Is my equipment defective? Or is it as simple as removing a mental block?
What’s holding me back from orgasm is something within my mind...
With the feminist revolution, women’s sexual wellbeing came with a good deal of advice. It was no surprise that women needed help figuring out how to achieve orgasm — after centuries of our pleasure being neglected in the bedroom, some sexual affirmative action was and still is absolutely necessary.
One of the first things experts will suggest is to masturbate. If you figure out how to pleasure yourself, then you’ll be able to (hopefully) more effectively communicate this to your partner, and all will be golden moans and groans.
But what if masturbation doesn’t work for you? What if you’ve tried fingers, vibrators, porn, fantasies, and even romancing yourself with glasses of wine, and you still can’t seem to get there?
Welcome to my world.
I’ve had conversations with close friends about masturbation. In my group of friends, we aren’t particularly shy about sex talks, and I’ve learned a lot of women started exploring their bodies when they were teenagers, or earlier.
The first time I remember seeking self-pleasure was as a child. I’d take the tail of my stuffed dog and pull it between my legs because it felt good — that’s different, though. Children explore their bodies in different ways, and often without the intent to achieve a result.
But my senior year of high school, I woke up in the middle of the night. I was touching myself, and had possibly woken from a sex dream (I don’t remember the particulars). I can only remember touching myself, half-awake, half-asleep. At some point, it felt like synesthesia kicked into gear — I didn’t experience the sort of orgasms I have with partners today, but it felt like my body bloomed into swirling colors that I could see and hear.
I wanted a boyfriend or a partner to bring pleasure to my body, so I never explored the possibility of simply helping myself.
Maybe I got myself off, or maybe I drifted into some heightened state of REM, but I know that I didn’t put my hand between my legs for a long time after. Is that why it’s hard for me to achieve orgasm, even today? Am I just a late masturbation bloomer?
All of my sexual energy was directed outside of myself throughout high school and college. I wanted a boyfriend or a partner to bring pleasure to my body, so I never explored the possibility of simply helping myself. Is it because I put the impetus on someone else to do it, rather than taking the initiative myself?
Even with a partner, it has been a struggle to orgasm. Strangely enough, I’m one of few women who (with the right equipment, so to speak) can get off easily from penetrative sex, but anything involving my clitoris is a challenge. Is my equipment defective? Or is it as simple as removing a mental block?
Ding ding ding!
When I first started to explore oral sex with a boyfriend, he was a willing and able partner. He got off on me getting off; however, I could not get off.
Lying there and receiving pleasure felt selfish to me, and continues to feel that way — to the point where all I do is think about how long my partner has been between my legs, how I should have gotten off a long time ago, and how irritated are they with me right now?
I’ve commiserated with a friend about this problem, about how receiving pleasure without giving any in return is hard to do, that it requires trust, relaxation, and the right frame of mind — a combination that can be tricky to attain. In my case, though, this extends from sex with a partner to sex with myself, which is inherently selfish.
The sole purpose of masturbation is self-pleasure. There is no one else to focus on, no one else’s time (or tongue) to worry about. It’s just you and your hand (or, as I prefer, you and your vibrator). So what’s the mental block there?
I lay a large part of the blame on my mental health medications. My antidepressant, Effexor, comes with the risk of difficulty achieving orgasm, and I’ve been taking it for years. When I first started on it, I noticed that my normally quick and easy penetrative orgasm came slower and harder, so it wouldn’t surprise me that my normally moody clitoris would be taken along for the ride.
But since this problem has been with me for my entire adult life, I know that medication isn’t the only factor, or even the main one. What’s holding me back from climax is something within my mind.
Experience has shown me that achieving orgasm requires letting go. I have to be in a meditative, relaxed state of mind. I have to release all distracting thoughts — deadlines, bills, relationship stresses — and focus solely on how I’m allowing myself to feel. I have to be willing to allow myself to receive pleasure.
I believe this is the key: If I think I’m worthy of pleasure, relaxation, and allowing myself to feel good, then I believe masturbation and getting off can be easier. Once masturbation gets easier, I believe that it’ll be easier for me to communicate what I want to a partner. And once I can communicate better when I’m with a partner… Well, there’s nothing but blue skies and orgasms in my future.
Or at least this is what I see in my forecast.
Ultimately, masturbation is a form of self-love — all euphemisms aside. Only when you love yourself enough to believe you deserve pleasure and that you are also willing to accept it and worthy of accepting it, will all the pleasure you desire will be yours.
My plan for masturbation, then, is to get in good with who I am. I want to date myself, seduce myself, take myself to bed — then, and only then, will this really pay off.