Let’s talk the big ‘O’
I was sexually active for two years before I had my first orgasm. Masturbation wasn’t something I ever really considered doing until I was twenty and in a relatively sexless relationship. I was twenty-five before I could confidently go into sexual experiences and know exactly what to do to get myself to that magic ‘O’.
I think anyone that knows me now – for my suggestive, innuendo-filled sense of humour and no-holds-barred conversation about sex – would find this very hard to believe but for a very long time I ‘put up’ with focusing purely on pleasing the people I was with, and assumed I just ‘didn’t get there through sex’.
PEOPLE. I WAS WRONG.
Yet this is not uncommon. So many of the people I have met along the way, whether it be friends, online or family, there are plenty of people that have had similar experiences along the way.
The sad thing is, I remember feeling so alone. After each experience, I would be disappointed with myself – as though there was something wrong with me or even that the people I was sharing these experiences with were the problem, and I could not have been more wrong.
Now I’m in a happy, healthy, understanding relationship I can safely say I understand myself enough to get myself there whenever I want to. However, I could never find the right information to empower me to take control of the situation.
SO, here I am, sharing three things I have learnt and baring all in the spirit of empowerment. If it helps even one person, well, mission completed.
You’ve heard of tunnel vision?
We’ve all seen enough of those expectations versus reality posts on insta to know that the content we see, isn’t always the reality that we experience in our daily lives.
As much as the porn and media industries have given you and I access to sexual content that we otherwise wouldn’t have seen, more often than not it is a cookie cutter view of people, moments in time and experiences that are played back to us.
The danger of this is, particularly when this is at high exposure levels in our informative years, we fall into a cycle of thinking the way we want to do things is unnatural or weird because it or we don’t fall into this polarised, tunnel vision view of the world.
As a natural worrier, I’ve always found switching my brain off in a moment of intimacy really difficult, and actually this doesn’t align to the busty barbies we see who are up and ready to go, the minute a muscly builder arrives to fix a leaky tap.
Figuring out that there’s a non-damaging place for pornographic content if you want there to be is great. However, understanding that there’s also always a place for authentic and unique experiences with everyone you meet saves a lot of frustration and opens your mind to experiences that are entirely based on your needs and desires. Life is too short to waste time moaning when you’re uncomfortable/not enjoying yourself, and that’s totally not what sexual experiences are meant to be about.
Knowledge is power
I’ll start this point by telling you, I once had a sexual experience where a man I was dating decided to try and please me using his hands. What preceded, over the next fifteen minutes, was an experience that I can only describe as a touch typer going hell for leather in the most important note-taking moment of their life.
For some people, this might have been a dream scenario. They might not have even lasted fifteen minutes. I however, left feeling well and truly CTRL ALT DELTE-D.
Now in reference to knowledge, I’m not talking Cosmo’s ‘five tips to get hot and sweaty’ but instead suggesting that getting to know your body, on your own terms, is actually one of the most empowering things you can do. The great thing about this knowledge is when and if you choose to have experiences with other people – you can pass it on and don’t have to waste time whilst someone manages to do a 40 wpm on your vulva.
Unfortunately, for many of us, we have been brought up in a culture where personal pleasure (particularly female pleasure) is a dirty, shameful thing and that we should be incredibly embarassed that we even have sex organs never mind touch them (!)
As Laura Bates outlines in Girl Up: ‘we wouldn’t go into any other major life experience without practising first, so what’s so different about sex?
Getting to know yourself gives you power and allows you to take control of your own needs, rather than laying back and thinking of England, in the hope that maybe this time, it’ll be the one.
Say it and you’ll spray it
Technically one of the hardest things about the situations I have been in was being brave enough to go through a sexual experience and be honest with the person I was with. Most of the partners I have had have genuinely been concerned about whether I have enjoyed myself. Whilst enjoying myself and having an orgasm don’t need to be hand in hand every time, they usually were referring to whether I’d achieved the magic O.
In fact, I genuinely think the porn industry has created such a narrow view of genuine pleasure that even when I had reached orgasm, the people I was with wouldn’t know.
So here’s the biggest step I took – I was honest with a partner I trusted and I spoke to him about how I struggled and how whilst everything he was doing was great, it just wasn’t working because of things I personally struggle with. So we took time, and tried lots of different approaches and found a variety of different approaches that have stopped reaching orgasm a frustrating and embarrassing thing, and instead allow me to own my sexuality and body in those moments.
So there you go, a vulnerability exposed and three genuine changes that have allowed me to live an empowered and healthy life – my way. Your way will be different, but hopefully, if you’re struggling, this information will arm you with the knowledge you need to get to a similar place.