I’ve always wanted to have a proper orgasm. One that involves my partner (and this is strictly a personal definition and may differ from yours) and penetration. I wanted what I considered to be my grown-ass-woman orgasm. I’d given myself orgasms in the past using vibrators, but they always fell a little short on the scale of satisfaction. I thought that I shouldn’t have to be the one to make it happen; that should be his job. Especially given that I felt responsible for every moment of ecstasy the men I’d slept with had ever experienced. I’ve since tempered my ego, but I digress.
I wanted that big, romantic, take me, I’m yours, oh my god, that was amazing orgasm. Like I should just lay back and transform into this panting sex machine and churn out passion every time. I felt resentment toward the unevenness of the scoreboard.
For a while, I had accepted what I saw as cruel fate and acted as some kind of sexual martyr. I mean, who am I to need a happy ending and how important is it, anyways? He got his. How messed up is that? As the years got on and I still hadn’t gotten off, it became something I thought about often. Then often became a lot and my immature resentment grew into full grown disdain. Sex sucked now that I knew it’d never really be for me, or so I thought, and thoughts like these sent a message that my needs were of less importance. This got me curious—what does it take to have an orgasm? How could I get there? Was I alone in my suffering?
YOUR MINDSET AFFECTS YOUR ABILITY TO ORGASM
By now, women like myself are getting more comfortable admitting they’ve never had an orgasm. A girlfriend a few years older than me confided that she hadn’t and I was a little surprised to hear it. It seemed like everybody on the planet was having great sex. Hell, I was, too a lot of the time. Sure, the routine of monogamous sex would bore at times, I think that’s normal; but it’s not like I’d never enjoyed myself. Still, night after night, my unfinished business skulked around in my head and in my bedroom. I’d always thought myself an anomaly at my young age, but no, many recent studies have revealed I actually wasn’t the only one missing out.
A 2015 survey conducted by Cosmopolitan shows that only 84 percent of women between the ages of 18-24 have crossed the finish line, so it’s not uncommon to reach it on the other side of your 20’s. This comes as no surprise, as most women reach their sexual peak at 26. By then you’ve usually had a few sexual partners, you’re making better decisions, and starting to get to know yourself better. I knew I wasn’t a total freak when the very rare-for-me event of a one night stand went down and the boy I took home actually said, “Oh, are you one of those girls that can’t get off?” before rolling his doughy body over, wrapped in all my blankets and leaving me to freeze in my own bed.
His comment stuck with me and still does after all these years. I couldn’t get it out of my head, I couldn’t get out of my own head, and it became clear that was my problem. Blogger Kim Anami wrote a list of the 5 Reasons Why You Are Not Having Vaginal Orgasms and cited “you think you are just one of those women who can’t” as the top reason. We’re women, after all. We think, we dissect, we study, we pick apart, we define, and we can be really hard on ourselves through it all. Lost in thought wondering why we haven’t yet makes it feel out of reach. It seems the more we think about it, the less likely it is to happen.
TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK
But, surely, our partners play a big part in this game for two, yes?
William McKibbin, PhD (a psychology professor at the University of Michigan) published a study in Personality and Individual Differences reporting that 90 percent of men care about their partner’s’ orgasms. That may be true, but to what extent? The one time blanket thief sure as hell didn’t. I personally felt like past boyfriends had grown weary with time trying to make it happen and eventually took an apathetic stance. Maybe because I kind of gave up on it, too. And if the theory of the big mental block being what’s really in the way is true, what could they really have done about it?
The sensitive side of our mental block may convince us to stroke their ego and fake one here and there, like over 80 percent of women do, so they don’t feel like a failure and we don’t feel like an ice box. “Frigid,” as our boy Freud would say. (The man really had a way with words, huh?) But that’s a dishonest path down a road to nowhere, the bedroom is certainly not a place for lying to spare a partner’s feelings.
Instead of faking orgasms, we need to be just as engaged in showing our partners on how to give them as we are learning to have them:
- Make sure you’re both on the same page by being vocal about what feels good, what doesn’t, and what’s just anticlimactic
- If you’ve got a trick up your sleeve from partners past, don’t hesitate to bring out those old moves you already know you like (just maybe don’t mention where you learned them)
- Engaging your partner with eye contact and communication can be a reaffirming turn on. Locking eyes with your lover amplifies the intimacy and could really make you lose your train of thought…and that’s precisely what we’re aiming for
- Pick your favorite go-to position and modify it; throw a leg in the air, cross your ankles, arch your back a little extra or try elevating your body with a pillow. (This should be super fun for both of you!)
- If you’ve run through your whole playbook and are still coming up short, do a little web research and report back to the bedroom with your findings; learning something new together has the potential to be a bonding moment and that adds depth to your romance.
MY FIRST ORGASM
This year, 2017, I was determined. I started out the year, like many of us, trying to think of a new year’s resolution. I know I need to quit smoking, call my mom more, and focus on my career; but I also knew this was the year I needed to resolve to claim what is rightfully mine—an orgasm.
Other agreements I made to myself this year were that I’d be more gentle on myself, be my own friend, not put myself down (as much). I knew that these would all come together to play an important part in the big picture. And they did. I started to see it as something that actually would happen and looked forward to it. Wouldn’t you know it, two weeks later, this girl got hers.
It was so cool. A really sparkly, ultra-feminine moment, let me tell you. I felt like the young actress who totally nailed her first big Hollywood role and was giving that joyous, tearful acceptance speech. “Thank you, thank you, wow! I can’t believe this, I never thought this would happen to me! I can’t even begin to express my gratitude, I couldn’t have done this alone, etc…” until the band plays her off the stage. Right, so needless to say, it was a big deal.
All my friends had told me “when it happens, you’ll know,” and it was true. My entire body buzzed, effervescent. I lay there shiny and dazed, looking at my boyfriend in disbelief. I admitted that it was my first time and I don’t think he understood the weight that had been lifted off my shoulders, but still he was pretty stoked for me.
WHAT IT REALLY TAKES TO HAVE AN ORGASM
There are a million resources that give you tips on how to finally experience the Big O. There are a million more that cite statistics of just how many women don’t get there. When I had my first orgasm, I realized that, while these tips are helpful, there’s more to the story.
I knew what had brought me here, to this ecstatic moment. A partner who actually supported and cared about me, helping me get to a point where I could begin to conquer my mental block.
I also like myself a hell of a lot more than I did before, something that is said to be a prerequisite to a healthy sex life. I’ve accepted my body for what it is; healthy, strong, and sexy. My mind is at ease, I’m more confident in myself and therefore my relationship. So with a clear and kind vision, I’d readied myself for my eventual big night. I was finally able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride. I said nice things to and about myself, allowing this young woman to finally have anything she wants; self esteem, crazy big dreams, orgasms, anything.
My mental block was the glass ceiling I knew I had to smash if I was ever going to have any sort of pleasure in my life. Now that I have that maiden voyage under my belt, I feel more confident and less anxious about the next one. It’ll come when it comes and I feel okay with that. If I can have an orgasm, anything is possible.