The Elusive Orgasm

A happy Thanksgiving to you — since I’m American (well, part-American at least), I celebrate it.

Today I thought I’d try to write about why I’ve never had an orgasm.

To start with, I’ve got a fair amount of sexual repression going on. I was rather a “late bloomer” and it took me years past what it should have to understand what sexual arousal even was. Then I read a great deal, on general sex education websites, and I listened to my friends talk. Many of my friends had significant others, or at least would mention when they saw someone who was attractive. Many of my friends talked about masturbating and porn. And slowly — very slowly — I began to apply some of these concepts to my own existence.

After I came out as bisexual (though I’ll do a post someday about why that’s not the best word to describe my sexual preferences), I started to notice the sexual aspects of women more, particularly breasts, for which I suppose I’ve come to harbour what would constitute a fetish. When I was 16 and seven months, I suddenly made the connection that my interest in slavery and subjugation was of a sexual nature. I realised that the slight tingling in my nether regions was probably that famous feeling, sexual arousal. One time I spread my legs in front of a mirror and examined my genitals. I think I might have found my clitoris.

I think my main problem, though, is that I read about things like masturbation long before I experimented for myself. So it was only after this one time when I saw a documentary about women’s sexuality on Swedish television (as one does, I suppose) that I thought to myself, “Hmm, I suppose I’d better try this ‘masturbation’ thing.” So I did. I rubbed away at what I thought was the right spot for a good half-hour. But nothing exciting happened, and I just felt sore, so I stopped.

Obviously, there was a central problem in that I wasn’t aroused to start with. And that’s continued to be the central problem. I’ve only tried a few more times since then (that was over two years ago), and every time I do attempt to masturbate the “Hmm, let’s see if I can masturbate successfully this time” factor has overriden the pleasure factor.

The farthest I got was this one time about 10 months ago, when I found out that my sister had actually had orgasms. She’s rather younger than me, and my oldest-child jealousy struck. I masturbated furiously, though quietly, in the room we were sharing at the time. It was the only time that I’ve done that where it actually felt good, and I began to lose myself in the pleasure-seeking bit, instead of analysing “masturbation” too much.

Shortly thereafter, after reading some more, I observed that there are more people out there who choose not to masturbate, who are otherwise sexually comfortable and open with themselves. I decided that I could be one of those people, and that my lack of orgasms and self-pleasuring didn’t bother me too much. I even had a new idea: after reading a rather pornographic) story where a woman was asked to masturbate by her lover but felt uncomfortable doing it because her strong submissiveness led her to feel it was inappropriate for her to be pleasuring herself, I wondered if that was part of my problem, my disinclination to touch myself (because it’s not just the overanalysis, it’s that I don’t have a whole lot of interest in the idea). The irony that this story itself was written for someone’s masturbatory benefit, though, is not lost on me, and I suspect that rationalising one’s “pre-orgasmic” status by comparing oneself to a character in pornographic fiction is not entirely productive.

I don’t know if you’ve ever seen the John Cameron Mitchell film Shortbus, but the protagonist of that film is a woman who’s never had an orgasm. I identified with her for a while, but the fact that she was sexually active and got to live in New York and have interesting adventures kind of put paid to that fantasy.

I guess, on the whole, I’m okay with my no-masturbation, no-orgasm status. At least I don’t know what I’m missing. There’s only one thing that worries me, and it’s that I somehow feel like it wouldn’t be very healthy to have a sexual relationship with someone, a touchy-feely one, when I can’t touch myself in good conscience first. I have to learn what makes me disinclined to just sit back and enjoy the idea, to what extent it’s repression over what I find arousing and how to get over that. I need to stop overanalysing everything, too, but I suppose I also need to stop writing posts like this.

It’s difficult to find the healthy line between analysis and just going with the flow.


One Response to “The Elusive Orgasm”

  1. Hello ‘Newbie’. A search of your site suggests that the word ‘therapy’ han’t come up yet. How come? The right therapist (who’s not out to cure you or even that concerned about addressing orgasm directly) can do wonders. A general loosening up and enlivening of enthusiasm, liveliness, etc. may have great spinoff effects sexually. Freud used the word libido to cover it all if you recall.

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