UNPOPULAR OPINION: Your Orgasm Is Your Own Responsibility

I've never understood this concept that our lovers are supposed to "give" us an orgasm, like a present in a nicely wrapped box, and that if they don't, they're a “bad” lover.

Mar 26, 2014 at 12:00pm | Leave a comment

I was a late bloomer when it came to having sex with other people, though I took to masturbation like a natural, once I found my parents' stash of sex books, including "The Story of O," "The Pearl," "My Secret Garden," and "The Joy of Sex." This was around the same time I discovered a gigantic dildo in my mom's closet, but we won't go into that. 
 
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I didn't have a ton of friends, and certainly no boyfriends as a pre-teen, but I had a good time with my five-fingered friend, and the spigot of the bathtub, and the back of my hairbrush, and the flexible “massager” that connected to the showerhead. You get the idea. I was a lonely, weird kid with a lock on my bedroom door, so I spent a lot of time alone, reading and writing erotica, drawing sexy pictures, and fantasizing about how it would be to actually have sex. I had apparently never gotten the memo that girls don't care about sex. 
 
I didn't actually have intercourse until I was 26, and I didn't tell my new boyfriend that I was a virgin because I didn't want him to get nervous about it, and I was also probably a little bit ashamed. When we finally did it, he wondered why there was blood. Oops! It hurt a little bit, but I was glad the deflowering was over so I could finally understand what all the hoopla was about. 
 
Then the next time we had sex and I didn't even come close to having an orgasm, it dawned on me that this whole sex thing was a lot more complicated than I thought. And, because my natural tendency is to assume I'm the problem, I took the fact that I couldn't orgasm through intercourse alone as a personal flaw and wasted a whole lot of time being worried about it.
 
Back then, there was no Google and no xoJane. We just stewed over things or asked our mothers (no way in hell was I going to do that) or read books. And don't get me started on why an otherwise intelligent woman in her mid-twenties never learned that sex is more complex than “stick it in and push it around.” Did they even cover that in "The Joy of Sex"?
 
Later, when I was 30, I vividly remember the first time another new boyfriend and I had sex, after months and months of flirting and sexual tension. This was it! We were finally getting naked! He came, rolled over and went to sleep. It was over in about five minutes. I had heard of that happening, but it had never happened to me, and as I lay there and he snored, I actually could not believe that's what it all boiled down to. I was absolutely livid, and that, my friends, was one knock-down, drag-out fight.
 
I understand now about the male refractory period, but at the time I took it personally. Is it just me, or does the US really suck when it comes to sex ed?
 
So, cut to today (well, not today, but probably tomorrow, if I'm lucky), a little over 30 years later, you'll find someone who has finally found the secret to good sex: taking responsibility for my own orgasms. 
 
Bodies are weird and complicated. People aren't always going at the same pace when they're doing the dirty. Sometimes they're not even on the same track. How many of us have had those times when we're having sex, and one of us is trying to get the other to orgasm but it just isn't working, and we just want to stop, but we don't want to be selfish (or make the other person feel bad), so we keep going when both of us would rather be curled up watching Netflix streaming and finishing that bottle of wine? Things can peter out in a frustrating way that leads to chafing, the ladies can fake it, or either or both parties can take things into their own hands, so to speak. 
 
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Don't get me wrong, I love to give pleasure, and I love to receive it. I adore giving a blowjob and bringing him to orgasm. I absolutely love it when he goes down on me, and I can come in a hot second with a good tongue.
 
And sometimes, orgasms aren't even really the sole point of the sex I have, but sometimes, I just want to explode into a sea of ecstasy and writhe and tumble all over the bed (or the kitchen counter ), and it's not going to happen unless I take the reins. 
 
At those times, I'll ask my lover, in my sexiest voice, if he'd like to see me make myself come. Sometimes, I brag about how I can do it in a minute or less. I've never had anyone say no, nor had anyone seem disappointed. And since I know exactly how to touch myself, I'm 95% successful. He feels good, I feel good. What's not to like?
 
I've never understood this concept that our lovers are supposed to "give" us an orgasm, like a present in a nicely wrapped box, and that if they don't, they're a “bad” lover. It's great if we have lovers who can play our bodies like finely tuned instruments and who know exactly what we want when we want it. I know such things do happen, but while we're all looking for one of these rarities, I'd prefer to thoroughly enjoy the person I'm with, knowing that if one of us doesn't have an orgasm, that's OK. And if one of us wants to have one but one isn't forthcoming from our sexy parts rubbing up against one another, that we have fingers or toys that can make it happen, and we can make that a sexy part of our time together.
 
No fights, no disappointment, and no resentment, just toe-curling, yodel-inducing pleasure, and then the Netflix and the wine.