The trouble with orgasms.

April 4, 2011 at 6:06 pm (Sex) (, )

My name is Alice, and I don’t have orgasms.

That’s a slight exaggeration. I can pretty reliably give myself an orgasm. The problem comes when someone else tries to give me an orgasm. More likely than not, it ain’t gonna happen. A partner can start off with the best of intentions and the greatest of enthusiasm, and I can be loving whatever he’s doing, but there’s a point when the anxiety kicks in, or the friction starts to hurt, and one or the other or both of us gives up in frustration.

This is one of my strangest dichotomies – how could a frisky swinger/poly/kinky/label-of-the-month girl not be coming all over the place? How can you love sex and not have orgasms with your partners?

I have tried in many ways to figure it out, short of investing in a comprehensive Freudian psychoanalysis. I’ve spent hours mulling over the circumstances and scenarios around the few occasions when someone else did actually succeed in making me come. There are some consistent elements, but none have ever proven consistently successful:

  • Detachment: I dated a forestry geek for a few months who could make me come through sheer willpower – the man would simply not give up, no matter what I said or did. He brought along a vibrator on our second date; what else could I do? We had amazing chemistry but truthfully, I didn’t care a fig about him – he was incapable of communication so I never learned much of anything about him. However, I’ve been with plenty of other men where even the word “friends” would be a stretch to describe us, and most of them were unsuccessful in the orgasm inducement area. It seems to help if I really don’t care, but not always.
  • Relaxation: I just don’t relax. Ever. My insomnia is the kind where I wake up at 3:00 AM with racing thoughts about all the shit I haven’t done. But on a few rare occasions I can remember being what I would consider really, truly relaxed, you could pull orgasms out of me like feathers from a chicken. But, that happens, like, once every six years or so. Nothing much helpful there.
  • Really stupid ridiculous level of arousal: The orgasms that came fast and hard and deserving of the “little death” term were when I was in a really crazy state of arousal. Example: a few weeks ago, my husband refused to touch me. He would kiss me, but he wouldn’t touch me. And through no direct instruction, I didn’t touch him, either. And it turned me on like fuck all. I can count on one hand the number of strictly vaginal orgasms I’ve had – that was one of them. It knocked the wind out of me. But jesus h. christ, how much of that kind of arousal can a human being take? Blood vessels could burst, dude. It wouldn’t be pretty.
  • Bondage. But we’re not even going to go there. Yet.

So what’s holding me back? The only medical reason for this, that I’ve discovered, is the distance between clit and vagina, but that only explains my lack of orgasms from intercourse alone, and I know I’m far from the only woman in the world who can’t come just from thrusting. My clit on its own works fine; I get myself off regularly. If not physiology, then we look to psychology… but I’m not self-conscious in bed; I’m not one of those women trying to hold the sheet over her cellulite. I’ve never received any form of criticism during sex that might have damaged me to this extent. There’s just a little corner of my brain that whispers “no“.

It’s so obvious, and so pitiful. Control. Oh, honey… giving someone, giving a man control of my body to the extent of controlling the most elemental, primal, vital force that your body can produce? How much trust, how much complete and total confidence do I have to have in someone to permit him make me come?

How hard did I have to fight to take control of my life after giving control to a man who abused me? How hard did I have to work to believe again that I had value as a human being? That’s about how hard it is to give someone control of my pleasure. When my husband first started making me come on a regular basis, I always, without fail, cried. Tears of utter relief. There is no orgasm in the world that can equal one given to me by someone I care for, because it is that damn hard for me to let it happen.

I write this because I want to. I write this because it hurts. And I write it because maybe someday, someone will read it who knows what I mean.

And someday I’ll learn how to give up control.



  1. Kasini said,

    i get this. oh how I get this. control control control.

    I’ve gotten to the point where I just tell potential lovers up front that I won’t come. And I hate when they take this as a challenge. The frustration is just that much worse. I get other things from sex than orgasm.

    I, too, can get myself off like a charm. It’s letting go of control and allowing someone to pull that primal response from me that I have a hard time with.

    I had sex with someone saturday, a new lover, and I had an orgasm from penetration and it shocked both of us. But I think it’s that I trust him. That my anxiety over performance was short circuited because neither of us had that expectation… he wasn’t goal oriented in giving me one despite what I said about not having one, and so I was fully in the moment, not worried about my performance, or boosting his ego or anything else other than just enjoying him.

    I hope it happens again. But I’m not going to be surprised if it doesn’t.

  2. Alice Digitalis said,

    Thank you so very much for your comment. It means more than you could imagine to know I’m not the only one. Thank you.

  3. Electrostimulation and Orgasm « Such Nonsense said,

    […] arousal and sensual stimulation, and how that would impact me with my orgasm difficulties (see here and here), so this experience showed me that while it wouldn’t necessarily speed up my […]

  4. Interested Party said,

    I’m a guy and I get it. It’s a frustrating position- wanting to share that but being nearly unable in most circumstances. Trust, when broken, is very hard to toss about lightly.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: