Musings on female masturbation and orgasms.
I was listening to the Sexpots podcast last week and the guest of the week talked about the stigma that is often still surrounding female masturbation and how it was something she didn't learn about until she was in her early twenties. This got me thinking about my own experiences with masturbation and how this stigma has affected me both during my pre-swinging lifestyle and now.
I was an early developer and explored my body from a fairly young age. My vagina was easy enough to find, but the clitoris was not something I knew that existed, so I didn't think of looking for anything else. All the sex ed books my parents had bought us, (because they were pretty progressive for the 80's/90's) focussed on pregnancy and its prevention first and foremost, even though they claimed to cover other topics too. Maybe that's what was the best a catholic country in the late 80's/early '90's could do. The internet had not arrived in our homes yet and I was hungry for more information about sex, but had no access to it. All I knew about sex came from those books and TV. And TV is kind of how the secret to orgasm was revealed to me. I say kind of, because the secret was to be revealed to me in the most unusual of places: The Secret Diary of Laura Palmer (and I still own my original Dutch language version as you can see down below). Yes, I was a big fan of the Twin Peak series and received this book as a birthday present when I was a young teen. In the book, Laura Palmer talks about a "red button" that she touches gently with her finger tips and that makes a warm feeling spread throughout her body. It actually doesn't mention where that red button is, but I knew it had to be near my vagina. I immediately put my book down and started exploring my vulva with my fingers until I felt something that could possibly be described as a button and lo and behold, not much later I had my first ever orgasm! Once I had discovered that, masturbation was something I did at least once a day, if not more, until the day I moved in with Mr L. Once I had an actual sex life, I masturbated less often, but of course it remained part of my regular sexual repertoire!
In the Sexpots podcast, they talked about the shame around the subject of female masturbation and how it is something that is not really talked about both in mainstream media, traditional sex ed and more generally among your peers while growing up. That has certainly been my experience (see how I discovered my clitoris!). No one ever talked about masturbating and yes, I definitely feel that there is some sort of shame around the subject. This sense of shame filtered through to my early days with Mr L and still lingers in the background at times. This has meant that it has taken a long time to feel comfortable masturbating in his presence. When we first got together, I was 20, with as good as no sexual experience. I soon discovered that I don't orgasm from purely from penetrative sex and would feel too shy and embarrassed to tell him this or to play with my own clit during sex. So often I would wait until he hopped into the shower afterwards to finish myself off after sex. I somehow felt that me masturbating after we had sex would be an insult to his sexual prowess and so I hid it. Of course he caught me one day and I can still feel the embarrassment to this day; I doubt he remembers the moment though. Over many conversations throughout the years, he reassured me over and over again that it's fine; it doesn't make him feel like he's not doing a good job. And although my thinking brain accepted this, that place in my mind where shame lives, really struggled to accept this and let go of this thought. Masturbating around Mr L seemed wrong for a long long time.
Considering how much I enjoyed masturbating, I never imagined it would be something I would stop doing, but that unthinkable event happened. After our last baby, I completely lost my libido and then became depressed. The wold became a dull, grey place. I actually threw out most of my lingerie and all my sex toys during that period. I was convinced I would never need those again, because I was not interested and doubted I would ever be interested again. Then about 5 years ago, I decided to take action and finally tackle my depression. I saw my GP and was prescribed Citalopram. The world got colour again, my libido improved, but to my surprise and frustration, I lost my ability to orgasm. When I googled this, it turned out to be quite a common side effect of Citalopram. I was really annoyed that I was not told this might happen. I am pretty sure I would have chosen another drug if I had known about this side effect. After 2 years, I decided it was time to come off the meds. I had made some big changes in my personal and professional life, which made me feel that I would be able to cope with life again AND I was very very keen to try and get my orgasms back! By this point we had just entered the lifestyle, our sex life was better than ever, but I missed orgasms. The journey to recover my orgasms has been a long one and is still ongoing. It took 6 month for me to reach orgasm again. This was very hit and miss at the time, nowadays, I'm at about 90% it and 10% miss, so things are definitely much better. At first my orgasms were tiny, and it has only been over the last month or 2 that they're occasionally showing glimpses of their old earth shattering self.
The long term effect of all this that my old nemesis of shame has returned. My orgasm is now extremely shy and if I feel watched, it won't happen. I am working on fixing this by masturbating next to Mr L but often I get near the edge, but can't tip over. I know it's because I get very self conscious about how long it takes me since they have returned. I convince myself that I must be boring Mr L to death, which, he assures me, is not true. However, that little negative, judgemental voice in the back of my mind often takes over and ruins the party. Shutting up that voice up is something I am working at, but it's not easy. Not easy at all.
Another weird side effect of the antidepressants is that I can only masturbate with toys now. My fingers have lost their magic touch! I think it's because toys give a much stronger stimulation. It's as if my clitoris is less sensitive than it used to be. I can literally count on 1 hand the times I came using my fingers and each time it was in a club in a super charged sexy environment, where Mr L and I had played together in an orgy room and I watched couples at the same time, but crucially they weren't aware I was watching. We had had hours of play between us and then the environment on top of that. It does go to show how I really do require a looooong period of stimulation to be able to orgasm nowadays.
Considering things have improved over the last few years and that they still seem to be gradually be improving, I hope that in another 3 years, I will be back to my old orgasmic, masturbating self!
I do hope that my musings have been interesting. They are not my usual sexy stories, but I hope that talking about my own struggles with masturbation and orgasm over the years, might resonate with some of you. Masturbation seems to be only ever described as something that is fun, natural and easy or shameful and forbidden. But there's so much more to it than this as you can see. All sorts of things can interfere with it and this is rarely talked about. That Sexpot podcast episode triggered so many feeling and thoughts on the subject, that I thought it was time to put them all down on paper (or screen in this case) and tell my not so sexy story.
Til next time,
Mrs L xx