• Sex

Girl Talk: I Can’t Orgasm From Sex

Let’s just say that Meg Ryan in “When Harry Met Sally” has nothing on me. I’m the girl who’s perfected her fauxgasm to the extent that I should be recording sound bytes for video games. I’m also the girl who sits bewildered, nodding her head as her assembled girlfriends trade stories about the guy who made her come three times in a row, how a few nights ago she came so hard she fell off the bed, how she and her boyfriend came at the same time and how spiritual it was. Back in the day, I’d lie and chime in with my own fabricated stories about my amazing orgasms, but age has forced me to confront some ugly truths about myself, and the truth is: I can’t come from intercourse. Never have. Or, at least I don’t think I have. There seems to be some confusion/controversy over whether there is, in fact, such a thing as a vaginal orgasm, whether that’s different from a clitoral one, and whether it feels hugely different. Or at least I’m confused. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had orgasms before – I can make myself come with little more than some inner-thigh pressure and a couple of dirty thoughts. But when it comes to partner-assisted O, I’m woefully inexperienced.

I’m inclined to think this has to do with a number of things. For the majority of my sexual career I was on either anti-depressants, birth control or some combination of both, and we all know that makes it a lot more difficult to cross the proverbial finish line. But I’m the first to admit that it’s also very much a mental thing. My first sexual relationship with my high school boyfriend was less about my pleasure and more about me “performing” for him to meet some odd criteria that I’m convinced was the product of too much porn-viewing on his part. And for better or worse – I suppose in this case it’s worse – that’s shaped my approach to sex ever since.

I’ve been doing the do for roughly 15 years, and I can count on one hand the number of times a dude has even successfully gotten me off with his mouth or hand. I’ve only felt comfortable enough to whip out my vibrator with a couple of partners, both of whom felt emasculated by it. Every time I start sleeping with someone new, I tell myself I will not fake it, because it sets an untenable precedent, but each time I cave, worried that I’ll be seen as less sexy if I can’t come or that I’ll bruise homeboy’s fragile ego if he knows he can’t bring me around.

Part of me is indignant that social convention has made me feel that there’s something wrong with me for not being able to achieve this pinnacle of sexual satisfaction via the regular old in-out – that the vaginal orgasm is a conspiracy meant to make women feel inferior and alienated from their bodies. But another part of me knows that at least part of the problem is my shyness in articulating my own needs. Surely if I know how to give myself an orgasm, it follows that I should be able to talk someone through how to do it too? For someone as frank and forthright as I am in other aspects of my life, the simple act of saying “apply pressure here” fills me with anxiety.

I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to have an orgasm from sex. The older I get, the more comfortable I am in my skin and the more I see the possibility on the horizon. I can only hope I keep moving in that direction. But in the meantime, thank God for my Hitachi Magic Wand.

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