach – a fact made especially frustrating by my best friend claiming she was having multiple orgasms all over the place like it ain’t no thing.
I’d never been a big fan of masturbation as a teenager – I was way too busy writing MORRISSEY on every available surface and trying to impress boys with bad fringes on MySpace. My sexual awakening was fairly non-descript, too – the standard pubescent fumbling and the classic 'can’t actually get it in' routine. The first time someone went down on me started off well, but I got so into it that I ended up accidentally breaking his nose (don’t ask). It’s safe to say that my late teens were not a fruitful time, orgasm wise. I don't know why I didn't go to the doctors – maybe I'd have got some good advice if I had done. As it was, it seemed like too much effort, so I just got on with it.
Obviously, being young and wanting to please my partners to the detriment of my own pleasure, I told nobody. I became an expert at faking an orgasm. If anyone was planning on taking me on Jeremy Kyle they may as well not bother – I’ve said 'of course I came!' and 'that was amazing!' so many times, so convincingly, that I’m pretty much guaranteed to pass the lie-detector test. It was easier to lie. Being grilled about my apparent dysfunctions just after sex wasn’t particularly fun. I want a cigarette and a beer, bro, not a psychoanalysis session with an under-qualified, naked therapist.
When I did tell partners about my inability to orgasm, I basically became a sexual Rubix Cube.
When I did tell partners about my inability to orgasm, sex suddenly became some kind of horrible obstacle course of which I was the referee. Men, determined to be the one to break the Ancient Curse bestowed upon my sexual organs, embarked doggedly on a mission not dissimilar to a young boy trying his hardest to get a badge for Scouts. I basically became a sexual Rubix Cube.
This obviously made it even more difficult to come – a man furiously working on my clitoris as if tackling a particularly challenging piece of flatpack furniture weirdly doesn’t top the list of my fantasies. Masturbation wasn’t much better – I did it so disinterestedly and so infrequently that it felt like some kind of bizarre Sisyphean feat. So I gave up. I admitted defeat. I was just “one of those people” who don’t come. It’s difficult to find exact statistics that tell us exactly how many women can’t come, but most sources put the figure at around 10%. That’s a lot of women out there not getting theirs.
As someone who thinks about sex roughly 4,000 times a day it didn’t seem fair that I wasn’t getting the big payoff. So I steadfastly clung on to my dream and, after a split from a entirely unsatisfying long-term boyfriend, made it my Ultimate Mission to have an orgasm. To this end, I spent £50 on a vibrator, got myself a bit too drunk, dimmed the lights and wanked for about a week straight. There were a few frustrating (and sometimes disgusting) forays into solo porn browsing. I became intimate with pretty much every hair on James Deen’s body. Eventually, FINALLY, I had my first orgasm.
It was actually pretty good.
At first the pleasure element was secondary; it was just the fact I had ACTUALLY MANAGED TO COME! I text everyone in my phone book. I briefly contemplated Tweeting about it. I would have thrown a 'the nerve endings in my genitalia are actually fully functional!' party but I couldn’t find a big enough banner.
Reaching orgasm after so long taught me a few important lessons. Number one: wanking is actually a pretty time consuming habit. Number two was a bit more enlightening; I realised that the sex I’d been having was actually pretty good all along.
Just as penis-in-vagina isn’t the pinnacle of all sexual achievement, the orgasm isn’t actually some kind of mighty transformative Nirvana.
Don't get me wrong, I’ve definitely done more than my fair share of staring at the ceiling and thinking about KitKats while my partner obliviously sweats on top of me, but I’ve also had some great sex. Funny, filthy, silly, intimate, romantic, primal sex. I feel pretty lucky that I can now make myself come and that my current boyfriend can do obscenely amazing things to my vagina, but my experiences have afforded me acute awareness of the fact that the orgasm isn’t the be all and end all of sex. Just as penis-in-vagina isn’t the pinnacle of all sexual achievement, the orgasm isn’t actually some kind of mighty transformative Nirvana.
Since I started talking about this with friends I’ve had a lot of questions, mainly from men. So, my advice to men whose girlfriends don’t or can’t come? It sounds like totally hackneyed bullshit to say that sex is about the 'experience,' and even typing that has made me feel dirty and wrong and like I need to take a shower. It’s true, though. I would recommend less of a Usain Bolt eyes-on-the-prize technique and more of a serene, aimless ramble. By this I obviously mean you should go down on your girlfriend for 45 minutes straight, whether she comes at the end of it, or not (in fact, when I think about it, this is my advice for pretty much any question posed by men.)
So, where am I post-climax? Well, my sex life has noticeably improved, but I can’t say that the ability to orgasm has changed my life. The biggest change has actually been in my capacity for emotional honesty. The answer to 'did you come?' isn’t always going to be yes, but my long overdue orgasm has taught me that, actually, that’s okay.
Follow Emma on Twitter @rey_z
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