Girl Talk: Some Thoughts On Fingering

Girl Talk: Some Thoughts On Fingering

From the time I learned what fingering was at age 11, it sounded not that great to me, and that didn’t really change for about 15 years.

Even the idea of fingering (or “fingerbanging,” yikes) sounded bad. It almost didn’t occur to me that fingering would be something I would actually want. I’d even tried it myself but it was just left me bored and with a cramp in my hand. Certainly it did not stand up to the newly discovered pleasures of the shower head. But it was still something I expected to happen to me at some point, a natural progression like moonrise following sunset or whatever.

As I got older, I learned to direct wandering hands toward the clitoris with so-so results. I found it baffling that the most sensual kissers were neither gentle or nuanced when it came to using their hands. There was also the chronic nail-biter that made me bleed.. When it came to fingering, men, I’d found, were often more excited to put a hand in my pants to see that they’d accomplished something, namely, getting me wet. And a little bit of slickness was enough for them. A single finger inserted into the vagina made me feel a bit like a chicken being checked for doneness with a meat thermometer. Is she cooked? Alright, let’s finish this bird off. The men who resorted to violent thrusting with one, two or heaven forbid three fingers before I was properly worked up were clearly thinking about what they thought they’d do with their dicks rather than how I should hopefully be responding. I learned early on that dead silence didn’t do much to get the message across that I wasn’t enjoying the poking and prodding. I allowed a few thrusts out of politeness, tried to take over out of desperation, and ultimately found it was more effective to say, “Baby, can you go down on me?”

That’s how I gave up on fingering.

But then, as always, there came a guy. Our meeting was proof that sometimes, the movies get it right. Someone at a party wanted me to meet him. He turned around and his eyes lit up the second he saw me; I felt the same electricity down the right side of my body. Later that week, we fell into bed. With hands boasting perfectly groomed fingernails, he focused completely on me. To be honest, I was surprised at the attention and braced for the request, “Can you go down on me?” that never came. I was nervous and felt exposed in a way that had nothing to do with my not having clothes on. His touch was really exploratory and I guess I just didn’t know what to make of it. I enjoyed myself, mind you, but couldn’t quite relax, and after what seemed like a long time, but was likely just 10 minutes, I stopped him. Embarrassed, I explained it’s nearly impossible for me to finish with a partner and there was next to no hope of it happening with just fingers, so he shouldn’t feel pressured. Of course, I was the one feeling pressure, wanting to hide from the light of his bedside lamp.

Before we went to sleep, he told me all about how he studied martial arts and the Kama Sutra (”Well, the most important parts”). “The other thing is, I hate failure,” he explained. So he while he understood that he would need patience to get me there, he was sure he would. The next morning, we picked up where we left off and it was incredible.

For a few weeks, at least, we fell into bed and he learned things about me every night. And yes, to my amazement, he did get me off a few times. But what was beautifully consistent was a very real interest in how it all worked. Here was a man who loved fingering and could make it the main event.

What I missed in my earlier experiences with fingering — and all of sex, really — is about learning with and from your partner. I learned while he learned, too, and I felt in tune with where his hands went, enough so that I could recreate some of the amazing sensations once I was alone. He would sound genuinely surprised, honored and elated that he discovered a new response in me. Sadly, he was kind of a jerk, so the whole thing only lasted a few weeks, but I got a lot out of it. It’s important to be in control of our sexuality, to figure out how to get off ourselves so we can be the teachers to hopelessly clueless men. At least this time, it didn’t work out that way for me; he and I learned together. My “thank you for last night” texts were never really enough to say how grateful I was.

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